Recipe: Raspberry Oat Bars

Raspberry Oat Bars

I am usually in the mood for chocolate; a square of chocolate as a sweet ending to a meal, chocolate cake to celebrate, a little Nutella on my waffle, etc.  But I also love a fruity dessert.  Not really sure what puts me in the mood for one or the other, although when I’m feeling blue, I’d say chocolate always takes the spotlight.

Raspberry Oat Bars

This time, though, I was in the mood for an easy fruity dessert – something I could make on the spur of the moment without a trip to the store.  These Raspberry Oat Bars easily fit that bill.  I love the fruit filling sandwiched between two layers of slightly sweet, buttery oat cookie.  The raspberry jam really has the leading role here and provides the most sweetness.  If you prefer, try a different fruit preserve….any of your choosing.  I tend to like something with just a hint of tartness in this recipe – raspberry and apricot are both great!

Raspberry Oat Bars Ice Cream

One thing I absolutely love about these bars is you can eat them as a bar cookie and you can also eat them warmed up with a scoop of ice cream (and maybe a drizzle of raspberry syrup..or even chocolate)…it’s almost like having a fruit crisp.

Raspberry Oat Bars
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 12-16 bars
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 14 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces & softened (1¾ sticks)
  • 1⅓ cups raspberry jam (seedless preferred), warmed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, extending up above the pan as handles.
  2. Mix all ingredients except the jam together until evenly combined. The dough will be lumpy. Press half into the bottom of the pan. Spread evenly with warm raspberry jam.
  3. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over the top of jam and press lightly into an even layer covering jam.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly brown. Cool in the pan; then remove with parchment handles and cut into squares.

Average Fork Rating: 3.5

Mrs. Diner: 3.5
Sweet Diner:

Restaurant Review: HuHot Mongolian Grill


“HuHot!” – what?!  I know…I keep asking myself the same thing.  It’s the name of the latest Mongolian barbecue restaurant here in Utah.  The Spanish Fork location opened in 2013.  And while you’re there, you’ll unfortunately hear the name called out over and over as the “grill warriors” saute food.  Not sure if they call it out when a tip is put in their jar or just for fun (or annoyance).  Anyway, no matter the name, our family loves Mongolian BBQ and we’ve gone to HuHot Mongolian Grill a couple of times now (especially since Mongo’s went out of business).


If you’re not familiar with Mongolian BBQ, it’s a style of restaurant where customers create their own stirfry by loading up their bowls with all sorts of raw vegetables, meats, noodles, sauces, and more.  Then they hand it over to a chef who sautes it on a large open griddle.  The creation can be utterly delicious or a complete disaster, both of which can be attributed mostly to the customer.  If you like Asian food, Mongolian barbecue really can satisfy a lot of different diners:  creative foodies can try interesting combinations, picky eaters can control exactly what goes in their dish, kid think it’s fun, and hungry eaters can have their fill.


At HuHot, a host will seat you and a server will come to take your order.  They do have a menu with appetizers, desserts, soups, and entrees if you don’t want to create your own.  Plus, they have the awesomeness that is the Coke Freestyle machine ($2.59 for a “Freestyle Soda”)!  I only wish it were self-serve; here the server gives you a laminated page with all the options and you place the order.


Of course, we go for the do-it-yourself, all-you-can-eat Mongolian barbecue ($12.99 for adults, $4.99 for kids 10-12 – great price for a hungry 12-year-old boy!, $2.99 for kids 4-9, free for kids under 4) every time, which is served with rice and a choice of soup (Egg Drop or Hot & Sour) or salad (.  There is a nice variety of ingredients including catfish, mussels, two kinds of sausage, asparagus, green beans, edamame, bok choy, and more…also lots of sauces (and sauce combination recipes, which I love, too).


I absolutely love that they have recipe cards available at the front of the ingredient line so if you don’t know what to add to your bowl or are wondering how to make a specific creation (Broccoli Beef, anyone?).  They have them sorted into categories so if you’re looking for something specifically vegetarian, low-calorie, etc., it’s easy to find.

