Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chocolate Revel Bars

I had kind of forgotten about these yummy treats from my childhood, but the moment I saw them at the lunch after Grandma's funeral, I knew exactly what they were and grabbed one (or three) before the pastor got in to start the prayer. I got the recipe and out it all together yesterday. It's really a basic oatmeal cookie with a chocolate-fudgy center. It takes me back to my childhood.

This recipe came from Mrs. Reiners, my cousins' grandma.

Chocolate Revel Bars
1 cup butter (softened)
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups oatmeal

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, soda and salt. Add oatmeal. Mix well and set aside.

Mix chocolate chips, milk, butter and salt in double boiler or microwave. When smooth, add vanilla & nuts.

Use your hands to spread 2/3 of oatmeal mixture in a jelly roll pan. Cover with chocolate. Dot with remaining oatmeal mixture. Bake at 330 for 25 to 30 minutes.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.6

Friday, July 20, 2012

Driving Along Highway 12

Montana, North Dakota & South Dakota

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.6

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Singing for my Grandma

I don't remember the first time I sang for Grandma Alberta. I'm sure I wasn't much older than Jessie, the first time I was asked to perform on command. Probably "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" or "Jesus Loves Me". But whatever it was, it was the beginning of almost 40 years of my singing "career."

As the years went on, my sister was my unwilling singing partner and right around middle school age, we started to balk at the unwritten rule that we would sing a duet at Grandma's church whenever we visited, which was numerous times each year. I can remember Grandpa agreeing to go to church if we would sing [Grandpa never went to church].

I remember singing with Grandma. She would sing soprano and I would harmonize. I would play the piano. I can remember singing together on our Christmas trip to California, enjoying a variety of carols.

Grandma loved to sing. She loved the old hymns and some of the "country" hymns like "Mansion Over the Hilltop" or "He Touched Me." But the song I will always associate with Grandma is "One Day at a Time." She introduced many people to that song. It has been too long since I heard her sing, since anyone had heard her.

On Monday, I sang one last time for Grandma. "Old Rugged Cross." It was difficult and easy. She went home on July 9 and is now whole again. She is with Grandpa dancing, playing cards and is now part of the celestial choir.

Rest, Grandma.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.6

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Psalm 27:13-14

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 28:6-7

Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
And I will give thanks to him in song.

We have been waiting for a long time, it feels like.  As we wait, I am trying to take comfort and confidence in these passages.  Confidence to wait until I see his goodness.  Confidence that He has heard our cries for mercy.  Confidence that we will soon sing his praises with yet another sign of his guiding hand in our lives.  I know his time is not our time, but with our many distractions and short attention spans, it is hard to not get discouraged and down hearted.

Psalm 42:5
Why are you downcast, O  my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him
my Savior and my God.

My hope is in God.  I will ever praise him.  But I will probably continue to be impatient.  I don’t have to look back very far in my posts to see that this is going to be a continual prayer of mine.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Fourth of July


Every year on the 4th of July, one of the local mega churches takes over a park in the Heights. We went last year for the first time and Maggie had a blast.  All of the entertainment is free and the food is cheap, cheap, cheap.  We weren’t sure we were going to go this year.  There are a lot of people there and the thought of chasing Jessie around the park just didn’t sound all that fun, especially the idea of taking probably an hour to get home after the fireworks.  And with the 4th on a Wednesday, it just kind of throws the entire week off.

But, some of our friends had talked about going, so we gave Maggie the choice: we could either go to the water park or to Castle Rock for the celebration.  Maggie choose Castle Rock.  We decided to go early and not stay for fireworks, so Maggie & I met our friends Jeanne & Ellie – Ellie is almost 5 and she and Maggie get along great – around 5 p.m.  The girls had a lot of fun playing on the bouncy slides, houses, obstacle courses.  Jeanne bought both girls a sno-cone, which made her Maggie’s best friend.  We left at 7 and avoided the worst of the ride lines and traffic.

Maggie was a little sad when we did get home that she didn’t get to see the fireworks “in real life,” but did quickly realize that she was tired and had been a tad crabby at the end of our play time at the park.  It was a fun time and a great way to celebrate the 4th of July, even if we didn’t see or hear fireworks “in real life.”  Maybe next year …


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reginato, Rose of Malbec

Like a beautiful pink champagne, this sparkling Malbec is surprising, pleasing & delightful! Dry, lightly fruity. I was excited about trying this and while at first I wasn't sure, it truly is growing on me.

And, because I just love the label, I'm going to share it here:

Celebra cada dia con alegria. Vise y ama plenamente. Sigue tus suenos.

For over 50 years, the Reginato family has been making the Argentine wines including some of Mendoza's most sought after limited-production boutique sparkling wines ... Celestina, the family's late matriarch, believed it was essential to not only toast all of life's important events but also the small joys of everyday life.

So while this sparkling rose speaks of the rich Malbec grape, it never loses its light, refreshing nature. It will give you a good reason drink sparkling wine before dinner, with your main course, or even with dessert.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Other Wine

I got this The Other White wine and the red version in the June wine club mix.Wow. This is an amazing white blend. 65% Chardonnay, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% each Viognier, 100% delicious. It was slightly dry, maybe a tad oaky. It really was best on day one, slightly chilled from time in my wine cellar. I think this would be best enjoyed in one sitting, perhaps with a simple pasta salad.

I opened The Other Red the other night. Another nice blend: 45% Cabernet, 45% Merlot and 10% Syrah. A little dry, but nice with the aerator. I'm sure it will be even better today, after spending more time with some oxygen. I'm sure it will complement the leftover cold pizza very nicely!

I enjoyed a couple of glasses of Anselmi at Simply Wine yesterday with Diane and Chris. It was a great afternoon, quiet in the store, just enjoying the wine and the company. It was an afternoon that reminded me of Rocky and my wine tasting days in Virginia. Almost every Friday after work at the Wine Cellar.