Quick Cookie Bars

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 I love to bake and chocolate chip cookies are the boy’s favorite.

Lately, I feel like I have had no extra time to do ANY baking and when I do, I’m interrupted constantly and for some reason, they just don’t come out as well as they should.  You think it has to do with having 4 active boys around?  I needed to figure out a chocolate chip cookie in a bar.  A recipe I could just quickly mix up and throw in a pan.

During the past few weeks, I have tried two different cookie bar recipes.  They were either really greasy on the bottom or very dry and the kids didn’t like them.  Today I decided to make my own up and they turned out pretty good!  I was shocked! Ha!

Quick Cookies Bars

Step 1:
Dump all of the following ingredients into a bowl and mix it all up. 

I told you I wanted easy :-)!

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla

Step 2:
Mix in the following:

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped pecans

Step 3:
Place it all in an 8×8 pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake for 25-30 min at 350 degrees.
Let it cool and cut them into bars and your done!

These are so easy!!!

If you have any quick one pan cookie bars that you make, I’d love to hear about them.

Have a great week and thanks Mandy for having me!!!

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Pesto Shrimp Pasta Toss


I found the best pasta dish from Taste of Home.   This dish is delicious, healthy, quick and easy AND my family loves it.  I’ve made it several times during the past few months and no one has complained. :-)

Pesto Shrimp Pasta Toss

9 oz. uncooked linguine
1 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced
1 cup fresh baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Directions:
1.  Cook linguine according to package directions, adding shrimp during the last minute.  Meanwhile, in a greased 15 x 10 baking pan, combine asparagus, squash and carrots.  Drizzle with butter; sprinkle with lemon-pepper and salt.

2.  Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring once.

3.  Drain linguine and shrimp; transfer to a serving bowl.  Add the vegetable mixture and pesto; toss gently.  Sprinkle with cheese and walnuts if desired.

Serves 6     Prep time: About 30 minutes.

♥♥Enjoy♥♥

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Delicious Pumpkin Desserts

If you are looking for Link Party #40
CLICK HERE

 Finally!  It’s cooling off here in California and you can feel fall in the air!

YAHOOOOO!!!!!!

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  The leaves start turning on the trees, days get shorter, weather turns crisp and chilly… and it makes me want to whip out that can of pumpkin and start baking!

Here are a few yummies I found that I’d like to make this fall, and I bet you will too!

1. Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake – Inside BruCrew Life

2.  Pumpkin Roll Cake – Wilton

3. Pumpkin Cream Cheese – Tidy Mom

4.  Pumpkin White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies - Closet Cooking

5.  Unbelievable Pumpkin Cake – Something Swanky

6.  Pumpkin Roll Monkey Bread – Sweet Makes Three

7.  Pumpkin Caramel Blondies – Lauren’s Latest

8.  Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake – Shugary Sweets

9.  Pumpkin Spice Kisses – Picky-Palate

10. Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfait - Babble

11.  Pull Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin  Bread – Sunnyside Up

12.  Pumpkin Spice Trifle – 52 Mantels

♥Enjoy!♥

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Chocolate Caramel Brownies

You definitely won’t be disappointed making these amazing
Chocolate Caramel Brownies.

The hardest part?
Unwrapping the caramels and trying not to eat them all!

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

1 cup butter
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, coursely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Caramel Filling
14 oz. caramel candies, unwrapped
1/4 cup heavy cream

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray.

Step 2:
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave in intervals of 1 minute until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring in between intervals.

Step 3:
Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the flour and salt just until combined. Add the chopped nuts.

Step 4:
Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the brownies cool for about 20 minutes.

To Make the Caramel Filling
Step 1:
Combine the caramels and cream in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir.  Repeat the process, stirring every 30 seconds until the caramels and cream are melted and combined.  Immediately spread the caramel mixture over the cooked and cooled brownies.

Step 2:
Scoop the remaining brownie batter in spoonfuls over the caramel layer and spread it evenly across the caramel layer (spooning the batter in piles over the caramel will help to get an even layer of batter over the caramel).

Step 3:
Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the remaining nuts on top of the final brownie layer. Bake for 20 minutes.

Step 4:
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Step 5:
Lift the brownies from the pan using the edges of the foil. Remove the foil and cut the brownies into individual squares.

♥♥Enjoy!♥♥

If you are looking for Link Party #38 “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able”
CLICK HERE

Keeping It Simple

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Oreo Cookie Treats – Thursday’s With Tracie

If you are looking for Link Party #36 “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able”
CLICK HERE

Now that my kids are back in school,  it’s time to get creative and find good, healthy snacks or treats to bring in for special occasions.

