Friday, August 2, 2013


One of the best things about creating this blog is the fun I have had trying all the recipes.....and what good ones I have found. I have made only a few things that I didn't like.

I also have enjoyed being able to share my creations I have made for my granddaughters. I am always on the look-out for new things to make them.  

The only thing I ever wanted to do was teach. Since I retired from teaching school, this blog has been a way for me to continue to do what I loved. The best part is not having to grade papers and maybe something else, but I won't mention that. If you are a teacher, you know what I am talking about. 

It is strange not actually having students in a classroom though. This cyber-space thing is a little mind-blowing. Sometimes people leave comments, but most of time, it is my friends who give me praise and encouragement for what I am doing.  

But as long as I am enjoying myself, I will continue to look for new ideas that I can reproduce or expand with my own creativity and share them with the cyber-world.  

Once a superintendent who was interviewing me for a job asked me what my philosophy of education was. I had never been asked that question and hadn't really thought about it. So I had to think quickly and the first thing I thought of to tell him was "to create a willingness and desire to learn". I haven't been able to come up with any thing else since then. Anyway he liked the answer and hired me for the job.  

I think I was thinking about myself too when I gave that answer as I have always had the willingness and desire to learn. After all, I am retired now but still willing and eager to learn. I hope that never ends. 

Wow, I don't know how I got started on that. I started this post with the idea of sharing a new dessert I made to take to Hillcrest Thrift Shop on Tuesday, my usual day for volunteering.  

I was looking through an old folder that contained recipes that I had torn out of magazines, newspaper, etc that I wanted to try. In fact...that is the title on the tab of the folder....Recipes to Try. 

Anyway I found this recipe for Double Chocolate Fantasy Bars from Borden and it sounded so good. It wasn't too hard and I thought I had all the ingredients. So the next morning when I got home from my water fitness class at the Y, I decided to start them right away so I would get them finished before I had to leave for the thrift shop. I had a sugar - free Devil's Food cake mix, but turned out I didn't have the sweetened condensed milk. Fortunately my husband wasn't too busy and he agreed to go to the store and buy me a can.  

The rest is history. I made the bars with about 15 minutes to spare and they were a big hit at the thrift shop, especially since they were still a little warm. I cut them into 24 bars. I tried one out before I left and then kept 4 because they were so good, I wanted to be able to enjoy them a little longer. When my 3 - hr shift was over, there was only one left in the pan. It wasn't too hard to convince a volunteer to take it though.

I did use a sugar - free cake mix to reduce the calories, but you wouldn't have to. It didn't affect the taste in any way though.


1       box chocolate cake mix (I used a sugar- free Devil's Food cake mix)
1/3    cup canola oil
1       egg
1       can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1       cup ( 6 - ounce pkg) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1       teaspoon vanilla
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the cake mix, oil, and egg on medium speed until crumbly. 

Add the nuts.

Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the crumb mixture.

Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Then press the mixture firmly over the pan.

In a small saucepan, combine the condensed milk, the chips, vanilla, and salt.  

Over low to medium heat, cook and stir until the chips melt.

Pour evenly over the prepared crust.

Spread evenly to the edges of the pan.

Top with the reserved crumb mixture.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Cut into bars.

Store loosely covered at room temperature. 

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