Monthly Archives: January 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate BarsIn my continuing effort to introduce my children to a more varied diet, I served white bean pizza recently.

But since I have also learned that “a spoonful of sugar helps the white beans go down” , I also served a yummy dessert.

Call if bribery if you will, but it is effective!

So what delicious dessert did I choose to reward my children for eating their white beans? A gooey peanut butter chocolate bar.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

In large bowl mix together 2-1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 -1/4 cups packed brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 cup butter or margarine.

The mixture will be crumbly.

Set aside 2 cups for the topping and press the remaining crumbs into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Mix together 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour over the crumb base. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over the top, pressing down gently.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. The center will not be set, but it will firm up as it cools.

What a rich and yummy reward- definitely worth eating those beans for!

BLT Soup

Here’s another great recipe from Nana’s kitchen, just in time to warm up your lunch table!

BLT SoupWe love BLT’s in the summer, so when we found this recipe in a magazine, we thought it would be fun to enjoy the tastes in the middle of winter.

It is a quick & easy soup. Next time we will use our frozen tomatoes from the garden in place of the canned called for in the recipe to cut down on the salt.

Be sure to put the lettuce on just before serving.

While it doesn’t replace BLT’s, it is a good, economical substitute in the middle of winter!

BLT Soup
From Nana’s Kitchen

  • 8 slices crisply cooked Bacon
  • 1 28-oz can crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can Chicken Broth
  • 1 15-oz can cooked White Beans (cannelloni or navy)
  • 1 ½ tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 cup shredded Leaf Lettuce
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Coarsely crumble bacon and set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan, stir together tomatoes, broth, beans and seasoning; bring to a simmer and stir in vinegar.

In a small bowl, toss together lettuce and basil. Ladle soup into large soup plates or bowls. Garnish each serving with crumbled bacon and lettuce and basil. Yield: 6 servings

(Italian seasoning includes onion, garlic, rosemary, parsley & basil)

Until next time,

Nana Shirley

Chocolate Cherry Dessert

Chocolate Cherry DessertI love church potlucks! Not only are there tables overflowing with good food, but there’s the unique opportunity for a wise cook to try out a new recipe on an unsuspecting crowd.

If it’s a hit, you proudly claim it. If it isn’t, you sneak it quickly out to the car without acknowledging that you made it!

I used a recent potluck to try out a new chocolate dessert, and I’m glad to report that it was a hit. And yes, I claimed it as my own!

Chocolate Cherry Dessert

Crust: Mix 3 cups of crushed Oreo cookies with  2/3 cup of melted butter. Press it into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely.

Filling: Mix together 2 – 14 oz. jars sweetened condensed milk, 2/3 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoons almond flavoring, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Fold in 2 cups of Cool Whip.

Spoon over cookie crust.

Cover with 2 cans of cherry pie filling.

Refrigerate and enjoy!

Cross Country Skiing

800px-cross_country_skiing_trail_brdy1I went cross country skiing today.

Yes, me, the one always picked last in PE.  I went cross country skiing, by choice.

My Scandinavian husband has been skiing since he could walk.  As a boy scout in Nevada he would ski with his troop into the mountains, camp over night or several days and ski back out.

My very first Christmas at his parent’s home he took me out and taught me the basics while he family watched from the windows of the house.

I married him anyway.

Then the babies came, and we lived in the city. Winter sports consisted of  spending 20 minutes dressing the little ones in snowsuits and mittens then pulling them around in a sled for 5 before someone had to go potty or got snow in their mitten.

After our move to the country, my husband pulled out the skis again. He could now strap them on at the back porch and ski for miles.

He found beginner skis for the children and started teaching them the basics. Pretty soon the entire family was out on skis, and it was time for me to join them.

After a few false starts, I soon got a feel for it and found myself enjoying the rhythm of the sport.

I will never be as proficient as my husband who can do the most amazing turns and even stays upright going down hills. But I can almost keep up with the young ‘uns and as long as I avoid the hills I can stay on my feet.

Now I can enjoy the calm beauty of a winter day while I glide over the crisp white snow. The cold air bites my cheeks as my normally uncoordinated body finds the rhythm and movement of the cross country skis.

Copper Carrots Salad

Looking for a new dish to brighten up your winter time table? My mom shares an easy and yummy way to add carrots to the menu…

We used to do “truck gardening” when the children were young and I was working outside the home. We would “truck” up the road to Papa Jim’s parents, who loved to garden & pick the produce. With our family of seven, we appreciated the food!

Since we’ve retired, we both enjoy gardening for ourselves. Carrots are one vegetable that has become a “regular” in our garden.

There aren’t as many mouths to eat these days, so we are always looking for some different ways to use our harvest.

Our friends shared an old family recipe for Copper Carrots Salad. You can make ahead and store in refrigerator to serve at several meals. It is good served on a bed of lettuce, too, as well as a side dish.

I just scrubbed all our “little” carrots before cutting, making the dish appear more rustic!

Copper Carrots

Copper Carrots Salad
(From Alice Jones’ Kitchen)

2 lbs. carrots
1 onion – diced
½ green pepper—diced
1 can tomato soup
1 cup sugar
½ cup cooking oil
¾ cup white vinegar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Clean and pare the carrots. Slice in rounds. Cook, but not too done, drain, & cool to room temperature.

Heat soup, sugar, oil, vinegar, salt & pepper just until warm and sugar is dissolved. Put onion & green pepper in with carrots. Pour heated mixture over all.

Refrigerate. Will keep for a week in refrigerator.

Till next time,

Nana Shirley