I have been making these bars for years. In fact they have been served at pot lucks, picnic’s baby showers, birthdays and weddings. I love making them because of how easy they are to prepare. And who doesn’t like caramel? If you are like me and can’t eat pecan’s, you can still enjoy these sinful delights. I have substituted cashews, almonds, walnuts and even peanuts in this recipe and no matter what you decide on it will be a hit!
Because these are on the rich side of sweet, you will want to cut them into smaller size pieces. This recipe is made using a 9×13 pan, and it will yield approximately 3 dozen pieces.
Caramel Pecan Bar’s
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Stick’s Butter~ cut into pieces
2 TBSP. Whipping Cream
48 unwrapped Caramels
2/3 Cup Whipping Cream
1 Cup Chopped Pecan’s
Preheat oven to 350
In a mixing bowl combine all the crust ingredients. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. Then increase speed to blend ingredients together until they make a stiff dough. Press this into a sprayed and parchment lined 9×13″ pan evenly. Bake for 25 minutes or until they are golden brown along the edges of the pan. Let crust cool completely in pan.
In a small sauce pan place the unwrapped caramels along with 2/3 Cup whipping cream. Over med/low heat constantly stirring until all is smooth and melted. Remove from heat and stir in nuts. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before pouring over the cooled crust.
Let caramel set and cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.
Simple yet very satisfying ~ Lark
Some of you may already know this about me, for those of you who are new to my site I will be sharing one of my “loves” with you all today. RUNNING! I may not look like the typical runner, I am not a size 3 or have arms of steel. I’m a Mother, I’ve have given birth. (lol) I am not a fast runner by any means. Slow and Steady that’s ME! Let me give Y’all a little background on how I started to love running. I was 100 + lbs. over weight. I knew I needed something to change if I wanted to play an active part in my new born daughters life. So I signed up for Weight Watchers. I promised myself I would go to the meeting and pay their fee for 1 year. During this time I started walking….and Walking…and Walking. At first it was just around the block. Then it was twice around the block, that turned into a mile, then three miles. Until one day after I had taken a longer walk than usual, I had my husband drive my route in the car to see just how far I had walked…….and guess what? I did 5 miles EASILY! I cried I was so proud of myself. So 5 miles a day became my minimum I would walk. (Now I am shortening this story because if I didn’t it could turn into a book) After many high’s & low’s of doing the points program for a year, and loosing 40 lbs. I was on my own. I wanted to see and prove to myself just how much I had learned. So I turned into a self promoting W.W. guru.
I cooked all my favorite meals and just substituted with healthier options/ ingredients. *To this day I still cook this way. All my recipes I make When cooking them for my family I am always substituting fat free, broth, sugar free, low sodium, options. ~ Now I am sure you are asking WHY do I not post that in my recipes? Well because I didn’t want to “specialize” in that. I am NO dietician and did not feel as if I am qualified to tell you what a healthier substitution would be. Now back to my journey. During this time I started signing up for 5k’s as a way to push myself. My husband and daughter also signed up along with me. It was a family affair. I think my turning point for me was when at a 5k I won an award for the fastest pace in my age/weight division…..I won The Filly award (No kidding, that is what they called it!~ UGH!) something kicked in.
I knew I could run longer than a 5k, so I signed up for a 10k. No I did not win an award. I finished! What a Rush! Of course I cried, I seem to do that at the finish line of every race. I was hooked! So I started looking for a Half Marathon (13.1 Miles) to sign up for. Well one day as I read my Prevention Magazine I saw an advertisement to join their “Team Prevention” at the 1st Las Vegas Rock -N- Roll Marathon. Of course I thought what better way to do my first half marathon than with a National Team cheering me on, and in my home State! So I signed up! Along with signing up with a personal trainer to get me in shape, I was on a running schedule for 16 weeks, walk/running 6 days a week Plus weight lifting, Yoga, Cross Training. I started walking the miles adding in a little jogging if I felt I had something left in the tank so to say. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I never missed a day. I made sure I ran my miles no matter where I was. I even got up early on Thanksgiving day at my parents to go put in my 12 miles required for that day. I was not going to put in all that hard work to just skip out because of holidays. Well half way through my training I was jogging all my miles. I was going further than the 13.1 miles, so I changed my goal. I then signed up to run the FULL MARATHON (26.2 Miles) I told myself that if I couldn’t jog the whole 26.2 miles I would walk it. I just wanted to Finish. December 2009 I crossed the finish line of the Las Vegas Rock-N-Roll Marathon….I run the whole 26.2 Miles! That is when I knew I was addicted! The feeling of accomplishment was worth every ounce of sweat, every blister, every mile, every workout. During this 2 year long process, I also dropped 107 lbs. :) I may have lost the weight, but I gained so much more. Self Confidence, Self Worth, Dedication, Determination, Energy. (And some dang nice looking calve muscles if I do say so myself This past December 2013~ I just ran /finished my 15th Marathon!
I don’t tell my “journey” very often, because I am still on my journey. It is something I work at every single day. I am not a picture perfect runner. I am still not a fast runner. I am still am not a size 3 (and will never will be) HOWEVER, I AM STRONG! I am so much more than a number on the scale. If my story will help just 1 person show that “if she can do it, I can” I am willing to tell more people about my journey. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!
Now that I have talked your ear off, what do you say we get to this FABULOUS GIVEAWAY?! I have teamed up with some AWESOME Bloggers to get you all excited to start your own journey to better health. Along with some great prizes, you can win an $250.00 Amazon gift card to buy yourself all the “bell’s & whistles” to get you up and off that couch.