When I was asked to bring in a special treat for my son’s preschool class, the teacher had one request, “NO CUPCAKES!!” 

She explained to me that the kids take one bite of the frosting and the rest goes straight into the garbage. My mission was to, “Make something cute, that all the kids wanted to eat, that would not end up in the trash!”

My inspiration came from me simply opening the fridge a few weeks ago and finding half eaten Oreo cookies in the fridge.. ( I told you before I get my inspiration in odd places!) .  I went down my “usual suspect’s list” to find that it was my newly turned 4 yr old.  Apparently, he  had decided the Oreo stuffing was the best part but that he would save the actual cookies for his friends at school.

Don’t ask me how he got them without me catching him eating the filling!
It amazes me what a 4 year old boy can get into in 2 minutes!

Anyway, Oreo cookies was it! Perfect size and the kids would love them.  My mission was to make them cute and special!

Here is what you will need:

1 pkg of double stuffed Oreos
1 pkg white dipping chocolate or white almond bark
1 pkg of lollipop sticks (I used popcicle sticks, but lollipop sticks would have been better.  DO NOT use cookie sticks that are shown in the picture because they are too thick).
1 pkg of  sugar decorations and matching sprinkles

Step 1.
Stick the LOLLIPOP STICK into the Oreo cookie.

Step 2.
Melt your white chocolate and dip the cookie in. I let them sit for about 2 min on parchment paper and then put my decorations on each one.

I let them sit for another 15 min and just before the chocolate got too hard, I loaded them with sprinkles.

I then put them in the fridge, let them get nice and solid, and put them in the lollipop bags.

I think they turned out pretty cute and the teacher said they were the cutest snack she has ever seen!  Ok,  she was probably  trying to make me feel good,  but I will take any compliment that comes my way :-).

Do you have any good ideas for special treats or snacks to bring for special occasions??

I would love to hear them!!!

 Take care, everyone.

Thanks Mandy for having me!!!

Sharing with these awesome parties…

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Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese

I hope everyone is enjoying their 3 day weekend.

Happy Labor Day!

I wanted to share a wonderful salad that I made last week.  It was so easy, delicious, light and filling.  The hardest part? Remembering to soak your wheat berries the night before :-).

If you have never had wheat berries, they are delicious.  They are also known as hard winter wheat.  They have a chewy texture, very simple to prepare and they require very little attention while cooking.  I purchased mine in the bulk section at Whole Foods.

Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese

1 1/4 cups wheat berries (see below how to prepare)
2 1/2 cups chopped English cucumber
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 1/2 cups loosely packed chopped arugula
6 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Step 1: 
Place wheat berries in a medium bowl; cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries.  Cover and let stand 8 hours.  Drain.

Step 2:
Place wheat berries in a medium saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, uncovered, 1 hour or until tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.  Place wheat berries in a large bowl; add cucumber and next 4 ingredients.

Step 3:
Combine rind and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Drizzle dressing over salad; toss well to coat.  Stir in cheese.  Let stand at least 30 minutes; serve at room temperature.

Yields: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

♥♥ ENJOY! ♥♥

Cooking Light Way To Cook Vegetarian

CALORIES 253; FAT 9.7g (sat 3.7g, mono4.4g, poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 9.2g; CARB 35.7g; FIBER 6.8g; CHOL 11mg; IRON 1.2mg; SODIUM 401mg; CALC 79mg

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Banana Split Pudding Cake

 

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE dessert!

One of my favorite summer time desserts is a Banana Split!

Love them!!

I usually make and bring dessert for our Sunday Family BBQ.  Since we were eating outside by the pool and it was 108 degrees, I decided we needed something cool and refreshing (I wanted to do something besides ice cream).   I remembered seeing a Banana Split Cake made by Kraft.  I found the recipe on line and decided to tweak it just a bit…

I came up with this wonderful summery dessert that I call…

“Banana Split Pudding Cake”

Here are the ingredients you will need:

For the crust:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
¼ cup sugar

Mix and press onto the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.
Freeze for 15 minutes.

 Layer 1:
(2) 8 oz. packages of softened cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup of sugar
Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well blended.
Spread over cooled crust.

Layer 2:
20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained

Layer 3:
4 sliced bananas

 Layer 4:

2 (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
Mix until blended.

1 cup of Cool Whip
Fold into pudding and spread pudding mixture on top of the banana layer.

