Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: March 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Ultimate Easter Basket Giveaway - 2 Winners!

I've partnered with GourmetGiftBaskets.com to give away not one, 
but TWO adorable Easter Baskets this Spring.  
Hurry, the Easter bunny is just around the corner!

The Ultimate Easter Basket Giveaway - 2 Winners! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Easter is a bit late this year {April 16}, but thankfully that just means we have more time to gussy up those adorable Easter baskets for our kids and grandkids!

I am continually amazed at the opportunites this food blog gives me, so when GourmetGiftBaskets.com contacted me earlier this month wanting to know if I'd like to select one of their new themed Easter baskets for myself I jumped at the chance.  But, you all know my rule, if I get sent something I want my readers to have a chance to receive it too!

Considering my reader base is 80% women between the ages of 25-55, I'm thinking most if not all of you have "purchase candy for Easter baskets" on your upcoming to-do lists. 

Am I right?

The Ultimate Easter Basket Giveaway - 2 Winners! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Easter is our house is not only a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but also a time for a family gathering and to give our kiddos a bit of fun.  Yummy food, church, Easter egg hunts....and of course the baskets!

My kids just told me the other night, "Mom, remember last year when you took us on a walk around the block and when we came back the Easter Bunny had arrived?  That was so cool Mom!"

Honestly, I didn't even remember doing that, but they have memory's like steel traps {which often gets me in trouble}, so I'm sure it is correct.  Easter for kids is all about the magic of the bunny.

The Ultimate Easter Basket Giveaway - 2 Winners! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Easter is also a BIG deal for GourmetGiftBaskets.com.  Their gifting experts are always coming up with new baskets and towers for the whole family and for every occasion.  You can view their entire 2017 Easter collection HERE.


Every single one of these packages are fun!  They are packaged beautifully and stuffed to the brim with cool stuff.  I was so, so, so very pleased when my two baskets arrived on my doorstep.  Kind of expecting them to be bent or tattered, they weren't!  They take great care in their packaging and it showed.  You can literally take the package out of their shipping box and hide it for your kids.  No prep work involved.

Which makes me think...what is the craziest place your Easter basket was hidden growing up?  I remember finding mine in the dryer, in the freezer, hanging from the shower head in the bathroom or dangling from a celing fan.  

Finding them was half the fun!

The Ultimate Easter Basket Giveaway - 2 Winners! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The generous folks over at GourmetGiftBaskets.com are delighted to give away TWO of their fun Easter baskets to my readers!  How cool is that?

Valued at $79.99 and $49.99 respectively, this is such a great deal.  On the left is the Happy Easter Gift Tower.  Each box is filled with delicious goodies such as popcorn, chocolates, hard candies, cookies, Peeps and more.  Plus you receive four adorable Easter boxes that can be resued every year. 

On the right is the Easter Candy & Toys Basket.  Jam packed with fun games, markers, chocolate bunnies, a frisbee, crackers, cookies and more there isn't a kid I know that wouldn't love this one.  All of this comes in a sturdy picnic-style woven basket.

To enter simply follow the prompts via the Rafflecopter entry form below.  Several chances to win! Two random winners will be selected for either basket on Monday, April 3.  Good luck!

Thank you to GourmetGiftBaskets.com for sponsoring this post.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 27, 2017

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza

This post is sponsored by the Iowa Egg Council, but all opinions are my own.
Let's talk eggs!

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza...a brillant way to use up hard boiled eggs!  Fun, creative, tasty, who doesn't love pizza? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

We are an egg family.  Scrambled?  Sure.  Over-easy?  Why not?  Hard-boiled and diced in potato salad?  You bet.  We do not discriminate when it comes to eggs.  Each and every way is delicious to us.

This time of year is BIG for eggs.  Not only do chickens ramp up their egg production {hello, Spring!}, but Easter is right around the corner.  Families will be hard boiling and dying those little buggers waiting for the Easter bunny to arrive.  Iowa is the No. 1 egg-producing state in the country producing 15 billion eggs a year.  One in every 5 eggs comes from Iowa!

