Sunday, August 30, 2009

frosted peanut butter fingers

Last night we went to a party for English faculty and grad students, and we were supposed to take some kind of snack, so I made this recipe that I'd been wanting to try for a long time but had never gotten around to. They turned out great, and even my mom and dad who supposedly don't like peanut butter (or in Dad's case, just don't like it in desserts) really liked them.

1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter, divided
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. quick-cooking oats
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

chocolate frosting:
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
6 to 8 Tbsp. milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 cup peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.

Spread into a greased 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack, about 12 minutes. Spread with remaining peanut butter. Cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over peanut butter. Cut into bars.

So yummy! I also wanted to mention how happy I am that we are NOT moving right now. This is the first year since either of us graduated high school that we haven't both moved at the beginning of the school year. It is so nice not to be worrying about packing up everything we own and then unpacking it all again. Of course, we will have to again next year, but I'm glad we are staying put for now!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

summer's end

Thomas has been home for 2 1/2 weeks now, and it has been wonderful! My trip to Notre Dame to pick him up was fantastic. The drive there was pretty boring but I listened to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on CD, and that helped it go a bit faster. It was not my first choice for a book, but there are somewhat limited options at the library and it was about the same length as the drive. We stayed in South Bend for a few days and had a mini-vacation. We went to some really nice restaurants (including this one: ... it was SO beautiful!), saw Julie and Julia (which we both really liked), and most importantly just spent time with each other. I hope we never have to be apart that long--or anywhere near that long--again!

Since he's been home, we've both been working a lot. Thomas has been back at the pool, and I kept working at Hy-Vee til the beginning of last week. I applied to be a substitute teacher this year, and I was lucky enough to start subbing on the first day of school, which was last Wednesday. Our old drama teacher Mrs. Clark had to have surgery a few weeks ago and is not supposed to be working yet, so I got to sub for her for a week, which was great because subbing pays better and is more fun than working at Hy-Vee.
Today is our first day of school, which I am not at all excited about, but it is my last year, and that is extremely exciting! This semester I am working on my master's thesis (which is focusing on depictions of gender in Victorian children's literature), taking 2 other classes, and teaching one section of freshman composition. I'm also going to continue subbing on the days I don't have class. I think that sounds like a pretty full schedule, but Thomas is taking five classes, teaching a section of freshman comp, rehearsing for The Importance of Being Earnest in which he'll be starring this October, and continuing to work a few hours at the pool every week. I consequently doubt I'll be seeing much of him, but seeing him at all is going to be better than this summer was!