Grandma’s Peanut Butter Bars

grandma's peanut butter bars
My Grandmother’s specialty was peanut butter bars. Every time we had a family get together she’d whip some up. We always looked forward to it and I still crave them today. A few days ago I pulled out her recipe and set to work recreating it. Her frosting was infinitely better than mine but they were still delicious and a welcome treat.

Grandmother’s Peanut Butter Bars:

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Peanut Butter
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Oatmeal
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt

Cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter. Add the oatmeal, baking soda, and salt and mix. Slowly mix in the flour. Spread the mixture into the bottom of 13x8x1 baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the crust before it has cooled entirely. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour or until peanut butter is firm enough to spread chocolate frosting on top. Spread the chocolate frosting evenly on top and refrigerate again until firm.

peanut butter bars

Cut, serve, and enjoy!!

PS- Here’s a great recipe for chocolate frosting and here’s a vegan version of peanut butter bars that I like.

Utah Scones

If you’re ever in Utah and you stop at a restaurant and order a scone, chances are, you won’t get what you’re expecting. Here in Utah, scones are not the traditional crumbly biscuit type scones that you see everywhere else. In Utah they’re more like sopapillas or Indian fry bread and at a lot of places they’ll bring you a ‘scone’ that is the size of your plate or bigger. 

We like to make ‘scones’ at home for dinner sometimes. There are several recipes for Utah scones out there on the internet that you can follow, but we cheat and just use thawed Rhodes rolls. I also like to make ours smaller so we can have them a couple of different ways. There are a lot of options for toppings but this time we used strawberries with Nutella, peaches with cream, and cinnamon sugar honey butter.

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Is this what you call a ‘scone’ where you’re from? 

June Salad Challenge 27 ~ 30

It’s about time, right? Bet you thought I’d never get these up. But here they are- the last four salads in our June Salad challenge. Better late than never!

**ps- thanks for everyone’s comments on yesterdays post. :)

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Recipe- Italian Greens & Veggies
Changes- Lettuce and Kale mixed together
The Stars- The dressing, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes
Recommend- A garden salad is so easy to throw together and this italian dressing really compliments any veggies you’ve got on hand.

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Recipe- Caesar Salad
Changes- Our lettuce is again mixed with kale because we have so much that needs to be used.
The Stars- Parmesan cheese, croutons
Recommend- A caesar salad isn’t complete without croutons. Make your own if you can. It’ll be much better with homemade ones.

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Recipe- Green Bean, Tomato & Corn Salad
Changes- We didn’t have any feta so that was omitted.
The Stars- Beans, tomatoes, corn & mint; all from our garden
Recommend- We didn’t grill our corn ahead of time and I wish we had. The mint adds a fresh flavor to the veggies.

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Recipe- Creamy Cucumber & Green Onion Salad
Changes- none
The Stars- Cucumber and green onions from our garden.
Recommend- Follow the recommended chill time because it really makes a difference. This salad was a hit with Andy.

This was a fun challenge and Andy has already made a suggestion for a new challenge. I’ll be announcing the new challenge soon and you can all participate too, if you like!

Can you guess what it is? 

June Salad Challenge 23~26

Here are the latest four salad in our June Salad Challenge. We are getting so close to wrapping this up.

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Recipe~ Classic Garden Salad- no recipe
Changes~ For this salad I just took some tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers from our garden to throw together your classic garden salad.
The Stars~ carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers
Recommend~Garden salads are a great way to use up any veggies in your fridge. Almost anything is good in a salad.

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Recipe~ Spinach, Cherry Salad
Changes~ I used orzo instead of quinoa because that’s what I had
The Stars~ Cherries, Brussel Sprouts, and Oranges
Recommend~ Next time we make this we’ll try a different vinaigrette. We thought this dressing was just a bit bland.

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Recipe~ Pasta Salad with Peas, Ham and Peppers
Changes~ I based my salad off of this recipe but added orange peppers to it and left out the olives.
The Stars~ Peas, Ham, Orange peppers
Recommend~ This is a great summer salad and pretty easy to throw together. Try different pastas and use fresh ham (rather than the pre-cubed, pre-packaged kind) when possible.

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Recipe~ Iceberg Wedge with Homemade Bacon Ranch dressing
Changes~ none
The Stars~ the dressing
Recommend~ We love wedge salads and this ranch dressing was pretty good, although it ended up being a little on the thick side.

Hopefully I’ll have the last four salads ready to post next week and then we can round this challenge up finally!

June Salad Challenge 14~22

Finally- an update!! As you know, we are still finishing up our June Salad challenge in July and we’re getting closer to 30 salads! This has been a fun challenge to do.

Here are the latest:

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Recipe~ Cucumber, Tomato, & Pineapple Salad
Changes~ none
The Stars~ Pineapple, Asian dressing and mint from our garden
Recommend~ This was really good after I had chilled it for a couple of hours. I also didn’t need to use all the dressing.

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Recipe~ Copy Cat Olive Garden Salad
Changes~ My salad is not exactly the way that Olive Garden does it- I didn’t have any of those peppers they put on theirs.
The Stars~ The dressing!!
Recommend~ This was a pretty good copy cat recipe. I saved the dressing and used it on my lunch salads.