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza...a brillant way to use up hard boiled eggs!  Fun, creative, tasty, who doesn't love pizza? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The average household consumes around four dozen eggs at Easter.  Whether that be in a casserole at brunch or in deviled eggs at a family potluck, we eat a lot of them!  Eggs that we are buying for this year's Easter festivities are fresh.  Most eggs are laid and on grocery store shelves in 72 hours.

As a family we are very lucky to have a few local friends who have chickens and sell their eggs.  I often buy 4 to 5 dozen at a time {crazy, right?}, but like I said we eat a lot of them, plus I'm a baker. So generally using a half dozen a day...in something...is very common.

Want to meet an Iowa egg farmer?  Check out Bruce Dooyema's story HERE.  He loves his job!

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza...a brillant way to use up hard boiled eggs!  Fun, creative, tasty, who doesn't love pizza? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

As a food blogger, obviously, I get very creative in the kitchen.  If I have leftovers, no matter what it is, I find a way to use them.  Does it always work?  Not always, but I still try!

One question I seem to get every year a few days after Easter is...what can I do with all these leftover hard-boiled eggs?  The obvious choices often ring clear; egg salad, chopped over a cobb salad, deviled eggs, potato salad or even a pasta salad like my Deviled Egg Pasta Salad. But what happens when all of those sound boring and don't interest you?

You're in luck!  I've got a dandy one today.

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza...a brillant way to use up hard boiled eggs!  Fun, creative, tasty, who doesn't love pizza? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

But, first.  Do you know how to hard boil eggs?

This method is very popular.  I simply put mine in cold water in a pot and bring it to a boil.  I let it boil for 10 minutes, then run them under very cold tap water for a few minutes.  Once cool enough to touch I peel.  Eggs that are 7-10 days old are easier to peel, while fresh eggs are often more difficult. All eggs will be easier to peel right after cooling as this allows as this gives the eggs time to breathe and take in air that help separates the membrane from the shell.

Thus said, buy your eggs about a week before needing to hard boil and remember the "sell by" or "expiration date" on egg cartons are just to ensure the eggs aren't kept on shelves past that date, but they can safely be eaten 2-3 weeks after the expiration date.

Refrigerate your hard boiled eggs within 2 hours and eat them within a week.  Once peeled they should be eaten the same day.

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza...a brillant way to use up hard boiled eggs!  Fun, creative, tasty, who doesn't love pizza? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

When brainstorming recipes for this post, it was actually fairly easy.  I love eggs and I love pizza. My family is on the same boat, so why not breakfast pizza?

Now I've made my 3-Meat Breakfast Pizza many times, but what makes this pizza different is laying on chopped up hard boiled eggs rather than scrambling them.  Oh, and the chorizo sausage.  It's smoky, a bit spicy and full of paprika and other spices.

At just 70 calories an egg, they are the perfect, high-quality protein pizza topper.  Eggs also have 0 grams of sugar, NO carbs and are only around 17 cents per serving.  Budget friendly!

And don't leave out the yolk!  Egg yolks contain choline, a nutrient that promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body. It’s also key in the development of infant’s memory functions. 

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza...a brillant way to use up hard boiled eggs!  Fun, creative, tasty, who doesn't love pizza? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

My kids were on Spring Break last week {insert, I need a vacation}, so when I got all crazy and announced breakfast pizza instead of boring oatmeal or toast on that randon Tuesday morning, they were more than excited.

Oh, and did I mention I layered on a cheese sauce as well?

Yeah, it's pretty incredible.

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza


1 pre-made, store bought thin pizza crust
3 chopped hard boiled eggs
1/2 lb. cooked chorizo sausage
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 T. unsalted butter
3 T. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. salsa
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. salt

1.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Sprinkle in the flour and whisk for one minute.  Pour in the milk, continuining to whisk and add in the seasonings.  This mixture will start to thicken and when it does add in the shredded cheddar cheese and salsa. Set cheese sauce aside off the heat.
3.  To assemble the pizza, place the pizza crust on a large cookie sheet.  Spread on the cheese sauce and top with the hard boiled eggs, chorizo sausage crumbles and mozzarella cheese.
4.  Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Then remove the pizza off the baking sheet and place directly on the oven rack and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the pizza is golden brown and bubbly.  This will allow the crust to get crispy at the end.
5.  Cut into slices and serve warm.

