Sunday

Grandma Coy's Caramel Chocolate Bars

This recipe came from my mother-in-law Coy. She cut it out of a magazine years and years ago and had been making them for holidays and her grandkids ever since. My son Daniel especially loved these delicious cookies and Coy always made sure to bring him a special container of his own.

Sadly, Coy recently passed away, so I wanted to share her cookie legacy and recipe.

An easier version of this recipe uses a 12-ounce jar of caramel ice cream topping mixed with flour in place of the 42 caramels, but I haven't tried it yet.
I for one like an easier version of a recipe as long as it doesn't compromise the taste.

GRANDMA COY'S CARAMEL CHOCOLATE BARS

Ingredients:
42 caramels
5 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup pecans, chopped

Stir together flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking soda and butter


Directions:
In a mixing bowl stir together flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking soda, and butter.
Set aside.
Cut caramels into pieces and melt in milk over low heat. 

Cut caramels into small pieces


Melt caramels

Keep on low to keep melted and set aside.
Place ½ of the crumb mixture into 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and while hot, sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts on the crust.




Pour melted caramel mixture over chocolate chips and nuts. Cover top with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake an additional 15 minutes or until lightly browned and a little bubbly.

Cool before cutting. Cut into bars.

Ooey Gooey Deliciousness 



A copy of  Coy's recipe
We made these for Thanksgiving and plan to add them to our Christmas cookie list.  Wishing you peace and joy and warm cookies this holiday season,

Elizabeth

Other Posts







Friday

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

I had a request to do a blog post on this cheesecake (yea, it's that good). 

I found the original recipe for this decadent cheesecake in a Paula Dean Cookbook , but for time and convenience sake, I made a few small changes to make it a little easier.
For one, I use a pre-made graham cracker crust and I use a bottled caramel sauce. I also add a little vanilla.  We love vanilla. 
And I'm sure using real caramels would taste better but I usually just don't have the time to spend an hour melting them!

But even with the changes, this has become one of our favorite desserts for Thanksgiving! Everyone just loves it and there's usually none left over.

Thursday

Maple Leaf Quilt Block

I'm in the middle of sewing a Farm Quilt, using patterns from Lori Holt's quilt book, Farm Girl Vintage.  I'm making the quilt blocks that relate to my own little farm, like a bee, black cat, chicken, strawberry, pumpkin, tractor, etc.

I have multiple sugar maple trees and in late winter I tap those trees to make real maple syrup. So, of course, I want a maple leaf block in my Farm Quilt.

There are many patterns out there to make a maple leaf  and I almost used the one from Farm Girl Vintage.  By the way, I love Lori Holt's books!!
But although her maple leaf is super cute and really easy to make, it's missing the top part of the maple leaf. Here is the scrappy leaf by Lori Holt (Bee in my Bonnet).

Monday

DIY Costume Awards

We have a fall / Halloween party every year and many people come in costume although it's not mandatory.
Our Halloween parties started when the kids were little but it has now evolved into a mostly adult party, although kids are encouraged and welcomed to come and I always have kiddy food, drinks, and treats.

When my kids were little I would give out prizes for top voted costumes but we haven't had a costume contest in years.
My daughter Alexis asked me to revive the tradition. So this year we had a costume contest, complete with voting jars for each category, and slips of paper and ink pens for everyone to pick their favorites.

We also decided that if you win an award in one category, you could not win in another.  That rule just allows more people to take home an award, but feel free to make up your own rules.

Wednesday

Halloween Costume Ideas #4

At the Circleville Pumpkin Show
Well, here we go again!
It's everything fall and pumpkin at our house this time of year and getting decorations set up for our annual Halloween Party.  We encourage everyone to come in costume (but not mandatory) and surprisingly, many people create costume themselves, which I love.

I've homemade my kids costumes for years and years and now that they're grown, they're carrying on the tradition.
If you've read any my previous posts on costumes, you know I have nothing against store purchased costumes, except that they are usually expensive but cheaply made, repetitive and many are just trampy.

So here are a few costume ideas and recent ones that have stood out.

Friday

Child's Batman Quilt

My most recent finished quilt was a request for a one-year-old boy's Batman quilt.

I'm not really into Batman (or any super hero) fandom so after finding a batman print fabric, I used Google to come up with coordinating colors.
The original request was just no blue colors.

There are actually a few Batman costumes, with the newest one clad in all black. I'm old school and I grew up with the vintage batman.  A plain black batman quilt or a gray-black one was just not very interesting in my opinion, so this quilt is inspired by the vintage batman costume.

Wednesday

Sausage Corn Chowder

I make this soup 3 to 4 times a year during cool fall days and cold winter months and it's usually requested for our Annual Fall Party.

The original recipe came from a 1992 cookbook called Campbell's Simply Delicious Recipes I found at a second-hand store. I changed the recipe a little, making it a little more natural by leaving out the Campbell's soup and substituting my Homemade Chicken Broth and a little cornstarch for thickener, which also happens to make the soup Gluten Free.  

The directions are for making the original recipe and also how to substitute ingredients to make the soup Gluten Free; the soup is excellent either way.

Canning Kidney Beans

Having precooked jars of beans on the shelf is a great convenience and canning dried beans yourself is really easy. Also, knowing what's in the food I'm eating, or NOT in the food is really important to me. Plus there's the money saving side to canning, and the great fresh taste and the sense of accomplishment knowing I did it myself.

Then there's forgetting to soak the beans the night before to use the next day. And freezing them poses the same problem. It happens. So having beans already cooked and ready to go means I can whip up something at the last minute if needed.

I like to can beans at the end of summer, right after finishing up canning my garden harvest. Canning the beans in late summer means they are ready to go for autumn and winter cooking of soups, stews, and casseroles.

These directions can also be used to can navy, pinto, peas and other dried beans. 

Tuesday

My Newest Project: A Farm Quilt

So here is what I have been working on for a few weeks.
Recently I discovered a blog called Bee in my Bonnet.  I found the blog and blogger, Lori Holt while pinning away quilt ideas (and recipes, and DIY's, and fall decor, and.....and.... the list is endless) on My Pinterest and happened to see Lori's Hen Quilt Block.  I just looove it!

And then, early this spring my husband and I stopped at a quilting shop in Indiana on our way home from Wisconsin.
And there in the shop, hanging on the wall was a completed Hen Quilt! It's a poor quality photo taken with my cell phone, but isn't it so amazing  and cute?  And even more exciting, they had the book with the hen pattern in it.

An Old Favorite: Parmesan Chicken

I have about a kazillion chicken recipes, but this recipe for Parmesan Chicken seems to get requested again and again. 
I love collecting and trying old retro recipes, like Chicken A La King, WWII Chocolate Mayo Cake, and Johnny Marzetti but this Parmesan Chicken is one of the best. 
It's quick and easy to make, the coating is light and very flavorful and the ingredients are items I usually already have on hand.
We like to pair this with roasted rosemary red skin potatoes and a fresh garden salad.
The recipe comes from an old cookbook I found at a local thrift store.

Cooking the chicken in the butter along with olive oil really adds lots of extra flavor so don't be afraid to use the butter!
For breadcrumbs, I like the 4C brand best and I use the Japanese Style Panko seasoned  bread crumbs. But use whatever is your favorite.  
This is not Chicken Parmesan with the red sauce and topped with cheese, although you could turn it into that dish.  This recipe is flavorful enough to stand on its own.