Raspberry Oatmeal Squares

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I had to go to the dentist this week.  Not that you would care but while waiting to see the dentist I found this recipe in my magazine.  It was a food magazine but the recipe actually came from an ad for Truvia.  These squares caught my eye right away knowing the family garden was overflowing with raspberries.  Overeflowing like they could be picked everyday.  I also was interested in trying the Truvia Baking Blend.  I've used Truvia before, but just the packets to sweeten tea or coffee.   I'm a baker, the kind of baker that likes butter and sugar and all the sweetness it can create.  BUT....if I can bake a treat lower in sugar and it still tastes good, I'd be happy.  This recipe made me happy.  I couldn't even tell the difference from regular sugar. 
  (**Truvia is not paying me for this post, just happens to be a product I use**)

I feel spoiled having raspberries everyday lately and will be sad when the crop runs out.  Maybe I'll freeze a few of these bars to satisfy my raspberry craving months from now.  This summer I also introduced Izzy to raspberries.  She loves them too!  Unfortunately by watching us pick raspberries a few times, she learned to "pick" her own and started nibbling at the branches.  Then this happens....

Yep!  Locked out of the garden.  Doesn't she look sad?  She must have learned her lesson, the next picking she happily walked along and just took any samples she was given and didn't try picking her own.  It's a work in progress.

Here's the recipe if you find yoursef with a supply of raspberries on hand. 
 I hope you do!

Raspberry Oatmeal Squares (as seen in Food Network Magazine by Truvia R)
For the Crust/Topping:
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup Truvia Baking Blend 
For the Filling:
4 cups raspberries
1/3 cup Truvia Baking Blend
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup cornstarch 
·         Preheat oven to 350.
·         Place oats, flour, cinnamon, butter, salt, vanilla and Truvia in mixing bowl, mix on low speed for 1 minute.
·         Scrape sides of bowl, mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
·         Place 2/3 of oat mixture into greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan; set aside remaining mixture for topping.
·         Press oat mixture into bottom of pan to form crust.
·         For filling: blend raspberries, Truvia, lemon juice and cornstarch until uniform.  Spread over pressed oat mixture.
·         For topping, add remaining oat mixture.
·         Bake at 325 for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
Cut into squares and enjoy!

Check back Sunday to see another recipe using fresh raspberries.  It's a great one for cooling off on these hot summer days (we are under a Heat Advisory here today!) 

Welcome Wednesday

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Take a look or join the Welcome Wednesday blog hop.  I'm not sure about where you are but it's hot here in Wisconsin....so don't feel bad about spending a little extra time online enjoying the air conditioning! If you want to add this blog hop to your blog, check out the details over at Take It From Me.

Green Smoothie

Monday, June 18, 2012

Every time I post something non-cupcake related, I feel a little bad.  I promise, I still love all things cupcake and have plans coming up to bake some fun summer themed cupcakes soon!  Truth is, life happens.  It isn't realistic for me to have baked goods in the house every week, I lack any sort of self control having sweets near by. 

I'm lucky that as much as I have a sweet tooth, I also enjoy all sorts of fruits and vegetables.  I could eat salads at every meal, the only thing that can be difficult is having fresh ingredients constantly on hand without items going bad.  Especially cooking for one, I need to work on how much to buy and how long some items will keep fresh.  I love this time of year, when so many fruits and vegetable are found fresh locally and soon our family garden will be supplying my produce needs.  The garden at my parent's house is off to a good start.  Just the other day, I enjoyed dessert of fresh picked raspberries.  I didn't even make it out of the garden, right from plant into my belly!  I also discovered Izzy enjoys raspberries and followed close as I picked, waiting for her fair share.  Yes, I did verify they are good for her, good information HERE.  I also discovered she is not a fan of radishes!

O.k. so now onto this smoothie.  It was another recipe from Joy The Baker and her new cookbook.  Kale, Spinach, Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie was the recipe of the week with the Sundays With Joy group.  I thought I wouldn't be able to make this without a fancy juicer, blender or one of those bullet gadgets but I was wrong.  My basic blender did just fine.  I pulsed the heck out of that kale and spinach because my biggest worry was having chunks of those greens.  One taste and any worry was out the window.  Maybe this eating healthy quest won't be so hard.  I think I'll use this smoothie recipe as a "base" and throw in other fruits or vegetables I have on hand. 

Again, if you haven't checked our Joy's blog or cookbook yet, you are missing out.  Her recipes are easy to follow and it feels like you are cooking/chatting in the kitchen with one of your girlfriends.  I've found that I enjoy her stories accompanying the recipes as much as the recipes themselves.  With this smoothie recipe Joy writes, "A girl cannot survive on biscuits and bacon alone.  I know; I've tried.  My thighs got big."  Get your copy HERE!  You won't be disappointed.

I'll be trying this smoothie again.  It's a quick and easy breakfast, snack or lunch.  Anything that can counter balance my sweet tooth is a bonus! 

As always, thanks for stopping.  Changes are coming to the blog over the next few weeks.  A new design is in the works at this very moment.  I hope you stop again.  Whether it's smoothies, cupcakes or crafts, I hope you enjoy what I have to share.  Have a suggestion or request?  I'd love to hear them, send me an email: {tastysweetcupcakes@gmail.com}.

