Thursday, July 4, 2013


Hard to believe our country is celebrating its 237th birthday today. So much has happened in those 237 years. So many lives have been lost so that we can live in this "Land of the Free". We have so much to be thankful for. As the sign hanging from my horizontal ladder shelf, "We Are So Blessed".

I couldn't have a post on this special day that didn't include another great recipe that I found and made but also a few pictures my little Canon camera captured. I hope you will stay with the post until you see the pictures at the bottom. They are not professionally done, but they're not bad.

But first the recipe:

This is another recipe from Party Foods  -- Appetizers - Dips - Salads- Desserts, compiled by Home Economics Teachers in CA. Barbara Gauthier from Santana High School in Santee, CA contributed the recipe.

I decided it sounded like a good dessert to take to a 4th of July celebration with friends. (Don't miss some of the pictures I took of the fireworks below!) The recipe said it serves 12 (I cut it into 24 bars) and my dessert needed to serve 10 - 12 people. So turtle bars it was.

I made the bars but had difficulty getting them out of the pan because the caramel topping cooked (burned) at the edge of the pan. 

(I quickly decided I needed to make another dessert and I will share it tomorrow.  It was very good and well received...almost no sugar.)

I have written the recipe pretty much the way it was in the cookbook, but have added my personal thoughts so this won't happen the next time.  

They are so - so good...there will definitely be a next time, believe you me (as they say).


2        cups flour
1-3/4  cups oats, quick or old-fashioned
3/4     cup brown sugar, packed
1/2     teaspoon salt
3/4     cup butter or margarine, softened (1-1/2 sticks)
1        cup (6 - ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used bittersweet chocolate chips)
1/2     cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1       (12.25 ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease the bottom of a 13 x 9 - inch pan. (You also need to make sure you go up the sides, too, so they won't stick to the sides of the pan.)

Combine 1-3/4 cups flour, oats, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl; mix well.

Add the softened butter, mixing until crumbly,

Reserve about 3/4 cup (loosely filled) of the mixture for the topping.

Press the remainder of the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 10 - 15 minutes.  (I baked mine 15 min but next time will bake it less. The edges were a little too brown.  My oven does have a tendency to cook a little hot anyway.)

Sprinkle the chocolate chips and nuts over the partially baked base.

Combine the caramel topping and 1/4 cup of flour; 

drizzle over the chips and nuts. (Next time I will not go all the way up to the edge to prevent the burning.)

Sprinkle the reserved mixture on top. (Break it up into small pieces.)

Bake for 25 more minutes. (You can see how it looks burned around the edges of the pan.)

Cool (on wire rack),

Chill in the frig,

Cut into bars.

We cut away the hard edges (like some people do when they make brownies)

Once we did that, the rest was not hard and so delicious. When the party was over, I brought home an empty dish. I am glad I ate one before we left home.

Now for some interesting pictures I took of the fireworks. I tried to choose some pictures that showed a little different view of what you normally see with the fireworks .... views the camera was able to catch.

Happy 4th of July, Everyone.  Hope you get to enjoy time with good friends, good food, and some pretty fireworks!

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