Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flour and Flower

 Part I:  Flour

On Sunday, my son asked me to make him some cookies.  I hadn't made any sweets since the week before Christmas, so it was about time to break out the chocolate, flour, and sugar and whip something up.  The day quickly got away from me as Mr. Tide and I ran errands, and by the time I grabbed a package of chocolate morsels from the pantry it was after supper.  The idea of making cookies just seemed too hard at that point...how lame is that?  I guess I won't be winning the "Mother of the Year" award anytime soon, because I decided to try and convince my son that homemade brownies were what he was really craving.  Those Baker's one bowl brownies are a cinch to make and you pour it all into one pan and then you're done!  No spooning each cookie onto a cookie sheet and then having to wait around for each batch to bake, not my idea of fun at 7:00 pm after running around all day.

So I slyly shouted from the kitchen "hey Bugs, do you want brownies or cookies?" to which he replied "YES," meaning he wanted BOTH!  Ok, this was not going well so I asked again, only to receive the same smarty pants reply!  This meant taking matters into my own hands, so I grabbed a recipe for Magic Bars,  one I hadn't made in years but it filled my requirement for one pan baking, and I knew he would like the end result... something chocolate"y", warm, and delish!

Here they are in all their glorious gooey goodness!  As you can see, they never made it from pan to being nicely cut and placed on a pretty platter for your viewing pleasure.



After eating a few, my oh so clever son said "you know mom, when I said I wanted BOTH I didn't mean that I wanted you to combine the two!"  He went on to say that he enjoyed my "cookie cobbler" none the less!  Smart boy, he knows to follow his sarcasm up with a compliment if he ever wants me to make more cookies, brownies or anything else yummy in the future.





Part II:  Flower

So while nibbling on a Magic Bar and sipping some tea I got to thinking about Spring and flowers and warm weather!  I'm not rushing the warmer months, not because I don't love everything about warm weather, but because it's the last winter before our son "Bugs" will be heading off to college and the nest will be empty!  I'm still learning to live with the fact that our daughter aka "Angelfish" is off living on her own as a new college graduate.  But the idea of having NO children at home is something I'm dealing with in true Scarlett O'Hara fashion, "I can't think about that right now.  If I do, I'll go crazy.  I'll think about that tomorrow."

Instead of dwelling on that fact, I decided to turn my attention to flowers and what I hope to do with our empty front flower bed which will need lots of TLC in the upcoming months.  With the construction over the last several years, the inside of the house has been our main priority, leaving little time or attention directed at the landscaping, but I'm hoping that will all change this year.

Here are some pictures of the pretty flowers we did have last year and hope to expand upon this year!



We moved this Rose bush last year and worried that it might not fair too well in it's new location, instead, it rewarded us with the most beautiful blooms that I cut and brought into the house all throughout the summer and fall.



This bold colored Vinca "self sows" coming back year after year without any effort on our part...my kind of flower!




The Petunias in the wall mounted planter got much bigger than pictured here by the time I finally removed them in early December.  They were still going strong until we got our first hard frost. 



The Lantana was so pretty, I planted both it and the Black Eyed Susans, in hopes that it might come back this Spring.  I know the Black Eyed Susans will come back, they are hardy plants!



I love the purplish blue color of these delicate Balloon Flowers.



The butterflies seem to approve of our choice of plantings.



The field next door was awash in a sea of yellow last August and September, it was just spectacular!



Mr. Bluebird enjoyed the flowers too.

I much prefer thinking about flowers and warm summer nights than dwelling on "empty" nests!  Like a beautiful and VERY spoiled southern belle once wisely said, "After all...tomorrow is another day!"

I hope you have good thoughts today!


UPDATE:

By popular request, here is the recipe for the cookie bars.  These are so easy, and so yummy!

Magic Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


1 cup all purpose flour

 1 cup quick cook oats

 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (softened)

One 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup nuts (I use pecans but you can use walnuts if you prefer)

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels 
(I always throw in a few extra)



Combine flour, oats, butter and brown sugar in a bowl with a pastry blender, mix well

(reserving 1/2 cup for topping)

Press crumbly mixture in to a lightly greased 13 x 9 pan and bake for 10 minutes


  Remove the pan from the oven
pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top

  Sprinkle with chocolate morsels and nuts


Evenly top with reserved oat mixture and gently press down


Bake for an additional 25 - 30 minutes or until lightly browned


Let cool a little before cutting


Store at room temperature


ENJOY!!!









4 comments:

  1. Hey Kat! I finally got back for my visit and boy did I enjoy hanging around your place today! As I was reading this post I kept thinking surely the recipe would be at the bottom! Where's the recipe Kat? I promised my girls cookies too!

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  2. It's the perfect time of year to sit inside by a cozy woodfire here and dream of future gardens looking at seed catalogues. Your pictures had me dreaming of green while looking outside at white! You have a good message in here to savor the here and now though and I like that sentiment. --Lili

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  3. Just breathtaking! What type of rose is the pink one? I love that hue of pink. Well I actually love all things pink. The magic bars look soooo good! Def. have to try that recipe.

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  4. Adrianna, I'm not sure what type of rose it is, it was here when we moved in. I love the color too!

    Kat :)

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