it was sheryl’s turn to have the potluck at her house, and i decided to go with a recipe my mom had suggested for a pesto pasta salad. in the process of making this, i realized that i apparently didn’t own a steamer (shame on me). although i dirtied just about every pot in my kitchen, the pasta salad was very easy to make and came together quickly. i wanted to also bring a dessert since i think it is expected of me anywhere i go, so at the request of the host, i went with blueberry bars. they are so easy to make and everyone (including me) loves them.
when i arrived, i informed her that i had no idea if the pasta salad tasted good or not because i didn’t try any since i either don’t like or can’t eat almost everything in it. it was at this point that justin named it “hate salad”, which is ironic because everyone else loved it! the recipe is quite simple- cook up some pasta, steam then chill some asparagus, gently cook (mainly just enough to defrost) then chill some peas, chop up some sundried tomatoes, throw in some pesto (i put basil, olive oil, and garlic in the food processor), and add in anything else you like, such as some dried cranberries, and voila! you can really throw just about anything in there, replacing things you don’t like with things you do like.
the blueberry bars are also very flexible… i have posted them on here numerous times, but i am not sure that i actually listed out the recipe until now. you can make these with tons of different kinds of fruit (apples, peach, cherry, strawberry, and raspberry all come out well), chocolate (i made them with nutella and it was phenomenal), pb&j, and i am sure a number of other flavors. if you find one that you love, please let me know! these are great for breakfast, snack, or dessert… you can’t feel guilty about eating berries and oatmeal in the morning! btw, i also use the filling recipe to make a lovely jam to put on pancakes or waffles!
1 3/4 cup Quaker Oats, uncooked (quick or old-fashioned)
1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
3/4 cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup Chopped nuts (walnuts?)
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt (optional)
3/4 cup Margarine or butter; melted
2 cups Fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup Granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Water
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 teaspoons Lemon juice
Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 11×7-inch glass baking dish. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, nuts, baking soda and salt. Add margarine, mixing until crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared dish. Bake 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine blueberries, granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water, cornstarch, and lemon juice; mix well. Gradually stir into blueberrymixture; cook and stir about 30 seconds or until thickened.
Spread over partially baked base to within 1/4 inch of edge; sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool on wire rack; cut into bars. Store tightly covered.
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