Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

Hello, my name is Gert.

My brother is Ranger Gord, whom some of you may know from Red Green fame. I desired to follow in steps, but alas, Canada would not allow a female to serve in part of the famed Mounties. Therefore, they gave me the privilege as serving as the lone ranger at their southern-most post, La Canada.

The locals pronounce it, La Cahn-yah-da. While I have yet to convince them of the proper pronunciation, I have adapted some of their flare to my uniform. BTW, this is how I pose when I go out at night, here.

Though I may be far from my home and native land, I still salute you, Oh Canada.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Misleading title. There are some words here.

IOWA - you make my heart smile. Here are some reasons why:

OMG! Peanut Butter Bars

At Iowa State, I had one favorite dessert. Sure, I ate more desserts than this one...but, I only had one favorite. For a good decade now, I have wanted a recipe for this little rectangle of deliciousness. Last week, I finally found a recipe that closely resembled peanut butter bars.  "Tried and Tried Again" posted a recipe for "School Lunch Lady Bars" here:

They are almost Iowa State Dining's peanut butter bars. Almost. Iowa State's bars had a middle layer of chocolate and a peanut butter frosting. (Her bars have a middle peanut butter layer and chocolate frosting.) So, I had to modify. (Of course I had to modify!)

Here's my recipe:

1 1/2 c. flour
1¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Baking Soda
¾ c Butter
¾ c Sugar
¾ c Brown Sugar
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla
3/4 c. Creamy Peanut Butter (split)
2 Eggs
1 ½ c Quick Oats (BTW, I used regular and it turned it out fine)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Then, stir in the oats. Spread onto a greased 11 x 15 Jelly Roll Pan (cookie sheet). Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes.
I melted 8 squares of 60% dark Ghiradelli chocolate in the microwave. I microwaved them for 45 seconds; stirred; melted for 30; stirred; spread. You want to make sure the chocolate layer is hard before spreading the frosting. If crunched for time, stick the pan in the freezer for a bit. (You bet your bottom dollar I did that.)
I like dark chocolate and I had 4 squares leftover from...some earlier time this year - and had individually wrapped Ghiradellis on hand. I'm sure chocolate chips would work great for this; I just haven't really mastered melting chocolate chips.
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. butter
Blend peanut butter and powdered sugar together. Add milk and vanilla. Depending on the consistency, you may need to add the butter and 1-2 T more milk. The frosting (without the added 1-2 T of milk, but with the butter) spread really nicely. So nicely that our friend Ryan (also an Iowa State grad) commented on its spreadability.
I did take tried to take pictures of the bars. My camera does not take food pictures well. Here's the obligatory food picture ANYWAY. Trust me, the taste better than this picture does justice.
By the way, these are the only ones that we had left. We gave the rest of the pan to friends. I love them, but I also want to keep wearing my clothes. :)

Pumpkin-y Goodness

Here in Tucson we are *finally* prepping for Halloween. Given that our daytime temps are still in the upper-80s, it just doesn't work to carve your pumpkins too far ahead of time. So, Tuesday night pumpkin-carving it is!

This is what love looks like.

Sometimes, you can love too much....
Left: the state of Michigan with a heart on Dan's hometown. (I had a mishap with the outline. I was trying to put MI toward the top/inside...oh well.)
Right: the likeness of "our" cat Rufus (the local stray who has adopted us)