Hershey Bar Pie

I’ve been asked recently why I’ve not been posting daily as I’ve done in the past.   The main reason is lack of time.  For those that don’t know or are new to our family blog, I went back to work in May and took a short break from writing for several reasons including the new job.  Even though it’s part-time, other obligations have made it harder for me to sit down and write so that’s why there has only been a Sunday and Monday post.  On Saturday I can compile info for Sunday’s “Coming Up This Week…,” finish personalizing it on Sunday morning before I publish it.  On Sunday I start to write Monday’s post, adding a few finishing touches on Monday morning before I hit the publish button.

My goal is to return to blogging at least 3-4 times per week (hopefully soon) and maybe even make a few minor changes in content.  We’re still cooking and baking, still working on crafts and projects.  I hope you’ll bear with us during this time of transition.

Today we want to share with you a recipe for Hershey Bar Pie.  I actually made this for Joshua who is hooked on the Hershey Bar Pie from Burger King.  Although in Joshua’s eyes it didn’t compare to Burger King’s Hershey Pie, he thought it was a great runner-up.  I had one piece, papa and Joshua took care of the rest over the course of a few days.  I’d say it was a huge hit.

This pie is easy to make, light and delicious.  If you want to whip up something quick for your sweet tooth, something to serve to friends and family or something sweet to take as a “dish to pass” event, this pie is perfect.

Hershey Bar Pie

HERSHEY BAR PIE

What You’ll Need:

1 (6.0 oz.) HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bar, broken into pieces
1 tub (8 oz.) frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 packaged crumb crust – I used Chocolate – You can also make your own

Directions:

  • Place candy bar pieces in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute or until chocolate is smooth when stirred
  • Cool chocolate slightlyFold whipped topping into melted chocolate; spoon into crust
  • Cover; refrigerate 6 hours or until firm
  • Garnish as desired
  • Cover; refrigerate leftover pie

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Source: https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=3515&name=Easy%20HERSHEY%20Bar%20Pie

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Looking For A Sign

I am looking for a sign….a sign that spring is indeed on its way.  By calculation spring should only be 3 weeks away, a mere 624 hours, better yet only 26 days away.  Sitting here in Michigan watching the snow pile up outside my window it feels and looks like we are going in the opposite direction.  Ah…but yesterday was a busy day running…running…running finally stopping somewhere around 6:30 p.m. I am now free to sit inside today to watch the snowfall through the window, still confident that spring is on its way and feeling triumphant that I don’t have to go out into this nasty weather yet sure that with every flake that hits the ground the snow is chanting “Haha….not yet Nancy!”

It’s always nice to hear when someone, anyone tries the recipes that we’ve liked and posted.  Here are just a few recent updates:

  • Mom made the three envelope pot roast on Sunday for the second time and once again mom and dad weren’t disappointed, it turned out delicious!
  • Nikki made the slow cooker chicken and gravy recipe on Tuesday and an hour in to it’s 3 hour cooking time Nikki reported that the house smelled “great already,” she wasn’t sure she could wait till it was done.  Later that day when I asked how it tasted she reported “mmmm it was yum!”
  • A few days ago I shared with everyone that Tina made the Vanilla Coconut Muffins and I was happy to report that they turned out so well Tina shared them with a neighbor….see, they are that delicious.

Today I am hoping the biggest decision I have to make will be which recipe I should leave you with, soup or brownies.  I am opting for brownies because on a day like today they are sure to take the “bite” out this nasty, snowy day!  I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious these brownies are. Joshua knew I was making brownies as soon as he walked through the front door, in fact, he surprised me when he said “Grandma can I have a brownie?”  First, Josh had just walked through the door and I never said anything about the fact I was making brownies and second, they were still in the oven.  When I was finally able to give Josh the first piece his eyes rolled back into his head, he buckled his knee’s and he said “Mmmm, grandma these are so good.”  “We should call them Triple Chocolate Death Threat Brownies.”  I think this name may have some indirect link to his love of WWE.

Walt’s reaction was pretty much the same as Joshua’s.  Walt couldn’t barely get passed the “mmmm” and the “ohhh” and the “wow.”  John was left speechless as well, “Ohhhh man….mmmmm, Oh my God….mmmm”  Yes these brownies are that good, they remind me of a brownie you’d find in a really good bakery or even in a great restaurant.

Joshua will be the first one to tell you that grandma cannot make a box mix brownie to save her life.  I can’t, I don’t know why.  I think I once mentioned in a post that even boxed cake mixes don’t work for me, each and every time I make a cake from a box cake mix it will split, no matter how long I let it cool before removing them from the tins.  Brownies from a box always seem to come out thin, hard and dry.