Egg Rolls  ($4.99  for 4)- Crisp & hot, served with sweet and sour sauce.  These were good, but not outstanding.


Egg Drop Soup (included with Mongolian BBQ) – Egg and a bit of carrot in a very weak broth.  Skip it.


Hot & Sour Soup (included with Mongolian BBQ) – More flavor than the egg drop soup, but still not great.  If you want soup, go with this one, though.


Mongolian Barbecue Plate #1 – Prepared well; everything was cooked well without overcooked vegetables or burnt noodles.  See those peanuts?  They have a topping bar to jazz it up after your food is cooked!


Mongolian Barbecue Plate #2 – Yes, they have potatoes.  This was a green curry-flavored plate, which was decent, but nothing to compare to real curry dishes.

There aren’t a lot of choices for Mongolian Barbecue in Utah County, but this is our current #1.  There are a lot of choices for ingredients and sauces, they provide recipes for those who want them, the place is clean, and the food was prepared pretty well.  The “Grill Masters” rotate rhythmically around the griddle, turning and plating food.  They seem to be fairly conscious of cutting up most of the too-large pieces, flipping meat, and even discarding fatty pieces or ones that are otherwise unsatisfactory.  Downsides:  the prices are a bit steep for what you get (so was Mongo’s), the service is lack-luster, and hearing “HuHot!” over and over can get a little annoying.

HuHot Mongolian Grill
693 North 920 East
Spanish Fork, UT

Entree Price:  $$
Average Fork Rating: 3.6

Mr. Diner:
Mrs. Diner:
Amazing Diner:
Sweet Diner:
Little Diner:

HuHot Mongolian Grill on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Norwegian Waffles (Norske Vafler)

This post contains affiliate links.


Waffles have become a favorite dessert, breakfast, snack, etc. here over the last few years.  It’s typically a fluffy Belgian waffle loaded with toppings or a sugary Liege waffle (oh, I love those bites of pearl sugar!) that are served from a stand, a food truck, or at a restaurant table.  I’d love to introduce you to a new waffle to love:  the Norwegian waffle.

When I was growing up, I was always excited for our special Christmas morning breakfast of Norske Vafler (and actually they are still our Christmas morning tradition), but these heart-shaped waffles are also perfect for Valentines Day or any day!


Norwegian waffles are soft and tender – and foldable, which makes them perfect for eating in the traditional Norwegian way – by hand!  I love picking up a single heart-shaped waffle section, spreading it with jam, folding it in half, and taking a soft-sweet bite.  Yep, that’s the way to eat these waffles:  spread with something delicious and popped into your mouth.  We’ve traditionally spread them with jams and jellies, but peanut butter, Nutella, and any other spreadable concoction would also be delicious.  My husband isn’t a jam-lover, so he dips his in syrup (buttermilk syrup, preferably), which is also delicious.


We’ve always cooked ours in a cast iron Norwegian waffle iron over the stove, but an electric heart-shaped waffle-maker would probably work (although I’ve never tried it).  My dad scoured ebay for the waffle iron I use and I love it (Thanks Dad!).  If you try an electric one or even one that isn’t heart-shaped, come back and let me know how it goes!

Norwegian Waffles (Norske Vafler)
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅜ cup sugar
  • 1¼ cups (10 ounces) flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) butter, melted
  • pinch baking soda
  1. Preheat the waffle iron.
  2. Whisk eggs and sugar together until well-blended.
  3. Stir in flour, milk, melted butter, and baking soda.
  4. Spray or brush the waffle iron with vegetable oil, then pour batter on the waffle iron. If you have a cast iron one like mine, you will have to turn it frequently to keep both sides evenly hot. Cook until the waffle is done (you may have to experiment with your waffle iron to see how much time this takes).
  5. Serve with jams and jellies or your desired toppings.



