Monthly Archives: July 2009

Bachelor Bars

Here’s a yummy classic from Nana and my youngest sister – who has spent time at Mom’s while her husband is traveling on business! Sure wish I was there too…

bachelor barsOur daughter was baking a cake and had some sweetened condensed milk left. Rather than put it in the refrigerator, where it would probably get lost & forgotten, she whipped up these Bachelor Bars. They are named because easy to make with few ingredients! They look & taste yummy enough to impress anyone! (She halved the recipe and put them in a 8″x 8″ pan.)

Bachelor Bars

(From Sandy’s Kitchen)

  • 1 packet graham crackers
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Melt the butter/margarine. Crush the graham crackers and put in bottom of 9”x13” pan. Pour melted butter/margarine over the crackers, mix and pat into bottom of pan. Pour milk over graham crackers. Pat coconut into the milk. Sprinkle chips over ingredients. Bake 350 ° for 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Bars will thicken as they cool. Cut & serve. Leftovers do freeze well.

Till next time!

Waste Not Want Not – Cherry Peach Jam

Jam Our cherry crop this year was dismal. We harvested a small amount of very small cherries – hardly enough to do anything with.

But I adore cherries and was not about to let them go to waste!

Dagmar came to the rescue – deciding to turn them into jam.

They were too small to pit – so she put them whole in a saucepan with some water and boiled them until the pits came out.

Then she measured out the juice that was left – but there wasn’t enough for a batch.  So she headed to the freezer and dug around until she found a package of frozen peaches.


She added the peaches to the cherries and viola! She had enough for a batch!

Great taste and no waste!

A real winner!

Cherry Peach Jam

1 pound tart red cherries
1 1/4 pound peaches
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 – 13/4 ounce package fruit pectin
4 cups of sugar

Sort, wash and remove stems from the cherries. Pit and coursely chop them, measure 1 1/2 cups. (We used the juice and whatever cherry parts we could salvage from the pits.)

Peel, pit and coarsely chop the peaches, measure out 2 cups. (We used the frozen peaches from the freezer – we just thawed them and rough chopped them.)

In an 8-10 quart kettle or dutch oven combine the fruits and lemon juice. Add the powdered pectin and mix well.

Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Stir in sugar. Bring to  full rolling boil again, stirring constantly.

Boil hard, uncovered for one minute.

Remove from heat and quickly skim the foam from the top with a metal spoon. (This is harder than it looks – the fruit floats to the top as well and gets stuck in the spoon with the foam – just do your best. A little foam on top of your jam is not the end of the world!)

Pour at once into sterilized canning jars, seal and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. Or put into freezer safe containers and freezer.

Makes 5 half-pints.

Teenagers in the House

Birthday cake with the letter 'P'

With Pedro’s 13th birthday last week, I now have three teenagers in the house.

No wonder my grocery bills have been climbing – really climbing.  (By the way, I now believe in the “hollow legs” theory.)

My computer is always in use with someone else’s email logged in and weird music playing.

My laundry piles are bigger and the clothes in the piles are bigger. My son is taller than my husband and I can almost share clothes with my daughter.

The shower is always in use and the remote control is a hot commodity.

And my schedule is crazy!

I thought it was hard having babies and toddlers in the house! Hah! They were a piece of cake – at least they went down for a nap every afternoon, went to bed before midnight and didn’t use all the hot water!

But I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s exciting to see these kids growing up – maturing – becoming the adults that God meant them to be.

And I have a front row seat to cheer them on.

How blessed I am!

Chocolate Brownies

Rich Chocolate Brownies In my continual quest for the perfect brownie, my sister shared this contribution.

A cocoa brownie, these are still very gooey and rich!

They get extra points for having a frosting layer as thick as the brownie layer!

They are most definitely a contender – and disappeared very quickly around here!

Rich Chocolate Brownie

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


3 tablespoons baking cocoa
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy. Add butter and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add to the batter and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a greased 8 inch square baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. remove from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For frosting, combine the cocoa and the butter. In a small cup, dissolve the coffee granules in the warm water and add it to the cocoa mixture. Stir in the powdered sugar until smooth. Frost the brownies.


Weeding and Humility

450px-Blade_grassMy garden has gotten away from me again.

No- it hasn’t run away, but the weeds have totally taken over.

It looks like a lush green pasture that needs to be mowed. Seriously.

Somewhere in that grass there are corn plants – I hope.

It reminds of  the time a few years when the garden had gotten out of control just like this.

Our Amish neighbor had stopped by one evening and saw us out there weeding.

He said, “Got away from you didn’t it? Don’t worry – my kids will come down tomorrow morning and help you weed it.”


The next morning 4 Amish kids showed up at dawn – barefoot, walked out to our garden, and started to weed.

I’m not kidding. We were all still in bed.

I got out to the garden with my children just as quickly as we could and watched in awe as these kids worked.

It was amazing! Two of the kids started at the bottom of the row and pulled the weeds directly around the plants – isolating them.  The other two started working between the rows.

Each child made piles of weeds in the middle of the row.

There was not a weed left.

Those kids worked diligently and quickly until the day heated up. Then they came back in the cool of the evening and worked some more.

I was ready for them though – and had large dishes of ice cream and big glasses of kool-aid waiting.

We tried to help them – but I think we slowed them down more than anything.

It was very humbling to see those kids work so diligently on my garden. It was also very helpful to see how they did it.

My own kids learned how to weed effectively by watching them.

But we obviously haven’t applied that knowledge this summer! I wonder if we can still find the hidden corn plants before it’s to late?!