Chopped Egg & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza...a brillant way to use up hard boiled eggs!  Fun, creative, tasty, who doesn't love pizza? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Thank you to the Iowa Egg Council for sponsoring this post.

Want additional egg creations by me?

Spicy Egg Bake
Hash Brown Crusted Spinach & Egg Quiche
Breakfast Burritos
15-Minute Smoky Spaghetti Carbonara

Friday, March 24, 2017

Healthy Grilled Chicken over Pesto Cauliflower Rice

This post is sponsored by Veetee, but all opinions are my own.

Healthy Grilled Chicken over Pesto Cauliflower Rice...healthy, light, refreshing, tasty!  An easy weeknight meal that will please the whole family. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Hello Spring!

It's officially here my people.  This means no more snow, cold and wind, right?  Right.  I'm sure we'll get walloped again, but until then I'm preaching that it is SPRING to anyone who will listen.

I'm starting to get excited about my garden, lounging on my deck with a good book {just finished this book, 5 stars!} and just soaking in all the vitamin D I can doing anything outside.  Each year I plant a big basil plant and it basically produces until I finally pull it in late Fall.  It's main purpose is for fresh pesto, but I also add it to my homemade spaghetti sauce and to this incredible margarita pizza.

It pains me to have to buy pesto in the store during the winter months {I clearly didn't freeze enough}, but that is what I did this week.  I did it for good reason.  My third installment for Veetee rice is here!

Healthy Grilled Chicken over Pesto Cauliflower Rice...healthy, light, refreshing, tasty!  An easy weeknight meal that will please the whole family. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I wanted to make a dish that literally screamed the following adjectives.

Light.

Refreshing.

Flavorful.

Healthy.

I am fairly certain I acheived all of these wonderful adjectives.  Chicken that is marinated and grilled to perfection is always a winner.  Fluffy rice that gets bumped up a notch with grated cauliflower and pesto?  Always a bonus.

Healthy Grilled Chicken over Pesto Cauliflower Rice...healthy, light, refreshing, tasty!  An easy weeknight meal that will please the whole family. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Veetee rice has become a staple in our house not only due to its supurb flavor, but because of its convenience.  Microwave or stir-fry in two minutes and it's done!  This mama of three will take anything that is that quick.

I wanted to bump up the nutritrional factor of the already healthy brown rice so I added a head of finely grated cauliflower.  Not only did it give us twice as much in volume {my family can eat!}, but honestly it tasted just the same.  If my family hadn't witnessed me grating the cauliflower I honestly do not feel they would have known the difference.

Healthy Grilled Chicken over Pesto Cauliflower Rice...healthy, light, refreshing, tasty!  An easy weeknight meal that will please the whole family. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This meal was the perfect dinner for us.  It hit all of the requirements.  It fed my hungry family, it was easy, it was made start to finish in under an hour {minus marinating time} and we had leftovers!

The husband was able to take a nice, hearty portion to work the next day.  He had actually worked super late the night we had this, so I sent him a photo of his plate for when he would eventually get home...you know, to tease him.  I'm sure he was starving having worked a 13 hour day, but at least he knew he was going to eat good when he got home!  He gave it two thumbs up.

Healthy Grilled Chicken over Pesto Cauliflower Rice


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
10 oz. Veetee Wholegrain Brown Rice {or 1 1/2 c. any cooked brown rice}
1 head cauliflower
10 oz. jar pesto
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
salt
pepper

1.  Place the chicken breasts in a large Ziploc baggie.  Pour in both dressings and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2.  Using a box grater, grate the whole head of cauliflower into small pieces and set aside.
3.  Preheat the grill while making the cauliflower/rice.
4.  Heat a large rimmed skillet to medium heat.  Add in the olive oil.  Stir in the grated cauliflower and sauteed for a couple minutes.  Add in the rice, breaking apart, and mix with the cauliflower. Once combined add in half of the jar of pesto, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Stir and bring down to a warm heat and cover with a lid.
5.  When your grill is hot place the marinated chicken directly on the grill rack.  Cook 10 minutes a side or until juices run clear.  Remove from the grill and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
6.  To serve, plate a scoop of the cauliflower rice on a plate and top with the sliced grilled chicken. Add additional pesto on top.  Serve warm.

