Oatmeal Ginger-Strawberry Preserve Bars


Once my children all left home, I “retired” from cooking three meals a day plus snacks! Then after years of not cooking at all, I suddenly started taking an interest again. A few days ago, the Real Simple website showed “Oatmeal Raspberry-Jam Bars” as the Cookie of the Day, submitted by Nancy Myers in 2005. She suggested that we try other fruit jams, so I decided to do just that.

I had recently purchased my very first food processor ever (Cuisinart) and had not tried it out yet. So this was the first time I used it. I was amazed at how quickly everything was pulverized! I took these to our “End of Semester Faculty Blow-Out” this past Friday. Yummy!

Here’s my rendition of her bars, substituting with a few things I had on hand, so I wouldn’t have to run to the store.


Oatmeal Ginger-Strawberry Preserves Bars


1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 ½ cups Coach’s Oats
2 tablespoons lime zest
1 ½ cups ginger-strawberry preserves (homemade)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the ingredients are combined and a crumbly dough is formed. Add the oats and lemon zest. Puls quickly twice to combine.
2. Press 2/3 of the dough firmly into a greased 9 X 13” pan. Spread the preserves evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining dough over the preserves, gently pressing down.
3. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut into 24 bars. Store in air tight containers (if there are any left to store)!

Real Simple gave the Nutritional Information, but my version may vary due to the substitutions. Check out the website above to get the original recipe. Easy and fast, good munching for the holidays!

A hui hou!

Waimea Strawberries


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A few days ago, I talked about apricot and peach preserves and jams that my friend showed me how to make. When he saw that post, he sent me a message to say that I should be sure to tell everyone that the jars, the lids, the fruit – everything – needs to be kept kept at 200 degrees F!

So now I bring you strawberries!

These are strawberries from the fields in Waimea, a northern area of the Big Island of Hawai`i. You can’t believe how big and sweet they are. I have to eat a bunch of them right away before I make them up into preserves.

Just like with the apricots and peaches, the extra juice at the end is used to make strawberry flavored ginger preserves. I honestly don’t know which way I like them better – as strawberry preserves or as ginger-strawberry preserves.

Either way, they are totally fine on hot, freshly baked biscuits, over ice cream, or wherever your imagination takes you. Sometimes I’ve mixed up a few tablespoons in plain, non-fat yogurt as a special dessert.

It’s just about strawberry season, so you know what I’ll be doing soon!

Preserves and Jams


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I have a friend who loves making jams and preserves. It is one of the activities that he enjoys in his retirement to keep his mind active, and he makes a fine art out of the process.

When our local Costco gets in fresh apricots or peaches, I buy a case (or two) and it’s a sure bet that I can’t eat them all! Sometimes I’ll make a pie and a few get eaten fresh, but usually, I put them up into preserves.

My friend gives me strict instructions on how it is to be done. We use half Splenda and half sugar, and less than most recipes call for. Once the cooked fruit has been put into sterilized jars, we add chopped candied ginger, along with a little fresh ginger, into the juice that is left.

Voila! Ginger preserves!

When I give some to friends, they have a hard time deciding which one they like better – the plain fruit preserves or the ginger preserves.

Either one is deliciously yummy over ice cream or on hot biscuits. In another post, I’ll tell you what we do with the strawberries!