Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ticking One Off My Bucket List: Sour Cherry Rhubarb Bars . . . and a Giveaway!

I believe everyone has a bucket list of sorts. Some people’s lists may contain such lofty goals as climbing Mt. Everest or snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, while other's lists may be a bit more humble. My own main list does contain a hike to Machu Picchu and visiting Gauguin’s grave, but I also have a smaller food driven list that I am starting to work on slowly.

It may sound kind of insignificant to someone who doesn’t really love to cook, but I am starting to use ingredients that I have heard of my whole life, but up until now have snubbed for one reason or another. For instance, as much as I cook I have never stuffed a squash blossom, sautéed an oyster or cooked a sweetbread. I’m not too sure if I really want to sauté an oyster or cook a sweetbread, but there they are on the bottom of my list. I did eat a raw oyster once when I was a squeamish eighteen year old and had a bit of a chicken fried calf testicle when I was two months pregnant and sick at the sight of pretty much anything. If I dwell on these experiences for too long I can still gag a little bit. . . peer pressure don’t cha know. Thank goodness I can check those two off my list.

Last week I had an occasion to cook with one of my bucket list ingredients when my neighbor brought over a bundle of rhubarb a friend had given her. I have grown up hearing about strawberry rhubarb pie my whole life but have always been put off a bit by rhubarb's celery appearance, the unappetizing name and a rumor I heard a long time ago that it is poison in its raw state.  Well, come to find out, the leaves in super great quantities that no one would really eat, have been known to make goats sick or something like that.

Knowing that this was my chance to tick one off my list I accepted her gift and went to work. I challenged myself to make something a little different than the usual strawberry rhubarb pie. I dug through my pretty well stocked pantry and came up with some sour cherry preserves which were given to me by another neighbor. I combined the two with some other ingredients I had hanging around and the result is a really great recipe if I do say so myself. Not only have I now come one ingredient closer to dying a happy cook, I understand what all the hoopla is surrounding this odd looking vegetable. So if you’re like me and haven’t cooked with rhubarb, or even if you have, give this recipe a try and I guarantee it won’t be your last time.





Sour Cherry Rhubarb Bars

2 ounces coarsely chopped almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sour cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small frying pan set over medium high heat, toast almonds (stirring frequently) until they are a golden brown; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the almonds, flour, oatmeal, butter and brown sugar; stir well to combine completely. Press half of the mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased 9” square glass dish; set aside.

In a medium size sauce pan, cook water, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla over medium heat until it boils. Lower heat to simmer and cook until it thickens. Add rhubarb and preserves and cook until the preserves are completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and gently pour over the oatmeal mixture in the pan. Place pan into the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture evenly over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking for an additional 20 – 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cover with foil if it begins to brown too much. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. The longer it cools, the better it sets.

Serve warm with ice cream or at room temperature.

Serves 8

Since I haven’t done a giveaway in a very long time, I thought it would be fun to do something a little bit different this time to say thanks to my followers. To enter just leave me a comment between now and June 10th stating what food is on your bucket list and you could win a $50 Williams Sonoma gift card. If you dance naked around a camp fire chanting my blog name you get an additional entry. No, just kidding, one entry per person please, and YOU MUST BE A PUBLIC FOLLOWER OF THIS BLOG TO WIN. On the morning of June 10, just before high noon, I’ll let Random.org choose my winner so thanks for playing and good luck!

113 comments:

Angela FRS said...

Oh, I love rhubarb! Glad you finally got to try it. My food bucket list would have to start with ramps. I have heard so much about them but have never had an opportunity to try them. Oh, and even though it won't get me another entry, I still plan to dance naked around a campfire while chanting your blog...sounds like fun :)

megan said...

Engagement chicken (and hope it works!) :)

Yenta Mary said...

I absolutely adore rhubarb, both sweet and savory, and am surprised that you -- adventurous woman! -- hadn't ever cooked with it before ... the things I learn from reading! The bars look absolutely luscious, by the way.

My bucket list ... hmmm. I've never made arancini, I'd like to develop even the most remedial skill at cake decorating (I can't even manage "Decorating for Dummies"), and I would like to eat my way through the pasty shops of Vienna ....