Average Fork Rating: 3.8
Mr. Diner:
Mrs. Diner:
Amazing Diner:
Sweet Diner:
Little Diner:

Restaurant Review: The Hideout Steak House

The Hideout Steak House

Hidden practically out in the middle of nowhere along Highway 40 in Utah, is a steakhouse aptly named The Hideout.  Reviews tout it as being worth a 2-hour drive for their signature steak on a rock.  Fortunately, we didn’t have to drive 2 hours just to try it since it was right along the way on our trip to Vernal, Utah.

The Hideout Steakhouse

We stopped there in the early afternoon, right between normal lunch & dinner hours.  The place was fairly empty and we were seated immediately.  Before we left, two other large traveling groups had stopped to eat here, too, along with several people who seemed to be local regulars.  The Hideout has plenty of room with more than one dining room.

The Hideout Interior

Our server was casual, but friendly and very attentive to our needs.  He knew the menu, made recommendations when asked, and made sure our requests were accommodated.

Among the more unique items on the menu, and what we really went to The Hideout for, was the steak cooked on a stone.  There are multiple cuts of steak offered and you can choose to cook it on the stone yourself (recommended!) or have the chef cook it for you – still on the stone.  The owner is a very friendly and open guy and came to our table to tell us about the restaurant and the process.  He fell in love with steak cooked on a stone at another restaurant and wanted to have his own restaurant with the same concept.  The stones are cut from volcanic rock that is then seasoned at very high temperatures and used at The Hideout.  Every day at 8:00 am, they heat the stones in an old smoker that is converted to a gas oven.  They are kept hot just waiting for a piece of steak!

The Hideout Steak on a Rock Tri Tip Steak

Tri Tip Steak ($14.99) – Not the type of cut I usually order for a steak, but this was really good cooked on the stone.  The steak comes out with a raw on the stone.  The server told us to immediately flip it over, then start cutting it into smaller pieces that will cook quickly.  They were ready to eat pretty much as soon as we got it cut up. 

The Hideout Steak on a Rock Filet Mignon

Filet (8 oz. – $25.99) – Mr. Diner & I split this one….sooooo good!  We tried it with the recommended glaze that we poured over it as it cooked on the stone.  It was delicious and our steaks were perfectly cooked to our liking!  (I guess you only have yourself to blame if you cook it yourself.)

The Hideout 5050 Burger Onion Rings

5050 Burger with Onion Rings ($6.99) – This 1/3 pound burger patty is half beef and half bacon and is served on a toasted bun with more bacon and traditional toppings.   It was more moist than most burgers, but the patty itself didn’t have a significant bacon flavor.  We had asked about how many onion rings it came with, and the server made sure they didn’t skimp…look at all those delicious battered rings!

The Hideout Salad Bar

Salad Bar ($4.99 a la carte, $2.49 added to entree, or can be in place of a side) – Pretty typical salad bar.

The Hideout Kids Mini Corn Dogs

Kids Mini Corndogs with Fries ($3.99) – Mini corndogs were good; the fries were a little on the limp side.

The Hideout Cream Corn

Cream Corn (side) – Entrees come with a choice of 2 sides.  This cream corn was heavy on the cream and butter with whole kernals of corn.  Reminded my of my grandma’s. 

The Hideout Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (side) – Just okay.  I couldn’t taste the garlic.

The Hideout Baked Beans

Baked Beans (side) – These had been baking a long time and were to the point of falling apart.  They were slightly sweet and had a kick of chile powder.

The Hideout Rootbeer Float

Rootbeer Float (I think this was $3.99, but not sure) – Huge glass!

We really enjoyed our experiences at The Hideout.  Definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area…and there’s not much else to choose from, anyway.  I probably wouldn’t drive 2 hours just to eat here, but will definitely make a point to go again if we’re headed to Vernal.  We loved the steak and the novelty of cooking it on a stone.  Do it!  The sides were lacking a bit; I’d recommend the corn, salad bar, or onion rings.  The baked potato might be a good option, too, but we didn’t try it.  Somebody bring a steak on a stone restaurant to Utah County, please!