All you need to do to enter is click on the entry below. GOOD LUCK!! ~Lark
a Rafflecopter giveaway
While on our family vacation to California, one of my most favorite places to visit was Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to go there? Of course I came home with a bag full of chocolate. One of the items I had picked up was their Chocolate covered Espresso Beans. Oh My Heck…..DANG GOOD! (Now if you are not a Coffee fan, you can still make these fabulous brownie’s! Just substitute the Espresso beans with chocolate covered peanuts or toffee pieces) I will warn you that these are VERY RICH, so you can cut them in smaller pieces and be totally satisfied. I also drizzled these with my Homemade Strawberry Pomegranate Syrup To kick it up a notch. I highly recommend you do the same…DIVINE!
Triple Chocolate Espresso Brownie’s
1 Cup Butter
1 (8 oz.) Milk Chocolate Bar~ chopped
6 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate~ chopped
2 Cups Sugar
2 TBSP Vanilla or Cold Coffee
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 (12 oz.) Mini Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans~ chopped
**Chocolate Frosting~ whatever is your favorite recipe
Preheat oven to 350
In a double boiler combine butter, milk chocolate bar, unsweetened chocolate as well as the mini chocolate chips. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. remove from heat to allow to cool for a few minutes. Then add the sugar and vanilla into the melted chocolate stir to combine. Next add egg’s in one at a time, whisking until smooth. In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture, do not beat. Mixing only until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the chopped espresso beans. Spread evenly into a parchment lined and sprayed 9×13 pan. Bake on center rack for 30-38 minutes. Test with a toothpick in the center to make sure it is cooked through. Cool completely in the pan before frosting. Serve with a added chopped espresso beans.
Sinfully delicious~ Lark
This flavorful side dish will be a great addition to any meal. You can serve them on their own, add them to a favorite casserole or mix them in a salad. Plus they couldn’t be easier to make, only using a few ingredients they will be ready in just a few minutes!
Garlic Cilantro Pinto Beans
2 (15 oz.) Canned Pinto Beans~ drained
3 Cloves of Garlic~ minced
4 TBSP. Butter
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro~ chopped
Dash of Chili Powder~ Optional
In a medium sized saucepan sauté the butter and garlic over med.-low heat. Add in the drained pinto beans and chili powder. When the beans have heated up, mix in the cilantro. Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Often the simplest of ingredients can add the most flavor to a dish.
Winter months seem to make me crave all those comfort foods. Casseroles full of carbs, not to mention the Soups full of Cream…. So every once in a while I like to serve a flavorful Salad for Dinner instead. This Spinach salad has something for everyone’s taste buds in it.
Spinach Salad with Creamy Strawberry Dressing
2 lbs. Rinsed Baby Spinach Leaves
2 Pint’s Fresh Strawberries~ divided
1 Cup Candied Walnuts
8 Slice’s Crispy Bacon
1 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 Cup Plain Fat Free Yogurt
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
*Croutons~ I made some using Sweet Cinnamon Swirl Bread
In a food Processor or Blender combine 1 Cup of fresh strawberries, oil, vinegar, yogurt, salt and pepper together. Blending until smooth. *If you like your dressing more sweet than tart you may want to add in 1/4 Cup Sugar if desired. Cover and let this dressing chill for at least 30 minutes before serving over a bed of spinach. Top salad with crispy bacon, candied nuts, croutons and sliced fresh strawberries. This is a very filling salad. ~ Lark
Sometimes it is the simple things that can make an ordinary day into extraordinary. I feel making a homemade treat for my family, friends, neighbors can not only make their day brighter but mine as well. Put a smile on their faces with these delicious bars. Seeing how I ALWAYS have Cream Cheese on hand, making these bars gave me an excuse to use some of it up.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Bars
2 Sticks Butter~ cold/cubed into pieces
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
2 (8oz.) Cream Cheese~ softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Strawberry preserves ~ melted
1 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Stick’s of Butter~ cold/cubed in pieces
Preheat your oven to 350 degree’s Combine all the crust ingredients together and blend with a pastry blender. Press this into a lightly sprayed and parchment paper lined 9×13″ pan. Bake on the center rack in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely before adding the filling. While crust is cooling in a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese and sugar. Beat until creamed together. Next add in the eggs and vanilla, continue to beat until smooth. Spread this over the cooled crust evenly. Then pour the melted preserves over the cream cheese layer. Set aside and mix your streusel topping. Combine all the streusel ingredients, blending with a pastry blender. Sprinkle evenly over the entire pan. It will appear that there is to much topping, however it will settle a little into the filling as baking. Use all the streusel! Return back to the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Let the bars cool completely before you cut into bars. I like to serve it with a dollop of cool whip and fresh strawberries.
~Simple and Sweet, Lark
There is no secret that I love Mexican food! One of my favorite toppings to add to any Mexican flavored dishes is fresh homemade Picco de Gallo! I love the fresh crunch and spicy heat. It only takes a few minutes to cut and toss the ingredients together, so there is no reason you shouldn’t take those few minutes to make your favorite meal even better.
Homemade Fresh Picco de Gallo
1 White Onion
1/2 Cup fresh Cilantro
1 TBSP Garlic~ minced
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
Chop all ingredients and toss together in a bowl. I like to make sure to let the flavor’s marinated for at least 30 minutes before serving. *Give it a taste and if you feel it needs more salt or more juice, just add away. Everyone’s taste buds are different, make it to please yours.
We add this to our Taco’s, enchilada’s or salad’s~ ENJOY!