Growing up is hard
Many nights, before my son goes to sleep, either my husband or I will hang out with him in his room and we’ll chat about his day. It’s usually in those moments before sleep when he is relaxed enough to open up about what is going on in his world. He started middle school this year and it’s a new, exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking time. We’ve been worried for him. What parent doesn’t worry? Especially with all the horror stories about bullying. I endured my own bullying at his age but I am trying hard not to project my own past suffering onto him.
Nope, I don’t have a nickname
Anyhow, last night he asked me how middle school was for me. I remembered a sort of funny story when I was in 6th grade and in orchestra class and we were going through preliminary introductions with our orchestra teacher, Mrs. Barnes. She called out everyone’s names and asked if they had a nickname they like to use. I have never had a nickname. Ever. Always Brandie. But for whatever reason, in that moment, I thought I would become someone else in orchestra. I could be whoever I wanted to be in those 30 minutes every day. So I said “Everyone calls me Dee.” My best friend, Laura, looked over at me with a look that said “What the he** are you talking about? NO ONE CALLS YOU THAT!” What can I say, it was a phase and it was fun to pretend. For a while.
First impressions matter
However, I had no idea how much that one little moment would stick with me forever. Mrs. Barnes always called me Dee after that. For the next 7 years! In her mind, that was my name. She even typed it into the orchestra programs. My Mom walked up to me, furious, and said “Who is Dee?” And I would just look around like “Um, that’s just what she calls me, ya know?” And of course, my Mom was fuming that my name was all jacked up in a souvenir program she hoped to keep all my life. It took all I had to convince her not to say anything to Mrs. Barnes.
After that year, I didn’t like that nickname and tried hard to go back to just “Brandie” in my orchestra class but it was too late. She was forever stuck on Dee. Although she got better at fixing my name in the programs. This is why first impressions matter folks. And that’s what I told my son. He thought the story was hilarious and he has a deeper understanding that we are ALL human and we were all kids once – even Momma! Ha!
Fudge-Filled Peanut Butter Bars
So in honor of family and those ties that bind, I thought I would share another recipe from Grandma Betty’s handwritten cookbook. You might remember I shared another recipe of hers for Blueberry Chill Bars. The recipe is not written in her handwriting and it was on a slip of paper tucked into her cookbook. So I think this recipe must’ve been from a friend. And those are always the best kind of recipes, right?
for the crust and topping:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 Eggland’s Best eggs, beaten
for the filling:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, peanut butter, butter and eggs until the dough starts to hold together. Mixture will be very thick.
Press 2/3 of dough into the bottom of prepared baking dish (setting aside the remainder for topping).
Prepare filling: In a medium sauce pan, combine chocolate chips, milk and butter. Melt over low heat until smooth.
Then stir in coconut, brown sugar, flour and chopped pecans. Mix until combined well.
Remove from heat. Spread filling over dough in baking dish.
Crumble the rest of the dough evenly over the filling. Bake for about 20-25 minutes
Allow to cool.
Another recipe from Grandma BettyBlueberry Chill Bars
Grandma Betty's Cake Mix BarsPrint Pin Rate
- for the crust and topping:
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter room temperature
- 2 eggs beaten
- for the filling:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 3/4 cup brown sugar tightly packed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, peanut butter, butter and eggs until the dough starts to hold together. Mixture will be very thick.
- Press 2/3 of dough into the bottom of prepared baking dish (setting aside the remainder for topping)
- Prepare filling: In a medium sauce pan, combine chocolate chips, milk and butter. Melt over low heat until smooth.
- Then stir in coconut, brown sugar, flour and chopped pecans. Mix until combined well.
- Remove from heat. Spread filling over dough in baking dish.
- Crumble the rest of the dough evenly over the filling. Bake for about 20-25 minutes
- Allow to cool then slice into bars and serve.