Saturday, 2 July 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Squares

I hope all of my fellow Canadians had an amazing Canada Day yesterday!! Canada has a lot to be thankful for and the world has a lot to thank us for!! Yes! We Canadians need to show more pride and wave our flag because we're pretty amazing! Without Canadians and our fine minds and inventions the world would be a very different place.

Picture it if you dare! The world would be filled with saggy chested women with their pants falling down because Canadians invented not only the zipper (1913) but the push-up bra (1964)! Oh yes! We also helped humanity by discovering insulin back in 1921 (thank you Drs Banting and Best!) and inventing the telephone so that girls everywhere could talk about the perfection that is Mr Justin Beiber (who hails from Stratford, Ontario).

And let's not forget how boring rainy afternoons would be without Pictionary (1986) and Trivia Pursuit (1982), 5 pin bowling (1909) and IMAX movies (1968) featuring the very much Canadian SUPERMAN! Yes, he is not American as most people believe, he's a Canadian creation!

Without Canadians there would be no basketball (1892), lacrosse (1600's) or snowmobiles. The entertainment field would be totally different. There would be no Pamela Anderson, Jim Carrey, Bare Naked Ladies, Michael J Fox, Tragically Hip, Kim Cattrall, Michael Buble, Catherine O'Hara, Corey Monteith (GLEE!), Monty Hall, Eugene Levy, Mike Myers, Sandra Oh, Anna Paquin, William Shatner! Oh the horror!!

So as you sit back and enjoy your Caesar (1969) (aka Bloody Mary for non-Canadians) and your Standard Time (thank you Sir Sandford Fleming - 1879) I hope that you've enjoyed this little history lesson on how Canadians have made the world a better place.

As for how my family and I celebrated Canada's 144th birthday?! We had absolutely perfect weather while partying (for the 9th year in a row) at our friends' house with a bunch of great people. You'd think that having 19 adults and 17 kids in one backyard would be total chaos but it was a ball! So much great food, lovely bevvies and happy kids makes for a great day. Add to that some fireworks and it was perfection!

I brought a cake as well as an appetizer with homemade French sticks that I whipped up myself for the occasion. With my new love of all things goat cheese I wanted to make a spread that used it. Wellll, it was a hit! Lots of 'yummy noises' coming from the other people which just made my day that much better! I will definitely post that recipe (which used loads of my fresh herbs) in the next day or two. Promise!

But first I just had to post this delicious recipe that I made on Thursday to celebrate the last day of school for my kids. I wanted a square that used the strawberries and the rhubarb from my very own garden.

This was the first time I've harvested any rhubarb so I was pretty excited. There's nothing like growing your own food. I swear it even tastes better knowing that I grew the fruit that went into this dish!

Well, let me tell you how amazing my kitchen smelled when I was stewing up the strawberries and rhubarb! A-mazing! I was thinking of all kinds of dishes I could use this with (including poured over vanilla ice cream!). There is a nice drizzle that you can add to the top of these squares. I didn't because, quite frankly, I forgot. But the drizzle would make these squares quite pretty.

Perfect for lunches, snacks or 'just cuz' I hope you enjoy these easy squares.

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Squares
Recipe Inspired by: Land'o'Lakes

1 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cups white sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup icing sugar
1 to 2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Set aside.

Prepare filling -- In a 2 quart saucepan combine rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice. Cover and cook over medium heat until fruit is soft (approximately 8-12 minutes), stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add to the fruit mixture and continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil. Continue boiling mixture for 1 minute until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare crust -- in a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda and salt. Combine with a pastry blender (or two knives) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the mixture for the topping. Pour remaining mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish and pat it down. Pour fruit mixture evenly over the base crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over fruit mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Make drizzle -- in a small bowl, sift icing sugar. Add milk and mix until smooth. With a spoon, drizzle this mixture over the completely cooled bars. Cut and serve.


Lisa said...

Oh a great recipe! I am so going to try these. yummy.......

I also loved your post about Canada. We don't have a UK day or Great Britain day so I'm going to make my own and do some research to come up with some things like yours.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Lisa, I hope you enjoy them. They're ridiculously easy to make. I think that the strawberry rhubarb filling would go nicely over a shortbread crust too. :)

Also, thanks so much for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award! I love it! I have received that award in the past so I'm going to opt out of forwarding the award on to others. I'm so glad you enjoy reading my blog. It makes all the hard work worth it to hear positive feedback. :)

As for the Canadian content in my post? I loved researching what Canadians have accomplished. I'm sure you'll love learning more about the amazing accomplishments of the UK. We're such a young country I'm sure you'll come up with so much more!! :)


Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

I'm pretty thankful for Michael Buble myself. Justin Bieber, well... not so much. I completely agree - food you grow yourself tastes way better than the stuff you can buy! Glad you had such a lovely day to celebrate.

Jaime said...

Wait!! The list would not be complete without adding other Canadian gems such as Sarah Mclachlan, Celine Dion, and my personal favorite...Blue Rodeo!
Thank-you Canada!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Yes, Jen, Mr Buble is a national treasure. He's so funny too!

Jaime -- I would have added Sarah, Blue Rodeo and Celine but unfortunately I had to stop somewhere. So many talented Canadians so little time. ;) Sadly, I also didn't mention Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Kurt Browning, Donald Sutherland, Colin Mochrie ..... Unfortunately many stars/singers etc don't let their audiences know that they're Canadian. Mike Myers is one of the few that mentions it all the time and is so proud to be a Canuck. LOVE that!!! :)

TheBookGirl said...

Happy belated Canada Day :)

Fruit desserts are my favorites; miles above chocolate in my estimation. I have not, however, baked much with rhubarb; they have it at our local farmer's market, and next time I go I will pick some up and try this!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

BookGirl- I think chocolate desserts are delish but fruit desserts (like apple crisp, Dutch apple pie etc) are definite favourites of mine! :).

Definitely give rhubarb a try! I love it's flavour and when it's paired with strawberries it is soooo good!!!

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