Hannah Bars

Hannah Bars. Just the name of the delicious little treats gets our family smiling. Through the past several years we have shared the recipe with many folks (although I think they are most popular with our sons college friends) and everyone agrees–these things are “the bomb.” Yeah, I said it. “The bomb!” (I’m getting older, I can say stuff like that!)

We first discovered the bars about 8 years ago when our younger son had a little interest in a girl from a neighboring town. Around Christmas time, Hannah (that’s her name) made a platter of Christmas treats upon which were sitting the now infamous bars. With a delicious yellow cake bottom, chewy marshmallow filling and chocolately smooth, rice krispie crunchy topping, they are three great things in one handy package. We had literally never had anything like them. When we asked Hannah what they were called she told us she had no idea. Her family had just always made them, but they didn’t really have a name. They became from that day forth, “Hannah Bars.”

While Hannah and my son no longer date, they are great friends, and obviously, the relationship with the cookie bar is ongoing as well. They are often requested at our house when friends come over and just recently at our Ozark Christian College Student Annual Rib and Fruit Fest (a crazy litle meal we now share with some of our favorite college students) they were considered a necessary part of the celebration. Tonight the wife of one of Rib Fest friends messaged me to tell me she was trying her hand at her first panful. It’s part of their charm, you just can’t keep something so good to yourself. They are meant to be shared, and passed on to others. Of course, as good as they are, it seems that telling their story is often as good as the treat itself.

When I think of “our” Hannah bars, of course I think of Hannah, who is much like the treats she helped us discover. This delightful young woman is a great combination of some of my favorite things. She is compassionate, kind, and comforting, yet she also has a little “snap, crackle, pop” to her. . .AND she is passionate about sharing her baked goods and. . . Jesus! So as I share with you today the story of Hannah Bars, and a little bit about the young woman who brings their inspiration, I think about Jesus. For He is the ultimate in “all things good” and the most important thing I could ever share. And I love how He can move my heart and my hunger from a bar cookie to Him in just an instant. For He is the One who satisfies and He is the One I need to share like a good recipe from a dear friend.

Speaking of which. . . .
Want to see a picture? I’ll go back and add one as soon as I can keep them from being eaten long enough to get one taken!
Want the recipe?? Leave a post and I’ll be happy to share the goodness with you. The goodness of Jesus and Hannah Bars.

Devil’s Food and Horseradish Sauce

While spending the day yesterday with my folks, my mom asked, “Hey, Dawn, do you “do” horseradish?” To which I replied, “No! It’s the devil’s food. Not as in the chocolate cake devil’s food, the other kind of devil’s food. ‘Cuz you know he has two kinds, the obvious and the sneaky.” And after a couple of moments of crazy mother-daughter conversation I found myself thinking about how that old devil works.

I mean think about it. Like horseradish, some things are just obviously of the devil. They are strong, bitter, hard on the palate, and easily recognizable as just plain wrong. Although some of us actually like what the devil serves up, most of us recognize it quickly as no good and are wise enough to pass on by his nasty fare.

But then there’s the other devil’s food. The cake kind—the kind that looks good and tastes good and makes us want more. . . . but as good as it tastes, it just isn’t good for us. These things affect our hearts, minds and bodies in ways that just aren’t good. It starts with just a sliver and then we’re hooked.

Fortunately, the Bible offers us some good advice on sorting out what the devil is serving up. Scripture wisely tells us to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) and reminds us that we are not unaware of the devil’s schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11). In doing taking both to heart, we can begin to do a little more feasting on the food of angels and all the good things God is serving.

From my reading today:
Proverbs 2:7-8

He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.

On the Kids Menu:
Simply bring in a jar of horseradish, chocolate cake and maybe even some angel food cake. Let the kids smell each and offer them some samples. Then talk about how the devil tempts us in different ways, finishing up by reading the Scriptures above and closing with prayer.

