Jammy Oatmeal Bars

This is a riff on a recipe I used to have to make at work when I worked in a college cafeteria. It’s a lovely bar, and it’s extremely versatile. It makes a great lunch snack for kids.

The original bar was called Cranberry Overload because it calls for making a cranberry jam filling. I do that version sometimes, but I tend to leave the cranberry jam version for Christmas and stick to seasonal jam fillings throughout the year. I will often use jammed jar when pressed for time, just like I’m doing here right now with this post.

You will need the following three main ingredients to pull this bar together:
518g Oatmeal Muffin Mix
213g Oatmeal Granola Cereal (with nuts is a great option if you don’t have an allergy)
150-200 g Jam (any kind will do)

150g Water

Measure out the muffin mix and top it with measured out cereal. Mix them together in a medium size mixing bowl, and dump in 150 g of water. Mix with a gloved hand or with a spatula until all of the dry ingredients are wet and a ball forms. Split the ball in half, and then half again. in the bowl.

Grease a 8″x8″ or so baking dish. Line it with parchment that’s been clipped down with small bulldog clips. Place 3/4 of the oatmeal mix into the bottom and push it into all four corners and even it out working towards the centre with a clean floured hand. This will be the base of the bar.

Pour out the jam over top and spread with a knife or offset spatula. Taking the last quarter of the oatmeal mix, start to place it over the jam layers in small blobs or chunks until it’s all used up. Break it up with your fingers. Pull it apart gently.

Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Cool completely on the counter before removing from the pan using the sides of the parchment paper. Sprinkle top with a dusting of powder sugar before serving.

Optional: make a quick drizzle using 1C icing sugar + 2 Tbsp milk. Let the icing dry completely before cutting into bars and serving.

DIY Sauerkraut

I’m currently making a micro batch of sauerkraut at home. I have always wanted to do this. I love sauerkraut, but I’m the only one in the house who does, and stores only seem to sell big jars of it. The second I open a jar, it goes brown within a week in my fridge.

I figure this way, I can play around with the flavouring and the amount of cabbage on a shoestring budget. And if it turns out tasty, I and eat it all before it turns bad, that will be a win my books.

You might be wondering about the glass pebbles. Well, turns out they are easy to sterilize, and heavy enough to keep the cabbage submerged in its own juices as it ferments on the counter for the first three days. From there, I can let the sauerkraut finish its thing in the fridge. In two weeks, I should be able to dig in. 😀

Jeans Upcycle

I don’t do well with boredom over holidays. I like to keep busy, but sometimes I have so many project ideas, I can’t think straight and end up doing nothing. That’s the worst for me.

I have two pairs of these older jeans that are flared at the ankle. I bought them thinking they would somehow make my body look better, but only plastic surgery will do that at this point. (snort) I still love wearing these jeans, though, so I decided to jazz them up.

I looked around for some basic white paint for do these polka dots, but I guess I threw out all of my old paint a few years back and forgot to replenish my supply. I did this on New Year’s day when everything was closed, so I used the only paint I had left that was still liquid and would do the job — green glitter paint. Yup. That’s right. Not a typo!

Despite not being able to get my camera to capture the green glittery love that I see in person, I love how they turned out. I played around with their arrangement along the pockets, and again at the bottom of each leg on both sides. I didn’t want it to be too uniform and predictable. I wore these grocery shopping the other day, and my husband was a bit weirded out by them because this style isn’t what I normally wear. I don’t wear attention seeking clothes normally. I didn’t think they were all that splashy, and I still don’t.

Anyway, the whole process was super easy and took no time at all to finish. I marked out a grid on a piece of file folder cardboard, and used a hole punch in spaced out intervals. From there, it was just a matter of brushing the glitter paint onto my jeans using my DIY stencil.

Felt Tablet Holders

I don’t take my tablet outside of the house, because I never need to, but oddly enough it was purchased years ago for the sole purpose of bringing it to work so my catering supervisor, Lisa, and I could look at food porn pictures for inspiration on our tea and lunch breaks.

I always had it in mind to make a travel case for the tablet, but I never found a pattern idea I liked until this Christmas. I was tooling around on Pinterest when I clicked on one felt craft idea and that lead me to look at the suggested other projects that Pinterest thought I might also want to look at and pin for later.

Not only was this a fast project, but it was dead easy. I already had the thick felt material rolled up in a corner of my craft room collecting dust bunnies. I didn’t have a pattern, but that’s never stopped me before! I slapped this case together in less than 20 mins while watching an episode of The Crown from season three. (I think it was the one where Princess Margaret takes a lover after her marriage truly starts to crumble.

I also made a cute little flat rectangular felt purse with one handle, a zipper, and some purple lace glued onto both sides as a bit of décor. The zipper runs down one side while the handle runs along the top. I don’t know what I was thinking, honestly. 🙂

I like this one, but I’m not really sure where I envision myself going with it out in public. I was just an idea I had at the end of the episode where Prince Philip meets the three NASA astronauts who went to the moon and so thoroughly captured his rapt attention and sincere admiration, and a healthy dose of jealousy for good measure.

Just had a thought. My tablet might fight into this little purse, too. It does! Huh.