featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Note: This site uses Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Soon-to-be mystery debut author Debra Sennefelder has two constant writing companions: her Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy. She's been an avid reader since childhood and found writing came naturally for her. When she's not writing, she loves to cook, exercise (yes, really) and read. Learn more about Debra at her website

Oatmeal Raisin Bar Recipe
It's almost the end of the month. Can you believe it? January is flying by. Wasn't it just yesterday when we were about to ring in the New Year and made a list of our 2017 resolutions?  One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight, aka exercise more and/or eat healthier. Those are great goals, and to succeed we need tools that assist us rather than hinder us. One of the things I think we all struggle with is eating healthier because it's so easy to eat not-so-healthy. Grab-and-go is very tempting when you're tight on time. I know, been there, done that and got the larger sized t-shirt as a souvenir.

We struggle with time because our calendars are jammed packed with things to do—work, family, home, friends, volunteering, etc. Add to that a mostly sedentary lifestyle, kind of like writing. Yes, I sit a lot during the day at my desk. And as an added bonus of working from home, I can sneak off to the kitchen whenever my little heart desires. Another bonus to my job? I'm writing about a food blogger who is constantly cooking. That means I'm cooking too.

I've managed to create a fitness routine and most of my meals are healthy but it's the snacking that is the landmine. I used to reach for those protein bars and then those other "nice" bars (you know the ones I’m talking about) and various other bars for my mid-morning snack with a cup of tea. Then I got to a point where I realized some of those bars are just as bad as a candy bar. Go ahead, read some of those labels. And the other bars, while they have real foods in them (don't get me started on the ingredients that I can't pronounce in packaged foods), I found them to be held together by something gooey and sugary, and I didn't like the taste or texture. Ugh. So I now make my own bars. And today's recipe is an oatmeal raisin bar that is easy, fast and flexible. Best of all, you know exactly what you're putting into the bar.

This Oatmeal Raisin bar recipe is a go-to for me. When I'm in the mood for a little chocolate, I add a handful of chips to the batter. When I want to take the bars up a notch, I substitute the raisins with dried cherries and add in dark chocolate chips. If you like the bars as is but want an added kick of cinnamon, sprinkle in a little extra. You really can't do anything wrong to this recipe.

Oatmeal Raisin Bars
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose four
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8"x8"baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and combine until smooth. Spread the batter in prepared baking pan and bake approximately 25-30 minutes until the bars are cooked all the way through.

Let bars cool completely and then cut into individual portion sizes, as large or small as you wish.


cj petterson said...

Yep, as I read your post this morning, I was "thinking" about heading out the door to the fitness center, but your recipe caught my eye. I just happen to have a box of old fashioned oatmeal sitting there doing nothing. I have chocolate chips, too! Wow, what a great coincidence.

Thanks for the encouragement to get fit and for the wonderful-sounding recipe. It looks like a keeper to me.

Marilyn Johnston (aka cj)
PS: I'll make the cookies "after" I work out.

Debra said...

Hi Marilyn,

Talk about perfect timing! I hope you enjoy the bars. I just had one. :) I've also added in a scoop of vanilla protein powder to the mixture. The recipe is so flexible. Have a great workout!

Holly said...

Great recipe. I will substitute Truvia brown sugar blend (on diet and as rule don't use sugar as Hubs is diabetic) and won't go into raisins on one side of the bake for me. can't wait to bake!

Debra said...

Hi Holly, I hope you enjoy the bars. I think the substitution will work fine. Thanks for visiting today.

Angela Adams said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'm looking forward to trying these treats!

Debra said...

Hi Angela,

I hope you enjoy them.


Ellie said...

Those look delicious! I'm making these tomorrow to replace the too-sweet bars I just bought for my desk at work. Thanks!

Debra said...

Hi Ellie,

I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for visiting!