I leave you today with my new mantra, "BE BOLD, because no one will be bold on your behalf."  That comes from Joy too, isn't she great!

Check out what the other Sundays With Joy bloggers had to say about this smoothie, HERE.

Happy Father's Day

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Remember the sneak peek of rhubarb vodka in the making?  At the end of THIS post?  Yeah, it turned out really good.......and really strong.  It won't take much to add a little rhubarb kick to a summer cocktail.  I'm dreaming up ideas now and will share some later this summer.  I gave my Dad a flask of it for Father's Day too.  I got this glass flask at World Market a while back, love that store!

Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there, I have one of the best in the world!

Sundays (or Tuesdays) With Joy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yes, you are reading that right....AVOCADO Pound Cake!  It added a soft green hue, a unique "mystery" ingredient to discuss and a whole lot of flavor.  Why on earth did I add avocado to pound cake?  Joy The Baker told me to!  Joy is a baker, turned blogger and now turned successful cookbook author!

I'm baking along with a fun group of ladies, working our way through Joy's new cookbook, Joy The Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.  The group on facebook has been cleverly named, Sundays With Joy.  This was actually last week's recipe, I'm just running a little behind.  I nearly skipped baking it all together, boy am I glad I didn't. 

The recipe made a large amount of batter, enough to fill two 9X5 loaf pans.  I opted to make mini loaves and then in true Tasty Sweet fashion.....made some in cupcake form!  Although I'm sure I would have no problem eating an entire loaf.....us single girls need to improvise some times.  What better way to have single servings of pound cake than in a cupcake paper.  I figured this way I could freeze some for a quick treat, one at a time as needed.  I also figured mini loaves would be good sizes to gift to others.  Now I'm not so sure I want to share any at all. 

I contemplated topping the cupcakes with a frosting or glaze but decided it was great just as is.  Plus, the crust that formed on the top was my favorite.  Maybe I'll experiment with toppings in the future.  This recipe really made me excited to experiment with fun ingredients, ingredients you wouldn't imagine would go in cake.  Avocados?  Who knew?  I was happy to add my own little twist by making them in cupcake form.  This is my first of many recipes in Joy's cookbook.   Check back next Sunday to see what the group is cooking up.  Want to see what some of the other bakers thought of the Avocado Pound Cake?  Check out the link hosted on Bakeaholic Mama.

Do you have any recipes with "mystery" ingredients?  I'd love to hear some of them.  I had been on a baking break, a cupcake hiatus of sorts, so it felt good to do some baking.  I owe it to this cookbook, I want to try can't wait to try them ALL.

....and yet more rhubarb!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

O.K. I've made rhubarb sauce and rhubarb ice cream but there is more.  I've done a couple more rhubarb theme projects I'd like to share with you.  The first is a casting of a rhubarb leaf.  I admit, all the tutorials I had seen online were a bit intimidating.  I decided to kind of make up my own as I went along.  I started with a bag of Quickrete, concrete color and a bottle of concrete bonding additive.  There aren't directions for leaf casting on any of these things, so it was trial and error as I went.  I did have a trusty side kick with a wheelbarrow for mixing, tarp and extra garage space though (thanks Dad!) 

With a tarp down to cover the area, I made a pile of sand large enough to hold the large rhubarb leaf I had selected.  Wetting the sand as needed helped to hold the shape and sturdy the sand to hold the weight of the wet concrete that would be added to it.  A great tip I had found online was to use plastic wrap under the leaf as to not get unwanted sand mixed in with the concrete.  After mixing the Quickrete with equal parts water and bonding additive, I added in the color.  I had done some experimenting the previous day and found the color faded when dry, so I opted for a darker shade this time around.  Once I achieved the consistency of a thick brownie batter, it was time to make the cast.  With gloved hands I added the mixture right on top of the leaf, trying to keep the edges with the shape of the leaf, patting it firmly as I went.  The last step is the hardest.......waiting.  I waited a little over a week to turn the cast over and remove the leaf.  I was so happy it turned out and loved the detail of the veins of the leaf.

My Mom had a stand that previously housed a bowl bird bath.  This stand worked out great for displaying the leaf.  I kind of wish I could keep it (I actually made it for my parent's yard).  I want to add some sort of sealer yet, maybe help it from weathering too quickly.  A success for the first project like this! 

Now, just one more rhubarb project in the works.  It's not quite finished yet.....

I'm waiting on some rhubarb vodka that is sitting in my basement.  A mason jar, vodka, sugar and rhubarb.  Wait a month (storing in cool dark place, stirring once a day) and I'm told I'll have rhubarb vodka.  Anyone ever tried rhubarb vodka?  I'm thinking of mixing it with lemonade but I'm open to any suggestions!

I think that is it for my rhubarb projects.  I miss baking.  In fact, I was feeling crabby today and my sister said, "maybe you need to bake something".  Maybe she's right, I think when it cools down later tonight, I will bake something.....anything.

Sharing this post over at A Pinch Of Joy, Jennifer Rizzo and Bloom Desings link parties!