Blueberry Oat Bar - Starbucks Inspired

Friday, May 31, 2013

Blueberry Oat Bar (Starbucks inspired)
Blueberry Oat Bars (Starbucks Inspired)

I met my friend Stacey for coffee at Starbucks recently and she got the Blueberry Oat Bar - she said it was her favorite treat. I thought...this needs to be made in my kitchen!

Shortly after our coffee, I stopped in Starbucks and picked up one (you know, research and all). I took a few photos (see below).
Actual Starbucks Blueberry Oat Bar
An actual Starbucks Blueberry Oat Bar

This is the ingredient list from Starbuck's website: blueberries, wheat flour, brown sugar, palm oil shortening, butter (cream [from milk]), rolled oats, organic tapioca syrup, sugar, oats, water, whole eggs, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, cornstarch), rice starch, organic natural flavor, stabilizer (sodium alginate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, calcium sulfate), sea salt, citric acid.

I like making it myself so I can avoid the palm oil shortening. The recipe is adapted from the recipe on Food.com by lilsweetie.

Blueberry Oat Bars c
This is one of those easy bar recipes where the top and bottom are the same dough. It's like having a reversible jacket. Convenient.

You make a jam-like filling with blueberries, sugar and orange juice. Plan this one out - you'll need to cool the blueberry filling before using it.

Blueberry Oat Bars
The recipe calls for fresh blueberries but I used frozen blueberries with success. They aren't too sweet, a little soft (not like a crunchy granola bar or anything like that) and is filled with blueberry and oat goodness (well, and a little butter and sugar). Anyway, it's great with coffee or tea.

Recipe: Blueberry Oat Bar - Starbucks Inspired
Adapted from the recipe on Food.com by lilsweetie

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (the original recipe calls for all quick-cooking oats, but I like the texture of old fashioned oats in the mix)
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour (140 grams)
1 cup brown sugar (200 grams)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
3 cups blueberries (original recipe calls for fresh blueberries, but I used frozen blueberries with success)
1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
1/3 cup orange juice (I used fresh squeezed)
4 teaspoons cornstarch (This is 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon)

Create the filling in advance as it needs to cool. In saucepan, bring blueberries, sugar and orange juice to boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Whisk in cornstarch and boil, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Pour into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cooled, about 1 hour or up to 1 day before using. (I found that it is best when the final product should end up like a jam consistency).

Base/Topping: In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut in the butter to form a crumbly mixture. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumbs, and pat the rest evenly into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Spread the blueberry mixture over the base. Crumble the reserved amount of the base/topping over the blueberry mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F until light golden, about 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely on rack before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. And try not to eat a whole tray.
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English Peas and Rice

Saturday, May 18, 2013

English Peas and Rice
English Peas and Rice

This blog started as a way for me to document my attempts at baking. Back in 2007 (can't believe the blog is that old), I was trying to go from cake-box baking to baking from scratch. Only my closest friends read this blog. Then, somehow, a few more people started reading it. I've been lucky to meet  people via the blog that I now consider some of my best friends. It's been an interesting journey. Sometimes, I go back and read  earlier posts...especially the ones where I'm traveling, eating out and visiting friends. This blog truly is an open online diary so I won't forget special people, places and times.

This post is simply about documenting the taste of English peas in summer. It's not about the recipe (toss in peas in rice), but about the fun of grabbing all the little peas...and eating half of them raw because they are fresh and delicious.

English Peas and Rice
Ahhh. So pretty. I want to remember this.

English Peas and Rice
If everyone had fresh peas, there might be peas on earth.

English Peas and Rice
I bought these at the farmers market. They also have a big container of shelled peas. That seems like it takes away a bit of the fun so I always buy them whole.

Peas and Rice
Premium brown rice (purchased at the Japanese grocery store - Nijiya and Mitsuwa have great selections of premium California rice) and the Zojirushi rice cooker (pricey but it's just lovely to have perfectly cooked rice available for hours).

English Peas and Rice
I just threw a handful of peas into the rice cooker and pressed start. They come out mushy (very English :)

Along with stone fruits, English peas are edible summer. Hope your summer is off to a great start! - mary
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Parrish Magic Line Baking Pan Factory Retail Store, Gardena (Los Angeles)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Parrish Magic Line
Parrish Magic Line Factory in Gardena, California

Parrish Magic LineSouthern California Friends,

Heya! Pick up your cake round and flip it over. Does it say "Magic Line" Gardena, CA 90248? If so, I went to the factory where it is made today!

Parrish Magic Line is located in Gardena, California (in the South Bay area of Los Angeles). The factory is located in the very industrial part of the Gardena and you can just walk in and buy stuff Monday - Friday!

I've been once before and picked up a few cake pans. My favorite place, Surfas carries Magic Line pans. I've seen them in most restaurant supply stores like ChefsMart and Chef's Toys. I think they are the commercial, industry standard.

Parrish Magic Line Baking Pans
I love how the edges of the square or rectangle pans are perfectly square. Not like the casserole Pyrex 9 x 13 pan...save that for the lasagna and Jell-O. The edges make lovely brownies, coffeecakes and all bar cookies. All the bakeware is easy to clean, sturdy and offers consistent baking.

Today, I picked up extra 9 x 13 rectangle,  9 x 9 square, and 8 x 8 square pans. (I'm going to do some major baking next week and the extra pans will come in handy.)

I checked my closet and realized I own a lot of Magic Line. Um... some of my inventory includes lots of cake rounds (from 10 inch down to a 3 inch round, most are 2 inches high, but a few are deeper 3 inches). I now have two sets of 9 x 13, 9 x 9, 8 x 8 rectangle and square pans. I also have a jelly roll pan and I think there is a larger square one too...I think I'm pretty covered.

Parrish Magic Line
The retail outlet in the factory is less expensive than stores I visited. Today, I went to ChefsMart and a 9 x 9 square was over $14. At Parrish, it was $13.50. The 8 x 8 square was $12.50 (it's $15.50 on Amazon) and the 9 x 13 was $15.50.

Don't think this is like a fancy Outlet Mall factory store. You can walk around the shelves and pick what you need, while passing workers who are busy filling orders. You might see some people making the pans too! They have wedding cake size pans, metal rings and some other baking stuff. The staff is friendly...I spent time talking to the cashier about libraries and crazy Friday nights of watching 20/20. It's low tech...the cashier looked up prices on a sheet, swiped my credit card and then used those carbon sheets to make an imprint of my card (remember that?)

Amazon's description says "Made in the USA" - it should say "Made in the awesome South Bay!" I love them...as you can tell by my collection!

If you aren't in the South Bay during the week, here are some links to get the pans on Amazon (full disclosure, I'm in the Amazon Affiliate program so if you buy something, I get a few cents)
Parrish on Amazon
Parrish Magic Line 8 x 8 x 2 Square Pan is $15.50 on Amazon

Parrish's Home of Magic Line Factory Retail Store (I couldn't find a working website for them)
Open (as of May 2013) Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 4:30 PM
225 W 146th Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 324-2253
Yelp (just has the address and phone)
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