Gluten Free & Vegan Raspberry Bars

These raspberry bars are seriously a-ma-zing! They are gluten free and vegan and taste even better than their wheat and milk-filled counterparts. Even my gluten-lovin’ husband adores these, and that’s all the approval I need. Feel free to change the jam to whatever fruit you prefer, but the raspberry is absolutely delicious.

Makes: 16 Servings  |  Calories: 172 Per Bar  |  Total: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (like Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
3/4 – 1 cup raspberry jam

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8″ baking pan.
2. Combine brown sugar, flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.
3. Slowly mix in the butter until a crumbly dough forms.
4. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the baking pan. Spread jam evenly over the dough, stopping before the pan’s edge. Lightly press the remaining dough onto the top.
5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown. Cool completely.
6. Cut into 2 x 2 squares, serve and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Big Oven.

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Weekend in Abilene

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This past weekend we had the opportunity to spend some time back in Austin’s hometown: Abilene, TX. It was so great to see the whole family (even Nana and some of the Holley side were in town!) and spend some quality time together for the father-in-law’s birthday and before Austin’s little brother starts a new job. We even went to one of my all-time favorite restaurants (with seriously the best steak everrrr): Perini’s. If you’re ever in that area we whole-heartedly recommend you stop in there for a meal.

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Other than that, the weekend was pretty low key, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was nice to take a break from our daily schedules and switch things up a bit. Thanks for that, Abilene!

Perini's. The best steak of all time!!
Perini’s. The best steak of all time!!
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ya know, it’s just austin with a giant armadillo
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Night at the Drive-Ins

Last weekend, Austin and I had an amazing idea (if I do so say myself): a night at the drive-in movies! First off, I’m so glad these still exist, and of all the places in the world Midland, TX has one of the best drive-ins I’ve ever seen. Lucky for us!

We created our own little blanket fort in the back of Austin’s car, complete with pillows, popcorn, sodas, and of course cheeze-its for Austin (check out our supplies below). And we finally got a chance to use our picnic basket!! Which makes me unbelievable happy :)

We spent the night watching “Inside Out” (which was so good!) and just enjoying the summer night and each other’s company. Austin may have fallen asleep halfway through it, and I may have (happily) cried before the movie even started — I mean, come on, that short film at the beginning, “I Lava You”, was soo sweet — but I could not have wished for a better night with my man. Thank you, Midland!

our drive-in essentials

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(Healthy!) Cherry Limeade Water

This super healthy and insanely easy flavored water is a perfect summertime (or anytime) drink! Its got the same great flavor as the real thing but without any sugar or artificial ingredients. That means no more sugar comas or stomachaches from drinking cherry limeades all day. Win, win, win!

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The recipe below is for 6 servings. It will make a whole pitcher of this liquid gold! We like to keep the fruit in the pitcher and refill it as we go, then once the fruit is completely diluted we empty the pitcher and start again. The fruit itself will keep for 2 days (toss it after that). The flavored water will last for a week.

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Cherry Limeade Water

Makes: 6 Servings  |  Total: 5 Minutes

Ingredients

12 lime slices (approx. 2 limes)
24 fresh pitted cherries
2.5 qt water, filtered or sparkling

Directions

1. Pit cherries by cutting them in half lengthwise and discarding the pit.
2. Place fresh lime slices and cherries in a large pitcher. Add water.
3. Stir and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
4. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Notes

Store any leftovers in the fridge. Toss saturated fruit after 2 days.

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Lake LBJ

A few weeks ago, Austin and I took a much needed family vacation to lake LBJ near Austin, TX. It was so fun to get to see the whole Holley family and spend some precious days together. Here are some of our favorite moments from the weekend.

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