October 26, 2012

Bill & Mary's Oatty Bar Recipe

We developed this recipe as a great snack (or even meal) while riding our bikes or hiking.  They're simple and easy to make, taste great, and they follow our lifestyle diet.  They're Whole Food, Plant Based, with no added fat or sweeteners.

  • 4 - Ripe Bananas - mashed
  • 1 Cup - Fruit Puree - e.g. mashed ripe pears, Unsweetened Apple Sauce, etc. your choice.
  • 2 Cups - Blueberries - frozen is fine.
  • 1 Cup - Chopped, Toasted Raw Almonds
  • 1+ T - Vanilla Extract
  • 1+ T - Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp - Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp - Kosher Salt (optional for hot days)
  • 6 Cups - "Old Fashioned Oatmeal" - the 5 minute kind, NOT instant.
  • ¾ to 1½ - Cup Water (optional if mix is too dry)
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Combine bananas and fruit puree and mix to combine.  You can use a potato masher if starting with whole ripe fruit.
  • Add the Blueberries, Almonds, and Seasonings and mix to combine.
  • Add the Oatmeal and mix to combine.
  • At this point the mixture should be very moist, but not wet.  If too dry, add water and continue mixing.
  • Pour mixture into an 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish lined with Parchment paper We don't use any oil or spray - you don't need to do anything fancy with the parchment, a wrinkle won't hurt, we just push it down into the pan, make sure that the parchment extends above all 4 sides of the pan.  You can use a bigger baking disk if you like a thinner, chewier bar.  
  • Distribute the mixture to an even thickness and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 F.  It's done when the center of the pan is firm.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely.  We generally leave the pan on a cooling rack for about half an hour, then lift the contents out by the parchment and place on a cooling rack.  After another hour or so, we flip the bars onto the other side and peel off the parchment.
  • When cooled to room temperature, you can cut the bars with a sharp knife. We generally cut in half and then in half again, each way to make 16 bars. If the middle four are still too moist to hold together, pop those back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 350.
  • Too Dry - next time add more fruit puree and/or cut down baking time (but don't go under 30 minutes)
  • Too Wet - pop back in the oven at 350 F.  Next time, increase cooking time or cut down on fruit puree and/or water.
  • Think it needs something else?  Try a little ground clove or other spices. This also pretty much works with any ripe fruit or fruit puree.
Let us know what you think and if these work for you!

Bill and Mary

June 13, 2012

Memo’s (Bill’s) Pancakes

We developed this recipe a few years back when we changed our lifestyle diet (see: Our Lifestyle Diet). It was so good, we got it on the menu at that Vallarta Yacht Club. It has no added fat or sweetener and no artificial ingredients.

This recipe can be used to make either Waffles or pancakes can be frozen and reheated in the oven, microwave, or toaster. When used for pancakes, it is especially tasty when you add small berries (blueberries, Marionberries, raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, etc.) to the mix.


  • 1 - Very ripe Pear, Peach or Banana, mashed (or about 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce if you don't have ripe fruit) 
  • 2 Cup - Water 
  • ½ Cup - Uncooked Rolled Oats (5 minute Oatmeal, not instant) 
  • 1½ Cup - Whole wheat flour 
  • 2 tsp - Baking powder 
  • 1 tsp - Cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp - Nutmeg 
  • ½ tsp - Vanilla extract to taste (optional) 

Mix together the mashed fruit and water. Add dry ingredients and mix, leaving lumps in the batter.


Cook on a waffle iron, according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Pour ½
 Cup of batter into a hot, nonstick pan (you may need a quick shot of a nonstick on the pan spray). 

When bubbles rise through the middle of the pancake and break on the top, flip the pancake and cook until browned underneath. (Note: Test the pan before cooking the pancakes by throwing a few drops of water onto it. If the water jumps around and then disappears, the pan is at the correct temperature.)

Top with more fruit, or preserves.

We warm some blueberries (frozen is ok) in a pot and make a quick compote. Great with coffee.

This recipe takes less than five minutes to prepare, not including cooking time.

You must leave lumps in the batter. Waffle or pancake batter which is too smooth will spread out very thin on the waffle iron or pan, and the result will be a rubbery, tough cake as you will have mixed enough to develop the Gluten in the flour.

The batter doesn't freeze well but can be refrigerated for a short time. Waffles can be made in large quantities and frozen for future use; this is a good option if your waffle iron is small!

Pancake suggestion: Put small slices of Pear, Apple or banana onto the top of each pancake before flipping, and dribble a small amount of batter onto the pieces of fruit. Finish cooking the pancake according to the recipe.

As shown, recipe makes roughly four waffles; the number of pancakes will vary according to size.

June 11, 2012

Annoying Malware Infecting Yahoo, AOL, & Microsoft Email Accounts

There's an annoying bit of Malware that's been going around for over a year now that affects Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft email accounts. If you get a very short email from someone only a link and possibly a bit of text saying something like "Wow, you've got to see this".  When you get such a message - DON'T CLICK THE LINK! 

It is a nasty bit of Malware - apparently built into a bit of Javascript - that sends messages to everyone in your online address book to propagate itself by sending out the infection email to your contacts. It also affects folks on Service Providers that use Yahoo as their infrastructure: e.g. sbcglobal, att, etc.

I receive dozens of these emails (from different people) a week. Basically, I recommend that the infected parties:

  1. Change their email password
  2. Do a deep anti-virus/malware scan of the computer you were on when you clicked this link. If you don't have a good anti-virus scanner, I recommend the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It's available at: http://filehippo.com/download_malwarebytes_anti_malware/
  3. Clean out your browser cache, cookies, and history. The easiest way to do that on an ongoing basis is to use CCleaner on a regular basis. It's free and available at: http://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/
  4. Don't click on any links like this in the future. Beware of any message that doesn't contain some personalization to convince you that it actually came from a real person and not a Malware robot. To be extra safe, I recommend that you install "Web of Trust". It's free and available at: http://www.mywot.com - It's no substitute though for "safe surfing" practices - avoid promiscuous link clicking and attachment opening!
  5. (Optional, but nice) Send an apology to the folks in your address book.
  6. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Switch to a safer email provider. I recommend Google's Gmail. AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and their supported domains are highly insecure and are prone to break-ins. Gmail is a lot more secure, faster, safer, and still free. Easy to switch to and use, but has a lot more features. You can set a "Forward" in your old account's options so all your new mail will be forwarded - so you can take your time letting your contacts know about your new email address.
If you'd like more info, let me know :-)