Carole said...

Since I have only decided that I like rhubarb, anything rhubarb is on my bucket list. Too bad that the rhubarb season is so short,

Amy said...

I'm a rhubarb virgin too. I think one food that's on my bucket list is a pattypan squash (did I even spellt hat right?). My MIL makes them on the grill all the time and loves them, but it just seems weird to me to eat a whole squash like that.

Amy @ A Little Nosh

Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

Oysters? Yes. Raw oysters? No. Testicles of any nature will never be on my bucket list either, thanks. But rhubarb I could do. I should have done actually. Had this weird plant in my yard that was ugly; spent three years before I finally got rid of it. Want to guess what it was? Yep, rhubarb.

Of course now I wish it was there; I've got the berries and I know it's supposed to be the bomb. I'll just vicariously through you!

laurie lufkin said...

I would have to say making my own puff pastry....and I bet I will get to do it sooner than later!

muellersblog said...

Karen...so glad you found such a yummy way to use the rubarb...and thanks for sharing some of it with us! I just may have to ask my friend if she has more rubarb to share!
Food bucket list, uh? I'm thinking liver and onions.

Amber said...

I publicly follow your blog with google friend connect as Amber and Chinese crispy fried duck is on my bucket list!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

jazz33 said...

beets are on my bucket list

Andrea @ ForkFingersChopsticks said...

I've liked rhubarb since I was a kid. We had it in our backyard and would snack on the long stalks with a little salt. It was of course very sour/tart and watching each other's facial expressions while we bit off each bite was priceless.

Bucket list ingredients include: -Huitlacoche (corn smut or corn fungus). It's hard to come by and a delicacy likened to a truffle of sorts. I've got my feelers out with gardeners growing corn this season.
-Durian fruit. It's on the list of stinkiest foods, but I'd be willing to try some, although Andrew Zimmern couldn't stomach it.
-Something less exotic but on my bucket list of things to make is home-made chorizo and to learn how to make nixtamal from my papa - the fresh ground cornmeal that is the base for tamales and corn tortillas.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, Thanks for a new rhubarb recipe! We love rhubarb at our house. I have been eating it since I was a little girl. It is so delicious.
I have to think about what would be on my bucket list. Probably making my own sausage, yes, I would like that a lot.

Super Frugalette said...

Buddah Fingers...I saw it on Chopped, then I saw it in my local grocery store and was so intrigued

clc408 said...

Following on gfc (clc408)
I adore rhubarb. I used to grow it in my garden until I moved to a wooded area.

I'd love to master Pad Thai noodles. Mine never turn out like the restaurant kind.

Craig said...

Hi Karen... I can't believe this is your first time with rhubarb! These look lovely! We're big fans of rhubarb over here at Chez Boris.

sweepmom said...

I would love to be able to cook beef (any kind) that melts in your mouth instead of being chewy like rubber.

Lea Ann said...

I've never cooked with rhubarb. I think my mom used to make rhubarb pie and I'd turn my nose up ... I'm sure for no reason. Is your blog format larger? I like it. Also, those photos are looking really good Karen.

crystalf said...

I'm a google follower! crystalf
I would have to say sushi is on my bucket list. Thank you!
crystalfaulkner2000 at yahoo dot com

Cranberry Morning said...

These bars sound amazing. My rhubarb is just right to pick. I've never put cherries with it. My daughter made a rhubarb-apple crisp last night. I better get out there and pick rhubarb! Thanks for the recipe. :-)

hale2005 said...

Porterhouse steak and lobster is on my bucket list.

hellrzr(at)juno(dot)com

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

Looks yummy...want to master breads..i have tried and tried

Cindy said...

Great recipe! I love rhubarb! I'd have to say that crab is on my bucket list.
Dove056 at aol dot com

PAIGE said...

Chocolate Bread Pudding. Drool.
elysesw@aol.com

Jenn S. said...

Sounds yummy! Baby Pink Abalone is on my bucket list.
jas8929 at gmail dot com

Sharon Harmon said...

My food Bucket List has Hooter's 3-Mile Island Hot Wings at the top! ;)
Clownscrytoo@gmail.com

Tina12312 said...