Monster Cookies

Recently my friend, Heidi, was making a batch of monster cookies for me. We sort of got our wires crossed–not too hard to imagine for either Heidi or me–but as a result, the cookies got made just after I needed them. Not a big deal, it didn’t cause any problem for me and it has left Heidi with a great supply of monster cookies on hand for all kinds upcoming events like our church’s Great Day of Service and last night’s Monday Nights for Moms.

In preparing for our MnM’s I asked Heidi for the recipe so we could put it on these little cards we keep on hand for our moms to take home to save and savor for later. Well, needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for all that went into these cookies. Check it out:

1 lb of butter or margarine
4 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of vanilla
1 T salt
2lb of brown sugar
1 dozen eggs
8 tsp baking soda
3 lb of peanut butter (1.5 lb creamy & 1.5 lb crunchy)
18 cups of oatmeal
1 pkg of milk choc. chips
2 pkg of M&M’s

No wonder they’re called Monster Cookies!! A dozen eggs, 2 pounds of brown sugar, 18 cups of oatmeal and 3 pounds of peanut butter. Plus 4 cups of regular sugar and a whopping 3 pounds of chocolate! Holy Cow! These suckers are packed with more goodness that a girl can (or should) take in at one time. Even though we don’t eat the whole batch at one time (although we could try!), we take in a little at a time, savoring all the goodness. Now, I can’t stop thinking about the fact that while I love these cookies, I never quite grasped how much it cost and what all it took to create these little babies.

When I asked Heidi what kind of bowl she used to make these, she replied with a smile, “A really big one!”

I’m not doubting her. Not one bit. And there is quite a bit of work that goes on in that big bowl. You get tired making these cookies, you might even get a little winded. There is hand mixing that has to be done here, now!! And once you get the mixing done, then you have to start the scooping, and then the baking, and baking, and baking. But in the end, when it’s all said and done. . . .you still have the dishes to do!!! Big dishes–cuz a big bowl is a big dish! We are talking dishes that don’t fit in the dishwasher, dishes.

But then, you have cookies!! Lots and lots of cookies! You have cookies overflowing. Cookies to share! Cookies to enjoy! Cookies to bless others with, and cookies to make a blog post about!

You see, I found myself thinking about those cookies today, and I realized that God’s Word is just a little like that monster cookie recipe. There’s just so much stuff that goes in there, and you can’t just look at the end result and appreciate it at all! There are so many different parts or ingredients, and they need to be sifted through, weighed out and blended together. Sometimes that can be a little tiring, a little wearing; sometimes it’s really sweet, but before it’s all said and done there’s going to be some clean up involved and it’s going to cost us something. But as we finish up a batch of whatever it is God has taught us or brought us through, we have plenty to share. We have a spiritual cookie jar filled with encouragement, wisdom, grace, mercy, experience and love overflowing from the One who created the recipe of our life with just the right ingredients added at just the right times so that we could share Him with those around us.

The main reason I asked Heidi to make the cookies for me is that I pretty much figured I would never make a monster cookie. It just cost too much. Too much time, too much effort, too much clean up, too much money, and besides she likes to make them and she would do it for me (I did offer to pay her, btw!). . .but then today I got to thinking that if I never make them, I’ll never share them. I’d never have my own monster cookie story, or monster cookie experiences or my own monster cookie giant mixing bowl!Those thoughts made me thankful that I didn’t rely on someone else to do my spiritual work for me, either, and that the time I have spent in God’s word has given me opportunities like this to bake up a batch of spiritual cookies and share them with those around me. This blog gives me the chance to share what God is producing in me, and I hope that you, in turn, will begin to seek out God’s recipe for your life and see what He has you mixing up to share with those around you. I bet He has some monstrously delicious and exciting, big things in store ahead for you and your life! Can’t wait to hear how you’ve gotten to share them.

