March 17, 2008

Red Rocks and Butterscotch Bars

Spring has sprung a leak…a dusting of snow this morning. Still, the birds are dating and I love watching the puffy red-headed boys check out potential cribs and chase the dorks away from their ladies.

I had a most wonderful long weekend with my sister, who lives in the San Francisco area.

(That's Sister Moon above...I don't know where Brother Sun went...probably for a psychic reading)

They’ve had major rains this late winter, and she was completely and utterly tired of non-stop gloomy mist and dogs that couldn’t go for a walk. So we headed to Sedona, one of the best places on earth to look at the sun and watch middle-aged guys in ponytails earnestly discuss their angst and ogle the teenaged girls getting their skinny latte’s with extra whipped cream. It was beautiful – sunny, mild, perfect for hiking, and dozing in front of a huge bronze eagle in an art gallery, pretending we were part of the exhibit. We ate nachos on the patio of a Mexican restaurant, gourmet Italian in a Tuscany kinda bistro, and corn nuts in the car.

Then curled up in our pajamas in the hotel room and watched some messed up HBO show with Gabrielle Byrne and Dianne Wiest called “In Treatment”. A cheery new show that brutally dissects people with a whole bunch of issues. Nothing like despair and unrelenting self analysis to top off a nice weekend in the red rocks! Thanks Lori, now I’ll have nightmares for a week.

Back home, I look in mild concern at my blog, which is feeble and neglected. Dang, I need to cook/bake something at least half way interesting. But all I can muster up are these disgustingly rich dessert bars. Too much health and navel gazing in Sedona! I need me some butter and sugar and drippy ice cream sauce. And to yell at my husband about the trash still not taken out for 3 days without a big therapy session ending in tears. Ah, home sweet home.

These are adapted from something I’ve made over the years, each time doing something different. They tasted a little dusty this time, so maybe add some cream or extra butter to the oat crust and topping. These actually are pretty good keepers, and good for a nice long hike, smashed in the bottom of your backpack. Cause you all should be thinking about a nice spring hike.

Butterscotch Caramel Oatmeal Bars

1 ¾ cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, melted
12 oz package butterscotch chips
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup Mrs. Richardson’s butterscotch-caramel ice cream topping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 9” X 13” baking pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, 1 ½ cup of the flour (reserve the ¼ cup), brown sugar, baking soda. Stir in melted butter. Mix well. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Press remaining mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Mix the butterscotch chips and peanuts in a bowl. Scatter over top of oatmeal crust.
4. Mix ice cream topping with the reserved ¼ cup flour and drizzle over chips and nuts. Sprinkle with the 1 cup reserved oat mixture.
5. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until bubbly on edges and golden brown. Cool in pan on rack, then refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars.


Jenny said...

Welcome back girl!
Sounds like Sedona is exactly how I remember it! It's a great place to visit. We always eat a ton when we go!

Thanks again for the B-Ball tickets, the boys had so much fun. It was a beautiful day! I need you address, they have a thank you card for you!!

Those gooey bars look and sound fantastic! Have a great week!

Deborah said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend!!

And these bars sound delicious!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

Oh boy! A thank you note from your little boys! I'll send you an email with address. These are pretty good bars - easy, and keep forever (but they never last long).
I'm so glad you had a great time!

it was a super wknd with my bestest sister. And I just had (another) one of these bars...they addictive!

Cakespy said...

Oh my. The perfect weekend and wonderful fuel for the adventure. I love bar-cookies so this seems like a natural to add to my collection. *Love* butterscotch.

Sue said...

Interesting travels, great recipe, but I want to talk about In Treatment. I am completely and totally addicted. At first, I thought I would only be interested in a few of the characters, now I HAVE to watch it every friggin' night. Luckily they repeat it a hundred times a week. I find it completely riveting.

Gabriel Byrne is the hottest thing sitting in a leather(?)chair and Dianne Wiest is amazing. I think I need to go away with your sister.
PS Have you started watching it?

Anj said...

Welcome back, you were missed. The bars look yummy, but I enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading your trip report even more! I love Sedona, so beautiful there.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

yes, if I could do butterscotch gravy....!

I totally agree about Gab and Dianne! But I think I was in my "happy place" and the show was depressing. Amazing acting, for sure...and I can see how it could be addicting. So I guess it's a good thing we don't have HBO. Of course, my sister thinks that's crazy, cause she's addicted to Big Love too!

aw, that's sweet! Sedona is really pretty special. We might end up moving there in the not too distant future. We'll see!

Emiline said...

I definitely want to visit Sedona. That sounds like a nice vacay to me.
And I want a butterscotch bar. These better have your husband's stamp of approval.

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"The Dish" by Catherine Wilkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.