8.15.2017

Four-Layer Cereal Treats or Lake House Snacks

If you take your clan to a lake house, they're going to want these. 
This weekend I saw someone in a float, munching one of these
and paddling along with the other hand. Sunshine, water, and a good snack—bliss!
These layered cereal treats are easy to make ahead, look special, transport well, and ...
they're so easy!


Prepare: 
Completely line two 9"x13" pans with parchment paper. Coat the parchment lining with cooking spray. 

Gather ingredients: 
1 stick butter, divided 
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 1/2 cups plain crispy rice cereal
6 1/2 cups cocoa-flavored crispy cereal
10-ounce packages of mini marshmallows

Instructions:
In a large non-stick pan, combine 4 T. butter, vanilla, and one package of marshmallows over low heat. Stir until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and add the plain cereal. Stir until the cereal is coated. Divide the cereal mixture in half and spread each half evenly in the bottom of the pans using a buttered spoon back. Press it gently into flat layers. You should have two pans, each containing a flattened layer of vanilla cereal mixture.

In the same non-stick pan, combine remaining butter, cocoa, and one package of marshmallows over low heat. Stir until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and add the cocoa cereal. Stir until the cereal is coated. Divide this mixture in half and spoon it over the first layers in each pan. Using the buttered spoon, spread and press it evenly over the first layers, making the second layers. You will have two pans, each with two layers—vanilla and chocolate.

While the layers are still warm, carefully lift one of the parchment linings with its two layers and place it lightly in the other 9x13 pan, on top of its two layers. Gently slide the parchment paper out, creating four layers. Press lightly to join the layers.  

Cool completely, then use a buttered knife to cut.
*Hint: Use a plastic knife to cut these or any kind of sticky dessert. The treat won't stick to a plastic knife and the pieces will be neat and tidy, with the layers intact.

Customize:
Sprinkle mini-chocolate chips before you transfer the topping layers and create a yummy filling. Look for strawberry-flavored crispy rice cereal and create a Neopolitan-style layered treat with three layers of color and flavor. The plain cereal will accept any flavor or food coloring to match the theme of a party or event. 




8.07.2017

Ready and Willing

A friend gave me this heavy, wooden door, taken from her grandparents' empty home.
Only a few days before bulldozers did their work of subdivision development, 
we walked through mostly-empty rooms searching for 
useful bits of an old life that could fit in the back of her truck.

Last summer, it made the perfect backdrop for my butterfly bush
This year it brings sunshiny-yellow charm to my shade garden.
And a bat lives behind it. 
Do you pray for open and closed doors? It's a recurring theme over here.
Every time I pass it, my friend's door reminds me of these powerful prayer verses. 
"A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened ..."
" ... a door was opened for me in the Lord ..."
"... opening doors no one can lock, locking doors no one can open ..."

I don't know about you, but I've tried to break down a few doors and walked 
away pretty bruised from the effort.
By the same token, I've tried to slam a few that keep creaking open again.
It's good news that a loving Father is in charge of opening and closing the 
right doors for me. So ... if He holds the keys, then what's my job?

I've got to be ready to walk through open doors 
and 
willing to walk away from closed doors. 

I can't be obsessed with a locked door, peeking through the keyhole, 
testing an endless series of secret knocks and creative passwords
And walking away from a closed door is just as challenging as working up the nerve 
to cross the threshold of an open one. The cool breeze of the unknown in my face 
isn't always exhilarating—sometimes it's downright terrifying! 

Walking through and walking away both require one thing: 
TRUST
Confidence that what's behind a locked door is really, really not good for me and 
certainty that whatever waits beyond an empty threshold is His very best.
What doors are you dealing with today? 

Lord, thank you for holding the keys to every door in my life. Help me recognize and walk away from the doors You close. Give me Your courage to walk  through the doors You open, into the future planned for me. My trust is always and only in You.