What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Apricot Oatmeal Squares

 
Apricots are the new prunes. They are small in size but big on nutrition.  They provide fiber along with Vitamins C and A, Beta-carotene, Potassium, Iron and anti-oxidants.   Apricots are sweet and delicious whether fresh, canned, or dried, and they make a smart choice for a healthy snack on their own .
Oatmeal is a healthy choice also so you can see where these Apricot Oatmeal Squares are just what the doctor ordered!

*If you prefer, you can use all white flour, real butter, and regular light brown sugar.

Ingredients...
For the filling:
  • 1 (13-ounce) jar apricot jam or preserves - (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
  • 8 to10 plump dried apricots, cut into small bits
For the crust (bottom and top):
  • 1 cup all purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend - packed (if you use regular light brown sugar make it 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 3/4 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts or Pecans
  • 1 cup melted Margarine
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Here's how you do it...

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Prepare a a 9x13x2" baking pan - grease with cooking spray, then line with parchment, and then spray again.
Prepare the Filling...
  1. Blend together the apricot preserves and dried apricot bits in a small bowl and set aside.
Prepare the Crust...
  1. Melt the margarine and set aside to cool.
  2. Using a fork in a large bowl, blend both flours, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda
  3. Then mix in the oats and chopped walnuts.
  4. Add the melted margarine, beaten egg, and vanilla and stir until evenly incorporated.
  5. Using your clean hands, gently press half of the crust mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Spread the filling mixture over the bottom crust layer almost to the edges. (A spatula will help you do this more evenly.)
  7. Top the filling with the remaining crust mixture and gently press down with clean hands.
  8. Bake approximately 30 minutes until slightly golden. 
  9. Cool on a rack and remove from pan before cutting into squares. 
Variations...
  • Leave out the cinnamon and add 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the crust mix.

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