Thai food is on my bucket list of food and I intend to try it this summer!

I was considering dancing naked around a camp fire chanting your blog name for an extra entry :)

hbbs55 said...

your reciepe sounds yummy,I have so much rhubarb I think I will give a try. I don't have sour cherry, but I will try another preserve.
My bucket list food, hmm... quinoa. the power grain!

buzzd said...

red velvet cake...I so want to be able to make that

Maggie said...

I would like to successfully like to make homemade bread from scratch

Mary said...

Karen, the bar cookies look amazing and beg to be tried. I've put them on my to-do list. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

mickeyfan said...

I have my own rhubarb patch, and have recently started cooking asparagus in fun ways (LOVE it grilled). Have been known to down a Rocky mtn oyster (or calf testicle to you). One thing I have never cooked, but will someday is artichoke!

Vickie said...

Those bars look amazing - I have no sense of adventure when it comes to baking, but I'm beginning to try a little here and there. I'm so impressed that you created this recipe - wow!
As for my bucket list food . . . how about an authentic chewy slice of pizza eaten at a sidewalk cafe in Italy. :) I'd add being accompanied by a swarthy Italian dude, but my husband would probably balk. ;-)

Karen Harris said...

angiehoffman@gmail.com posted pomegranate on previous post

Adina Neufeld said...

First of all, I love these plates! Secondly, what a fabulous recipe! I am going to try them as soon as I figure out where to buy rhubarb!! Can't wait to try!

jzagarjr said...

I've never had anything made of rhubarb so I'll add that to my list.

Scott said...

My bbucket list food is my mom's fried chicken! THANKS for the AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!!

Scott Martin
@dasasc1971
spmartin122@gmail.com

llinda29 said...

Rhubarb is theanswer but I really want king crab legs

coliebear said...

I want to try tiramisu in Italy.
lenz.nicole(at)gmail(dot)com

Jolene said...

kale is on my bucket list

rsbryswrrl said...

Durian fruit.

rsbryswrrl at gmail dot com

Sara @ Saucy Dipper said...

Karen - Your dishes are beautiful! And that cherry rhubarb bar looks pretty too.

When I was growing up my mom had rhubarb in the garden and I never really liked it. Too bitter or something. However, it's so popular this year I'm seeing it everywhere and have indulged a couple times already. And...I liked it!

As for my bucket list food...it's not too specific, but I want/need to cook more fish. It's healthy, it's tasty, but I just don't know what to do with it. One day I'll learn...

Carole said...

Love rhubarb. Hopefully this weekend if its not too hot to turn the oven on

DaniD said...

Karen, great blog today :) You know I made your pasta recipe but I really would like to master the art of pasta making!!! It was SO hard, and I'm sure you get better at it the more you do it. Pasta it is for me :)

Mysharona said...

I want t try that blowfish that can kill you if cut wrong.

Pat said...

Couscous is on my bucket list and I actually plan on making some this evening. Hope it turns out good because it looks so easy to make.

pbabcock2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

wcc said...

I'm a blog follower via GFC. On my bucket list of foods: making my own sushi. Thanks for the chance! :)
whitechocolatecherries at gmail.com

Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet said...

I've never cooked with rhubarb either and will definitely be putting it on my bucket list! The bars look great!

Anonymous said...

First off, I follow you publicly via GFC (Cataroo)!

One of the foods on by bucket list is -- brains. Yes, brains! I watch Anthony Bourdain on TV and he is ALWAYS singing the praises of just how good they are. And yet, I just can't bring myself to try them. But I will .... someday!
kitty32504 at cox dot net

cjbstar said...

Make my own pie crusts. Thanks for the giveaway.

Topher said...

Bone marrow is on my list. Thanks.


Chris M.

zekks at yahoo dot com

judyharms said...

Karen,
This is my first visit, of MANY more, to your blog. The avocado toast and watermelon margaritas are both on my bucket list as perfect summer "front porch" foods.

THANKS
Judy

judyharms said...

Karen,
This is my first visit, of MANY more, to your blog. The avocado toast and watermelon margaritas are both on my bucket list as perfect summer "front porch" foods.

