Sunday, January 16, 2011

Divine Intervention and Weekend Cooking

        Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads-click and read her wonderful post on Ina Garten's Vegetable Tian


     Yesterday was a crazy  Saturday for this family.  I was up at 6:00 to get Teenage Boy to school by 6:30 so he could get on the bus for a jazz competition.  I had to follow the bus because I am "never" given the paper with the details of these events.  When asked, Teenage Boy said, "oh, yah it's in my locker."  A few days before he told us the event was in Union (a town 1 1/2 hours away) but because God gave me some sense I changed my original plan, which was to drive to Union using GPS and meet the bus when it arrived into town, then follow it to the school.  I changed that plan just two blocks away when I flipped a u-turn and drove back to his school and calmly waited for the bus to leave.  Divine Intervention as the event was only 20 minutes away at Union H.S., in a different small town-the complete opposite direction of where I would have been had I not turned around. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone but it would be so nice to get the facts, man!

     After the event when I spirited him away from the competition I took him to IHop(not exactly the haven for local, organic or healthy food but it was for the Boy)  for breakfast and some quiet time together.   I knew our next event; a  big funeral at our church, was going to be diffiuclt for the boy as the funeral was for a 96-year-old man; a  mentor to Teenage Boy so  I listened to my German grandmother whispering to me  "Feed Him." Yes, grandmother I'm still listening.   While he and I were at jazz and breakfast, my husband had Groovy Girl at skating and by 10:20 we all met up for the funeral.   To make the day even more thrilling my mom was in town so we could celebrate her birthday.  Mom and I spent the late afternoon at a sweet Italian place having drinks and calamari.  It was delicious, fun and we had a great waiter.

     But the real food I want to share is what I made the night before (Friday) for the funeral luncheon. Mom, husband and I were watching Winter's Bone (four stars) when at 10 p.m.  I infamously said, "oh, I need to make bars" quickly followed by "and I have no eggs."  My egg supplier (another teacher) is having chicken troubles but have no fear I googled bar recipes w/out eggs and viola-this recipe popped up. Love it when the internet actually gives me what I want.
 
     I made the bars in 15 minutes (during the last part of the  movie) and had tons of compliments at church.  Seriously, that never happens to me-my family can laughingly tell you because usually my stuff is labeled the "healthy" or "meat-free" stuff-making it much less worthy in their church lady eyes so a compliment was HUGE!!  I had three ladies ask me for the recipe and they were joking with me about how they didn't want to put my bars out on the table so they could just eat them in the kitchen...big score for me.  I'll be humble though and just graciously share it here with you.  Cookie Madness, the blog that produced these wonderful egg-free bars is now under my peaceful food blog roll, which grows everyday.  ______________________________________________________________________________________________

     Brown Sugar & Honey Pecan Bars
Crust:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (light)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up

Filling:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 scant teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (light)
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cups coarsely chopped, lightly toasted pecans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch metal pan with non-stick foil or line with regular foil and spray with baking spray.  (I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13-inch pan) Covering it with tinfoil made it so easy to lift bars out and easy clean up)

Prepare crust. Combine flour, brown sugar and salt in food processor and pulse 3 times to mix. Add butter and process until mixture is crumbly – it will be really dry. Pour over bottom of pan and press tightly. Bake for 20 minutes.

Prepare the filling. In a heavy saucepan melt the butter. When the butter is completely melted, stir in salt, brown sugar and honey. Simmer mixture for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in cream, vanilla and pecans.

Pour the pecan mixture over crust and spread evenly. Bake on center rack for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for at least an hour. To quick-cool, let them cool down as much as possible then shove them in the refrigerator.

Lift foil from pan and carefully cut into bars. I like to trim off the edges, cut the bars into 8 rectangles, then cut each rectangle into a square. It’s easy to do this if you have a big cutting board and a Chef’s knife.

Makes 16 squares (or 32 bars, if doubled)
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They were perfect chewy bars and great for adult events.  My kids are not nut lovers unless it is ground up and called peanut butter.

This post is dedicated to Harold L. Brock-we thank you for your life lessons,  your inspiration and for finding the light inside Teenage Boy.  We know it will be alright, thanks to you.   Peace.

****Honesty Disclaimer:  Family....I am well aware that we actually fit more in our day than just these listed events but if I tell my one reader about the mid-year graduation, TB's two soccer games and the bluegrass music event Daddy played for after the funeral-it will just seem like we are crazy!!

5 comments:

  1. Blessings on you and your family as you say good-bye to your wonderful friend.

    Can't wait to try these bars...healthy and delicious? Who'da thunk it?

    Sounds like a normal Saturday to me! ;)

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  2. Great recipe and very nice dedication. I can't wait to try these. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. LOL -- you have more than one reader and no, you don't need to detail every second.

    I cannot wait to try these -- I have all the ingredients on hand and I love it takes very little time to put these together.

    And teen boys ... need one say more?

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  4. These sound too yummy for words! :)

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  5. You do have more than one reader, silly! You will actually look back on these busy years when your kids were growing up with fondness later (and wonder how you possibly did it all...)

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