Healthy Grilled Chicken over Pesto Cauliflower Rice...healthy, light, refreshing, tasty!  An easy weeknight meal that will please the whole family. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I truly hope you try this dish out with your family!

This recipe was a fun one.  I have truly been blessed with many sponsorships this year and Veetee was no exception!  Their rice is superior and I'm happy to see my pantry is still stocked with it.  In case you missed a few of my other recipes using their rice, here they are:


Thank you to Veetee Rice for sponsoring this post.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Snappers Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Minis + Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Snappers, but all opinions are my own.

Who is ready to indulge in a great bite sized snack?

Snappers Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Minis + Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It is not unknown to my readers that I love a great snack.  One that involves dark chocolate, caramel and pretzels with a touch of sea salt?  Even better.

The combination of the sweet dark chocolate and caramel, plus the saltiness of the pretzel and sea salt...well, let's just say they are a match made in heaven.

A few years back, before I even had a partnership with Snappers, I was spreading the love about them to anyone would would listen.  Anyone remember this photo on my Facebook page?  I had just eaten a complete and utter dinner disaster.  Thank the lord for Snappers.  They became my dinner.

Snappers Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Minis + Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Back in 2014 this Snappers version just came in regular size {I'm not complaining}, but guess what? They are now introducing them at Costco here in the Midwest in a mini version.

Lord help me.  Just another reason to get my hand in the bag and have another handful.

They're small!

Bite size!

How many have I had?


Snappers Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Minis + Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Do you see the beauty of these little pockets of gold?  A salty pretzel, dipped in dark chocolate, topped with caramal, MORE chocolate and chunky flakes of sea salt.

My favorite way to eat them is by simply shoving my hand in the bag, hiding in a closet and fogetting where I'm at for 20 minutes, but since that is a bit frowned upon, I got creative this last week with the kids one day and put them on ice cream!

Traditional vanilla ice cream would be great, but I took it up a notch and sprinkled the Snappers on caramel ice cream that was studded with mini caramel filled dark chocolate cups.  Wowza.  It was pretty much the dessert of my dreams.  


Snappers Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Minis + Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I have more ideas too for these Snappers.  Come on, I'm a food blogger!  I literally cannot just eat something out of a bag and not dream up other concoctions.

Why not crush these up and bake them inside of a creamy cheesecake, then top with more and drizzle more caramel, chocolate and sea salt?  Or make a fun candy bar poke cake, like this almond joy version?  Better yet why not grab a store bought graham cracker crust and make this pie?  Oh my goodness, all of these versions would be fun.


Snappers Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Minis + Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

These 24 oz bags of Snappers are now available at Costco in the Midwest, with the 3 oz versions also available at exact locations that you can find HERE.

But guess what friends?  I'm giving TWO READERS each a 24 oz. bag of these Snappers Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Minis to enjoy all their own!  You can share with your family or hoard for yourself, either way is fine with me.

To enter simply leave a comment on this post saying if you'd share these minis or keep them for yourself.  I will not judge!  For extra entries visit my Facebook page where I'm chatting these up and comment there too.  Two random winners will be chosen on Wednesday, March 22nd.

In the meantime, follow Snappers on Instagram and Facebook.  

Happy snacking!

#SnappersSnack #SnappersMinis #Costco

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Spring Flower Cookie Garden Puzzle

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob's Red Mill.

Get ready for a Spring cookie showdown!

Spring Flower Cookie Garden Puzzle...have an itch for Spring?  This fun-filled baking project is great for moms and kids!  Who knew you could make a puzzle with cookie dough? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Spring is less than one week away!  Did I wake up to snow this morning?  Yes.  Was it a bit dreadful? Yes. But, I have high hopes that Spring will come on strong here soon.  For those already experiencing beautiful weather...enjoy it!