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Recipe~ Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
Changes~ I didn’t have arugula so I used spinach. 
The Stars~ Butternut Squash, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard
Recommend~ This was a favorite in our house. The vinaigrette is really tasty.

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Recipe~ Summer Tortellini Salad
Changes~ none
The Stars~ Tortellini, basil, artichoke hearts
Recommend~ We both really liked this salad. Next time I won’t use as much basil just because I’m not a huge fan of it and I thought the flavor was too strong. Also, find an italian dressing you really like because that will make all the difference.

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Recipe~ Chicken Salad
Changes~ I usually just make chicken salad from memory so that link will just give you some ideas. This time I had grapes, craisins, celery and cashews in it.
The Stars~ Chicken, Cashews, Celery, Grapes, Craisins
Recommend~ I always serve mine on croissants, because I like that better than just plain bread.

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Recipe~ Crunchy Sweet Brussel Sprout Salad
Changes~ none
The Stars~ Brussel sprouts, nutmeg, cranberries, walnuts
Recommend~ Yum, yum! I am loving Brussel sprouts more and more. Try this!

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Recipe~ Quinoa, Kale, & Butternut Squash Salad
Changes~ I didn’t have any thyme so I left it out. I was okay with that because I really don’t like thyme.
The Stars~ Quinoa, Kale, Butternut Squash
Recommend~ We are big fans of this salad! Quinoa is just so versatile. The kale came from our garden and it was so good!!

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Recipe~ Ham & Turkey Chef Salad
Changes~ none- the link to those chef salad recipes is just some suggestions. I didn’t really use a recipe for this one.
The Stars~ Ham, Turkey, Hard boiled eggs, and veggies
Recommend~ I had some deli meat I needed to use so I just sliced that length wise. Chef salads are so easy and there are a ton of different ways you can make them. I love the eggs though and always add a little salt and pepper on top. I put out several kinds of dressing to go with it.

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Recipe~ Avocado, Cranberry, & Carrot Salad
Changes~ I didn’t have any apples so those were omitted. 
The Stars~ Avocado, carrot, pecans, cranberries, spinach
Recommend~ You guys know I’m a huge fan of avocado. If you are too, then you need to try this. I barely used any balsamic and it was perfect. The shaved carrots were a nice addition too.

Well, probably just one more batch of recipes and we will be done with this challenge!

Which of these salads do you think you’d like to try?

June Salad Challenge 10~13

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Recipe~ Seven Layer Veggie Salad
Changes~ My layers were bacon, cheese, mushroom, celery, tomato, peas, and red onion. I did not use eggs but I have before and it’s good.
The Stars~ Romaine lettuce, Peas, Dill
Recommend~ The dressing is not healthy but this a really yummy salad so I make it sometimes. You could make your layered salad and find a healthier version of the dressing if you like. You should chill this salad for a couple of hours before serving. I added dill to my dressing.

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Recipe~ Spinach, Mushroom, Orange, & Bacon Salad
Changes~ I used regular oranges instead of mandarin because that’s what I had.
The Stars~ Oranges, Bacon, Spinach, Mushrooms, & Ketchup!
Recommend~ Don’t be alarmed by the dressing ingredients. I promise they’re really good! It turns out being a kind of like a tangy Russian dressing. This was a delicious salad.

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Recipe~ Cabbage, Ramen, & Cashew Salad
Changes~ Sometimes I put chicken in this salad and sometimes I don’t. This time I didn’t. I also used cashews instead of almonds, olive oil instead of vegetable oil and napa cabbage instead of regular cabbage.
The Stars~ Ramen & Cashews
Recommend~ The napa cabbage turned out to be a mistake. It wasn’t as crunchy as regular cabbage is so I didn’t like it as much. It was still good but it’s been much better when I’ve made it in the past. I have used both chicken & beef flavored ramen and like both.

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Recipe~ Quinoa, Snap Pea, & Carrot Salad
Changes~ The recipe allows for a couple of variations. I used snap peas, carrots, red pepper, tomato, (no cucumber) fresh basil, and sunflower seeds. In the dressing I used a pinch of cayenne pepper.
The Stars~ Quinoa, Snap Peas, Sunflower Seeds
Recommend~ The recipe says you can eat this right after preparing or chill it. We ate it right after I made it and it was great. I haven’t tried it chilled yet. I loved the sunflower seeds in it. The cayenne pepper was a nice kick but don’t use too much.

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Still loving the salad challenge and have a lot more ideas that I can use.  In fact, I have a couple that didn’t make it in to this post because I ran out of time to edit the photos. We’ll be going out of town for a bit, so the salad challenge will be on hold. 
We’re going to California to celebrate our 1 year anniversary! I’m thinking that we could just continue the salad challenge in July. I’m still having fun with it so I’d be happy to keep it going. I’d kind of like to get 30 salads posted before I quit. What do you think?

Do you want me to continue the salad challenge in July, or are you sick of seeing salad posts? Let me know what you think in the comments!

PS- I’ve got some great guest posts lined up for you while we’re gone to California, so keep reading because the blog won’t be quiet!

