Chocolate Maple Bars

I was needing to make some treats to take to a little get-together recently, and thought I'd whip up these Chocolate Maple bars. They are so yummy!

The chocolate maple bars are made using a boxed brownie mix as the base, then you just add the maple frosting and of course, a layer of chocolate to finish them off.
Here is the recipe and the directions if your wanting to make your own~
Maple layer:
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 to 2 tablespoon of HOT water
2 teaspoons of maple flavoring
3 cups of powdered sugar
Optional: 1 cup of lightly salted dry roasted peanuts

Chocolate Topping:
One bag of chocolate chips, milk or semi-sweet (11.5 ounces)
1 tsp. of oil
Make the brownies as directed on the box. I used a large pan, size 9 x 13--- I wanted a thin brownie base. While the brownies are cooling, mix up the maple frosting layer. You'll want to spread the maple layer on a warm brownie base to help the thick mixture spread evenly.

For the maple layer: Mix the corn syrup, butter and maple flavoring until well blended. Next, beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. The last cup of powdered sugar makes the mixture close to impossible to stir together!  The filling will be thick! This is where you add 1 to 2 tablespoons of very hot tap water to help loosen up the frosting. Spread the maple frosting evenly over the still warm (not hot-hot from the oven) brownie layer, this too will help the thick maple frosting spread over the brownie.  If your wanting to add the peanuts, do so at this point. Sprinkle the peanuts over the maple frosting and pat them into the frosting using the backside of a fork.
At this point, I place the maple/nut covered brownie pan into the fridge to speed up the cooling time. When the pan of brownies has cooled add the chocolate!

 I placed the chocolate chips and oil in a glass bowl and then sat it in a pot of bowling water stirring until melted.  Once the chocolate has melted, spread the chocolate evenly over the peanuts. While the chocolate is cooling, I like to create little peaks in the chocolate by using the side of a spatula, you could also make a smooth chocolate surface....  Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, this takes at least an hour.  Lastly, cut the brownies into squares. I like to cut off the edges so that each piece has a uniform edge.... This isn't a necessary step, it is just something I prefer to do.... and for the extra effort to make your tray of treats look extra special your rewarded with all the crunchy bits of left overs. Score!
I also like to use paper bakery sheets to hold each little treat.  It is especially useful when the treats you've made are a smidgen sticky. Yummy!
big hugs,



It has been a fun-few-weeks of treasure hunting recently. I found two more American Girl dolls for $2.00 each. I already have the one standing in the back, but for $2.00... I didn't even hesitate to buy another one. Messy hair, don't care! I think I have about nine AG dolls now... I'm not sure of the exact count because they are all boxed up in the rafters of my garage!

Two lovely quilts for $4.00 each. The bottom one I got for fa-ree. The Ficus was only $4.00...of course the new pot and potting soil I bought at the nursery turned my $4.00 score into a heck of a lot more money!
 Old books, a card game and some vintage fabric and a small quilt, all of this for $2.00.
 A vintage Samovar Coffee urn for $1.00. Sure, its missing a handle and the lid---- but pushed up against something in my pirate yard and strands of pearls draped out of the top and it will be something to behold!
 This next item was something that I have been wanting FOR-EVER! A price gun. I know right? How fun is this??? Not only does it stamp a price on the little stickers, but... it also could stamp a little saying or a design. It only cost me $5.00! It came with everything included in the original box. Oh my gosh, everything is going to get a little sticker stuck to it!
 I bought 14 rolls of duct tape for only $5 bucks... you just never know when your going to need some right?
 Some jewelry I bought a long time ago, but forgot to share... a strand of what I think is Rhodonite Kunzite. I paid $1.00 for those. I am going to use these to do some wire wrapping and possibly creating some rings with as well. The handmade sterling silver blue stoned necklace was only $2.00. There is one small stone/gem missing.
 I knew at first glance that this piece was sterling silver... and handmade. I am going to hit it with a little heat and take it apart and create individual pieces with it. I have no idea what the blue stones are, but once I take the piece to my lapidary class, I'll find out fast. I am hopeful that the faceted blue stones are gems and not just cut glass-- fingers crossed!
The best thing I bought recently, -in my opinion- was these large wooden angel wings. I lurve them! I talked the price down and only had to pay $20.00. I wanted to hang them above my fireplace but they weigh a TON, so I opted to use drywall anchors and just hang them on my wall.

It is so much fun hunting for treasure!
big hugs,


Cat House on the Kings

This Saturday, May 6th, is "The Cat House on the Kings" open house. I am lucky to be a vendor at this event! If your a cat lover, like me, it is a little slice of heaven here on earth.

Here is the mission statement from the facility:
The Cat House on the Kings is California's largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. Our mission is to place rescued cats and kittens into loving, permanent homes; to provide a safe, happy and healthy home for unwanted cats and kittens in a unique, no-cage facility; to prevent pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering; and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

There are around 700ish cats and kittens on her 6 acres of fenced in land.... if you click on this link: Cat House on the Kings... it will take you to the website so you can read more about this place... and possibly donate to support her efforts to care for these cats! 
I've got my own little cat house, although my total cat count is only six.

I tried to come up with a few cat themed things to sell at this event. I had some cat eye marbles that I was wanting to turn into some necklaces, so I pulled out my wire wrapping supplies and got to work.
I haven't wire wrapped in about two years, it was time to get back to it! There is a great group of people that get together for about two hours each week and everyone brings in their own wire wrapping project to work on. It is just a fun-filled time of getting to see new techniques and learning and sharing things. I'm glad I rejoined the group :-)
 I had one of the necklace displays I recently made with nothing to hang from it, so it worked out perfectly for these cat eye necklaces. I pulled off the topper of this display piece as it continued to be wonky...
 I used shiny brass-square-wire for these cat eye marble necklaces.
Part of the reason I stopped wire wrapping was because of the swirls you see on the top of these necklaces. That is what you do with the extra wire. I hate it.... I HATE THE SWIRLS.... but... I figure, it I don't do them and think-think-think while I'm creating these wire wrapped pieces, I'll never come up with a better way to do it! So, I'm back at it--those swirls are going to be history, mark my words. Okokok, the swirls look fine on these necklaces, but if I was doing wire wrapping on a beautiful stone cabochon the swirls (in my opinion) make the piece look cheap. 
I guess it is like everything else. Learn how to do it, then expand upon that and make it your own. Challenge accepted.

I'm looking forward to spending the day with all those cats/kittens and like minded cat loving people! Check out the "Cat House on the Kings" and maybe even friend them on Facebook.... and possibly consider making a donation to help feed, spay and neuter the cats she takes care of.
big hugs,