baked recipe

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Baguio is known to be the “summer capital of the Philippines” because of its cool climate, perfect for escaping the scorching heat of Manila. It is also popular for the fresh vegetables, fruits, and flowers that you can get from their markets.

I have been to Baguio twice. I always wanted to go back there but it would require at least three whole days (out of my usual 9-10 days vacation in Manila) because of the 8-hour drive from Manila to Baguio, and another 8 hours back. So that’s 16 hours of travel!

Strawberry-picking is one of the activities I would like to try. It would definitely be a great experience to harvest fresh strawberries and not just get them from the supermarkets packed in plastic boxes.

Just recently, my friend brought home some strawberry preserves for me. I am not fond of jams and preserves, but thinking about the farmers who harvested those strawberries and made them into preserves to earn a living, it would be heartbreaking to let it go to waste. So again, being the “I hate to see food go to waste” person that I am, I needed to find a recipe to put it to good use…

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients: 

  • 1 3/4 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats (quick or regular)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 jar (10-12 oz) strawberry preserves

Procedure:

  • Preheat the oven to 175 C. Butter a 9 x 13 or 8 x 10 baking dish.
  • Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or in my case, a fork!) until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle half the mixture into the pan and pat lightly to pack it a little tight.
  • Spoon strawberry preserves evenly over the surface, then use a dinner knife to carefully spread it around.
  • Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly again.
  • Bake until light golden brown on top, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in pan.
  • When cool, cut into squares and serve.

Now, this one is definitely LOVE! Even the kiddo digged into it! The oatmeal crust was able to balance the sweetness of the strawberry preserve. I guess it would also work with blueberry or peach, depends on what you have in your pantry.

It would be great to pair it up with coffee or tea! (caffeine-free tea for the preggo lady, please!)

Give it a try this weekend… Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

Homemade Pizza Weekend

Today is April Fools’ Day. I am not good at playing pranks, so better just treat today as another normal day and do something productive.

Six months have already passed and I still have 10 kg more to lose to be back to my pre-baby weight. It’s so difficult to lose everything that was gained for 9 months. Maybe I should give myself more time, but I definitely should not be too relaxed. I should start working on it NOW! MY GOAL: Lose 15 kg and feel better (and lighter!) on Alexa’s first birthday.

This thought have dawned on me after I finished baking and pigging out on my first homemade pizza during the weekend. I suddenly realized that my jeans still cannot fit and my flabby belly are screaming out of my shirt’s fabric. No wonder why my colleagues are telling me to bring my running shoes to work so we can go for a long fast walk afterwards. And the worst thing, they are calling me “fei-fei” (Chinese/Mandarin for “fat-fat” or “fatty”) *sigh*

Tonight will be my 3rd night of working out. I try to spend at least 30 minutes running around our block and another 30 minutes at the outdoor “free gym” which is actually meant for seniors. I also plan to do some yoga at home and be more conscious with what I am eating. Crossing my fingers and toes that I can do it, even after I have reached my goal, for maintenance.

Now, let’s get back to what I really wanted to share with you in this post. Like I mentioned, I made pizza last weekend. Dough was made from scratch. I never thought it was that simple. Maybe next time I can try the healthier version, though.

Freezer-friendly Pizza Dough

Recipe from Money Saving Mom

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
  • 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons oil (vegetable, Canola, or olive oil)
  • 5 cups flour (can use all whole-wheat, half white/half whole-wheat, or all white)

Procedure:

  • Pour the warm water into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir to dissolve. (Since I used instant dry yeast, I mixed the yeast directly to the flour/dry ingredients, and mixed the water in separately.)
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix.
  • Dump onto a floured surface and knead dough for two to five minutes until smooth and no longer sticky.
  • To freeze: Cut lump of dough in half and place each half in an airtight freezer bag. Freeze for up to 4-6 weeks.
  • To bake: Place frozen dough in a greased bowl and thaw at room temperature for at least 3-4 hours. Roll out and shape onto a greased pizza pan.
  • Add pizza toppings of your choice. Bake at 240 deg C for around 20 minutes (until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned).
  • If you don’t want to mess with freezing the dough, take the kneaded dough and roll out and shape onto a greased pizza pan. Add pizza toppings and bake as directed above. (I took this option!)

I wanted to try spinning the dough just how the pizza pro does it, but I was too scared that it will fall flat on the floor and all the efforts will go to waste.

This recipe was able to produce 2 9×13″ pan pizzas, each cut into 16 square slices — (1) tomato-based ham & mushroom and (2) alfredo spinach & mushroom. Both are topped with grated mozzarella and red cheddar cheeses. YUM!

We’re all pizza lovers at home, of course it was a hit!

Enjoy and thanks a lot for dropping by!

Oven-Baked Meals

Wow, time flies really fast! It’s already August!

The last two days were dead-tiring! The whole Tuesday was spent packing, cleaning, moving, and unpacking… and some more unpacking yesterday, and a little appliance shopping. Once in a while, I had to remember that I cannot push myself to my limit because it would not be good for me and my baby.

Anyway, we already ordered the oven yesterday so I am looking forward to this Saturday for it to be delivered to us. I got the manual type of Rowenta Oven (OC3838), not the one I mentioned in my previous post. Aside from the fact that it is S$200.00 cheaper and space-saving (no extra bulk at the back due to the turbo fan), I just felt that I don’t really need the special functions of the Rowenta OC7891. I am not an expert in the kitchen, but I know how to follow instructions/recipes, so I guess I can manage. I just need to get to know my new BFF more. (Note: BFF stands for “Best Friends Forever”. In this post, it’s a.k.a. new Rowenta oven. haha!)

I have rounded up some oven-baked meals in my Pinterest board, Meals and Other Edibles, to get me started. (Click on the image for source)

Potato Overload

Doesn’t it look yummy? Here’s another one…

Simple, but would surely make hubby say “mmm…” with eyes closed!

This is called Loaded Baked Potato Salad, although when reading the recipe, I cannot find any instruction to bake it. Well anyhow, it’s still potatoes. *shrug*

Pizza and Pasta

Pizza and pasta in one!

Another must try. Maybe I don’t need to order pizzas anymore on pizza nights with friends!

Now let’s go Mexican!

Hungry already? I AM!

What’s your favourite oven-baked recipe? Please feel free to share.

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