Layer 5:
Spread remaining Cool Whip onto the pudding/Cool Whip mixture

Refrigerate for 6 hours

Topping:

2 containers of fresh, sliced strawberries
Hershey’s chocolate sauce drizzled on the top

YUM!!!!

I wanted to top it with a shaved Hershey’s chocolate bar, but everyone was ready to dive into it and I forgot! :-)

Everyone at the BBQ loved my Banana Split Pudding Cake… even my kids!

Thanks Mandy for having me!!!

A Crafty Soiree

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Chocolate Chip Reece PB Brownies

Ready for a WOWZER of a delectable treat?

Seriously, how can you go wrong with a sweet treat that contains a

chocolate chip cookie,

a Reece PB Cup

AND

a Brownie????

Doesn’t get much better than that friends!

The BEST PART?

They are sooooo easy!!!!

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

- Brownie Mix and the ingredients to make them
(egg, water and oil)

- Reece PB Miniature Cups

- Pre-made Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares

- A Brownie Pan (you can find these at the grocery store)
I believe a muffin pan would work too.

Step 1:

Grease your pan.

Step 2:

Break off 1 1/2 squares of the chocolate chip cookie dough.

Step 3:

Press Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough down like this:

Step 4:

Place a miniature Reece’s PB cup on each of the pressed cookie dough.

Step 5:

Prepare brownie mix (according to directions) and poor directly onto the top of each cookie/Reece cup.  Don’t fill too full!  I left about 1/4 of an inch from the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

♥Enjoy♥

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Corny, Corn, Corn Recipes

 Another summer time food is upon us….
CORN!

Here are some yummy recipes that I have been collecting on Pinterest.

I’m making the Roasted Corn with Cilantro Butter this week.

The Out of This World Corn Dip is TO DIE FOR so be sure you pin it and remember to make it
at your next social event.  Your guests will be wanting the recipe also!

Steph from Crafting In the Rain shows us an easy way to shuck corn.
You won’t want to miss her simple tutorial.

Enjoy!

1.  Healthy Sweet Corn Relish from Cooking Light

2.  Out of this World Corn Dip from Inspired By Charm

3.  Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette from Shelter Interior Design

4.  Easy Corn Shucking from Crafting In the Rain

5.  Cilantro Corn Fritters with Chili Mint Sauce from Food and Wine

6.  Roasted Corn with Cilantro Butter from Skinny Taste

7.  Paula Dean’s Corn Salad from Food Network

8.  BBQ Corn with Mexican Spicy Butter and Lime from Eat Drink Daily

I’m heading to the beach for a few days of R and R and to celebrate my daughter turning 21!

I’m looking forward to getting out of the valley heat.

Temperatures here will be reaching 108 while I’m enjoying temps in the 80’s.

Oh yea!

Have a wonderful Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rice Krispies Treats

I’m such a lucky Nana.  My grandson has been with me since Monday.  His big brother’s went to Legoland!  I love having him.  I love waking up in the middle of the night and giving him a bottle.  I love it when I put food in his mouth and he blows a big raspberry at me and that yummy baby food goes everywhere!  I don’t even mind the poopy diapers.  I loved being a mother, but being a Nana is A M A Z I N G!

He is such a happy “smiley” little guy.  But, as soon as you put the camera in front of him he quits smiling!

Because I’ve had a little guy to keep my eye on, I haven’t been doing too much around the house this week.

I have gotten to spend a little time on Pinterest though!

“My name is Mandy and I’m a Pinterest Addict.”

Do you have a food that you could eat and eat and eat, knowing if you eat too much you will make yourself sick, but you don’t care?  Mine is…

RICE KRISPY TREATS!!!!!!

Oh my goodness, I could easily eat 2 pans!

Sick huh?  It’s true!

I could probably eat them when I have the stomach flu…. okay and strawberry pop tarts… I’m not divulging anything else!  I’ll save it for another post :-).

I have to admit, that I have never had a “flavored” Rice Krispy Treat, but I’m going to make one of these soon!

1.  Nutella Rice Krispies Treat Bars from Live Life Too

2. Caramel Turtle Rice Krispies Treat from Glorious Treats

3.  Strawberry Rice Krispies Treat from Real Mom Kitchen

4.  Smore Rice Krispies Treat from Glorious Treats

5.  Watermelon Rice Krispies Treat from Dine and Dish

6.  Oreo Rice Krispies Treats from Stylish Cuisine

7.  Rice Krispies Treat Cupcakes from Intimate Weddings

 Are you ready to make  Rice Krispies Treats for you or your children this weekend?

I’m thinking the Caramel Turtle ones look awesome!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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