It was a busy holiday weekend in the kitchen. Exhausting, to be honest. I think I was actually seeing stars at one point! Therefore, my prep and final shots are very… lazy, to say the least. But, after making a Mexican feast, 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies, artichoke and tomato salad, dessert for the Memorial Day BBQ and fresh blueberry bars, I was entirely spent and had a kitchen full of dirty dishes (is it just me, or is that the worst part?!). Everything was delicious though, so it was worth the effort.

I couldn’t resist picking up some fresh blueberries from the organic produce delivery this weekend, because they are hubby’s favorite, and because they are in season and so pretty right now. I found a great recipe that has been making its way around the blogging world (so you can check their photos out via Googling “Blueberry Crumb Bars”). Mine turned out fantastic! I highly recommend giving this a try if you can get a hold of some fresh berries.

Blueberry Crumb Bars
From: Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from

1 c. white sugar

1 t. baking powder
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. cold butter (2 sticks)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 c. white sugar
4 t. cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in refrigerator to keep fresh and for ease of cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

As it has now become a family tradition, I was in charge of bringing dessert to the holiday BBQ. I found this recipe in a magazine that Kraft Foods puts out and have been dying to try it. In my opinion, the marriage of chocolate and peanut butter is a match made in heaven. And, any recipe where I don’t have to turn on an oven, especially in the sweltering summer, is okay by me. The family gobbled this up, and I even spied a few going back for seconds, which is a very good sign. The layers are a little tedious to work through, but not difficult at all. Mmmmmm….

Peanut Butter Striped Delight
From: adapted from Kraft Food & Family Magazine

35 Oreo cookies
6 T. butter, melted
Dash of salt
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
¼ c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
3 c. plus 2 T. cold milk, divided
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 pkgs. (3.4 oz. ea.) Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
½ c. peanut butter

Process cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form; mix with melted butter and dash of salt. Press into the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch dish. I lightly sprayed mine with nonstick cooking spray. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, to cool and set crust.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk until well blended. Add 1 ¼ cups Cool Whip; mix well. Spread over crust.

Beat pudding mixes and remaining 3 cups of milk in a large bowl with a whisk, 2 minutes or until well blended. Add peanut butter; mix well. Spread over cream cheese layer. Let stand 5 minutes or until thickened. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Garnish with a few extra crushes Oreos if desired.

Refrigerate 4 hours.

The building of the layers…


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