Tori's Golden Graham S'mores Bars!

My sweet little cousin Tori, made these "Golden Graham S'mores Bars" and brought them to a family dinner!  These little things are delicious and a little bit addicting!   People couldn't quit eating them.  They are also super easy and call for just a few ingredients and they are no bake, which makes them perfect during this heat wave!  Here is what you will need:

4 Tbs. butter
1  (10 oz.) miniature marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla
1  (16 oz.) box of Golden Graham cereal
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips, melted

In a saucepan melt the butter and marshmallows together until smooth and well blended!   Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.   Add all of the cereal and toss to evenly coat it!   Grease a 9"x13" baking dish.  Press the cereal mixture down evenly in the pan.   Drizzle the melted chocolate evenly over the top.  

Allow to cool for about an hour, then cut in squares and watch them disappear!  

Peanut Butter Gooey Bars!

If you love a Pay Day candy bar, you will more than likely love these gooey peanut butter bars.  That is just what they remind me of.  They are not only delicious, but also very pretty.  Here is what you need for these:

1/ 2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed tightly
1 egg
1  1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate flavored syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 13"x 9" baking pan liberally with nonstick baking spray or butter it well.

To make the cookie base, combine the butter, crunchy peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and egg in a mixing bowl. 

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add to the creamed butter mixture.  Beat until well blended.  Chill the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

Press the chilled dough in the baking pan.  Place in the preheated 350 degree oven for 17 - 20 minutes.  Do not over bake this.   Cool for about 3 minutes. 

Place the creamy peanut butter in the microwave for about 1 minute.  Pour this over the cookie crust.  Top with the mini marshmallows.  Drizzle the chocolate syrup over the top.   Place back in the oven for just about 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are just starting to brown lightly. 

 Remove from oven and run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen.  Cool completely and then cut with a sharp knife sprayed with nonstick spray in about 2 inch squares.  "Peanut Butter Gooey Bars!"

Homemade Banana Split Ice Cream!

There is nothing as good as homemade ice cream in the summer!  Actually, I love ice cream year round, but it's one of my biggest weaknesses so I don't indulge often.  When I do, I like to go all out.  This "Banana Split Ice Cream" is one we have been making since I was a child and it's still a crowd pleaser.  Here is what you will need:

4 ripened bananas, mashed
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, sweetened with 1/2 cup sugar
2 (8 oz.) cans of crushed pineapple
1 (10 oz.) jar of maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) can of evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well blended.  Pour into the freezer canister of an ice maker and freeze according to the manufacturers directions!   It usually takes 30-40 minutes.  When it stops turning or gets very slow you know it's ready.  Cover the canister with a thick towel or blanket and let it sit to ripen for 30 minutes to an hour!   Serve and enjoy!  

Cucumber Tomato Herb Salad!

This "Cucumber Tomato Herb Salad" is a really simple salad that uses all of you fresh summer produce and herbs.   I grow a variety of herbs every summer and I love to find ways to use them as long as they last.   This salad pairs well with most any main course!  Here is what you will need:

2 medium cucumbers peeled and sliced thin
3 tomatoes diced in bite size pieces
1/2 large Vidalia onion, sliced in thin slices and then separated into rings
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh tarragon, chopped
zest and juice of one lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Place the vegetables and chopped herbs in a salad bowl.  In another bowl, add the zest of the lemon and then the juice of the lemon.  Whisk in the olive oil.  Add the sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.  

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and herbs and toss to coat them all.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to let the flavors incorporate!  Toss again before serving!