The Hideout Steakhouse
8400 S Parriette Rd
Myton, UT 84052
(435) 646-3500

 Entree Price:  $$$
Average Fork Rating: 4.6

Mr. Diner:
Mrs. Diner:
Amazing Diner:
Sweet Diner:
Little Diner:
Guest Diner M: 4.5
Guest Diner D: 4.5 

12 Soup Recipes to Keep you Warm for Soup Month

12 Soup Recipes

What better month to have as Soup Month than January?  It’s cold and all you want to do is huddle inside under a blanket and stay warm, right?  I make a lot more soups during January and February, for sure, so I’m always looking for good soup recipes.  Here are a bunch of great ones to add to your menu this month.  Some are great renditions of old favorites and others are unique to enrich your palate.  Happy Soup Month!

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup

Green Chile Stew

Green Chile Pork Stew

Pasta e Fagioli with Rosemary Olive Oil Drizzle

White Bean & Ham Soup with Kale

Recipe: Chipotle Beef & Bean Tacos

Chipotle Beef & Bean Tacos

I should really be posting this in Summer, but somehow summer-like recipes help me feel lighter and cheerier in the winter.  Don’t get me wrong…I love my soups, stews, roasts, etc. on these cold January days, but a lighter spicy taco thrown in the mix brightens my day.

Chipotle Beef & Bean Tacos

I love these tacos because they have a filling that is  a hearty mix of meat, beans, and tomatoes with a light bootkick of chipotle that is softened by cool-fresh coleslaw and a bright squeeze of lime.  Yea, these aren’t traditional tacos, but they are yummy.  Plus you can have them on the table in about 15 minutes….yep, faster than you can run out for fast food!  So make some of these to kick your January blues away and brighten your day.

Chipotle Beef & Bean Tacos
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Mexican-style diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups coleslaw mix
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8-12 corn tortillas
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, onion, salt, and chipotle powder. Cook, breaking up the beef, until meat is browned and onion is soft.
  2. Add tomatoes and beans. Cook and stir together for about 5 minutes.
  3. While filling is cooking, toss together the coleslaw mix, lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
  4. Warm the corn tortillas and serve each filled with beef-bean filling, cheese, and coleslaw. Serve with lime wedges.

Average Fork Rating: 3.5
Mrs. Diner:
Amazing Diner:
Sweet Diner:

Our Favorite Recipes & Restaurants of 2014

Happy New Year!  Hope you had a lovely, safe holiday last night.  We generally spend the evening watching Harry Potter movies and drinking Butterbeer.

2014 Favorites.

Since it’s a new year, of course we are reflecting on all the wonderful things of 2014.  We posted yesterday with the most popular recipes and restaurants reviews of 2014, and today we are taking the liberty to share our family’s favorites.  First we’ll share those our family rated the highest and then I’ll share my own favorites that didn’t make the list (sometimes those kiddo reviews bump my faves down the list).  Make sure you print or pin your favorites and give them a try!

2015 is going to be a great year and I’m excited to share it with all of you!  Thanks for stopping by….and thanks especially for your comments!

Our Family’s Top 5 Favorite Recipes of 2014

5.  Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

4.  Hawaiian Sloppy Joes

Hawaiian Sloppy Joes

3.  Buttermilk Turtle Cake

Turtle Cake

2.  My Favorite Carrot Cake

My Favorite Carrot Cake

1.  Creamy Mushroom Bisque

Creamy Mushroom Bisque

My Favorites That Didn’t Make the List

1.  Garlic & Herb Oven-Roasted Potatoes
2.  Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copycat
3.  Green Chile Pork Stew
4.  Ginger Chicken & Asparagus Stirfry with Pistachios
5.  Slow Cooker Chile Flank Steak

