Saturday, March 22, 2008


These Mint Chocolate Bars were the cover recipe for Cooking Light this month. I have had a number of requests for the recipe. So I thought I would share with all.

The dense base layer is like a rich, fudgy brownie, so don't overcook it or the dessert bars will be dry. Refrigerating the mint bars allows the chocolaty top layer to set properly. You can make the dessert up to one day ahead. For a more grown-up taste, you can also use dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze. Also, remember these were "lightened" by 1/2 from the original but they are by no means calorie or fat free :)

Bottom layer:

1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup egg substitute

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, beaten

1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup

Cooking spray

Mint layer:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons fat-free milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 drops green food coloring


3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons butter


1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2.To prepare bottom layer, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt; stir with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, egg substitute, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons water, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate syrup in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
3.To prepare mint layer, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and next 3 ingredients (through food coloring) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.
4.To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 20 pieces.
20 servings (serving size: 1 piece)
Nutritional Information
CALORIES 264(30% from fat); FAT 8.7g (sat 5.2g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 2.8g; CHOLESTEROL 38mg; CALCIUM 12mg; SODIUM 139mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45g
Megan Patterson ,
Cooking Light, MARCH 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

My buddy

The other day I was thinking how much fun it is to have a 2 year old, WHAT?!?!? I think 2 year olds get a bad rap. As much as Lee and I would like to have another baby, while we wait I am LOVING this time in my life. Keaton and I hang out everyday. We go to the zoo, go shopping, go to lunch, go for walks, read books, go to the library, or just hang out and talk about stuff. It is like having a friend to hang out with all the time. We don't worry TOO much about diapers, special food (he is great at eating just about anything), and he is a pretty good sport about doing pretty much anything. Now warmer weather is here we can get into even more trouble. Life is good.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Favorite FInds- February!

Here are my favorite finds for February-
First I have to tell you about The Nester. You will find her in my Favorite Blogs link on the side. She has become a family favorite. My sisters, cousins, and I are obsessed. We spend way too much time at family dinners talking about our Nester projects now. The Nester is amazing because she truly not only decorates on a dime, she does it with charisma, charm, and little effort. ANYONE could do her projects. Trust me when you link make sure you have a good couple of hours since you will want to read to the end.
Next, don't know how the Nester is going to like being followed up by Pineapple but trust me this is a good one. Has anyone else bought the new Dole Pineapple 100% Gold. YUM, we went to Hawaii last year, we know what Pineapple is supposed to taste like. This is it (with no sugar added). Worth the extra pennies.
Once again Keaton and I are trying a new adventure. Keaton is under 3 so he gets into all kinds off cool places free still. Nice for me. I just got a pass to the Aviary. JUST 20 bucks for me for a YEAR. With that pass there are so many cool reciprocal programs. I get into the zoo on the first Thurs. for FREE. The Dinosaur park any weekday.....FREE. The Aquarium (which we had passes to last year and is fun to see), 1/2 price. We are pretty excited. Defiantly something to check into. (Also if you travel there are many Zoos' nationwide you can get into....FREE).
Lastly, KINDERMUSIK with KIM . Keaton and I signed up for this for this semester. Honestly, the first week was horrible and I was trying to think of how to get out of it. You sing and dance with your kid, not exactly within my comfort level with strangers. To make matters worse Keaton was too shy the first week too so he just sat back with his, "you are really making a fool of yourself Mom" face. He wouldn't participate at all. He also kept trying to escape, "not without me!", I thought. BUT.....after that first week of breaking down our insecurities. We LOVE it. We are so excited to go to the "singsong" class. It is a great time for organized play, that is educational. It also has taught me a lot more on how to play with him at home, to increase learning. As an added note: the second week she also added gates to keep Keatster in. What a help!