But these brownies, scratch brownies, are thick, chocolately, and delicious….”mmmmm” and “OMG” are the first words that come to mind when you bite into them.  Even the corner pieces, which are usually the ones no one wants, are as good as the center pieces.  Try them this weekend, they are well worth the little extra effort I promise you won’t be disappointed.

ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES  

Brownies

What You’ll Need:

1 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I used the Special Dark Chocolate Chips)

1/4 tsp. Salt

1-1/3 cups All-purpose flour

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1/2 cup Boiling water

2 cups Sugar

2 Eggs

2/3 cup Butter or margarine , melted and divided  (I used Butter)

3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (recipe follows)

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan or two 8-inch square baking pans.
  • Stir together cocoa and baking soda in large bowl; stir in 1/3 cup butter.
  • Add boiling water; stir until mixture thickens.
  • Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining 1/3 cup butter; stir until smooth.
  • Add flour, vanilla and salt; blend completely.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan, 30 to 35 minutes for square pans or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.
  • Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  • Frost with ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING.
  • Cut into squares.
  • Makes 24 to 36 brownies.

ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

6 tbls.             Butter or margarine, softened
2-2/3 Cups   Powdered sugar
1/2 Cup         HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1/3 Cup         Milk
1 tsp.              Vanilla extract

Beat butter in medium bowl.

Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed).

Stir in vanilla.

About 2 cups frosting.

Source: https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=4315

 

Shopping Day Procrastinating

Thursday, the dreaded grocery shopping day and I’m not ready.  I still have blank spaces on my meal planner, the page as blank as my meal planning or should I say not meal planning mind.  I’m not sure what I want to do about Super Bowl Sunday, do I want to cook or do I want to go with Walt’s suggestion for a Game Day Bucket from the Colonel (KFC).  I actually may opt for the Colonel.  I am procrastinating and need to get that list done so I can go shopping because there is no doubt that the later I get out of here the more I”ll be frustrated.

Today will be a short post with just a little bit of this, a little bit of that.  First up a quick review from my mom on the Creamy Italian Chicken made in the slow cooker.  On Sunday mom made the slow cooker Italian Chicken and both she and my dad liked it. In fact my dad, the person who is really not a chicken fan in any form, told mom she could definitely make that dish again.  The only complaint my mom had was with the cream cheese, some of it did not melt even after 6 hours in the slow cooker.   Hmmm, not sure why that happened, mine melted.  Next time mom is going to mix the cream cheese into the soup mixture so it all heats and cooks evenly.

Last night was smorgash board night.  There was a little stew left from Sunday, a chicken breast and rice left over from Monday’s Swiss Chicken and a little bit of the Cincinnati Chili from Tuesday.  I had the chicken breast with rice and both reheated in the microwave really well, Walt had a little bit of the stew and a little of the chili and said both were delicious.

That’s going to wrap it up today, I really need to get focused on my meal planner and grocery list.  As I sit and look out the window, I can see that our almost 60 degree day yesterday turned into a cold snowy one day.   Only in Michigan can you get four seasons in one day!

Today I’m going to leave you with a recipe for the M&M Cookies that I made last week.  I have not made these in a long time, mostly because my favorite is chocolate chip but I recently discovered that they are one of Walt’s favorites when he grabbed a pack of Keebler’s Rainbow Cookies and said “I love these!”  In all these years he’s never mentioned them until recently so….I made M&M cookies for Walt and he loved them.

I always forget how quick and easy it is to make cookies until I start baking.  Home baked cookies are so much better than store-bought, bake up a batch today!

M&M COOKIES

Candy Cookies

What You’ll Need:

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

3/4  cup brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 cup M&M’s  (If you like lots of M&M’s in your cookies add more)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, shortening and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Beat in vanilla until well combined.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture at low-speed, beating just until incorporated.
  • Gently fold in M&M’s.
  • Drop tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Place into oven and bake until edges are golden brown but center is still moist, about 9-10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Am I At The North Pole?

Writing today from the North Pole, oh wait, it only feels like the North Pole here  in Michigan.  It’s a brisk 1 degree and feels like -9 degree’s.  There are school closings, it looks like most of them are in rural areas, many schools are still open including all of our school districts.  I feel bad for the kids, I know in my school district we have a lot of kids who walk to school, they pass our house everyday.  Our house is exactly a half mile from the school which means that these kids are even  further, it’s way to cold for kids to walk in this.  I also feel bad for the kids who take the bus, too cold to be waiting around for the bus to show up.  I hope parents are bundling the kids up.   Brrrrr!!

