Strawberry Streusel Bars

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As we’ve mentioned before (see Mint Chocolate Bars), we like to bring a treats in for the staff when we finish a rotation. It’s the least we can do for the people who spend their time and effort training us! We’re not the only one’s who do this – but we do try to have the best treats! This means a little bit of variety from the standard brownies and chocolate chip cookies. It also mean a little bit of thinking, because I’m like everyone else – when I think of easy treats that everyone loves, my mind also immediately jumps to brownies and chocolate chip cookies! I’ve never made anything remotely like this before. (See previous comments about being intimidated by baking.) I found them to be fresh and summer-y. I think they’d be a great addition to a summer-time picnic or BBQ.

And they were a hit at the hospital today. I got rave reviews from everyone who tried them – hopefully they weren’t just being nice 😉😉 Side note – I ate mine chilled as they were after being cut, but I was informed by a few people that they warmed theirs back up before eating and highly recommended it!

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Strawberry Streusel Bars

(Adapted from this recipe here)
Ingredients: 
  • Base layer
    • 8 tbsp butter, softened
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup flour
    • 2 tsp cornstarch
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Strawberry layer
    • 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • Streusel layer
    • 4 tbsp cold butter, chopped into small cubes
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

  2. Line an 8×8 inch square baking pan with aluminium foil or parchment paper. Spray lightly with a cooking spray.

  3. First make the base layer: Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well combined in a large bowl.

  4. Now slowly add the flour, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt until combined. (It may look a little crumbly, but it’ll be

  5. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan using your hands.

  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

  7. While the bottom layer is baking, make other two layers.

  8. For the strawberry layer: Stir together all ingredients for this layer and set aside.

  9. For the streusel topping: Using the hand-held mixer, mix all of these ingredients together. The mixture will be uneven.

  10. Once the bottom layer is done, remove the pan from the oven and turn up the oven to 350 degrees. Let it sit for just a few minutes before topping.

  11. Using a large spoon, layer the strawberry layer evenly over the base.

  12. Top with the streusel layer. This should look a bit messy/uneven.

  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

  14. Refrigerate until all the way cooled prior to slicing and serving.

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Balsamic Strawberry Triscuits

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Have we mentioned yet how much I (Ally) love Triscuits? My obsession may be slightly unhealthy… We have to buy a box pretty much every time we go to the grocery store. And when they’re on sale… watch out! We’ll pick up like 5 or 6 boxes. Most of the time I just eat them with cheese or hummus on top. Which is delicious and probably accounts for 80% of my lunches.

But today I a) wanted some strawberries and b) was feeling fancy. So I peered into the fridge and concocted this snack. While simple, it was too good not to share. It’s so easy to throw together, you have most of the ingredients laying around anyway, it takes just a few minutes to make, and looks and tastes like you put way more effort into it than you did! This would be a great appetizer for having friends over or to take to a last minute get-together. (Or to eat for lunch every day for the next week…)

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Balsamic Strawberry Triscuits

Ingredients: 
  • 10 Triscuits (Original or Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil)
  • 4-5 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tbsp plain cream cheese
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh mint leaves
Instructions: 
  1. Mix together the cream cheese and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Spread onto each Triscuit.
  3. Top with a slice or two of strawberry and a piece of the fresh mint.
Makes 10 crackers. 

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Berry Mocktail

I don’t know about where anyone else lives, but it is hot as ****** down here in Columbia, SC. At 9am this morning, it was already above 90 degrees. I might melt. Or die.

So this afternoon, I decided to treat myself to a cool little drink. It’s somewhere between a smoothie and a sparkling cocktail. And it was exactly what I was craving. berrymocktail

{All of you lushes can add some liquor and make a cocktail instead of a mocktail, but I was too hot for alcohol!}

Berry Mocktail

Ingredients: 

  • 5 strawberries
  • 5 cherries (pits removed)
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 can of Prickly Pear San Pellegrino (Ficodindia e Arancia)
  • Fresh mint

Instructions: 

  1. Use a food processor or blender to blend the berries and ice together. (Don’t put the soda in now… it’ll fizz all up!)
  2. Stir the can of soda into the mixture.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint.
Makes 1 large personal drink (as pictured) or 3-4 cocktail-size servings. Could easily scale up and make a pitcher to share!