THANKS
Judy

judyharms said...

Karen,
This is my first visit, of MANY more, to your blog. The avocado toast and watermelon margaritas are both on my bucket list as perfect summer "front porch" foods.

THANKS
Judy

AubreyLaine said...

Making cannolis is on my bucket list :)I am a follower.
littlegray88@yahoo.com

Sharon said...

Caviar is on my bucket list. I think. :)

I'm a current follower.

ferriz said...

I think goose is on my bucket list. Want to learn to cookie it, want to actually try it.

gfc: ferriz

ferriza2(at)yahoo(dot)com

msrodeobrat said...

creme brulee..i really want to try making it
addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com

Midwest to Midlands said...

Those bars look really good, will have to try that recipe soon when we have more rhubarb.
Bucket list food? Pasta,made and eaten in Italy.

guettel78 said...

Those bars look delicious - definitely a perfect use of rhubarb! I have always shied away from seafood, so I'd have to say my bucket list would include swordfish and lobster, two things I must try one of these days just to have the experience of them.

gkaufmanss@yahoo.com

Laura said...

Those bars look amazing...I love strawberry rhubarb but never tried it with cherry...looks good though. On my bucket list to cook is ribs and brisket. I'm generally more of a poultry or fish gal but it would be nice to be able to cook them every once in awhile. On my bucket list just to try (not to cook) is Turducken...the idea of stuffing a duck and chicken into a turkey impresses me.

bookloon at gmail dot com

agatewood1 said...

Sushi yes I have never tried sushi to scared too lol!

Brittney said...

stuffed mushrooms. i eat them out but i've never attempted them at home.
brittneydejajason at gmail dot com

Debbie C said...

Rhubarb is not on my bucket list. I had it as a kid and never took to it. One food on my bucket list is fresh lobster served on the beach. I want to enjoy it in a real New England style.

dchrisg3 @ gmail . com

terri142 said...

I would love to make great jumbalya.

tderosa142 at gmail dot com

Lissa said...

I follow you on GFC. I would say lobster is on my bucket list.

LissaLucky@gmail.com

http://www.winforfun.blogspot.com

Patricia said...

I know this sounds odd but I've always wanted to try Haggis, I've heard you love it or hate it. The only thing is I want to try it made the traditional Scottish way not just take a bite by itself.
:)
patriciachirp(at)yahoo(dot)com
(also follow on GFC)

Julieh said...

My bucket list would have to include death by chocolate.honeypie411 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Erin Tkatschenko

My dad built an outdoor stone oven, and I would like to make homemade French bread in it someday.

lunabutterfly79@yahoo.com

Nancy said...

My food bucket list includes a lot of specific regional favorites like New York Pizza, Chicago dogs, Philly cheesesteak, etc.

nancymeyer1 at gmail dot com

Hotsnotty2 said...

Tofu is on my bucket list, I haven't found the courage to try it yet.... Thanks for the chance!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

mail4rosey said...

Pizza in Naples, Italy is on my bucket list. I've heard it's the best in the world.

msurosey@yahoo.com

Chip said...

Mussels are on my bucket list
chipdip2010(at)hotmail(dot)com

April said...

cooking lobster

cennywenny said...

My rhubarb is out of control, please come take some because I can't cook it all!

I have to say, lobster bisque is definitely on my "bucket list" of recipes.

Allison said...

Duck or rabbit are on my list

Aisling said...

This may not sound very adventurous, but I've never made fried green tomatoes and plan to do so one of these days. I do love rhubarb and have cooked with it on many occasions. mcgillrmcgill(at)charter(dot)net

Erin E said...

eel is on my bucket list. I follow you via Google Friend Connect (Erin E). Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!
sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

kolpin said...

i think blowfish would be interesting.

i became an email follower, since gfc is down. happy to join when it's back up!

email subscriber kolpin4680 at gmail dot com

dgtwight said...

Lobster is on my bucket list!
dgtwight at sbcglobal dot net

AEKZ2 said...

Boston Cream Pie Cake-- it's my favorite.

annettekz2@yahoo.com

Misty said...

