Monday, October 29, 2012

Magic 7 Layer Cookie Bars - Myth or Reality?


I’m not going to lie to you.
I’m not going to lie to you.
I’ve been gone for a few months. One month I was out of the country. The other I was out of my head. With simplistic candor let me say I haven’t been so well.  This will get personal. Some people are a bit squeamish about personal; so if that’s you skip now to the bottom of this page. Magic Cookie Bars are more than good. They are magical.

When I started this blog it was intended to be a recipe blog with stories about my life and how it relates to food. Does this mean I only relate carefree things? I would not be real or true to myself if that were the case. To me a good writer is one that opens their heart and yours at the same time We all like to be moved. So should I be less personal? I tend to feel I wouldn’t be expressing myself if I wasn’t. In any case I shall plow ahead.

My troubles have been going on for a long time. They have caused me to not live the life that made me happy. That’s been happening a lot lately around our world.  Someone says you must make your own happiness and I do not disagree. I just need to figure out how to get rid of the sadness first.

I miss this a lot.
A few months ago I thought good things were finally starting to happen. I thought my life was starting to climb the path back to feeling good again. My husband, that I do love, had been working hard in South Africa for 6 months. The bank he worked for wanted me to fly over because they were talking about a long term contract and they wanted me to see if I liked it. So, across the ocean I flew as I started to believe again. (I could kick myself for that.) I started to believe that we would overcome all the hurdles that had been placed before us. I started to have hope. I started to believe that life could be exciting again and I started to feel alive. I was not anxious to leave my husband to go home, but I was excited to get home so I could finally start putting my life in order.


Not yawning yet, I hope?
 And then it happened. They showed my husband his contract  and the next day they cancelled his project. They laid off an entire department and probably more. It appears interest rates were dropping too fast. And that day in the newspaper they said there would be no lay offs. I hadn’t been home a week…
Please, Help Save the Rhinos.
I did not immediately fall in love with South Africa. They have a boatload of problems, too. But I loved the cousins I had there, and the proximity to them. I’ve never had the luxury of having family close by and that felt good. I loved the cottage that my husband had rented. I loved the lady he rented from. I loved the vibrant art markets and I loved the wildlife. I loved feeling excited and I loved the fact that maybe one really could start over.


A beauty with a zebra.
But that was just a feeling and this is life. When you are going through hell just keep going. Winston Churchill said that. I tell myself that his problems were bigger than mine. And so I try to keep going and figure out what’s next. I try-but I am sooo sad. And so I’m telling you-not to make you sad-but to tell you to be grateful. To be thankful if life is good. And always to remember that life is good even if you are sad.

What can you do? People always ask me that. Sometimes just listening is good. Sometimes a joke is good-even if I don’t laugh. Sometimes a hug works. Most usually a glass of wine is good if you are with me. Sometimes nothing works but I know you tried. Maybe you want to go to  Linked In and look at my husband’s profile. Pass it on if you know anyone that might be interested. Someone out there says it’s a numbers game, but I don’t know who said that. I want him to have work by Thanksgiving.

 He’s not worried because he is an eternal optimist. I am not. My grandma Fanny used to tell me the story about Henny Penny who said the sky was falling. She gathered her friends to go tell the king and on the way she was out foxed by the fox. That must be me. I want to stop worrying about me. Shoot, I want him to stop worrying about me. Double shoot – I want to be smarter than the fox.


But back to work. I can work, too. I live in Denver but I will fly wherever you want me.  If you need a cook or a designer, I’m great. I can test your recipes or design new ones. Gosh, I even have a degree in Home Economics from Colorado State! I can put up your Xmas decorations and I can bake your cookies too. I can cater your Xmas party and I can even supply your gifts. I can also arrange your parties and I can make your travel plans. I would love to be an innkeeper. There’s not much I can’t do, if you use your imagination. Yes, I’m even good at babysitting. And you don’t have to drive me home.

But ENOUGH! I’ve said it and though I’m not over it, I promise my future blogs will not cover this again.

 So it is on to Magic Cookie Bars. Why are they magical?
1.    They are easy to make.
2.    They only require one 13 x 9 pan and no mixing bowl.
3.    They are quick.
4.    If you don’t like coconut you will be a convert. Comments overheard when I made these in South Africa-“I don’t like coconut but those are good.” Come on people. Conquer your fears. Coconut is good for you.
5.    My mother made these when I was little.
6.    My son loves these and they are magical- just like him.
7.    Just maybe, they will cause magic to happen. They surely will bring a smile to someone’s face. They certainly did to the guy who was cutting up our 40’pine tree the other day. And that is another story. The good news is the tree house survived but will need minor repairs.




MAGIC COOKIE BARS
Makes 1 13 x 9 pan
Time to Make: About 15 minutes to prepare an 25 minutes to bake
Ingredients:
11/2 c graham cracker crumbs (In SA I used crushed tennis biscuits.)
1 stick butter (4 oz or 1/2 c)
1 can condensed milk
8 oz chocolate chips or one big chopped chocolate bar
1 c chopped walnuts or pecans but any kind works
11/3 c shredded coconut
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Place butter in 13x9 pan. Place in oven and let butter melt. This takes 5-10 minutes. Just don’t let it burn.

Make sure butter is evenly distributed across bottom of pan. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over top of butter. Use your fingers or a knife to pat down evenly to form a good crust.
Now open your can of condensed milk and pour evenly over crumbs. You may need a smll spatula to gently spread it but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Now sprinkle with the chips or chopped chocolate, nuts and last but not least, the coconut.

Cook about 25 minutes until it looks a bit golden around the edges. These need to cool before cutting. I usually cool them in the refrigerator.

Cut into bars. Now enjoy the magic. You won’t be able to stop at one. So tell me-myth or reality?

Other Bars to try:
Easy Chocolate Peanut Layer Bars
Pumpkin Magic Layer Bars
Tin Roof Peanut Chocolate Bars
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites