Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Last weekend was Michael's father's 60th birthday party, and it had a dessert theme. All of us kids made different desserts for one yummy spread at the evening party. There were homemade Oreo cookies, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake, German chocolate cake, brownies, other cookies, Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, and some assorted fruit. Needless to say, we were covered in the chocolate area. I figured I would make something fruity and different for the occasion in case people were "chocolate-d out". In came these bars.

I have always wanted to make crumb bars because they are basically cobbler or crumble in a handheld, easy-to-eat form! I was very pleased to find a very simple recipe that yielded great tasting results. Who says yummy things need to be complicated? Everybody must've really liked them because there were only 8 bars left at the end of the party. I'd say that's a success.

Blueberry Crumb Bars
(adapted from smitten kitchen)


For the crust
1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 egg

1/4 tsp. salt

Zest and juice of one lemon

4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries

For the berries
1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 tsp. cornstarch

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl or food processor, mix together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Then blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Makes about 30-36 small rectangles

- This could be easily adapted for whatever time of year and whichever fruit is in season (peaches, cranberries, plums, etc.)
- I'd also replace the lemon with orange for some interesting flavor combos.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

1 Month...Already?

Baby Jessica and I had a little photo shoot in her crib, to mark her turning 1 month! This was the perfect opportunity to pull out my nice camera and the new and amazing Nifty 50 mm lens Michael bought for me. I'm loving this lens. It is so responsive and takes amazing quality pictures. Much better than the other lenses which came with the camera. What a perfect little subject on which to practice my photography skills !

A little full body perspective to show how small she is. I want to remember this as I compare month to month.

There's almost a little smile on her sweet sleeping face. Her cute hand up by it, just like mommy!

I LOVE this picture. It think it's my favorite one of her right now. So serene. And it shows off her awesome hair in a fauxhawk!

Captured a smile! Albeit, a milky one. 

 There's my little bird.

This could totally be one of those pictures that becomes viral as a meme with various phrases attached to it (please...nobody do that, I wasn't meaning to give people any ideas). I just think it's cute. One eye half open, fist clenched almost like she's pumping it.

Exciting updates:
Jessica graduated from newborn to size 1 diapers.
She is spending much more time awake now.
Still a champion eater, thus she is growing like a weed.
Jessica loves bath time and calms right down in the warm water.
She has peed, pooped, vomited, and spit up all over her mommy.
Getting some really nice fat rolls on her legs and arms...and a double chin!
Jessica is gassy. Poor thing. Mommy is still trying to figure out which part of her diet is causing it.
She has a death grip and will seriously not let go of things once she grabs them. 
Daddy is her favorite to snuggle in the mornings (especially on Saturdays).
Tummy time is exhausting, but generally fun. Jessica has a VERY strong neck already and is always looking around.

Mommy is a little heartbroken that she's growing so fast, but we love our girl and are excited to see her maturing. We can't wait for what each day and month brings!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

A Few Firsts

 Baby Jessica has had quite a few "firsts" since being born and home with us. I thought I'd devote a little post to some of those.

 First Bath! I posted this photo on facebook because the fauxhawk and all her awesome hair is so much fun after each bath. Michael always brushes it into this hairstyle. I can't wait until her hair gets a bit longer and I can start clipping bows and tying ponytails in it!

Computer time with daddy. He brought her in to "help" him with putting some new memory into our desktop computer. Michael posted a really cute dialogue of this sequence on his facebook page. It's seriously adorable! I can't believe she was this small, as she's already grown so much since then.

And her very first Valentine's Day. I love this little outfit I bought at Savers for $1.50 before she was born. I knew she was going to be in newborn size clothes for this holiday, so I couldn't help myself. Her little "shoes" and ruffle booty are my favorite! What a sweet little girl.