Thanksgiving and now on to christmas

 

December 9, 2023

A family photo and my cute and spunky niece are to the right.

After Thanksgiving, Sarah and I checked out the Holiday Craft Show and started our Christmas planters, of which a couple are pictured to the right.

I make a few for family, the RTR and myself. Someone may have seen the ones I made for my sister-in-law Cecile and Marvel Monkman which made her want one, too. Right Irene (Bouton)!

I have the RTR, Irene’s and mine to complete. Ohhh and mom snuck in a couple table ones she would like made, as well.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Ingredients

1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup of light brown sugar firmly packed

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips

14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk

10 ounces of soft caramels unwrapped

1 teaspoon of flaked sea salt

Directions

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish by lining it with foil and applying a liberal coating of nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes in duration. Incorporate the eggs, vanilla extract, kosher salt, and baking soda, ensuring to mix thoroughly. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure even mixing.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the all-purpose flour. Continue to beat the mixture until combined, then fold in the semisweet chocolate chips.

Press half of the cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sweetened condensed milk and unwrapped soft caramels. Place over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until the caramels have fully melted and the mixture achieves a smooth, uniform consistency. Once ready, pour this caramel filling over the cookie dough layer in the baking dish.

Take the remaining cookie dough and drop it in small, teaspoon-sized clumps over the caramel layer. Proceed to bake the bars in the preheated oven for a duration of 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center is just set.

Upon removing from the oven, immediately sprinkle the baked bars with flaked sea salt. Allow the bars to cool completely in the dish. Once cooled, use the edges of the foil to lift the entire dessert out of the pan for ease of cutting. For optimal storage, keep the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for a maximum of 3 days.

Joke of the Week

A Minnesota Highway Patrol officer stops a Harley for traveling faster than the posted speed limit, so he asks the biker his name.

"Fred," he replies.

"Fred what?" the officer asks.

"Just Fred," the man responds.

The officer is in a good mood and thinks he might just give the biker a break, and write him out a warning instead of a ticket.

The officer then presses him for the last name.

The man tells him that he used to have a last name but lost it.

The officer thinks that he has a nut case on his hands but plays along with it. "Tell me, Fred, how did you lose your last name?"

The biker replies, "It's a long story, so stay with me. I was born Fred Johnson, from Rock Springs, Wyoming. I studied hard and got good grades. When I got older, I realized that I wanted to be a doctor. I went through college, medical school, internship, residency, and finally got my degree, so I was Fred Johnson, MD.

"After a while I got bored being a doctor, so I decided to go back to school. Dentistry was my dream! Got all the way through School, got my degree, so then I was Fred Johnson, MD, DDS.

"Got bored doing dentistry, so I started fooling around with my assistant and she gave me VD, so now I was Fred Johnson, MD, DDS, with VD.

"Well, the ADA found out about the VD, so they took away my DDS. Then I was Fred Johnson, MD, with VD. Then the AMA found out about the ADA taking away my DDS because of the VD, so they took away my MD leaving me as Fred Johnson with VD. Then the VD took away my 'Johnson', so now, I'm, Just Fred."

The officer walked away in tears, laughing...

 

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