Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Oatmeal Carmelita Bars

I am sharing one of my all time favorite dessert bars today.

I got the recipe from a neighborhood cookbook about ten years ago, and I can tell you that these little bars are a huge hit wherever you take them.  This is the recipe that most people demand from me, and if I don't get right on sharing it, they keep reminding me that they really, really need it and  and ask if I could please hurry up and share it with them.

I don't blame them.  If I didn't have this recipe and  I tried these chocolaty, caramely little bars, I would be demanding the recipe too.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Oatmeal Carmelitas

1 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
¾ cup brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup melted butter
32 – 35 caramels
5 Tbsp milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Combine together the brown sugar, baking soda, salt and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the flour and quick oats and stir until combined. Press 1/2 – 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.  While that is baking melt your caramels and milk together in the microwave or the top of a double boiler, stirring often. When you remove the oat mixture from oven, sprinkle with the chocolate chips and drizzle the caramel mixture over all.  Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top. Return to oven and bake for about 15 minutes more or until top is lightly golden. Cool and cut.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Domestic Doings

Here are just a few of the fun domestic things that have kept me busy this week.

I had some frozen roll dough in my freezer that needed to be used, so I made this delicious Butterscotch Bubble Loaf.  I usually only make this for Christmas morning, so my kids were wondering what the special occasion was.

I also made a little more progress in my kitchen.  I organized several drawers, but I will just share this one.  My two little boys still use plastic cups and dishes, so I keep them in a bottom drawer where they can get to them easily.  I also keep the kids tea set in this drawer.  Yes, the boys and I have some boy friendly tea parties occasionally.  I will try to share some of the details of what we do in a post sometime.

I also wiped out and straightened up the cupboard for our everyday dishes.  The top shelf holds a few miscellaneous items and some fancier things.

I made our favorite easy breadsticks to go with my favorite slow-cooker potato soup on a rainy day last week.  It had been awhile since I had made these and my boys were really happy to see them again. They are definitely a favorite around here.

This marinated grilled chicken is my all time favorite.  I will definitely get this recipe on the blog in the future.

We took dinner to friends who had lost their husband/father.  So, I made these Oatmeal Carmelita Bars to send with the dinner.  They are so delicious, I am planning on sharing this recipe next week.  Stay Tuned!!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Easy Fall Kids Craft

My first grader brought home the cutest, easiest, little Fall kids craft I have seen in awhile.  He thinks he has made a total masterpiece and now this cute little tree is proudly displayed in our home. And this tree is also very forgiving.  It was sitting on our fireplace hearth (no fires in the fireplace yet), and his big brother sat right on top of it.  My little first grader acted like his heart was broken because the tree was squished flat, but the great thing about this tree is we just fluffed it up again and it looked as good as new.

My husband, the principal, happened to be walking through the class when they were working on this project, so he gave me a couple of tips to share with you, in case you want to make a little paper bag Fall tree of your own.

I know, these pictures aren't the best, but they give you the general idea.  I wanted to show this close up of the branches, so hopefully my explanation will make more sense.  All you do is get a paper lunch sack and cut the top portion into strips about 1/2 way down the bag.  Then twist the strips into  branches.  It works best if you twist two strips together to do this.

Add some scraps of paper in fall leaf colors and then give the bottom portion of the bag a good squish to make the trunk, making sure that you leave the bottom alone, so the tree will stand up.

Now that is a super fun, super quick fall craft project for young kids!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Domestic Doings

These are just a few of the domestic things that have kept me busy during the past couple of weeks.

I tested a recipe for kicked up kettle corn.  I liked it, but think I will do without the chocolate on my next attempt.

I also tested a recipe for sugar cookie bars.  These were also good, but a little too sweet for me, so I will make a few tweaks and see how I feel before sharing the recipe.

I pulled the kids Fall/Winter clothes out of storage and decided what we could use this year, and what we needed to purchase.

I made an Asian turkey with peanut sauce dish.  It is not much to look at, but it was delicious.  My husband lived in Thailand for two years and he said it was quite authentic, so this recipe is a keeper in our house.

I made a little more progress on my kitchen, including cleaning out, and straightening up this silverware drawer.

My littlest boy kept after me to get out the Fall decorations, so this week, I finally did some simple Fall decorating.

Finally, I made this delicious pumpkin coffee cake that is a family favorite.  You can find the recipe here.

Life is good!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Glazed Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I have long been in search of the perfect lemon crinkle cookie.  I guess I must be a real fan of lemon, because none of the recipes I tried were lemony enough to satisfy me.  So, finally, I developed my own. While the cookies themselves have a hint of lemon, what finally made them satisfy my lemon craving heart was the addition of the lemon glaze that is drizzled on the top.  To me, these are the perfect lemon crinkle cookie.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Glazed Lemon Crinkle Cookies

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg
zest of one lemon
fresh lemon juice from 1/2  lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheets with parchment, or lightly coat with cooking spray.
Cream together all ingredients except the flour and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix until well incorporated.  Put powdered sugar in a bowl and roll balls (I use my 1 tbsp. cookie scoop to portion them) of dough in powdered sugar to coat.  Place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until done.  Cool the cookies completely before glazing.

For the glaze:  Mix the juice from the remaining 1/2 lemon with enough powdered sugar to make a glaze that will drizzle easily, but not lose its form on the cookie.  Drizzle and let set before serving.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Fingers

A few weeks ago, I shared a picture of these delicious peanut butter fingers on the blog.  Today, I am sharing the recipe.

These peanut butter fingers were a staple in my elementary school lunchroom and it didn't matter what they were serving them with.  You ate whatever you had to, in order to end up with one of these little babies.

Now, I can't make these unless I have a place to take them, because I am completely unable to resist them if they stay in my house.  Just a fair warning in case you give them a try. (And you really should give them a try.)

So, here is the recipe, that I think is an exact match to those beloved peanut butter fingers.

Click here for a printable copy of this recipe.

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Fingers

3/4 c. butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
2 cups rolled oats

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, peanut butter, soda, and salt until fluffy.  Add flour and oats and mix until incorporated.  Spread on a greased 1/2 sheet pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Cool.  Once cool spread with a thin layer of peanut butter and frost with chocolate icing.

Chocolate Icing:
Melt 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup cocoa together, stirring well.  Add this mixture to 4 cups powdered sugar and whip.  Add more powdered sugar, if necessary, to reach a spreadable consistency.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Domestic Doings

The past couple of weeks have had a few challenges that have kept me from getting as much done around the house, but I have managed a few things including:

I managed to take the cupboard above the refrigerator from this mess...

To this.  Not a huge accomplishment, but I feel much better whenever I need to open this cupboard.

I made a batch of my favorite raspberry jam bars.  I will share the recipe soon.

I also tried a new recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins.  They were good, but not perfect.  I will probably try them again, with a few tweaks, before I share the recipe.

I also, of course, kept up with the mundane daily tasks around this place.  Pairing socks is one of my least favorite tasks.  I usually have to talk myself into it by turning on a movie and just sitting down and getting it done.  My husband keeps trying to turn this over to the boys, but unfortunately, they are not very detail oriented and I end up with my seven-year-old's sock being matched up with one of my fourteen-year-old's socks.  That does not work so well, and ends up causing me more work later.  So, for now, I am still the chief sock matcher-upper around here.