I got the bestest cookbook in the mail the other day. The BESTEST! Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking from one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer McHenry at Bake or Break.
Jennifer and I have become friendly and I’ve got to say, she is awesome. She is so sweet. So helpful and so amazingly talented. I have been a huge fan of her site since like, forever. Her recipes are simple (and you know how I feel about simple recipes) and absolutely scrumptious.
I was beyond the moon excited when she asked me if I wanted to receive a copy of her book to try out. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I had already pre-ordered it but the fact that she wanted to share a copy with me made me swoon.
That being said, here’s the down and dirty tale of what’s been going down around here over the past few months, which I promise will bring you back full circle.
Kay, so we sold our house to a couple down the street. It just so happened that they wanted a bigger home and we wanted a smaller one. So, yup, you guessed it, we swapped. Isn’t that an HGTV show or something? Well, it should be.
So within a month we packed and moved. Two days after the move we left for a week at Disney that I had been planning for over a year. It was a bit stressful, I’ve got to tell but at least the stress of the actual move was behind us and I could go on my vacation without the thought of that looming over my head.
We had a wonderful vacation, but decided to come home a day early to get a jump on the week ahead. The upcoming week was going to be a bit stressful too.
Why you ask?
Well, the week before we moved, was the last week at my job. A job I had been at for over 20 years. I had been looking for something for almost two years and had almost given up when I was called for an interview. Then a second interview. Then an offer. Honestly, I was in shock. The timing of everything was crazy! New house, vacation and new job all in a 3 week period of time. These are three major life issues I was tackling all at once!
I know it was all positive and wonderful changes, but all at once was a bit much! Whilst this was all going on ( I love using the word whilst, don’t you?), there were technology issues. No phone, no voicemail, no email. As if that weren’t bad enough, I actually didn’t know I had these issues. I could receive emails but couldn’t respond to them. Which would’ve been ok (sort of, but not really) if I knew all the emails I was responding to were getting stuck in the outbox and never getting to anyone.
Which leads me back to Jennifer. Told you I’d get there.
Her publisher had reached out to me to send me a copy of her book before it went on sale. So I enthusiastically said “Oh my God YES! Absolutely! Without a doubt! Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! I can’t hardly wait! Here’s my new address!”
Then I was off to Disney, anxiously awaiting a package on my steps when I returned. But there was none *tear.
I didn’t hear from her, so I waited patiently (not) for my copy to come in the mail. I didn’t want to bug Jennifer, she was a busy new author, traveling and signing books and living in the spotlight and all.
I had ordered my own copy before Jennifer had asked to send me one, so at least I had my own copy to test out. And I certainly have been testing it out. Starting with these amazing Apple Crumb Bars. I really think I ate the entire batch myself. I’m a stress eater, what can I tell you and DANG they were yummy. So buttery and apple-y. And I got to use up a bunch of apples we had picked.
Because I love this book. And because Jennifer is so awesome. And because my life is starting to feel somewhat normal again. I’m going to share a copy of Jennifer’s book with one lucky reader.
Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway and it might be you!
And just to wet your whistle a little, here is the recipe for Apple Crumb Bars.
Apple Crumb Bars
For the Crust and Crumb Topping
2 1/2 c (300g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c (120g) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c (100g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (226g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
For the Filling
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped or sliced
1/2 c. (100g) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbls (28g) unsalted butter
2 tsp (5g) ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease a 9x13x2 inch baking pan.
To make the Crust and Crumb Topping
Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Add the butter, and mix with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture is combined and crumbly. It should hold together when pinched.
Reserve about a cup of the crust mixture for the topping. Press the remaining crust mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes and set aside.
To make the Filling
Place the apples, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a skillet and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is soft and bubbly.
Spread the filling evenly over the partially baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture over the top of the filling.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the edges and topping are golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before cutting into bars.