Sunday, April 21, 2013

Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails...

I couldn't resist beginning this post with a photo of our grandsons, Bentley and Clark, taken last winter when they got to go for a ride on the garbage truck.
As with most little boys, these fellows are FACINATED with trains, planes and automobiles, especially the garbage truck and garbage men.
Imagine their surprise when a ride on the truck as well as a show of how a garbage truck works became a reality.....let's just say it was 'magical'.

Fast forward 4 months.  The landscape in Northern North Dakota looks much the same today, April 21 as it did last December.  A fresh blanket of snow fell during the night, adding to the 6 inches we already have on the ground.  Our temps are to climb into the 50's by week's end, which will be a welcome site for these folks.
Although I am a fan of winter, snow, and cozy weather, it's the end of April and we're still freezing!

You can complain all you want.
The weather has been harsh all around the country.
It could be worse so count your blessings, turn on the oven and bake something delicious.

This is a recipe for what I like to call: 

Strawberry Jam Squares


This is an old recipe, a similar one can be found in almost any recipe box or old cookbook picked up from Grandma's cupboard or a rummage sale.
What I love about these squares (or bars if you must)
Is they can be adapted to fit any type of filling one has on hand.
I've made them with Strawberry, Apricot or Raspberry Preserves.
I've used Caramel sauce mixed with a touch of flour then sprinkled chocolate chips on top   once they came out of the oven.
They're simple and delicious,

First step, gather your ingredients:

Butter, Brown Sugar, and Salt, the staff of life

Stir together all dry ingredients, including the Oatmeal.
(I used Quick Oats this time but either Quick or Old Fashioned will work)
Make sure the butter is very cold.  Cut butter into pieces and,
Using a pastry blender, cut into dry ingredients.


 until butter pieces are the size of small peas.


  Once butter is well incorporated, you are ready to press 1/2 of mixture onto bottom of buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.


Spread entire jar of fruit preserves onto (unbaked) crust.
Gently spread preserves with knife or spoon to completely cover the crumb mixture.

(blurry photo)

Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over top of fruit, then press firmly to set the crust.


Pop into a 350 degree oven and bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool completely on wire rack then cut into squares.

Serve with a fork and cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of milk.

:)  :)  :)  
Have a yummy sort of day!

Strawberry Jam Squares

12 Tablespoons COLD butter, cut into pieces (1 3/4 sticks)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups Oats, old fashioned or quick cooking
1 cup brown sugar (packed lightly)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 jar fruit preserves

Preheat oven to 350
Generously butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Stir together dry ingredients, including oats.
Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until butter pieces are the size of small peas.

Gently press 1/2 of this crumb mixture onto the bottom of greased baking dish.
(reserving 1/2 of crumb for topping)
Spoon fruit preserves onto crumb crust and spread very gently with a spoon or knife to cover crust completely.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 of crumb mixture over top of fruit.
Gently press topping  to help it adhere to fruit, preventing excessive crumbs.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove dish to wire rack and cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes approximately 24 squares.