You know how I’ve been putting jalapeños on literally everything for the past couple months? I think I’m over that finally.

But guess what I’ve moved onto.

Canned green beans. I had an entire can for dinner last night and the night before. A whole can. By myself. And I’m kind of freaking out because I’m officially out of canned green beans and I’m trying to hold off on going grocery shopping until Friday because our Trader Joe’s is finally opening!

Hallelujah!

(However, ours will sell no wine. Because this is Colorado. Boo.)

And my other current food obsession is butterscotch chips. I’ve always liked butterscotch chips but it wasn’t until recently that I started shoveling handfuls of them into my mouth after every meal. You guys, it’s bad.

I added these Apple Butterscotch Blondies to my “must make” list as soon as I saw them, mostly because of my butterscotch obsession but also because I just love blondies of all types. I think I actually prefer them over brownies.

I love everything about these. They weren’t as dense as your typical blondie but they had a really great texture. And the butterscotch and the apple chunks were absolutely delicious together.

Click for the full recipe

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My kid start school next week, y’all! It hit me yesterday and I rushed around trying to get shots for the 4 year old and then get school supplies for the 7 year old. I’m just amazed at how fast summer went.

But you know what that means!

SNOW IS COMING!

I’m super excited about snow. Super, super, super excited. I think if there was a competition to see who in the world loves snow the most, it’d be me. Followed closely by the idiot husky.

One thing I am going to miss about summer is the berries. This is the first year that I’ve actually liked raspberries – isn’t that weird? Like, I used to think they were seedy and gross (like blackberries – bleh!) but this year, I am all about them. And I’m sad because they’re already at that point where they’re mushy before you even buy them! My raspberries were so leaky this week that I walked around the entire grocery store with a big red streak down my nose before my 7 year old said, “Hey mom, is that makeup on your nose?”

Thanks kid.

I bought a big thing of blueberries this week too and thankfully got a lot of use out of them before they started to turn on me. I threw what we had left into these Blueberry Crumb Bars!

I love anything with a crumb topping, especially anything fruity! These are delicious and really simple to make.

Click for the full recipe

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My all-time favorite fruity dessert is a lemon bar. That’s probably pretty evident by the fact that I have 4 or 5 different lemon bar recipes on the blog. I’m obsessed.

Last year I was so pumped to make this raspberry lemon bar that had been circulating the blog world that I actually cried when it turned out to be a huge fail.

I cried.

Over a lemon bar.

This is my life.

This one, fortunately, didn’t fail and it may be my new favorite. A lemon bar is typically lemon curd on a shortbread crust but these bars start with an oatmeal crust and then have a filling of just lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk. And then – the best part – it’s topped with crumbles of the oat crust.

You guys know I love anything with a crumb topping!

I was totally skeptical because, like I said, the filling is literally just lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk. I didn’t think it would set up and be slice-able. But it really did turn super thick and creamy.

I had more bars than I’d like to admit to.

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.
  3. Press half of oat crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8x8-inch pan.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of the crumb mixture.
  5. Take the remaining crumb mixture and knead it with your hands to make it crumbly and chunky. Sprinkle this over the lemon mixture.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Cool for about 30 minutes before cutting. Refrigerate for at least a couple hours before serving.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/03/creamy-lemon-crumb-bars/

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My kids are obsessed with granola bars. It’s bad. Like, so bad that I have to hide them or they will all be eaten before I know it.

And I don’t blame them. I’m sure I’ve told you guys before that I have granola bar problems. I cannot just have one granola bar. If I have one, I’m eating the whole box. Right then.

I’ve tried to make my own granola bars in the past and had okay results. I just want something simple that doesn’t require a special trip to the grocery store.

This one is perfect! It’s no-bake so I threw them together in less than 10 minutes. I have all the ingredients on hand at all times.

My kids love them and I don’t have to worry about hiding them since I can just make another batch if we run out!

Two years ago: Easter Ideas
Four years ago: Pasca (Romanian Easter Cake)

No-Bake Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Ingredients

2 cups quick cooking oats (or pulse whole oats in a food processor a bit)
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, crisp rice cereal, and coconut.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt together coconut oil, peanut butter, and honey. Add salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, allow to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oats mixture and use a rubber spatula to stir everything together - make sure everything is coated. Let cool for a few minutes and then stir in chocolate chips (if you don't allow to cool, all your chocolate chips will melt).
  5. Press mixture into the prepared pan and press additional mini chocolate chips on top. Let set in fridge for about 20 minutes before slicing into bars. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil for storage.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/04/02/bake-chewy-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-granola-bars/

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Happy Monday! I hope you have the day off today and are able to spend the day relaxing or doing something you love. I’m taking the husky to get fixed and my husband is 100% convinced that I’ll spend the entire day sitting in the vet office, biting my nails and waiting for her surgery to be over.

I will actually probably spend the day stuffing my face because I tend to do that when I’m worried. Good thing I have these Mocha-Chip Cheesecake Bars in the fridge, huh?

I made this over the weekend because my husband had 24 hour duty and I do what I always do when he’s gone for 24 hours: sit on my butt and watch a marathon of whatever show I’m currently into. I took time away from that important stuff to make these so it looked like I actually did something.

I really, really love cheesecake and cheesecake is even better when it’s baked in bars instead of a fussy water bath. These bars have a delicious oat crust and crumble. Then the cheesecake itself is coffee flavored with mini chocolate chips. It’s good, really good.

Three years ago: Orange Ricotta Pancakes
Four years ago: Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Five years ago: Devil’s Food White Out Cake

Mocha-Chip Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
3 eggs
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottom and sides of jelly roll pan, 15 1/2x10 1/2x1 inch, with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Beat flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, 1 teaspoon coffee (dry), the salt and baking soda in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until crumbly. Press about 4 cups of the mixture in pan; reserve remaining crumb mixture.
  2. Beat remaining ingredients except chocolate chips in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread over crust. Stir remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips into remaining crumb mixture. Sprinkle over cream cheese mixture; press lightly.
  3. Bake 32 to 40 minutes or until center is set and topping is light golden brown. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until chilled. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/02/17/mocha-chip-cheesecake-bars/

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