Saturday 15 February 2014

Cherry Pie Bars

My contribution to the big Valentines Party this year was a Cherry Pie Bar cake.
Since it was too hot to bake it in the morning, I did the baking the night before.
If it looks odd, that's because a part is not evenly sprinkled with chocolate. That's for the chocolate "haters".
When I picked up the tray there was only a few pieces left.
I definitely will keep that in my repertoire, but I would go a little lighter on the almond extract next time. It has a tendency to be a little overpowering.

1 cup of butter softened (2 sticks)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cans of cherry pie filling (don't use one; it is best with two)

Preheat Oven to 350°F 
In a mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugar. Add eggs and extract, beat well to mix. Add flour and salt, mixing well.
Spread half of the batter in a greased 9x13 pan, spoon the pie filling over the batter, randomly drop tablespoons remaining batter over the pie filling.
Bake for 35 min or until a toothpick comes out clean

If you wish to add a glaze mix 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tsp almond extract (take rather 1/4 tsp here), 2 tsp milk and drizzle on bars after they are cooled.
Melt some semi sweet chocolate chips and add it to the drizzle you like the combination cherry/chocolate. 

Sunday 9 February 2014

Messengers of Spring in the Desert

While driving through the last miles towards our final destination I saw the first spring desert flowers.
The Yuma area in Arizona gets more precipitation than the desert around El Centro, CA.
Here it is greener and there are more flowers. But there are the same as at our spot.
Some years they are plentiful other years there are none.
Lots of Pale Yellow Brittle Bush along the I-8.
Bright Yellow Desert Sunflowers
White Desert Chicory
Pink Desert Sand Verbena 

Desert Lilies
The first view of the LTVA, now it was just over the bridge and off the ramp!
Sure One HAPPY DOG! 
And the temperatures for the next 2 weeks are looking great! Up twards the upper 80ies (32 °C)!