3-2-1 Awesome


Last night the church I attend and work for held a little event for moms we are calling MnMs–Monday Nights for Moms. MnMs is just a little something we wanted to start doing to get our women together and have a little fun, a little encouragement, and a little bit  of learning about being, well moms. You know how it can be, sometimes we get so busy just “doin life” in our own world, that we forget to “do life” together. And although we get training for a zillion other things,  we often forget to get a little training in the whole mom/wife/woman department. And since the Bible tell us to do these kind of things (Titus 2). . .  MnMs was created.

Of course (heavy sigh), in a winter with virtually no snow, we got snow and  bit of ice yesterday. However, we were not to be deterred!!!  We were meeting anyway!  After all we are MOMS and we needed out of the house! We had a goal to learn about setting goals!!  We started things out spiritually by baptizing a variety of treats into melted chocolate and our veggies into dip as we prepared for the rest of evening.

We tackled our topic on goal setting (if you want to know how I feel about goals, read back a few posts to 1st and goal). We were blessed to have a phenomenally talented woman from our church lead us in how to make antiqued Valentine cards (Thank you Ms Gaby!). But the pinnacle of the evening for me was our 3-2-1 Cup-o-Cakes or 3-2-1 Awesome Cakes as I am now inspired to call them.

My kidmin coach, Todd, shared this recipe with me. His wife shared it with him. Someone from Pinterest shared it with her. But honestly, who cares where it came from??? It’s just too much fun in a cup!!!!  And, yes, there’s a little spiritual application attached.  Ready??? Here’s the thing.

Take:

One angel food cake mix (see it’s spiritual already–angels!)

One one any kind of cake mix  (preferably not devil’s food-bahahaha, just kidding) I did use chocolate for my demo last night.   And. . . .

Mix them together. Really well. Like with a whisk. In a big bowl.  Store it in an airtight container of somekind.

Then:

Grab a coffee cup/mug

Put 3 well rounded Tablespoons of the cake mix in there

Add 2 Tablespoons of water        Stir it up, mix it up, (I don’t recommend shaking it up)  Although the recipe itself does shake things up a bit!

Cook 1 minute in your microwave.    Hence the 3-2-1 and. . . it’s . . .

Awesome!!! I mean open that microwave door and you have CAKE!! In your CUP!!  Just like that!!! So simple. So wonderful. So Awesome!! Don’t just look at it. . . .eat it! Plain or topped with something like frosting, mint chips, ice cream, whipped cream, peanut butter. . . .I dunno. . . whatever you like.

So. Ms Dawn, you say. I think I’m missing something. . . just what is the spiritual application here, besides “angel” food cake?

Here’s the thing.

It’s simply simple. Some of the best things in our spiritual life are kind of like 3-2-1 Awesome Cake–they don’t have to be complicated. They can be those few minutes spent in prayer, those few minutes spent sending out a card, those few minutes letting someone else in front of you in the checkout line.  They can be the homemade card you made at church for your husband or the Double Stuffed Oreos he gave you for Valentines Day. (Yeah, that’s my man in plaid!) They can be the hug you share with a friend or  the “hello” you share with a stranger. The best spiritual things are often simple, and they are meant to be SHARED.

You see, this simple recipe was shared with me by someone who had it shared with them, by someone who had it shared with them, by someone who had it shared with them. Last night, I shared it with our ladies, and I know they are going out and will share it with someone else, probably today. Now as I share it with you, I know some of y’all will be on your way to WalMart for cake mix before the end of the day and you will be texting a friend to see if they’ve tried it yet! Because you, too, have realized that it really does sound pretty awesome, and you’re thinking, “Hey! All these women (and one man) can’t be wrong!”

Well, can you see it now? What we’re doing with this cake recipe. . .that’s what Jesus asks us to do. Get so excited about what He has shared with you that you simply have to share it with someone else or a couple of someone elses. Or a whole group, or the world. When it’s all said and done, I mean, I’m thankful someone shared the recipe with me, but I’m really thankful someone shared Christ with me.  3-2-1 Awesome!!