Monday, June 11, 2012

Simple Shortcut Recipes by Gooseberry Patch : Homemade Granola Bars Recipe, Cookbook Review & Giveaway! Ends 6/25

As early as I can remember, Gooseberry Patch cookbooks were a common sight in my mom's kitchen growing up. Something about the unique look of their cookbooks and delicious recipes has always intrigued me, and does to this day! When I received the opportunity to review one of their new cookbooks, Simple Shortcut Recipes, I jumped at the chance to check it out.

Simple Shortcut Recipes is a National Bestselling cookbook and features a hardcover with over 225 tried & true favorite recipes for "almost homemade" dishes. Most of these recipes call for an easy pre-made, store-bought ingredient such as a baking mix, pudding mix, refrigerated crescents rolls, cans of beans. Those are just a few examples and some are more natural choices than others. Let's face it, we're busy moms and easy meals save us from slaving away in the kitchen all day! Chapters include Beat-the-Clock Breakfasts, Simple Soups, Salads & Sandwiches, Fast-Fix Sides & Breads, Dinner Express, Oh-So-Easy Entertaining and Piece-of-Cake Desserts.
Convenience and prepared foods are not usually the healthiest or my first choice, but I did notice that canned beans, pasta, etc are the "easy" ingredient in some of the recipes. I don't find those ingredients to be on the highly processed end of the spectrum, and I use them frequently in recipes anyway! Even if you choose to soak your own dried beans or make your own pie crust for example, this cookbook will still work for you. I also found some recipes that were still easy but didn't require any very-processed ingredients at all. They were just short and simple, one-bowl recipes like the recipe I'll be sharing with you from this cookbook in a moment.

The recipe I decided to try first is the Granola Bars. I'm also really excited to check out the Corn & Avocado Salsa, Blueberry-banana Milkshake and tons of other recipes next! But for now, here's how my bars turned out, and the recipe so you can make your own!

Homemade Granola Bars Recipe

2 cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions: In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Press into a greased 9"x9" baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Score bars while still warm. Cool: store in an airtight container. Makes one dozen.

Alright, I confess! I didn't follow this recipe to a T. The reason being is that the one egg was not nearly enough to bind everything together! All I had was a big bowl of mostly dry ingredients. So, I went a bit nuts and added another egg, some clover honey, cinnamon, ground flax seed and chia seeds too. Overall they turned out pretty tasty, but they were more soft like a cookie in the middle instead of your traditional Quaker granola bars. Next time I'll probably add less oatmeal and even use a larger pan to keep the bars thinner and make them more crunchy. Buddy loved them so that's all that matters! :)

They are tons of wonderful recipes in this book. I also love the time-saving tips and tricks that are found at the bottom of each page. They aren't too short and silly, but rather helpful and smart kitchen tips. Since I only recently started cooking on a very regular basis, I can use all the help I can get! Even the seasoned cook would surely benefit from the recipes and tips in this cookbook.  

Since I recently started eating gluten-free (for at least the next month), there are lots of recipes I can't try, but some can be easily modified to suit my needs. The So-Simple Pumpkin Muffins recipe, for instance, is just a spice cake mix, water, and a can of pumpkin. I know I've seen a gluten-free spice cake mix at a health food store near me, and I'd just buy a can of organic pumpkin. Thankfully nowadays there are plenty of gluten-free options to choose from, so I'm sure I'll still be able to use this cookbook a lot!

This cookbook is fantastic overall and is definitely a must-have for the inexperienced or pros just the same. Bound with a signature binding and unique county-style artistry, Gooseberry Patch cookbooks are a classic and will always be found in my kitchen for years to come.

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Price: Simple Shortcut Recipes - $16.95

Buy It: Check out the store locator to find a location that carries Gooseberry Patch cookbooks near you or just order from!
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One winner will receive will receive the same cookbook I reviewed, Simple Shortcut Recipes!

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Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product(s) to facilitate this review for free. No other compensation was received. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.


suburban prep said...

I would like the Gooseberry Patch Christmas Book 10 Craftbook

Brittney said...

I would like the Fresh from the Farmstand Cookbook

apple blossom said...

101 casseroles

Connie said...

I would love the Gooseberry Patch Christmas #14

carpediem5790 said...

I would like to see The Christmas
table and the Thanksiving Table. They look like best of Gooseberry Patch Holidays yet, arlene Marie Pitts

Stephanie H. said...

I would like to try Quick & Easy Family Recipe Country Kitchen Cookbook - Busy Moms Save Time Tips

Maggie said...

ALL of the Christmas ones...and the Fall ones, my favorite time of the year!!

Jane said...

Simple Shortcuts

sherylssg said...

I would love to add Sunday Dinner at Grandma's to my collection of Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.

sflickinger at rocketmail dot com

deb c said...

I'd like to try the Gooseberry Patch Cake Mix Recipe Cookbook.

SueZH said...

It would be fun to have the canning & preserving cookbook

Paul T / Pauline T said...

I like to try the Asian Chicken Wings - emscout9 at Hotmail dot com