Some people seem to have a natural aptitude for baking and my sister Judy is one. Even though she is diabetic, that doesn’t stop her from making mouth watering treats for her family. Some of my best bar and cookie recipes came from Judy, like this week’s recipe for toffee bars. They’re nothing short of marvelous!!!!
■ Rich Toffee Bars
● 2 cups flour
● 1 cup packed brown sugar
● 1/2 cup butter
● 1 cup pecan halves
● 1 cup chocolate chips
● 2/3 cup butter
● 1/2 cup brown sugar
Heat oven to 350°F. In a large mixer bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and butter. Mix until fine crumbs form. Press into an ungreased 9x13-inch pan. Sprinkle pecans over crust. Prepare toffee topping; drizzle evenly over pecans and crust. Bake 20-22 minutes or until topping is bubbly and golden. Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over top; press gently onto surface. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. To make toffee topping, in small saucepan over medium heat, combine two-thirds cup butter and half cup brown sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring constantly, 30 seconds; use immediately.
■ Meatballs in a Mushroom Sauce
● 1 pound ground beef
● 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
● 1 small onion chopped fine
● 1 teaspoon garlic salt
● 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper
● 1 1/2 cups milk, divided
● 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
● 1 can cream of mushroom soup
Mix beef, oats, onion, salt, pepper and half cup milk. In a large skillet, melt butter or margarine and brown balls a few at a time. Transfer to baking dish. With leftover juices in skillet, add one cup milk and soup. Stir until it comes to a boil. Pour over meatballs. Cover and bake at 350°F for one hour. Serve over mashed or riced potatoes.
■ Cheese and Broccoli Soup
● 1 tablespoon butter (or margarine)
● 1 cup chopped onion
● 1 1/3 pounds potatoes (about 4 medium), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
● 2 1/2 cups water
● 2 chicken bouillon cubes
● 10 ounces frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
● 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
● Salt and pepper to taste
In a 2 to 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion; saute’ five minutes. Add potatoes, water and bouillon cubes. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and cook until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove one cup of potato cubes with a slotted spoon; set aside. Pour contents of saucepan into container of electric blender. Holding lid down tightly, blend until smooth; return to saucepan. Mix in reserved potatoes and the broccoli. Over medium-low heat gradually add cheese, stirring until heated through and cheese is completely melted. Season with salt and pepper.
■ FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Life is like a recipe, it’s how you make it.
■ GARY’S TIP: To remove starch from your iron, wet baking soda on a sponge or cloth and rub.