Rocky Road Cookie Bars

I went to a holiday cookie exchange and tried a new recipe.  Here it is, and I think they are very very yummy.  They’re rich, and sweet, and luxurious.  I was in a pinch so I used pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough, but you can use your own favorite recipe.


1 roll (16.5 oz.) Nestle Tollhouse Choc Chip Cookie dough

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup caramel topping


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Grease 9×9 bar pan with shortening or cooking spray. In pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust.

3. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown

4. Sprinkle marshmallows, pecans and chocolate chips evenly over crust. Drizzle with caramel topping.

5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until topping is melted.

6. Cool completely, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cut into squares.


Beef Barley Soup

One more beef recipe and then we will try something new!!  Another idea for the leftovers from your beef roast.  Soups are great for so many reasons.  If there is something in the recipe that you don’t like, simply leave it out.  If you want to add something, go ahead!  If there is too much, freeze it for later.  They are so versatile.  This soup comes from my good friend and neighbor Christie.

In a large pot, saute 1 chopped onion in 2 Tbs. olive oil.  Add and saute 8 oz. mushrooms for about 3-5 min.  Add 4 stalks chopped celery, 15 oz. diced tomatoes canned or 3 fresh tomatoes chopped, 1 C. white wine, 1 tsp. oregano, 2 bay leaves and 1/2 C. chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley.  Simmer until the smell of the wine is mostly gone, about 5 min.  Then add 60 oz. beef broth (I make mine with water and the better than bouillon paste I talked about earlier), and 1-2 lbs. cooked beef cut into bite sized pieces.  Bring all this to a boil and add 1 C. barley.  Cook until the barley is done (about an hour) stirring occasionally.

Note:  Italian parsley is in the produce section near the regular parsley and cilantro.  It has a wavy flat leaf.  Barley will be in the dried section near the rice and dried beans.

I hope you enjoy this.  It is one of my favorite soups.  A fun idea this holiday season is to make a big pot of soup and buy several disposable containers.  Scoop some soup into each container and tie a bow around it.  A fun gift for the neighbors – just because!