Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who likes oooey goooey bars? (Awards follow)

Edited note: The bars at the end of the post should be kept in the fridge to be kept firm. They will start to ooze out the sides when cut. Fabulous either way, but I know some people like firmer bars. Carry on.

As I stated in last night's post, I was making bars for our family party tomorrow in Wisconsin. It has snowed for most of the day and am not looking forward to the trip as the Dude and I are driving the pickup and pulling a car trailer. We got my Mom a car as the one she was driving died. We actually have to put the car in my sister B's name and have B list Mom as a driver since Mom is on disability and can't have any assets (or very few) because she lives in an income-based apartment. If she has assets it will increase her rent and decrease any benefits she gets. We are not trying to cheat the government; she lives on $860 a month. She pays rent, all of her living expenses, health insurance and what ever her health insurance doesn't cover has to come from her. It took her almost 4 years to pay off her portion of the hip replacements she needed since she could barely walk. She needs to still be mobile because I am certain that if she is cooped up in that apartment any longer, she's going postal on all the old freaky people that live in her building. Where the heck am I wandering off to?

Oh yeah-bars. This recipe comes from our churches first cookbook put out about 14 years ago. I have adapted it slightly because of how I like the consistency of my bars and the flavors I like in my bars. I can't make Special K bars to save my life. My aunt and my sister B make awesome SK bars; me, well lets just say that Karo syrup is NOT my friend. I always make Crispy Rice bars (this name will be explained in a minute). I have a great recipe from my old doctor's wife-who was a nutritionist, which makes me laugh as they are so full of fat and calories. I will make those in the future and post. With the creamy chocolate frosting.......ooooo, chocolate frosting....oh, sorry, I'm back.

These are called Marshmallow Caramel Bars (from St. Mark's Lutheran Church cookbook)

Crispy Rice cereal (original recipe calls for 13 oz box; I wing it and pour in more and keep stirring until I get the desired consistency, if I guessed, I would say about 14 to 15 cups cereal)

2 packages mini marshmallows
1-1/4 cup butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 package caramels (I use the Kraft caramel bits-no unwrapping!)
1 large jar marshmallow creme (original says small jar)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (not in original recipe)

Butter two jelly roll pans; set aside. Melt together 1/2 cup butter, the caramels and the sweetened condensed milk. Set aside to cool.

Melt the remaining 3/4 cup butter with marshmallows. Stir in peanut butter when marshmallows are melted. Turn off heat and stir in Crispy Rice cereal.

Divide the mixture between the two buttered pans. Butter hands and press into pan.

Take caramel mixture and spread on one pan.

Take jar of marshmallow creme and spread on other pan. It is really hard to spread on sticky food product on top of another sticky food product, especially when one of the products is in a buttered pan! They shift and slide a lot.

Invert one pan on top of the other.

Enjoy the oooey goooey goodness.

Okay, you are probably looking at that huge cello bag of Crispy Rice cereal and wondering if I shoplifted it from the school's kitchen. I work for a cereal company and as a benefit we get to take home a set number of bags or boxes a day. Since we both work there, we have A LOT of cereal. The day I picked up this bag of Crispy Rice, that line was running the large food service bags (these go to schools, colleges, hospitals, etc)

You know the best part of these bars? Left over bits for the cook!

Okay, on to some awards. The sweet Katherine over at Smoky Mountain Cafe awarded me the Superior Scribbler Award a ways back and honestly, I have been fretting over passing it on. I am fretting because I love so many blogs but it would be impossible to give it to everyone so I am giving it to

Shelby at shelbymaelawstories (Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch). Her love of her family is apparent in all of her post. Plus, she shares the name of one of my favorite people-one of my daughters.

Cathy at because she makes me laugh but also makes me think.

Heather at The post she did on her dog serving papers on her husband for the rights to pillow had me crying as I was laughing so hard.

And the beautiful Heather at the aforementioned bestowed upon me the Honest Scrap award. For this one, I believe I am suppose to list 10 honest things about myself. I will do that at the end of this novel, umm, I mean post. I will give this award to:

Dawn at vanillakitchen. She posts wonderful food with beautiful photography (I'm so jealous). I also want to eat the her photo header!

Brittany at barefootfoodie. I don't even know how to best describe my delight in her blog. She is funny, can write like I wish I could even think, says what is on her mind, and reminds me why my MIL is pretty okay.

Bob at icookstuff. I totally love that he loves to be in the kitchen and cook. I know very few men that really enjoy it, and he does-it shows in his post. Oh, and because of his use of "wicked". Always make me think of "That Thing You Do!"

Okay, 10 honest things about me:
1) I still have some Christmas decorations up. I know, I know. I think I have lost some boxes because when I put stuff away in January these things should have had boxes. I should check in my car seats (Cathy @ NP will get that)
2) I have never smoked a day in my life. Good thing since I have asthma, but, no never even tried as a teenager.
3) I have the most bizarre fear of falling and losing my front teeth. I am a total freak.
4) Besides cooking, I love to scrapbook. It has taken a back seat lately due to blogging, but need to get on the ball with a graduation coming up.
5) If there were any possible way for me to go back to school, I would go to culinary school. I don't think I want to cook professionally, but would love to learn as much as I could.
6) I miss my dead cat all the time. Sad. He would have been 15 this year. I sometimes think I see him in the computer cabinet when I'm here perusing. He loved to sit on the top shelf and watch me.
7) I'm a huge Rusty Wallace fan. For those who are scratching their heads, he is a retired NASCAR driver. We are not into it as much anymore with all the weird rule changes and such, but I still love Rusty. I have a 6 foot cutout of him in my scrap room.
8) I have a strange affinity for candles. I am seriously out of control. I cannot go to Kohls, Pier 1 or any home decor store without coming home with at least 1.
9) The Dude and I are going to Iceland next year for our 20th anniversary. We are going to sit in the hot springs and drink vodka, take a bus tour and act like we are on our second honeymoon. Love you more than you can ever know R.
10) I can't wait for camping season to start. There is nothing that I love more than sitting next to the fire with my honey enjoying a cocktail, watching the fire and the stars and listening to some great tunes.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and enduring a L-O-N-G post!


Heather said...

thanks for the award :) iceland!? that's so cool!

we had decorations up until last week.... i'm lazy, but my house looks so festive!

those are some SERIOUS cereal bars, btw!

Dawn said...

thank you for the award!
How cool to go to Iceland? I saw an espisode of GlobeTrekker on Iceland; try to find it, it was really informative, especially on the hot springs part. And that's where my fat butt would be: hot springs baby!

Kevin said...

I like oooey gooey bars and those look good! I am going to have to see if I can find some marshmallow creme.

Bob said...

Oh crap, I thought I posted on this already! Thanks for the award!!! :D

I was just stopping by to remind myself what I needed to do. (blush)

Robin Sue said...

Oh man these bars look great. I have not seen those kind of caramels around here so I will have to hunt. Can I use the other kind if I can't find the caramel bits. How many ounces?

tamilyn said...

Robin Sue-you can use a regular bag of Kraft caramels for this. That is what is called for in the original recipe. I can't remember the ounces but it is the bag you would make caramel apples with-with the individually wrapped square caramels with the sticks in the bag.