On the Positive Side

Hello February! Depending on where you live this means you’re on the down side of sunsethomewinter.  In Northeast Pennsylvania we enjoy the later sunsets and additional daylight.  My guess is, however, that the groundhog will see his shadow and we’ll be in for six more weeks of winter.  Personally, I don’t mind more snow, in reasonable amounts, but I don’t need subzero temps or strong north winds.

While there are winter activities to enjoy even without snow; skiing Elk, ice skating, tubing, and more.There is also indoor entertainment to enjoy as well.  Crystal Cabin Fever starts this month, eagle watching along the Delaware (tour bus or in your car), music at the Cooperage, new exhibits at Dorchester antiques, riding the Stourbridge Line, and so much more.  

Here at the inn we have been using the “stay inside” winter weather to work on those long needed projects that tend to build up while “you’re napping”!  Warren finally decided he would hire a company to sand and refinish our hardwood floors in our quarters.  It was a busy week as all furniture had to be removed from the room, wallfloor décor removed and our bedroom couldn’t be accessed. While the furniture is out it’s the perfect time to touch up paint, fix holes, and dust all the corners, shelves, etc. I guess it should be considered fun, too, as we had to stay at a B&B for a week!

Meanwhile, I took the time to go through some of the magazines and photos that definitely had been pushed aside or shoved into drawers.  I also cooked and jarred four new jellies and jams.  The sweet aromas helped to lessen the varnish smells. It really is nicer to make jam in January, warming up the kitchen at a cold time of year.  jelliesWhen the fruit was ripe in July and August I didn’t have the time to prepare for the jams. Freezing the fruit to store for later was the better option. So this worked out perfectly.  In case you are wondering, added to the other flavors, we now have; bumbleberry, cherry, black raspberry and josta berry, and autumn cranberry pear.

 

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Chocolate and Cherry Magic Bars

Crust:                                                                                                                                       1 – ¾ c. all-purpose flour                                                                                                       ½ c. granulated sugar                                                                                                            ¼ c. packed light brown sugar                                                                                                 ¼ t. salt                                                                                                                                  ½ c. butter, melted

Filling:                                                                                                                                        1 can cherry pie filling                                                                                                              ½ c. sweetened condensed milk

Topping:                                                                                                                                   ½ c. shredded coconut                                                                                                        ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

 

Directions:

Spray a 9” square baking pan with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl combine flour, sugars, and salt.  Add melted butter and blend in with a fork until crumbly. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish and press down firmly.  Combine the pie filling and milk, stirring until well blended.  Spread this mixture over the crust.  Mix together the coconut and chocolate.  Sprinkle evenly over cherry mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set and coconut is slightly browned.  Cool on wire rack. Cut into 12 or 16 pieces when completely cooled.Choc n Cherry Magic Bars

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