Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Strawberry Oat Bars

The number one question we have been asked over the past two weeks is: "How is life now with three little kids?"

Well, it's been...interesting.

There have been times of complete joy where Paul and I, while sitting on the couch cuddling with our tiniest daughter as the other two play quietly together, just smile with utter happiness and satisfaction at our growing brood. These moments are pretty short-lived, for it is only a matter of time before Matthew whacks Emma on the head with a pillow because she destroyed his meticulously built LEGO bridge and the crying, screaming, and punishing commences. Then, Paul and I suddenly switch from being full of love and sentimentality to on the verge of pulling our hair out and looking forward to bedtime. In fact, just a couple minutes ago, I heard Paul, after cleaning up a huge mess Emma made when she accidentally tipped her cup off her tray, mutter under his breath: "I despise children!" 

So, you see, it's a bit of a teeter-totter of emotions over here.

Right before they started fighting over who gets to hold the baby. Poor Lucy.

Taken shortly before Emma tried to "hug" baby Lucy by rolling on top of her.

One thing I have become acutely aware of is the fact that I need to work quickly to complete projects. Between feeding Lucy and ensuring that the other two do not kill each other, there has barely been time to complete the household chores. To ease this transition period along, I've been flagging easy, quick recipes in my binder that Paul and I can make while we perfect our parental juggling act. Not that we've had to cook much for ourselves over the past couple of weeks thanks to some amazing friends who have been cooking for us! But, I had a good 30 minutes of quiet while Lucy slept and the other two were being read to by their father to make a sweet treat and I took full advantage of the opportunity!

Enter these strawberry oat bars. A great snack, dessert, or even emergency breakfast for those times when you are out of cereal, milk, eggs, and oatmeal (because you used the last of it to make these!). Taking a grand total of 10 minutes to prepare, they satisfy that "quick and easy" requirement for this transitory phase we're in. They are also relatively inexpensive to make since the ingredients needed are pantry staples. Plus, they are a delicious treat that everyone in the family will love. A win win!

You can use any preserve or jam for the filling, but our favorite is the not-so-original strawberry preserves!

Strawberry Oat Bars
from The Pioneer Woman

1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
18-ounce jar strawberry preserves (I love Smuckers!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.

Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the strawberry preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.


  1. Glad to hear you are surviving! Just the idea of having two can overwhelm me! These look so good! And quick is good, even with 1 kid!