Our Family’s Top 5 Favorite Restaurants of 2014

5.  Thai Thai (Volcano, HI)

Thai Thai Restaurant Spring Rolls

4.  Bar D Chuckwagon Dinner (Durango, CO)

Bar D Beef Dinner

3.  What’s Shakin’ (Pepeekeo, HI)

What's Shakin Groovy Guava Smoothie

2.  Cubby’s Chicago Beef (Provo, UT)

Cubby's Chicago Beef Regular Tri Tip Steak Sandwich

1.  Matsumoto’s Shave Ice (Haleiwa, HI)

Matsumoto's Shave Ice

My Favorites That Didn’t Make the List
1.  Shoots (Provo, UT)
2.  Art City Donuts Food Truck (Salt Lake & Utah Counties)
3.  Station 22 (Provo, UT)
4.  Joe’s Gourmet Grill (Provo, UT)
5.  Brio Tuscan Grill (National Chain)

Most Popular Recipe & Restaurant Posts of 2014

2014 Most Popular Posts

It’s that time again….I can’t believe another year has flown by and we are reflecting on all that has transpired in 2014.  It is always interesting to me to see the most popular recipes and restaurant posts of the year.  Plus it’s a reminder to remake and revisit some favorites.  Make sure you print or pin your favorites and let us know if you were able to try any of these this year.  So here they are – the most popular recipes and restaurant reviews on Rate the Plate Utah for 2014!

5 Most Popular Recipes of 2014

5.  Creamy Mushroom Bisque

Creamy Mushroom Bisque

4.  Garlic & Herb Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

3.  Slow Cooker Mexican Stew

Slow Cooker Mexican Pork Stew

2.  Sun-Dried Tomato Penne Sausage Skillet

Sun-Dried Tomato Penne Sausage Skillet

1.  Green Chile Pork Stew

Green Chile Pork Stew


Can you believe no sweets made this list?  Don’t worry…there will be some on our own favorites list being posted soon – stay tuned!


5 Most Popular Restaurant Reviews of 2014

5.  Market Street Grill (Salt Lake City, UT)

Market Street Grill Filet Mignon with Snow Crab

4.  Bam Bam’s BBQ (Orem, UT)

Bam Bam's BBQ Food

3.  Gloria’s Little Italy (Provo, UT)

Gloria's Little Italy Tomato Basil Soup

2.  The Old Spaghetti Factory (National Chain)

The Old Spaghetti Factory Cheese Bread

1.  Art City Donuts Food Truck (Salt Lake & Utah County, UT)

Art City Donuts Maple

Surprisingly, with the exception of Art City Donuts, these restaurants were not anywhere near the top of our list for favorite restaurants for this year.  What about you – have you tried these five and do you love them?  What was your favorite restaurant that you tried this year?  Don’t forget to come back in the next few days to see our own family’s favorites from this year!

Restaurant Review: Goodwood Barbecue Company

Goodwood Barbecue

We hadn’t been to Goodwood Barbecue Company in years, but the main thing we remembered was the onion rings.  In our memory they were giant….so big that you had to use a knife to eat them!  We decided it was time to go back and take the family.

Of course the first thing we wanted to try was the onion rings to see if they lived up to our memories of them.  Sure enough…

Goodwood Barbecue Combo Appetizer Wings Nachos Onion Rings

Combo Appetizer ($14.99) – Ultimate Nachos with Chili Beef, Onion Rings, & Buffalo Gap Wings served with Ranch Dressing and Salsa.  A bit pricey for an appetizer, but you do get a lot.  The Onion Rings are seriously 3-4″ thick (I mean - look at those things!) with a crisp buttermilk batter and a large slice of sweet onion.  They are good, but they really are so big you have to eat them with a fork, which makes the batter fall off.  The Ultimate Nachos are totally loaded with Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos, red onion, chives, sour cream, and your choice of chili beef (our pick) or smoked chicken.  Salsa is served on the side.  The flavors all come together deliciously.  The Buffalo Gap Wings are pit-smoked wings slathered in a sweet-spicy barbecue sauce….delish!

