Wednesday, August 2, 2017


This week we are being blessed with friends from CA visiting us. Phyllis was one of our ministers at our church in Ventura when we lived there. It is good to keep in touch with friends after you move away. 

Today, my husband and I took her and her husband Marshall to 18th and Vine Street to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum. What a fun and informative day! Then we feasted at Jack Stacks BBQ not too far away. Our afternoon ended with a visit to Hillcrest Thrift Shop so they could see where I have been volunteering for the last 5 years. Not sure what we are going to do tomorrow during the day. I'm excited they will be here tomorrow night and will get to hear our church's talented music director Walter entertain everyone with New Orleans style jazz. I think that will probably be the highlight of their visit with us.

I quickly wanted to share with you a recipe I made Sunday afternoon called Chewy Granola Bars. It is a recipe from Georgia Varozza and Kathleen Kerr's The Amish Baking Cookbook - Plainly Delicious Recipes from oven to table. I hope you will try them and let me know if they worked out well for you. Normally I don't share recipes that don't work out as planned and don't get me wrong, this recipe tastes great. It just didn't make "bars" for me. I cut them into squares as instructed, but there just wasn't enough "glue" to hold them all together. SO I just broke it up and made an excellent granola! It is so good with my yogurt! We all enjoyed it at breakfast this morning. 

I considered just retitling the recipe Granola, but I thought maybe someone else making it would be successful. The one thing I might have messed up on was the instant oats. I used quick oats and maybe that wasn't what the recipe was calling for. I am familiar with instant oats that come in the little packages. Does it come differently? I just wonder because it would take a lot of packages to make 3 cups. One other thing I did was I made an Amish Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk.

I hope you will try the recipe with the idea that if "bars" don't work out for you, you will just crumble them and make "granola" and store it in an airtight container. 


3       cups instant oats (I used quick oats.)
1       14 - oz can sweetened condensed milk
2       tablespoon butter, melted
1        cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened coconut)
1        cup sliced almonds
1        cup dried cherries (a 5 - oz package)
1        cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 60% cacao chips instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 - inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. (I cut the dried cherries in half and the large ones in quarters.) I started with a large glass mixing bowl and ended up transferring the mixture to a large tupperware bowl I have so that I could work through the ingredients to make sure everything was well distributed.

I dumped the mixture into the pan and then pressed it down.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are just browned.

Immediately cut into squares and let them cool completely before serving.

As I said, if the so called bars won't hold together, just crumble baked and cooled mixture and store in an airtight container. 

Add as topping to yogurt or even ice cream.

They recommended you try any combination of fruits and sweets in the bars such as dried cranberries, pecans, walnuts, m&ms, peanuts, raisins, and chopped dried apricots.

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