Favorite recipes

I come from and married into a long line of kitchen whizzes about whom my grandpa used to say, “You girls can’t help being good cooks.” One of my family’s most-turned-to recipe books is a Taste of Home hardcover of annual prizewinning recipes my mother gave our daughters.

Most of my favorite recipes are adaptations, but I do have a few originals. My go-to when I’m hungry and in a hurry is either my folders and files, our Taste of Home or Desperation Dinners cookbooks, or the Taste of Home website (http://www.tasteofhome.com) which my mother-in-law inadvertently directed me to when she clipped and shared recipes from their magazine.For Mexican recipes, I go to https://www.cooking-mexican-recipes.com/author/rockinrobin/

My current favorite dessert is below. For other recipes, go to the dropdown menu header above.

Two of my daughters love to cook but not to put my recipes away. This Thanksgiving I even had to look at my own site for my own turkey recipe! So I have great incentive to post our favorite recipes, especially since I usually tweak them and when my daughters “lose” them, there’s nowhere I can find a replacement.

So here’s my “secret” energy recipe–it’s only secret because I forgot I had one when my cousin asked me the other day and later realized I had two: my frozen banana, black chia seed and golden flaxseed kefir morning milkshake and these, my no-bake wake-up coffee bars. They’re not all that great for you but not all that bad, either. I limit each bar to no more than 20 coffee beans and eat it no later than noon. I’m not sure where the original recipe came from, but here’s my version (note: I use organic ingredients whenever possible):

No-Bake Wake-up Coffee Bars

1 cup butter (2 sticks, but I prefer homemade)

1 cup milk

4 cups sugar

2 cups chocolate chips (I prefer a mix of dark and milk/semi-sweet)

2 1/2 Tablespoons peanut butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

5-6 cups rolled oats (premeasured–makes them easier to handle and get mixture into the pan faster)

In a big pot, brown the butter a little, then add milk and sugar. Bring to a boil while stirring for about 2 minutes. Add chips, peanut butter and vanilla. Stir well and add oats, then stir well again. Butter or grease a large pan with sides (at least 9 X 13 but larger is better) and pour a base layer, then sprinkle whole roasted coffee beans according to taste and top with the rest of the mixture, pressing straight down so as not to displace beans. When cool, cut into bars, place individual bars in a gallon freezer bag and freeze until needed.

Mine last a looong time, but the bean-less version disappears quickly around here and has become my go-to sweet tooth satisfier. One of my daughters prefers using ground coffee, but I’ve become less of a coffee drinker these days and more of a coffee cruncher! (I always have to brush my teeth afterwards.)