Sunday, August 23, 2015

Well, Hello Dollies - Magic Cookie Bars

My new pretty girl, and she's wearing a red ribbon

I've bought a lot of cars in my long and evil life, but buying the Escape was the best experience yet.  I will tell you we bought the car from Kisselback Ford in St. Cloud, and our salesman's name is Jim. Excellent salesman, had a "just folks" approach that was so much better than the hard sell.  (Not like the time I had to drive off the lot at a certain Kia dealer in Orlando to get away from a gaggle of salespersons clinging to the bumper of my car.)  Very professional and pleasant staff in the business office. As I say, a good experience at Kisselback.
Tap the picture for your daily ear worm

The only thing that was weird - funny-weird, not bad weird - was the number of people who came forward to shake our hands, congratulate us on our purchase, and thank us for our business.  It was like a reception line at a wedding, except nobody kissed me, which was fine.  Unfortunately, we were standing outside, it was 101 degrees in the shade, and I was leaning on my cane for dear life.  I was ready to call it quits after meeting the owner Bobby Kisselback (if you are a local, you've seen him on the TV ads and you are now going to have to endure a wicked ear worm from the jingle), but he brought his whole staff with him.  Nice man, nice staff, nice car. Great air conditioning.

I moved the stuff I'd cleared out of the late, lamented Expedition into the Escape, and was reminded of what a sentimental fool I am.  What absolutely HAD to be placed in the new car: a red ribbon (actually two); the little brown bear Donna Dorer gave me about 12 years ago; the 18 cents my mother-in-law always puts in the glove compartment of our new cars; the hand knit sweater and little shirt Tuffy was wearing when we took him to the vet for the last time; and the Mardi Gras beads Dave Abercrombie brought me back from New Orleans a good long while ago. Now I can drive the Escape without fear of marauding deer.

The only part of me left in the Expedition were two artificial poppies, one on each visor:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

So my first "new car" project was set for today, to clear out my office at DCF.  But things aren't happening the way we planned, ha ha.  I got an email late yesterday from Brenda, letting me know that the empty cartons she had so carefully collected for my use had been co-opted, or recollected or maybe it was recycled by persons unknown - in any event, they are gone. Rob and I started scraping up boxes and cartons, only to discover the dogs had made a statement and peed on most of the plastic boxes.  Instant clean-up job needed.  They are drying on the front porch as we speak.  And then, Robert is on his way to pick up his Mom, and Cory is working a birthday party, and I still can't do this alone.  Let us wait ... I'm good with that anyway.  Not enough sleep and I forgot to take my medication until just now, which means I was late for a very important date.  Miss the meds, feel like hell.  Even when I take the meds I feel like hell; apparently, after 33 years on the same medication, my heart palpitations have decided to make an unwanted reappearance.  I guess that's so I don't dwell on the back pain too much, but ha, that doesn't work.

Robert has returned, but so have the monsoons.  We are clearly not going to get the move done today, but tomorrow is another day.  Thank you Margaret Mitchell.  Frankly I don't give a damn.  You all know I am not looking forward to this trip to the office anyway.

He's baaaaack!

I did manage to bake Something Good: I've always known them as Seven Layer Bars, and Magic Cookie Bars, which is how they appear on the back of the box of graham cracker crumbs, but they are also known by the much more lyrical title of "Hello Dollies." They are ridiculously easy, incredibly customizable, and outrageously good. There are a million variations; just check Google.

The "magic" comes from that most amazing ingredient, sweetened condensed milk, the very same stuff that makes a real Florida key lime pie so good.  Besides the key lime juice, of course.  The Dollies have two or more kinds of chips, sweetened coconut, and, barring any allergies, nuts.  Neither Rob nor I can eat walnuts, but this batch isn't for home, so walnuts are included as well.

1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds

Spread the butter in a 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkle the crumbs over the butter.  Evenly pat the crumbs into the pan.  Drizzle the condensed milk over the crumbs.

Sprinkle the coconut, chips and nuts over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until light brown around the edges.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.  Store in the refrigerator.

Try not to eat them all in one sitting.  Try hard.

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