Blueberry Pie Bars

Blueberry Pie Bars

I’ve made my share of pie “cookies” – apple and cherry – so when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for Blueberry Pie Bars, I thought why not? (One of these days, I’ll get around to making an actual, regular ol’ pie. :-P)

These bars ooze blueberry flavor. The blueberry yogurt I used added an extra berry kick. The bars also hold their form well, thanks to the packed crumble crust.

Blueberry Pie Bars

The Makings:

Blueberry Pie Bars

For crust and crumble to use as topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used a blueberry flavored yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For blueberry layer:

  • 1 12 oz  package/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (use 1/2 cup if you have tart berries)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

The Sweetness:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and then coat foil with baking spray. You’ll be able to pop out the bars in a snap this way.

Blueberry Pie Bars  Blueberry Pie Bars

2. To create crust and crumble, first melt butter and pour into a large bowl. Whisk in both sugars followed by the flour. Reserve 3/4 cup for crumble topping and use remainder to line the bottom of the pan. Mixture will be sandy. Use fingers or spatula to pack down the crust into a tightly pressed, even layer.

3. In another bowl, mix filling by stirring together egg, Greek yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Next, whisk in flour. Pour filling atop crust and distribute and smooth out mixture evenly using a spatula.

Blueberry Pie Bars

4. In a third bowl, toss together blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Pour blueberries into filling. Use spatula to spread out berries evenly.

Blueberry Pie Bars

5. Take crumble that was set aside and sprinkle clumps of it out atop blueberries and filling.

Blueberry Pie Bars

6. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until filling is bubbling at edges and in center, and the crumble topping is golden. Allow time to cool for at least a couple hours. Carefully remove bars from pan using aluminum foil and slice them to desired size. Serve warm or cold. (I preferred mine after they’d sat in the fridge for a bit first.)

Blueberry Pie Bars

Blueberry Pie Bars

This recipe was first found on Averie Cooks.

More Sweetness:

Cherry Pie Cookies  Lemon Strawberry Cookies  Apple Pie Cookies

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Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

I have some RIDICULOUSLY fit colleagues. One of my mentors teaches boxing and spinning classes. Several colleagues plan to participate in multiple marathon events this year. Some of my clients also spotlight athletes’ amazing feats.

Inspired by their collective fitness achievements, I recently decided to set my own personal summer goal. I’ve registered to complete my first 10K in July! While fitness has always been a priority for me, I’ve tended to shy away from running races. For me, its always seemed easier to take a dance/aerobics/cardio class or complete a timed workout on the elliptical versus hitting the open road. There’s an extra bit of motivation needed – both mentally and physically – when you don’t have an instructor or a TV show attached to the machine to urge you on. To help prepare for my first 10K, I’ve been following a six-week online training plan. I’ve also been scoping out smoothie recipes.

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie
So for this Fiesta Friday, I present you with my first green smoothie. It’s a Green Strawberry Pineapple Banana Smoothie that features spinach as the leafy greens. (I’ve got kale waiting in the wings to try out sometime soon, too.) The banana provides a creamy texture and the pineapple juice and fresh strawberries lend their natural sweetness to the drink. (Big thanks to Andrea for the strawberry heart inspiration. :) You should check out her recipe for Strawberry White Chocolate Blondies.)

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients? Do you have any fitness tips to share with me?

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

The Makings:

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup ice cubes

The Sweetness:

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1. Pour 1/3 cup pineapple juice into blender.

2. Slice strawberries and banana and add in blender, followed by 1 cup spinach leaves.

3. Blend mixture until smooth. Next, slowly add in ice cubes in small batches – 2 or 3 at a time. And voila! No extra sweeteners needed.

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

”Fiesta

More Sweetness:
Strawberry Banana Bread  Cranberry Avocado Salsa  Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots
Watermelon Cookie Slices

Watermelon Cookie Slices and Coconut Cupcakes

Tropical Dinner Party

Last week, I celebrated my half birthday. While I’m not exactly sure where I’ll be for my birthday in December, I’m determined to make it somewhere warm! (So obviously, Chicago isn’t going to cut it. :-P) In honor of the half and to celebrate the start of warmer temps, I hosted a tropical-themed dinner party for a some close friends. It only seemed fitting to recap a couple recipes from the event for my first Fiesta Friday Blog Party. (Thanks for the invite to participate, Jhuls!)

The full dinner party spread looked like this:

  • Appetizers: watermelon, chips & salsa, drunk gummies and fruit glazed meatballs
  • Main course: pineapple & ham fried rice, BBQ pulled chicken on Hawaiian rolls and ginger & garlic green beans
  • Dessert: double coconut cupcakes and watermelon cookie “slices”
  • Drink: tropical ginger punch

I also had a few fun and tropical wearables – leis and party glasses, courtesy of Oriental Trading. (I had to practice restraint when browsing through the Luau section — so many cute and appropriately themed things!)

Tropical Dinner Decorations

OK, time to skip to the desserts. The watermelon cookie slices really DID taste like watermelon! (Several friends were convinced I’d melted watermelon Jolly Ranchers into the batter, as they swore that’s what they were reminded of when sampling the cookies.) But the solution to make these cookies was a lot simpler. I turned a box of Betty Crocker Watermelon Cupcake Mix into cake mix cookies, and added some icing and green sugar to create the rind. I used my roommate’s “muffin tops” pan to create the larger cookies, and cut them in half once they’d baked (and had time to cool) to create the slices. (Want to learn how to create cake mix cookies? See my recipe for Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies.)

Watermelon Cookies
Watermelon Cookies
Watermelon Cookie Slices

Watermelon Cookie Slices

The Double Coconut Cupcakes were a bit more involved, though I still used a box of cake mix for the base batter. (Hey, I had three other courses to worry about! :-P) Once out of the oven, these cupcakes were super light and spongy. The condensed milk and coconut on top makes them look pretty even without the frosting.

Double Coconut Cupcakes

  • Servings: ~2 dozen cupcakes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Double Coconut Cupcakes

The Makings:

Coconut Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups almond coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 egg whites

Frosting:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons almond coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

The Sweetness:

Coconut Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small frying pan, cook sweetened coconut flakes over low-medium heat for a few minutes. Stir often and watch carefully, as the flakes will easily burn if left unattended.

2. Mix toasted coconut with condensed milk. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix, milk, vegetable oil and egg whites together using a mixer on low for the first minute and at medium speed for another 2 minutes.

3. Insert liners in muffin tins and fill liners about 3/4ths full with batter. Scoop condensed milk/coconut mixture atop batter on each cupcake.

Coconut Cupcakes

4. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Coconut Cupcakes

5. While cupcakes are cooling, create frosting by beating butter smooth with a hand mixer. Gradually blend in powdered sugar to form a crumbly mix. Next, add in milk and mix until desired consistency.

6. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle tops with toasted coconut.

This recipe was adapted from Crazy for Crust.

”Fiesta

More Sweetness:

Coconut-Apricot Macaroons  Margarita Cupcakes  Churro Cupcakes