Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

This year is the first year (I think) that I wasn’t home for Thanksgiving. My family has lots of Thanksgiving traditions, so it was kind of sad to not be there. But neither of my brothers would have been home anyway, so even if I had gone home it wouldn’t have been then same.

Instead of going home I went to Deerfield, Illinois on Thanksgiving day to hang out with my brother, my sister-in-law, and a bunch of my brother’s friends. We played a lot of games and ate a LOT of food. All in all it was fun, but it wasn’t the same as being at home.

The rest of the time I stayed (am staying? I guess the weekend isn’t over yet) in Madison. Worked yesterday, then had dinner with a student and made these chocolate chip cookie bars.

Don’t have a whole lot planned for the rest of the weekend… just relaxing, hopefully.

This recipe came from Cate’s World Kitchen. The only thing I changed was instead of using 2 cups of regular chocolate chips I used 1 cup of milk chocolate chips and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly, so I’m not going to re-post.

Apple Pie

Today I had my second Thanksgiving dinner in two days. I love Thanksgiving food. Although to be honest, I’m not the hugest fan of turkey. But I LOVE all the side dishes. Mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, and macaroni and cheese. Those are my favorite.

Yesterday was the dinner for the Intervarsity group I volunteer with. It was a really good night, and I didn’t do any of the cooking (mostly because I had work all day). Tonight was my church’s Thanksgiving dinner. Each family group (weekly Bible study group) was in charge of a set of dishes. My group had a turkey, corn, macaroni and cheese, and pecan pies. I was in charge of macaroni and cheese. I spent basically the entire day cooking 120 servings of mac and cheese. That was 10 pounds of (uncooked) pasta with 45 cups of cheddar cheese.

There was a tray of apple slices leftover from the dinner and I was going to make apple crisp, but then there was an unfortunate accident that caused most of the apple slices to fall on the floor. Luckily not all of them fell out of the tray on to the ground, so I still had enough to make a pie.

Haven’t tasted it yet (bringing it to church tomorrow morning), but hopefully it’s delicious!

Recipe adapted from

2 9-inch pie crusts
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups apple slices (not sure what kind I used)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a pot, melt butter. Add flour and whisk to make a paste. Add water, both sugars and cinnamon. Add apple slices and stir to coat.

Press bottom crust into a 9-inch pie crust. Pour in apple mixture. Cover with a lattice crust

Bake for 40-50 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Millionaire’s Shortbread

It’s late, I’m tired (worked until 9 today) and I just posted two minutes ago, so this will be brief.

This recipe was quite good too. The shortbread base was good… and very buttery. I didn’t deal with the white chocolate swirl because I’m lazy. They reminded me of Twix bars, but they’re really sweet and rich.

The original recipe said to prick the shortbread with a fork, but I wouldn’t do it next time. Also, it took more time to make than I thought it would because it took longer for things to cool than I thought it would.

Anyway. It’s 11:30 and I have to be up at 6:30… plus I have to drive an hour and a half to get to Green Lake, WI tomorrow night after work, so I should get some rest!

Recipe adapted from KitchenSter

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 (3/4 cup) sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
7 tbsp butter
3 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 1/2 oz milk chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix flour and powdered sugar. Mix in softened butter. Press into the 9×13 pan and back 20 minutes or until light brown. Set aside to cool.

In a saucepan, put sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar and remaining butter and heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Simmer, stirring constantly until it reaches the desired consistency. Be careful not to burn!

Pour mixture over the shortbread and let cool.

Place all chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power in increments of 1 minute, stirring time until the chocolate is melted and mixed together. Pour on top and let cool again.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

I can’t believe it’s November. Time goes by so fast.

Things coming up:
Crosstraining! An AAIV retreat in Green Lake, WI. I’m leading a small group on Daniel 3 and Daniel 6. Praying that God will really work this weekend. And that I won’t totally suck at leading this small group.

Work trip next week. Leaving Madison on Wednesday, coming back Monday.

Thanksgiving is coming up! Sadly I am not going home… breaking a long tradition of having Thanksgiving dinner with some family friends and playing this ridiculous game called Masterpiece.

Thinking about going to Urbana ’12. Not sure yet though. I suppose I really need to make up my mind so I can buy plane tickets and stuff.

Anyway, last night we packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Shopping for toys is so fun. We also had a potluck and I tried out a couple new recipes. Here’s one.

This recipe for carnitas was soooo good. I made a few changes based on the comments, but all in all, so very delicious in tacos with some homemade guacamole, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and cheese. I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again: I love my slow cooker.

Recipe adapted from

7 lbs bone-in pork shoulder
4 tsp salt
4 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground coriander
3 1/2 cups chicken broth

The night before, lay out the pork on a baking sheet. Rub half the spices on top. Turn over and run the other half on the other side. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, place pork in the slow cooker. Add chicken broth, being careful not to wash off the spice rub. Cook on low for 10 hours.

Remove from slow cooker and shred with two forks.