Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oatmeal Biscoff Fig Bars

Aside from fig newtons, I never had fresh figs.  If you love figs, or are curious to try them, give this recipe a whirl!  These bars are tasty and make a perfect fall after school treat.  They have an awesome Biscoff flavor that combines well with the texture of the oatmeal.  My kids really enjoyed them and I hope you do too. 

Ingredients, Filling
2 cups chopped stemmed fresh figs
1 cup water
6 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt

Ingredients, Crust
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Biscoff cookies, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Directions, Filling
Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Uncover and simmer until figs are very soft and filling is thick, stirring often, about 10 minutes.  Cool completely, then pulse in a food processor until a smooth consistency, but still have texture.  Set aside.

Directions, Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray 13x9x2- inch baking pan with nonstick spray.  Combine oats and next 6 ingredients in large bowl and whisk to blend.  Add butter.  Using fingertips, blend until mixture forms small moist clumps.  Firmly press half of crust mixture (about 3 cups) over bottom of prepared pan.  Spread filling evenly over crust.  Sprinkle remaining crust mixture over filling; press to adhere.  Bake bars until deep brown and firm to touch, about 30 minutes.  Cool completely in pan on rack.  Once cooled, cut into bars. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Updating My Son's Room

My son turned 11 last week.  He had a great time celebrating his birthday with friends.  

At the end of the day as we settled back into our routine, he asked if we could change out the pictures in his room.  He wanted a more age appropriate room.  In other words, the cute dragon themed room had to go! 

So for the past week I've been working towards updating his room.  I hired help to add a plank wall to his room.  I'll give you all the details of how we did it and what materials we used once his room is finished. 

My son loves it so far and I couldn't be more pleased.  I ordered a new rug, pillows, bedding and artwork, just waiting for them to arrive in the mail. 

Once everything arrives we'll decide on a new paint color for the walls.  My son's only request is that it I choose a shade of blue.  Decisions, decisions...

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sweet Potato with Apple-Cinnamon Butter

A tasty sweet potato recipe topped with apple-cinnamon butter.  A perfect fall side dish.  I had this for lunch yesterday and it was so good, satisfying and easy to make.  Who knew something so simple could be such a treat.

Sweet potatoes are very easy to make in the microwave.  To prepare the sweet potato, begin by scrubbing the skin.  This will help to get all the dirt off the potato.  Using a fork, prick several holes through the skin of the sweet potato.  This will allow the steam to escape as the potato cooks.  Place the sweet potato on a paper towel in the microwave.  Cook the potato on high for 8 minutes depending on the size of the potato.  If the sweet potato is still hard, cook for 1-2 minutes more until it softens.  Using a knife, cut a slit in the top of the potato and top with apple-cinnamon butter.

Ingredients, Apple-Cinnamon Butter
2 apples peeled and quartered
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, softened

To soften apples, add apples to a saute pan with a 1/3 cup of water over medium heat.  Cook 5 minutes then remove from heat and drain water.  Allow apples to cool down a bit.  Mix all ingredients in a food processor until well combined. 

*The apple-cinnamon butter would also taste great spread on muffins or toast. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Natural Fall Wreath

Fall is in the air!  After a hot summer in Atlanta, I'm ready for cooler weather.  When it comes to decorating, fall is my favorite season.  I enjoy adding touches of fall throughout my home.  My first project was to make a fall wreath to hang in the kitchen.

To start, I purchased a grapevine wreath and a couple bunches of "filler flowers".  These will dry, and still look nice!

To make a nice, full wreath I started by trimming the stems.  Then I took each flower stem and stuck them into the grooves of the wreath until I was pleased with the look. No floral pins or hot glue required.  As each stem is added it should cover the end of the stem before it.  Continue until the wreath is completely covered.

I love the subtle shades of purple in the wreath.

With the addition of a few red pears to my all white display, my kitchen shelf is decorated for fall. 

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tropical Lemonade

I've always been curious about dragon fruit.  Although they're quite expensive, I decided to purchase a few from the farmer's market.  The outside is pretty funky looking.  After cutting the fruit open, I could see the white flesh with black seeds throughout.  The flavor was similar to a pear with the texture of a kiwi.  Sort of a let down considering its exotic appearance, it tasted nothing like I expected.  I was expecting a very sweet and amazing taste.

After searching for a recipe using dragon fruit, I decided to combine the fruit with some kiwi for a tropical lemonade. 

(Makes 1/2 Gallon)
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 dragon fruit (white flesh)
3 kiwi
4 cups water

Peel kiwi. Scoop dragon fruit directly from its skin. Puree fruit in a food processor or blender. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh wire strainer placed over a bowl. Discard seeds. In a large pitcher combine sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in strained kiwi and dragon fruit. Stir in water. Serve over ice.

Recipe adapted from

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