Goodwood Barbecue Cornbread

Cornbread (complimentary) – Slightly sweet cornbread muffins with whole corn and red & green peppers baked right in.  I like cornbread both with and without things in it, so I wasn’t opposed to the corn and peppers, but it did end up being quite dry.

Goodwood Barbecue Toss and Turn Chicken Salad

Toss and Turn Chicken Salad (Small – $9.29) – Iceberg and Romaine lettuces with Ranchero Chicken, corn, red pepper, green onion, red onion, melted cheddar, & tortilla strips with ranch dressing.  I thought this salad sounded really good – and I do love how they have two sizes of salads to choose from and that the dressing is mixed onto the greens – but other than that, this was a big bomb (and I don’t mean “da bomb”).  It was simply boring and lacking in much flavor.  It was mostly melted cheese (NO – don’t melt it on a salad!), chicken, lettuce, and tortilla strips; the rest of the ingredients were very sparse.  The Ranchero Chicken was not flavorful enough to wow me.

Goodwood Barbecue Barbecue Brisket Sandwich

Barbecue Brisket Sandwich ($10.99) – Sliced, lean brisket with a nice dose of barbecue sauce served on a nice, fat toasted roll.  Very good.  Served with barbecue beans which were sweet and had pieces of bacon – yum!

Goodwood Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich

Kids Pulled Pork Sandwich($4.49) – Smoked pork with barbecue sauce on a toasted bun.  This was a great helping for a kid’s sandwich and the pork was good served on that nice fluffy bun.  Served with sliced apples.

Goodwood Barbecue Kids Hotdog

Kids Hot Dog ($4.49) – Thick grilled hot dog on a toasted bun served with thick-cut french fries.  I liked that they took the time to toast the bun for a kid’s hot dog….not much else remarkable here (hey, it’s a plain hot dog), but toasting is nice.

Overall, I think Goodwood is fine, but prices are a bit high for what you get.  The meat lacks much of a smokey flavor, but the barbecue sauce was good.  We think there are better choices in town (our favorite is 5 Star BBQ, which is counter service vs Goodwood’s table service).  If you go to Goodwood, stick with the barbecue.

Goodwood Barbecue Company
777 University Parkway
Orem, UT

(801) 224-1962

Entree Price:  $$
Average Fork Rating: 3.8

Mr. Diner:
Mrs. Diner:
Amazing Diner:
Sweet Diner:
Little Diner:

Goodwood Barbecue Company on Urbanspoon

Food Holiday: 7 Eggnog Recipes for Your Holiday Celebrations

7 Eggnog Recipes for your Holiday Menus

Eggnog seems to be one of those things people either love or can’t stand.  Everyone in my family loves it except my husband.  I guess he didn’t get the eggnog-loving gene or something.  My dad said his mother used to make homemade eggnog and I’ve tried making it myself once, but went back to the store-bought version the next year.  I guess the recipe I tried wasn’t the best.  I’ll have to try out a new one…maybe one of the awesome ones here!

December is Eggnog Month; imagine that.  I’m sure more eggnog is consumed in December than any other month, although it seems like it is usually available in the stores starting in October.  Well, if you are an eggnog fan, we’ve got you covered.  We’ve gathered some great recipes from bloggers for everything from homemade eggnog to baked goods with eggnog goodness baked right in. These would all make great additions to your Christmas and New Years menus!  Check these out and pin or print your favorites.  If you have a delicious eggnog recipes missing from this list, please share them in the comments!

White Chocolate Peppermint Eggnog

White Chocolate Peppermint Eggnog


Homemade Eggnog

Homemade Eggnog


Eggnog Texas Sheet Cake

Eggnog Texas Sheet Cake


Peppermint Eggnog Shake

Peppermint Eggnog Shake


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Eggnog

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Eggnog


Eggnog Blossoms

Eggnog Blossoms