Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rice Krispies Treats and other Sweets!

It was John's birthday the beginning of November and I presented him with a cake at the Lake Wynonah Lodge while he was bartending. Everyone sang "Happy Birthday" for the self-proclaimed angry bartender – at least he is when the Philadelphia Eagles are losing. I put on these garish candles which were supposed to be sparklers but they just sputtered out. I think they were from 1970 or something. Before you say how wonderful it was that I baked a cake, I will retort, "Are you crazy?" I got the next best thing, a Pepperidge Farms 3-Layer Cake!
 
The funny thing was that John was with me when I picked up the cake. I couldn't get away from him in the supermarket so I faked a received text from my friend Sue. I told John it stated that she needed a cake for her grandchild's birthday. I couldn't even get out a real name for the kid, just instead referring to it as "one of her grandkids, I dunno which one."  Unknowingly, Sue became my cake patsy.

You could say Sue was my Pepperidge patsy as I picked up a the Pepperidge Farms 3-Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake. I am just drawn to these cakes. I LOVE THEM. They are always so moist and just sweet enough! They are the perfect size for a small birthday gathering. Growing up (everything goes back to this of course), Mom and Dad would purchase them for birthdays and special occasions. It was either that or our other favorite, a Carvel Ice Cream cake. And no, I never got the Carvel "Cookie Puss" cake. I was horribly disappointed as you can imagine. If you don't know what the Cookie Puss cake was, I guess I am dating myself. Instead, we got a chocolate ice cream cake with chocolate crumbles on the sides. You never heard me complaining.
 

Mom did bake, just not often. She baked Jewish apple cake, brownies, banana bread, cookies, and either Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines cakes. I never turned down any of these either. But sometimes Mom's box mix cakes could come out pretty dry. Luckily, mounds of chocolate icing could fix anything.  And who could forget when she let you lick the icing spatula! Eventually Mom turned to the Pepperidge Farms cakes for good and that became our traditional birthday dessert. 

Another dessert that Mom made for my sister, brother, and I were Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats.  According to the Wikipedia online article, Rice Krispies cereal dates back to 1927 and Rice Krispies Treats, to 1939. It is amazing that these treats have become an iconic American dessert on the same level with Oreo cookies and apple pie!  Each mother seemed to have her own recipe, and Mom was no exception. Whether they were hastily made for a school birthday party after telling Mom at 9 at night that I needed it for the next day or for a camping trip, Rice Krispies treats are still to this day, a cheap, reliable, and easy to make dessert. Below is my Mom's recipe and other similar variations can be found online. Who can resist their chewy sweetness? Looking for an something different? Check out the  great website:  http://www.somethingswanky.com/50-rice-krispie-treats/ for variations!

I found out a couple things when making them. For such an easy recipe, it can be sooo messy. When you are stirring in the Rice Krispies, they stick to everything and get everywhere. Make sure you spray the utensil you are using with spray butter or a Pam type spray to prevent sticking. Once the mixture was completely mixed and ready to spread out into the pan, I used a wooden spoon to pat it down evenly. My Mom also suggested wax paper. Another time-saving hint is that instead of melting the butter and marshmallows over the stove, you can microwave the mixture. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter and marshmallows on high for 2 minutes, stir evenly, then heat for an additional minute. Stir until smooth and then transfer into a large mixing bowl and add the cereal. The microwaving won't affect flavor and obviously saves a lot of time.
Rice Krispies Treats!
Although very simple, I really enjoyed making this recipe. It relaxed me after a very long day at work.  Memories of Mom surprising us with them also came rushing back. Why not make it this weekend for your kids? Nothing makes you love Mom more than getting a plate full of Rice Krispies Treats from her!

Rice Krispies Treats
From Mom (Abby Deeds)

1/4 cup regular margarine or butter
1 package (10 oz) of regular marshmallows or 4 cups of miniature marshmallows
5-6 cups of Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal

1. Melt margarine or butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
2. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
3. Cook 3-4 minutes longer, stirring constantly, and then remove from heat.
4. Add Rice Krispies and stir until they are completely coated.
5. Using a buttered spatula or waxed paper, press the mixture evenly into a buttered 13x9x2 inch pan.
6. Cut into 2 inch squares when cool.

 

 

 

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Quiet Month Off

After a month off, I am finally getting back to this blog, my labor of love. At the end of September, John and I went off on vacation for a week staying in cabins at various states parks of Northwestern PA. We encountered bugling elk, mischievous young deer following us, and an angry beaver which chased us out of his swamp. Luckily, we survived and had a wonderful week getting back to nature.

I was back to work for 4 crazy days and then went out on surgery leave for a hernia operation on October 11th. It was successful. As you can guess I milked my pain for everything it was worth. J  John, my sister Sheryl, and good friend Sue took good care of me. The first week was a struggle as I found every movement involves your abdominal muscles which were now sporting three small incisions. Well I recovered and am now back on track with normal life.

I did write a lot during the 3 weeks off, just not material that I am ready to put out yet. I will begin though, with the continuation of my year-long project with my family's recipes. This next one will be an easy one with everyone's favorite treat from growing up, Rice Krispies Treats!  If you haven't made it in awhile, maybe it's time to make it for your kids or just for the fun of it!