Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

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In January 2017, Daniel and I started leading a small group (aka ‘foundation group’) for young married couples. Every other week, we met to discuss the books we were reading and go through the corresponding homework, and on the in-between weeks, we just had fun watching movies or bowling or eating meals together. Sometimes we would all stay together, and sometimes the guys and girls would split and do their own thing.

During the very first girls-only night we had, Sheridan made what we now affectionately refer to as “THE chocolate chip cookies.” They were just regular old oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but something – be it coconut oil, fierce sugar cravings, or an act of God – transformed them into warm, gooey pieces of heaven. Some of the best cookies any of us had ever had.

Also, it was probably the *sweetness* of community that made them special…

……………………..eh?

……………see what I did there?

Anyway.

These cookies became, as Kendra so perfectly put it, our foundation group mascot. I think almost all of us have made them at one point or another, and every time I make them, I associate them with friendship and wonderful memories.

However.

Sometimes, you just don’t feel like shaping 37 individual cookies.

So you get lazy and make a bar version.

And they turn out to be flippin’ delicious.

CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL BARS

Prepare for a seriously emotional eating experience, because these are so good you might cry your guts out. 

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 20-25 MINUTES
YIELD: 15 BARS

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
2½ cups old-fashioned oats
1½ cups brown sugar
1¼ cups butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
2½ cups chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
  3. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add old-fashioned oats, then brown sugar.
  4. Melt butter and pour into the bowl. Mix for one minute.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until the dough is well-combined. It may be a little crumbly.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Press dough evenly into the prepared 9×13 pan.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Test by sticking a knife or toothpick in the center. When it comes out clean, the bars are done. They may look a little underdone, but that’s okay – they should! That keeps them nice and moist.
  10. Allow to cool before cutting into bars….or just eat them straight out of the oven. Whatever floats your boat.

Burnt tongue advisory: because you’ll probably eat the whole pan immediately. 

**Original recipe found here at Jamie Cooks It Up!

Listicle Series: 12 Reasons that Fall is My Favorite Season

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Darker nail polish colors.

Apple cider.

The early morning / late night chill in the air.

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Layers, like soft sweaters and leather jackets…yum!

Soup season.

Pumpkins on the front porch.

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Candy corn.

The leaves changing colors.

Bonfires, corn mazes, and hayrides.

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Boots, beanies, and scarves.

Friendsgiving.

The knowledge that there are only 11 Mondays until Christmas. ♥

New Listicle Series + 7 Places to Find Good Eats

In the last decade, the internet (arguably Buzzfeed, more than anyone else) has popularized the “listicle,” or an article that appears in the form of a list. According to research, lists help organize our brains and save us time by breaking information down into bite-size pieces. Plus, to be honest, they are fun to read and share because they are typically more conversational than a traditional “article” or blog post.

To be even more honest, I LOVE LISTS! I have wanted to do a list series for a long time, and I finally decided to just do it! My goal is to share at least two listicles per month through the rest of the year. I thought it might be a fun way to share a little more about myself, and I’d love topic ideas from the audience, so please feel free to ask questions or offer suggestions in the comments. In the meantime, to kick it off, here’s a list of my favorite restaurants (in no particular order) and what I usually order!


Restaurants

  1. Hopdoddy Burger Bar. The Goodnight is usually my go-to burger, but the real hero is the Parmesan Truffle Fries with truffle aioli. I kind of want to cry every time I eat them.
  2. Braum’s. Hands down, my absolute favorite chocolate ice cream to date.
  3. The original Ceviche in Durant. It’s since been bought out and turned into another Mexican place, but the old Ceviche from when Daniel and I first got married was AMAZING. I’m still mourning the fact that I can’t ever have that grilled chicken salad dressing or the chicken + black bean ravioli again. RIP, Ceviche. :(
  4. Torchy’s Tacos. Holy WOW is this place good. I’ve tried several tacos but I love the Trailer Park the most. The chips and green chili queso are BOMB. And the Lil’ Nookies are to die for – fried chocolate chip cookie dough, guys. *drool*
  5. Shake Shack. Their cheese fries and salted caramel shakes give me life.
  6. Roma Italian in Durant. Tbh, I’ve had better pasta other places (like Scarpetta in Las Vegas), but I have had actual cravings for Roma’s Alla Pana sauce. I love to dip their warm rolls in it, and the Chicken Alla Panna Pizza is my current go-to.
  7. Chick Fil A. Don’t roll your eyes; y’all already know this is my place. My order is the same literally every time: #1, no pickles, fries, and a gallon of Chick Fil A sauce. #theLordschicken #itismypleasuretoserveyou

There’s about 112 other places that I also love, ranging from hipster to fancy to kinda trashy (Barrio’s in OKC, Hideaway Pizza, Rick’s Chophouse, Chili’s, Kobe Express, Hula Hut, Chuy’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Asian Gourmet, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle), but I figured I’d better start small with my first list or people might quit reading. ;) More listicles coming soon!

Tell me two of your favorite spots: one local and one chain!