Coming up with different ideas for recipes every day seems to be getting the best of me; in a good way though. Today is Sunday. I adore Sundays. I got a workout in, thought about food, did the laundry, thought about how I couldn't wait to make a fruit bar of some sort, typed out a few recipes in an effort to become more organized with the endless paper stream of recipes. And oh yes, I forgot. I thought about tonight's dinner. I was very excited about tonight's bites. Can you sense it?
For tonight's menu, it's all about a 4lb chicken. Poor little guy. He's basting in the ol' crock pot. He's been in there for about 5 1/2 hours now. Only 1 hour to go until we can feast. He's hanging out with some fresh lemon juice, Thyme, Parsley, minced garlic, delectable butter (which I massaged him with by the way), paprika, salt and pepper. I added 2 small onions, chopped them up, and placed them in his cavity. Fun stuff! Who are we kidding? He's going to be scrumptious! The house smells incredible. It actually smells just like Thanksgiving in here. The football sounds coming through the speakers really gives it that favorite fall time feel. I think I need to just light an Apple Cider Yankee Candle and it will totally be Turkey Day up in here! Or in this case, Chicken Day!
Sneak Peek at this "Delicious Meal"...according to the hubby. I of course, concur. It was stellar!
Man I miss Thanksgiving...Not going to lie.
I'm thinking about a homemade caramel sauce over vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. I found the caramel sauce from one of the blogs I read and I am dying to try it! More on that a little later.
You know those free recipe cards that basically stare you in the face as soon as you enter the food store doors? Well my food store does that. But anyway, most of the time I see them, I look around at the different recipes for a hot second, and then decide to walk away. Why do I do this? Part of it is that I'm rushed a bit for time, and sometimes I'm just lazy about it and choose to ignore them. They are free!! Sure, I have a gigantic pile of food magazines, cookbooks, and I read a ton of different food blogs. I am plenty stocked for a looooong time of great meals. But my last trip there, I'm glad I picked up a card. I have been wanting to make a yummy and perfect little fruit bar for months. Because bottom line, I have made a few in the past and let's just say, my dog wanted nothing to do with them.
This recipe card was for a simple Cranberry Bar. Well, of course I grabbed it real quick because I wanted to make it, threw it in my purse, picked up the stuff I needed and headed home. One would think that I would read the ingredients and , well, I was in a food store. You can add up the rest of this story. I got home, saw the card and yelled out a brief curse word. Or two. I improvised and used a few ingredients that I thankfully did have at home. :) This recipe called for frozen cranberries, of course, walnuts, and orange zest. I changed it up a bit and let me tell you....I am really so proud of these bars!! Don't worry, my next trip to the store I will be buying the real ingredients for this recipe and making them as well. I love cranberries. I have to make them.
This is my scrumptious take of these bars....make these too, if you'd like. Well, if you like blueberries, rather. Or go to the store and pick up cranberries, walnuts and and orange. The zest comes with it.
Blueberry Lemon Zest Bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (they called for 1/4 tsp. of ginger, too..I didn't have ginger)
2 cups fresh or frozen *blueberries* (I used frozen)
1 cup chopped walnuts (no nuts in my recipe...go nuts though , if you like them and have them)
2 tsp. grated lemon zest. (I used 1 lemon for the zest. orange would be great, too).
(*I added a 1/4 cup of soft cream cheese) I think it added a slight moistness to the bars and of course, a creamy factor; and I just can't help myself when it comes to cream cheese...if it seems necessary, I'm using it. Give it a whirl.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan, set aside. I sprayed the pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork. Stir in sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon until smooth. Fold in those blueberries (or cranberries, :) ....and the lemon zest. Spread evenly in the baking pan.
3. Bake 35-40 minutes or until brown around the edges and the cake begins to pull away from the pan. Let cool on hard surface in pan. Cut into bars. They are so tasty warm...but let them cool completely.
*The card said this makes 24 bars....I got 18.
**I added a tiny crunch/sweet topping factor if you wanted to try it. It's just a small handful of uncooked oats and a small handful of Light Brown Sugar. It made these bars....they are so yummy! The best part? The blueberries just ooze in your mouth....mmmmm.
Wait. There's more.
Here's another yummy and "fruity" tip for when you want to begin your day fresh and healthy. Or have a pre-workout snack. Or bring this snack to work in that ziploc bag. Just make sure your office has a fridge.
Blackberries & Apples with Honey
Yes. This "recipe" includes exactly what it's called. Three ingredients. Blackberries, your favorite apple, and honey. And a knife. I adore honey crisps. This is also reallllly tasty with Granny Smith Apples. You get that great sweetness from the honey and wonderful tartness from the Granny. It's a beautiful combination. A "win-win", if you will.
Hey! Do you recall that Home Economics class you took? And when it came time to learn how to cut stuff. (we were so little....why were knives in our hands?) In this case , an apple; remember when the teacher also showed you how to make these kind of slices for the "swan's wings." Yeah. This is in no way that. I guess it's still kind of cool though. I just slice the apple this way for easier cuts when I cube them next.
Pack this up and get on with your day!