Want me to ship you some snow?

I recently had the honor to bake with Bob's Red Mill premium Organic All-Purpose Baking Flour.  As a person who kinda goes a bit head-over-heels when it comes to baking {ahem, me}, I was super excited!

Their Organic Unbleached White Flour is milled from fresh red wheat with both the bran and germ having been removed, which leaves the endosperm and that is made into the white flour.  Pretty cool, huh?  


Spring Flower Cookie Garden Puzzle...have an itch for Spring?  This fun-filled baking project is great for moms and kids!  Who knew you could make a puzzle with cookie dough? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Their flour is the same high-protein flour used by professional bakers.  A good flour creates high quality breads and beautiful light and airy baked goods.

And guess what?  That is exactly how this Spring Flower Cookie Garden Puzzle turned out.  Light, airy, soft, yet chewy and just down right perfect for this fun foodie craft.

I wanted to create something light-hearted, something kid-friendly, something that reminds us of SPRING!  Fresh flowers, green grass, sunny skies, fluffy clouds, birds and long, beautiful days spent outside.


Spring Flower Cookie Garden Puzzle...have an itch for Spring?  This fun-filled baking project is great for moms and kids!  Who knew you could make a puzzle with cookie dough? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Things ran very smoothly on my first trial run of this dessert...or so I thought.  I had everything baked and cooling on the counter.

Why not jump in the shower quick?

I really should know better with an almost 3 year old running around.  After my {quick} shower I hopped out and poked my head in the hallway and I kid you not she was sitting there eating a piece of my cookie puzzle.  With a sly smile on her face.

Ugh.

Unfortunately it wasn't salvagable.  I will say Round 2 went much smoother!  Kids can definitely help with this recipe, they will have a ton of fun with it, but just make sure to take watch while it is cooling.  You don't want to wreck the puzzle!


Spring Flower Cookie Garden Puzzle...have an itch for Spring?  This fun-filled baking project is great for moms and kids!  Who knew you could make a puzzle with cookie dough? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Now, decorating is not my forte, but I gave it my all.  I may or may not have had frosting in my hair and on my elbows, but in the end it all worked out.  Feel free to use your own homemade frosting recipe or go store bought like I did.  Mix and match your favorite colors and get to work!

I stuck to a pale green for the leaves and grass and a pastel orange, pink and yellow for the flowers and butterfly.  I threw in a light blue cloud for good measure and a pale yellow sun...because Spring is all about sunny weather!  Sprinkles and mini edible beads finished it off by easily garnishing the flowers.

Cookie cutters are also essential.  I have and use a 101-holiday/seasonally pack that I've had for years. They were a wedding gift that has come in handy.  Use any spring-y cookie cutter you want.  I also debated between a bunny and a catepillar, but in the end ran out of room.

Set aside some time for this fun activity!

Spring Flower Cookie Garden Puzzle


Sugar Cookie Dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. almond extract

Decorations:
colored frosting
sprinkles

1.  In a stand mixer combine the softened butter and sugar to a creamy consistency.
2.  Add in the egg, almond extract, salt and baking soda.
3.  Add in the flour until a soft dough forms.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4.  Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and using a rolling pin and lightly flouring the dough, roll out into a large rectangle, around 9x13 in size and slide a cookie sheet under the parchment paper.
5.  Use your cookie cutters and cut out shapes in the dough.  Place the cut-outs on another cookie sheet.  Bake both cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes, just until very lightly golden.
6.  When you remove from the oven, immediately re-cut the shapes with the cookie cutters, both in the rectangle sheet and the individual cut-outs.  They will spread a little during baking and this will help bring back their shape.  Allow to cool completely.
7.  Decorate the cut out shapes and the puzzle to your liking and place the pieces back together.


Spring Flower Cookie Garden Puzzle...have an itch for Spring?  This fun-filled baking project is great for moms and kids!  Who knew you could make a puzzle with cookie dough? (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob's Red Mill.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Oatmeal Caramelita Bars

Need a dessert for a bake sale?  Family gathering?  One that travels perfectly?
These Oatmeal Caramelita Bars never disappoint.