I have a coupon for a free (no purchase necessary) loaf of fresh French or Italian bread from Randazzo’s.  In fact, I have 6 coupons for free loaves of bread, one every week for the next six weeks.  Pretty awesome especially since we love the fresh bread from Randazzo.  My game plan today was to run up to Randazzo to pick up a fresh loaf of bread to go with the chicken fettuccine I plan on making tonight.  As cold as it is outside, I’m not sure I want to venture outside for any reason but fresh-baked bread (FREE bread) may win this internal battle I’m having.  I guess if my grandbabies were forced to go to school today the least I can do is make a quick run up to the corner for fresh bread to go with our chicken fettuccine tonight.

I just might have to do some baking today, maybe cookies or perhaps muffins for tomorrow morning.  Mmmmm, cinnamon-sugar muffins sound pretty good right about now and I know the house would smell delicious.  If I get really ambitious I could make both!  I guess we’ll see how motivated I am after Walt leaves for work.

The Gooey Butter Cake, aka; Neiman Marcus Brownies, Chess Squares, Cream Cheese Brownies (yes they are known by at LEAST that many names) are almost gone.  What ever you want to call them won’t change how deliciously rich these are.  They are so rich and gooey that you really can only eat one little square at a time and you will argue with yourself as to whether or not you should go back for another.

It’s funnny, how the same recipe can be named so many different things.  I found the exact same recipe for these delicious little blondes or white brownies under all of those different names on several different blogs including Pin Foody and Kevin and Amanda on Pinterest (links below).  Paula Deen also has a similar recipe, she calls it Gooey Butter Cake and her recipe has a few extra ingredients.  If you want to see Paula’s recipe you can go to Paula Deen’s website.  These are definitely a keeper, I can’t wait to make them for company!

Stay warm today, bake something yummy, I know I will!!

NEIMAN MARCUS BROWNIES (aka: Gooey Butter Cake, Chess Squares)

Gooey Butter Cake, Chess Squares

 

What You’ll Need:

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees
  • Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray
  • Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg to a soft dough
  • Press into the bottom of the pan
  • Mix powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and remaining two eggs until smooth, about 1-2 min.
  • Pour on top of crust
  • Bake at 300 for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown
  • Cool – cut into squares

Sources:

 

For A Split Second…..

Hello family, friends and fellow bloggers.  Hope everyone is having a fantastic day.

I was, then I wasn’t and now I am… back to enjoying an incredibly beautiful day sitting in my kitchen, looking out the window, jotting down my entry for today.

I can already see my brother Greg cringe as he reads this paragraph and a few of the other paragraphs that follow (and maybe even a few of you going “WHAT?”)…..I am not an overly political person.  I follow who’s who, what’s going on, I watch CNN, MSNBC, sometimes Fox, I read, I vote, I even ran for office once in the small community we lived in back in the mid 1980’s….I ran as a Democrat because, well quite frankly, 99% of the Downriver population was at the time Democrats.

So before anyone reads on…including my dear brother Greg, I want to apologize if I offend anyone.  It really is not my intent to do so, nor is this particular blog intended to start a political debate.

The information I am going to share with you from here forward is merely to give you a understanding of who I am, how I feel, what I think, I am not trying to push my belief onto anyone else.  I just need to lay a foundation so that when I tell you what happened today and how I reacted you’ll understand, because my reaction was not really who I am, I surprised even myself when I heard things coming out of my mouth.  It was more of an emotional response, rather than political.

So, with that said, here goes……

I look at political parties almost the same way I do unions.  I think at one time, when unions were first formed, that there was a need for unions, a need to protect the rights, health and welfare of workers.  But as time has moved on, the government putting more and more restrictions on companies to comply with health, safety and environmental laws, minimum wages, and maybe one day, if they ever get it figured out….healthcare, I think the need for unions has decreased.  I see unions as a corporation, a money-making entity that takes its leaders on lavish vacations….collecting money from people (workers) who could make better use of it in their paycheck and in their pocket.

As a teenager of the 1970’s and as years progressed, my father and I have had many, many discussions about unions.  I against them while my father supportive of them, even though he himself was a white-collar worker, a sport coat and tie man.  The years and our debates in itself could be a whole funny blog.  I am very proud of my dad…he stands up for what he believes in and encourages his children to do the same.

I can honestly say that I really am not a Democrat or a Republican (calm down Greg), I actually will vote based on what the person stands for, if his issues are my issues, if he has a positive track record for responding to the issues that I feel are most important to me and my family….then he/she is my candidate.

At times I wonder if we really do need parties…I mean come on, if you seriously looked at every President or politician, Democrat or Republican, you can find good things they’ve accomplished as well as major screw ups.  Both parties, neither one is immune to bad  decision-making.

Please don’t bombard with how crazy you think I am…..Freedom of Speech, I have a right to express myself which slides us right in to what happened today in front of the post office.

