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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sweet Marie Bars

Every year for the holiday season, as most of us do, I spend hours in the kitchen making festive appetizers and decadent baked goods. In order to help out for my nephews Christmas party this coming weekend I spent a good three days baking dozens of cookies. Good thing there were lots because when I asked my 2 and half year nephew said he wanted for Christmas from Santa he stated he wanted lots of cookies.

I tried making thumbprint cookies, which did not make very many, and for the effort they require, were not worth it to me. Next I made oatmeal cookies with cherry flavoured craisins and white chocolate chunks, oatmeal cookies with holiday M&Ms and these mouth-watering and easy no bake Sweet Marie Bars. Seriously if you have no time to bake and want to whip up something delicious these are the bars to make as they only take 10-15 minutes.

A traditional Sweet Marie Candy bar is Canadian in origin and made by Cadbury. It has a nougat, caramel, roasted peanuts and covered in chocolate. This homemade version will not disappoint anyone who loves the combination of peanut butter, caramel and chocolate.

Sweet Marie Bars

½ cup corn syrup
½ cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 cups rice crispy cereal
1/2 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
1 ½ cups chocolate chip

Grease an 8x8 baking pan with butter. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the corn syrup, peanut butter and brown sugar. As soon as melted remove from heat and stir in cereal and peanuts.

Press the mixture into the 8x8 pan. I use the bottom of a glass the press it down.

Place in the fridge to cool. You can melt the chocolate and spread it on immediately, but I prefer to let the mixture cool a bit first.

In a glass microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and melt on medium heat for 40 seconds. Take out and stir and then continue to melt in the microwave at 20 second intervals until melted. Then spread evenly over the chilled mixture. Return to fridge and let cool completely. Once cooled can cut into bars.

You can also melt the chocolate using a double boiler.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mustard & Herb Crusted top Sirloin Roast

A few weeks ago I had my in-laws up to watch a GeeGees football game on what we thought would be a nice but crisp and cool fall day. Therefore we packed mitts, blankets, tuques, warm beverages and in the end it turned out to be the hottest fall day ever, and we had to strip down to T-shirts. The team did fantastic beating Guelph to head to the playoffs. They will be playing Western this Saturday and I plan on being in attendance for what should be a great game.

Post game we headed back to my house to enjoy some fall appetizers and barbeque. We barbeque all year round in my house and many times I think a BBQ in the fall or winter is more exciting than summer. As much as I love sitting on my deck in the summer, and enjoying the aroma of grilled streak, fall and winter grilling is really cozy and comforting. Although the day had been warm, by the time the sun went down it was cool and felt like a fall evening. To make it even more enjoyable I set the deck up with our outdoor couch, lit a fire in the outdoor fireplace, poured some red wine and put a 3 lbs sirloin roast on the rotisserie. We served the roast with fall root mash and balsamic roasted heirloom carrots.

Mustard & Herb Crust
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp thyme
2 T grainy mustard
ground pepper
1 tsp olive oil
Mix all the ingredients together and rub on the roast. Let sit in the fridge for about 1-2 hours.
Preheat the grill to med-high heat (400F). Reduce heat to low to medium heat and roast it slowly for about 20-25 min per lbs. An internal temp of about 155F is good for medium done and 150 for medium rare.
Remove from grill and tent it with foil for 10 mins. Then carve up and serve with horseradish and sides.

In laws and husband watching the GeeGees game.

GeesGees on the side line

Apple chutney with cranberry and almond crackers.

Blue cheese, pears, apples, brie and walnuts with baguette.

Cozy Fire.