Five Favorite Things

Five of my favorite things right now!

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1. ONeill Chantal Sundress from Buckle– Just bought this and I love it. It is so comfortable and the perfect length!

2. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask– My hair has been so dry. I thought it would get better once winter was over, but no such luck. I finally tried this deep conditioning treatment from Neutrogena and it was like magic! No more static fly-aways. Yay!

3. Illume Scent Diffusers– I have Bella by Illume which I bought at Home Goods. These are the best diffusers. They last so long and the scent reaches the entire room. I prefer diffusers to candles these days.

4. Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea– We’ve been making batches of this with the mint from our yard. It is the perfect refreshing summer drink! You can find recipes for it all over the internet but Martha Stewart has a good version.

5. oGorgeous Bowtie Pilates Mat Sling– I told you how much I love Blogilates. Well, I also love their mat sling. My old elastic one was stretched and worn out. This new one is made with leather and velcro and it’s super cute! My mat no longer slides out of the sling while I’m walking!

What is your favorite thing right now?

June Salad Challenge 5~9

Absolutely still loving this challenge!

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Recipe~ Potato & Dill Salad
Changes~ left out the capers because I didn’t have any
The Stars~ Yukon gold potatoes, dill, green onions
Recommend~ This was really delicious. Next time I’ll double the mustard and add bacon.

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Recipe~ Strawberry, Walnut, Feta  Salad
Changes~ I added poppy seeds to the dressing
The Stars~ Strawberries, Walnut, Feta
Recommend~ We enjoyed this salad quit a bit, but I think we both agree that we like our strawberry with spinach. I just didn’t have any on hand that night.

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Recipe~ Taco Taco Salad- no recipe
Changes~ I didn’t have any real taco bowls this time so I toasted some wheat tortillas into tortilla chips and put them under the taco salad.
The Stars~ Salsa, hamburger mixed with taco seasoning & kidney beans, avocado
Recommend~ I really wish I hadn’t been too lazy to turn my avocados into guacamole. I couldn’t decide whether to serve this with sour cream or ranch dressing. We tried both and liked both.

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Recipe~ Chickpea & Avocado Salad
Changes~ I usually have this sandwich style in between two slices of wheat bread with some lettuce. This time I spread avocado on pita bread and put the salad on top with some slices of tomato. I love the flavor of dill mixed in with this salad.
The Stars~ Chickpeas, lemon juice, dill, avocado, pita
Recommend~ This is a favorite for us. We have made it several times because it’s so easy to whip up. It’s also yummy just served on a leaf of lettuce too.

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Recipe~ Sesame Bok Choy Salad
Changes~ Doubled the agave because I like it sweeter
The Stars~ Toasted sesame seeds, bok choy, red pepper, celery, carrot
Recommend~ Definitely try this. It’s crunchy goodness and that sesame soy dressing is so yummy. I served mine along side roast beef, red onion, & provolone sliders.

You can look back here and see the first four salads we had in our June salad challenge.

Also- a little bit of housekeeping: I’ll be out of town for a week starting June 20. I’m looking to set up guest posts here on the blog. If you’re interested, please let me know in the comments, because I would LOVE to have you!

June Salad Challenge 1~4

With the first four recipes of our June Salad Challenge a success, I’m excited to try some more. Here’s the run down on what we’ve had so far:

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Recipe: Caribbean Jerk Chicken Salad with Mangos
Changes: None
The Stars: Mangos, Chicken, Cashews and more!
Recommend: Serve the dressing on the side because it’s thick and a little spicy. We had leftover dressing and liked it so much that we used it as a dip for BLT wraps later in the week. This salad was a huge hit with Andy and I really liked it too. We will definitely be making it again sometime.

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Recipe: Italian Broccoli and Kidney Bean Salad (Criss Cross Salad)
Changes: Used yellow onion instead of red and an Italian blend of cheeses instead of cheddar.
The Stars: Broccoli, Kidney Beans, Tomato and more!
Recommend: This was really yummy, but I’d use just half a bottle of Italian dressing the next time I make it. I served this with roasted potatoes and carrots. Again, another hit!

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Recipe: Crunchy Pear and Celery with Pecans
Changes: I added two chopped green apples to the recipe and used red wine vinegar in the dressing. My red pears were not ripe yet, so I used the green anjou pears I had on hand. 
The Stars: Apples, Pears, Celery and Pecans!
Recommend: That you make this immediately! So yummy with the pecans. I was skeptical at first that it would be good, but I had pears to use, so I went for it. Oh my goodness. I could eat this for lunch everyday. Perfect bit of crunch to it and the nutty flavor really makes the salad. Also- eat this right after you prepare it. It’s not as good the second day.

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Recipe: Asian Pasta Salad with Beef, Broccoli and Bean Sprouts
Changes: I didn’t have a red pepper so I used green pepper.
The Stars: Broccoli, Beef, Bean Sprouts and more!
Recommend: Once again a little dressing goes a long way so don’t pour it all on at once. I also recommend sauteeing your beef just a little before adding it to the salad. It was interesting to use wheat penne pasta instead of noodles for this dish but we liked it.

Would you try a salad challenge now?