I've been wanting to make "made from scratch" Tiramisu, my favorite sweet treat, for a loooong time, but always ends up buying from somewhere....;)

Jinxy and Me said...

Pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin is on my list.

nesta 67 {at} live dot com

EmmaPeel said...

okra I'm saying!

rosannepm said...

Butternut squash. Tried to follow on GFC-rossannepm but there is no connect site on the blogger profile
rosans4@comcast.net

slehan said...

GFC: slehan
I want to have truffles. Or a dish cooked with them.
Thanks for the contest.

Gianna said...

Buffalo burgers!

brianpiero said...

Thanks for the giveaway...a food on our bucket list to prepare at home is a Lemon Meringue Pie; my wife & I are intimidated by whipping the egg whites !

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

brianpiero said...

Oops, I forgot: GFC Follower: Brian E.

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

Erica C. said...

I'd like to eat a whole bushel of crabs for my bucket list.

Diane52 said...

Yummy is the one word to describe your blog- Thank you for the discussion on rhubarb. i remember growing and baking it as a child. I attempted a strawberry/rhubarb pie last year. It was a lot of work and didn't taste very good.
Thank you,
Diane Baum
esldiane@gmail.com
You'll find me swaying under the stars

Mom2anutball said...

GFC follower (mom2anutball)
I'd love to master Carrot Cake the way that my grandma used to... it was amazing!

Thanks!

fineinsanity (at) live (dot) com

Anonymous said...

bluberries ty.
vivianbl@olg.com

clynsg said...

Follower via GFC, and my bucket list food is to find a recipe for Apple Tapioca to match what my mother used to make. I don't know if she knew it well enough not to have it written down or what, but I have never been able to find it!

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

carolpie said...

Would love to enter but your GFC box not working-so cannot.

susan1215 said...

follow via GFC and I'd say lobster would have to be on my bucket list.

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susansmoaks said...

lobster is on my bucket list, i've never had it
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Becky said...

On my bucket list is snails I guess...

Chisum Crew said...

I have never tried rhubarb...I'd love to try this though and will add it to my bucket list along with rustic apple pie. trinitygsd at yahoo do tocm

Deadmonkeys90 said...

sweet rice, mmm
deadmonkeys90@yahoo.com

shelley said...

Any kind of Mexican Food is on my bucket list!!

shelleymikey at gmail dot com

purango said...

Pulled pork BBQ is on my bucket list. garrettsambo@aol.com

/\Heather/\ said...

I think I follow as /\Heather/\ but the application is not working!
Anyway, I can't wait to try that recipe. Looks awesome!
I've tried lots of different foods in my life, but I guess I haven't tried that very fine balsamic vinegar that's aged until it's sweet enough to put on ice cream! That tops my food bucket list.
heatherpooh (hotmail)

dvice12 said...

The food on my list is chocolate mousse

Tracey said...

I've never tried lobster before but I'd like to.
traymona[at]aol.com

carolpie said...

Could you please delete my previous comment because now I can finally follow-yay! That feature has been down for me for days and now it works!
carol lewis-follower.

I love Alaskan King Crab. Oh man, those legs with butter! Heaven!
spencer1953 at gmail dot com.

Barbarawr said...

I thought about this for a long time because I'm a really picky eater and have no interest in trying anything new. But if I HAD to try something new, it would be Thai food. There seem to be a lot of thai restaurants around these days, so maybe I'm missing something :-)

Email address is in blogger profile

Ardy22 said...

one thing on my list would be bison steaks

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

liliesrnice said...

my bucket list is pasta with truffles. one day i'll be able to afford it!!

fluerdelyis said...

I have been following on gfc as Chris and My food bucket list would be to eat Lobster.
thanks
Chris
treehouse.queen18 (at yahoo dot com)

Atreau said...

I want to master making homemade bread.

kakihara said...

I dream of having a kitchen Aid mixer--so I can get the pasta attachment and make my own pasta from scratch--some day. Now you tell me after I've been dancing naked chanting for the last hour--I guess I should have kept reading!!
kakihararocks@gmail.com

NICOLE said...

My bucket list is veal scalopine

Katie said...

Strawberry shortcake and homemade ice cream is on my food bucket list
katielynnmitchell@gmail.com