Friday, January 6, 2012

Insta-Friday in real life, featuring berry oat bars

We had another busy week, with the four of us still home for Christmas vacation. Here are some of our cell phone photos from the past seven days.

This makes it look like we were very productive, but there were several days spent in pyjamas too.

Although, like most parents, I get a lot done even when I'm in pyjamas. Let me see, there's laundry, cooking, dishes, baking, tidying, cleaning...I could go on, but you know what I mean.

I headed to a local yarn shop for their post-Christmas sale. I took an introductory knitting class there last February and have yet to finish the scarf I started then. Some ladies in the waiting room at my daughter’s ballet class have suggested we work on a lovely scarf project each week while we wait. I picked up the supplies for that and some needles for the kids. Every time I want to knit, they do too, so I figured they should have the right equipment for the job.
For the first time ever, we celebrated New Year’s Eve just the four of us. We ate some Chinese food (yum), played some games, threw some blankets and pillows on the floor and just vegged together. Believe it or not, the kids said this was the best New Year’s Eve ever. Just goes to show you once again, all they want is your undivided attention once in a while.
On New Year’s Day, the four of us went to the Art Gallery of Ontario for Family Sunday.

We saw the Chagall exhibit, and the kids were given companion activity guides, which kept them busy looking for images in the paintings. Very helpful, as they would normally be “bored.”

We also participated in art activities related to The Adventures of Tintin. My son had just seen the movie, so it was good timing.

The kids made boats and attempted to float them in a pool of water. They also created treasure maps and the (foil) “bottles” to put them in. A Cape Breton fiddler was on hand to provide entertainment, along with some step dancers.

Back at home, we made an arugula salad with sautéed mushrooms on top, inspired by one we had at Bar Italia the week before. Delicious with a light olive oil vinaigrette.

I noticed my ice cream maker sitting lonely in the cold cellar, and decided ice cream in the winter wouldn’t hurt anyone. I made a cookies-and-cream recipe from Lick it! Creamy, Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love. We sandwiched it between the few remaining chocolate chunk cookies I had made before.

We made this “15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta” from Oh She Glows. I was hoping it would be terrific, but not really expecting it to be, since it’s so easy to make. I doubled the recipe so the whole family could have some. Turns out, it’s delicious. Next time, I have to put a little bit less of my brother-in-law’s home-grown garlic, though. I loved it, but the kids found it a bit much for their tastes.


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Berry Oat Bars

by Joann MacDonald

  • ¾ cup margarine
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 ¼ cups light spelt flour
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup strawberry jam
  • 1 tsp light spelt flour
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Oil an 8-inch square pan.
In a small pot, melt the margarine and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, sugar and melted margarine.
Set aside one cup of this mixture.
Press the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together the fruit, jam and 1 tsp of flour.
Spread over the baked crust and sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top.
Bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
Cool completely and cut into bars.


  1. Love your homemade ice-cream sandwiches. They look so good... I want ice cream now! ;)

  2. Stopping by from Instafriday! Those cookie things look awesome!!!! I had to take a peak. :)

  3. All of your food looks so amazing! Especially that arugula salad. You seem like fun parents. I would have loved it if my parents took me to art museums as a kid.

  4. Those bars look wonderful! A nice breath of fresh air, since it's been quite a while since I thought about berries. Love the fact that you used spelt flour, too.