Friday, April 28, 2017


This week is Volunteer Appreciation Week at Hillcrest Thrift Shop. Management has been showing ways to demonstrate that appreciation each day this week. On Tuesday, my usual day to work at the register, they served us lunch from Nick & Jake's restaurant. It was delicious!

I temporarily forgot Monday that we were being served lunch and searched for something I could take (as I usually do). I ended up not making these Peanut Butter Cookie Bars until Monday evening after dinner. By then I was tired and just wanted to do something that wouldn't be too difficult. By the time I finally remembered about lunch, I already had the bars in the oven. I considered just giving them to the boys next door, but Tuesday morning I woke up and decided I would take them anyway.

I'm so glad I did. We decided to leave them on the counter behind the register instead of in the community room and that way I could just invite the volunteers as they came by to get one. By the time I left, I had given them all away. (Minus the eight I had at home - six for the boys and two for us.)

This recipe came from my Mary Foreman's Best of the Best Presents Deep South Dish Homestyle Southern Recipes cookbook my husband bought me when we were in New Orleans. I think I have seen it in other cookbooks also which isn't surprising when you have as many cookbooks as I do.


1-3/4       cups flour
1/2          teaspoon baking soda
1              stick unsalted butter
1              cup creamy peanut butter
3/4         cup sugar
1/4          cup packed light brown sugar
1              large egg
2             teaspoons vanilla extract
1              cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
2             tablespoons peanut butter (I used crunchy peanut butter)
1              cup chopped peanuts (optional) (I did not use them.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.

In a mixer bowl, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add sugars and blend.
Add egg and vanilla, and mix on medium speed 2 minutes.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture, a little at a time,
until blended in.
Spread in bottom of ungreased 9 x 13 - inch pan, (I put most of the mixture in the pan and
spread it out with my fingers.
Then I could add the rest in the places I needed it.
(I find this method faster than if I dump all of it at first and then have to move it around in the thick places.)
and bake 20 - 25 minutes; don't overcook. (I cooked mine 20 minutes.)
Cool on rack.

Melt together chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave on HIGH for 45 to 60 seconds; stir, and repeat at 15 - second intervals, stirring each time until completely melted.

(I heated mine for 45 seconds on HIGH and the chips and peanut butter were completely melted.
I stirred it to blend it together. The little bumps are the peanuts in the crunchy peanut butter.)
Spread on top of the cooled bar cookies, and set aside to set. 

Store covered, at room temperature.

When ready to serve, cut in 24 squares. 

Since I was taking them to Hillcrest Thrift Shop I cut the squares in half after I took the pictures and made bars. Some volunteers took two which was fine.

They were still talking about them on Wednesday when I went back to Hillcrest to just shop. I think that means they liked them.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


I found this recipe among my mother's and put it aside to make the next time we had friends over to play card. That opportunity arose last Friday. (Friends Jan and Byron especially loved it. Byron said it tasted like Cracker Jacks. He even asked me how I made it.) I know Mother had the recipe for a long time because she had typed it on the recipe card. Back about the time I got married in the 70s that was something we were doing....typing recipes on cards.


3      quarts popped pop corn (I used 1-1/2 bags of microwave popcorn to get the 3 quarts.)
1/2   cup chopped pecans
1/2   cup margarine (1 stick)
1       cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4   cup light corn syrup
1/2   teaspoon salt
1/4   teaspoon baking soda
1/2   teaspoon vanilla

Combine the popcorn and pecans.

Grease a 15 x 10 - inch pan. Spread the popcorn and pecans evenly on the pan. (The pecans didn't want to cooperate with me.)

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the margarine.

Then add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.

Bring to a boil (over medium heat - won't take long at all) and boil 5 minutes without stirring. (As soon as it started boiling, I set my timer for 5 minutes.)

Remove from heat, and stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Pour syrup over popcorn as evenly as possible .... try not to just dump will be harder to spread over popcorn....(I speak from experience.  You can see where I dumped too much - I think I stopped for my husband to take the picture and too much came out right there.)
stirring until popcorn is fairly evenly coated. (I had to work fast so I called my husband to help by taking a picture.)

Bake for 30 minutes.  

(This is where Mother's recipe ends and I continue....)

Remove and stir again as the caramel will melt to the bottom of the pan.  

After you have gotten all of the caramel off the bottom of the pan, place popcorn in a large bowl to completely cool.

When cooled, break it up with your hands into bite - sized pieces.

Personal note. I wrote this post two years ago and never published it. Initially I just wasn't sure and then probably just forgot about it. The popcorn tasted really good. I think I was a little disappointed because it wasn't completely covered. I'm not sure if it was because I didn't do a great job pouring the caramel mixture out evenly over it or maybe if I had used just a little too much popcorn. Maybe both are reasons. I would love hearing from you if you make it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


The last stop of our 2017 Road Trip was in Fort Worth. We have been to Fort Worth several times because my husband graduated from Texas Christian University which is located in Fort Worth. I planned the first part of the trip when we visited my extended family; my husband planned the rest of the trip. So I wasn't surprised when he said we would stay a couple of days in Fort Worth.

If you have been following my travelogue, you know Texas was very busy the week we were coming through - Spring break in Texas, SXSW in Austin, Spring at the Silos in Waco, and then Cowtown Goes Green (for St. Patrick's Day) in Fort Worth. Historic Fort Worth Stockyards or Cowtown has changed a lot since my husband was in college. The main thing he remembered from his college days was a restaurant called Joe T Garcia's where he and his fraternity brothers would go to drink beer and eat salsa and chips. He hadn't been back since so he was amazed at all of the changes. 

Even though it meant lots of people again, I guess it was a good time to go because they had lots of activities going on.  The gunfight show and riding the Grapevine Vintage Railroad Train (two things we enjoyed) were special daily events just for the week. (The re-enactment gunfight show, Legends of Texas, is presented on weekends only otherwise.) We also got to see the St. Patrick's Day parade, an Irish-themed parade with a classic Western twist. The Fort Worth Herd cattle drive is held twice-a-day daily except on some holidays and maybe when the weather is bad. We made sure we got there in time for the 11:30 am drive. The train runs a route of the Chisholm Trail. By 2:30 it was good to sit down. (My husband bought us First Class tickets so we had upholstered benches and A/C in our "car".) The best views on the trip were when we crossed the Trinity River a couple of times. You know how train rides see the back of things mostly.

I hope you will enjoy my many pictures...

Before the "drive"
The start

The sheriff is friendly with one of the bank robber before the show. Oops.

The bank robbers

Can you see the Sheriff and his deputy?

RIP - The good guys win again.
The line at Joe T. Garcia's - he decided next time...

There was a line also to buy tickets for train ride - 55 minutes

Inside train car

Trinity River

another crossing

Another view from the train. I've never seen so many pallets.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade starts

A Salvation Army band from Canada performing

My granddaddy living in CA at the time operated a pony ride when I was a child

Can you see the boy riding the steer?
It was a fun, warm day (low 80s) and we were a little tired by the time we got back to our room. After a brief rest, though, we were ready to go meet up with a boyhood friend of our younger son, Patrick, and his daughter. Kelly and Patrick met in Kindergarten and have been friends ever since. It was so good to "catch up" with him and meet his five year old daughter Kenna. (Disappointed that we missed his wife Danielle who was in Orlando with her twin sister.) 

We had hoped to go to a TCU baseball game the next afternoon, but because they are having a good season, there were no tickets available. Maybe next time. 

And until next time, I have enjoyed sharing our Road Trip 2017 with you and hope you enjoyed my pictures.