The post office is the second building from the corner, there is a traffic light at the corner and if you get caught at the light you have a good view of the front of the post office.  Today I got caught at the light, the very first car.  I can clearly see a table set up right at the curb, one step back and the two people behind the table would be on the road.  I can see posters hanging from the table…I can make out John Kennedy on one, President Obama on another, red, white and blue streamers.  There is a white man, a black woman manning the table.

The light changed and I pulled forward, as I wait to make the left into the driveway to go to the parking lot which is in the back of the building I can now clearly see the President Obama poster……….a Hitler type mustache etched under his nose, IMPEACH OBAMA written across the top of the poster.

I went nuts…litterally.  I parked the car and walked up the sidewalk to the front of the building (there is no back or side door for customers).  As I got closer to the front of the building the man began jumping up and down in a jumping jack fashion, arms waving over his head, jumping toward me saying….”Come here, come here, we need to talk to you!!” “We need to get Obama out of office!!!”

This is when I lost my mind…..oh…yes I did.  I put my hand out in front of me, palm out and said…”Stay away from me you idiot!”  “I don’t care what your political beliefs are or what you stand for.”  “That photo is discusting…..when did freedom of speech give you the right to be disrespectful.” 

They both took a step back….the woman said “WOW!”  I know!!! I was thinking “WOW!!!” too.  I had to look around to make sure that came out of me.  My intention was to ignore them and walk right past and into the post office but the closer I got and saw that mustache etched on that poster, the anger just shot out.

It wouldn’t have mattered who it was on that poster, it could have been George Bush Jr…..(and he screwed up really bad “in my opinion”), the bottom line is, I may not agree with politicians or a President’s politics, their decision-making or what they did or didn’t accomplish while they were in or are in office, but if nothing else, in America….our President, no matter who he is deserves a little respect.  How dare you compare our President to a killer, a mass murderer!

If you want to disagree with President Obama’s decisions and create literature showing how promises weren’t kept, what bad decisions were made, how the national debt stands, etc….go ahead, our right to free speech gives gives you that right.  Our Presidents and politicians no matter how good or how bad have continued to make sure we have that right.

Where is it written that our freedom …. YOUR FREEDOM to say, write, travel, etc. gives you the right to be disrespectful?

I may have frustrations and disagree with political choices, I still respect politicians for what they do, it’s hard enough these days to run a household, I can’t imagine what it’s like at night to lay your head on a pillow with literally the weight of the world hanging over you.

I know there are bad politicians who don’t deserve respect of title or position because of criminal activity…can anyone say Kwami Kilpatrick?  But even Kwami doesn’t deserve to have a Hitler mustache etched on his face….and trust me, I really don’t think highly of Kwami at all.  But through due process the man is no longer in office stealing from the citizens of Detroit who can ill afford it.

We live in a country that gives us the right, the freedom of choice.  You don’t think someone is doing a good job?  Recall them, don’t vote for them next time, campaign against them.  Believe it or not, politicians no matter how bad they are politically believe in your right to do so.

The people under Hitler’s reign had no choices, they had no voice, they had no freedom.

I love my country, I am proud to be an American. I can’t hear the National Anthem sung ANYWHERE without it bringing a tear to my eye, even a televised ballgame.  So, I’m taking my little 5’2″ self off the ladder (you’d never see me on a soapbox, too short), I’ve said my peace, please don’t beat me up too badly.

Today I made a Banana Split Pie because For a split second today, I went banana’s and lost my mind and my manners.  Why can’t the world be as beautiful and calm as an afternoon spent running through strawberry fields on a beautiful summer day.”     

Banana Split Pie – Delicious

Banana Split Pie (Kraft Foods)

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/banana-split-pie-109526.aspx?pf=truena

Ingredients

  • 2  cups cold milk
  • 2  pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1  HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)
  • 1  cup sliced fresh strawberries, divided
  • 1  banana, sliced
  • 1  tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
  • 2  Tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • 1/4   cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans

Directions

 POUR milk into large bowl.

ADD dry pudding mixes.

BEAT with wire whisk 2 min.

SPREAD 1-1/2 cups of the pudding onto bottom of crust.

Spread 1-1/2 cups of pudding onto bottom of crust

TOP with half of the strawberries and the bananas.

Place sliced banana and 1/2 of the strawberries on top of the pudding

ADD half of the whipped topping to remaining pudding;

Stir gently until well blended

 SPREAD over fruit layer in crust.

Spread remaining pudding with 1/2 of the Cool Whip spread over fruit
Cover pudding/Cool Whip mixture with the remaining Cool Whip

SPREAD remaining whipped topping over pie to within 1 inch of edge of crust.

DRIZZLE with chocolate syrup

Drizzle with chocolate syrup

Top with remaining strawberries and pecans.

 

REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until set.

Store leftovers in refrigerator.