Strawberry-Oatmeal Bars

I know six people moving in the month of July.

Yes, six.

I'm not really sure why they all wanted to move when it was 8 million degrees outside, but more power to them. Way to sweat out those toxins!

Two of these six were victims of one of my baking moods last week, which resulted in 3 recipes I'd never made before. I'm posting the best now, with hopes of getting around to the others at some point.

Strawberry-Oatmeal Bars
1 c flour
1 c oats (I used Irish Steel-Cut Oats)
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg (I LOVE fresh ground)
1/2 c butter

For Strawberry Filling:
1 1/2 c sliced fresh strawberries
1/8 c water
1/2 c sugar

Put all ingredients for strawberry filling in small pot and bring to boil, let simmer until thickened, about 25-30 minutes. It should look like jam. (I put it in the freezer for a bit to get it cooled and thick quicker.) If you don't feel like making the filling, you can just slap some jelly in there, but then you don't have the satisfaction of saying you made the filling from scratch.

Meanwhile, mix flour, oats, sugar, soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Cut in the butter until it makes coarse crumbs. Press into a Pam'd 9x9 square pan until it makes a crust, reserving 1/2 c of mixture. When the strawberry filling is thick, pour on top of the crust, then sprinkle with the reserved crumbs. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes.

These turned out SOOOOO good! The spices made it really great. I tossed them in on impulse, and to tell the truth, I put a bit of cinnamon in with the strawberries while they were simmering too. The filling would also be really good with any fruit: apples, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, whatever you can think up. It was kind of like a fruit crumble, but in bar form.

I hope Brian and Julie and Rachael, Amy, and Emily all enjoyed the goodies. The best thing about cooking when you're single is having someone to cook for. =D

Sink or Swim? Swim, for sure!

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