Oatmeal Caramelita Bars...chewy, creamy, salty, perfection!  The ideal dessert bar for bake sales, famity gatherings or any event! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Some days as a stay-at-home-mom run smoothly.  I wake up.  Do 30 minutes of yoga/pilates.  I read my devotional.  I start waking the kids.  Breakfast is served.  I drop off the older two kids at school in record time.  I spend the day with the little one...playing, reading and wiping tears.  I use her precious nap time to work on this food blog.  Dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. and it's been planned for days.  We get everyone outside for some fresh air.  Baths and bed are uneventful.  My evening is peaceful catching up with the husband, watching a T.V. show and finally falling asleep with a book in my lap.

Those days are glorious.

Other days, well, don't go exactly as planned.

I wake up.  I walk into the kitchen and step on a TACK {really, I didn't even know we had any tacks in our house}.  I try and exercise but the two year old gets up super early instead. The older kids won't get out of bed.  Breakfast is a granola bar.  I take the kids to school in my robe.  I spend the day trying to console a cranky toddler.  Nothing gets done with the blog.  Dinner is a total flop.  The kids demand snacks every second.  It's raining or snowing and we're stuck inside.  Everyone fights bedtime.  I stub my toe running after the wet toddler who just got out of the bath.  My show isn't on because of a Presidental Address {ugh}.  I'm too tired to even read myself to sleep.

Oatmeal Caramelita Bars...chewy, creamy, salty, perfection!  The ideal dessert bar for bake sales, famity gatherings or any event! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Some days are good.  Some days are bad.  Everyday I'm grateful.  Are you?  I'm thankful I have a roof over my head, we have our health, a hot meal sits before us and I even have the ability to stay home with my kids and watch them grow up.

All of this being said I still get cranky about life's woes.  I'm human.  It's normal, right? What I've found is that everyone has a certain stress reliever when their day hasn't gone so swell. Whether healthy or not, we all do something.

I bake.

Oatmeal Caramelita Bars...chewy, creamy, salty, perfection!  The ideal dessert bar for bake sales, famity gatherings or any event! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I pull out my older than dirt recipe book and pick a favorite or I scour the web and find something new.  As long as I have all of the ingredients {which I usually do...hello, baking freak here}, I make it.

These Oatmeal Carmelita Bars remind me of my sister.  She makes them often for family events.  She does not claim herself a good cook {she's kinda right, but trust me her family never starves}, but that chick can bake.  Her other specialites include incredible Monster Cookies and this sticky caramel corn she brings home every Christmas that we all try and keep our hands out of {it never happens.}

The day after my stepping-on-the-tack incident I thought of these bars.  I wanted them NOW. Thankfully we were going to a friend's house for card club that night {no, we aren't eighty} so I had a reason to bake them.

Although, let's be honest.  I probably would have made them anyway.  They are thick, chewy, sweet and salty.  I've never met a person who didn't like them.

Oatmeal Caramelita Bars...chewy, creamy, salty, perfection!  The ideal dessert bar for bake sales, famity gatherings or any event! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Oatmeal Carameltia Bars


1 1/2 stick unsalted butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 c. old-fashioned oats
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 bag of caramel squares, unwrapped
1/2 c. heavy cream or coffee creamer
1 c. chocolate chips

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8x8 baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Generously spray with cooking spray.
2.  Melt the butter and place in a stand mixer or bowl if using a hand held mixer.  Add in the brown sugar and vanilla stirring until combined.  Add in the flour, oats, baking soda and salt.
3.  Place half of this mixture into the bottom of the pan flattening with a spatula or your fingers.  Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
4.  In a microwave safe bowl place in the unwrapped caramels and heavy cream or coffee creamer. Cook on high in 60 second intervals, stirring each time until smooth.
5.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the partially baked crust.  Pour the caramel sauce over and top with the remaining crust mixture.
6.  Bake for an additional 16-18 minutes or until golden brown and caramel is seeping out edges a bit.
7.  Let the bars cool completely {the caramel needs to harden up} before cutting into bars. Keep the bars at room temperature covered for freshness.