Tuesday, June 28, 2011

home made kit kat bars of glory

home made kit kats at chucks

I still have a couple of Thailand posts up my sleeve, but I realized today that I promised this post to Sarah and then it completely slipped my mind.

When I first read the recipe for these "Homemade Kit Kat Bars" I was skeptical. They looked tasty, and certainly contained enough good looking ingredients like butter, chocolate, and peanut butter. And the recipe comes from Paula Deen, butter extraordinaire. But the base was constructed of Club crackers, which seemed dubious. I'm glad I went ahead and gave these a shot. The sum of the parts make for something unholy. The addition of a dash of butterscotch chips is truly an inspired choice. Calling them "Homemade Kit Kat Bars" is a misnomer because they don't really taste like the store bought Kit Kat bars. These lack the crunch and are about 200% richer. Also, they age really well. Like a fine wine or cheese, these just seem to get better after a day or two in the tupperware as the flavors continue to meld. Not kidding. It makes a 9x13 pan, but slice these puppies into tiny squares, you'll thank me later.

These are also incredibly easy to put together. The most annoying part is crushing the graham crackers into crumbs. The original recipe said it took about "45 minutes" of active time. Yeah, maybe if you take a 30 minute nap in the middle of making them. If you have the ingredients lined up, this will come together very quickly. Perfect for any summer picnics!

Kit Kat Bars of Glory
75 Club crackers (roughly 2 and a 1/2 sleeves of a standard box of crackers)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Line 9- by 13-inch rectangular baking pan with one layer of Club crackers (you may need to break some to fit).

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, dark brown sugar, milk, and granulated sugar. Bring to boil. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Pour half of butter mixture over crackers in pan. Smooth surface with spatula.

Arrange another layer of Club crackers over butter mixture. Pour remaining butter mixture over surface. Smooth surface with spatula. Arrange a third layer of crackers over top.

Combine peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips in small saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over crackers.

Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate two hours. Cut into 2-inch bars. (I cut them much much smaller - see picture - closer to tiny squares) Bars will keep for two weeks, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Monday, June 6, 2011

on impossible things

“Some things are so impossible, so fantastic, that when they happen, you are not at all surprised. Their sheer impossibility has made you imagine them too many times in your head, and when you find yourself on that longed-for moonlit path, it seems unreal but still, somehow, familiar. You dreamed it, of course; you know it like memory.”

from The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer

It's been a big (almost) year. Lots of things happening. Most of which seemed impossible and turned out to be easy. Their sheer impossibility stunningly easy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

weekend trip to khanom

let the sunshine in

Although I already put up photos from our trip to Khanom this past weekend, I thought I would write it up a bit as well. Khanom is a beach town about an hour and a half east from Surat Thani on the Gulf of Thailand. We left on Friday after Brian got off of work, and I hurriedly purchased a swimsuit. The sun sets around 6:30, so the goal was to make it down there before sunset.

On the way we were treated to some light rain and rainbows, and we rolled into town proper just after sunset. We ended up getting a room at the Rabingsa Resort - which is owned by the brother of Brian's bosses wife - so this incurred a slight discount on our room.

live together, die alone (#148)

As one of the less expensive rooms, there was no view of the beach, but we did get a nice sized room, with a bathroom and air conditioning. There is also a resort restaurant with free wifi - making me endlessly happy - and an amazing green curry dish.

smile baby

Saturday morning we went on a motorbike ride to track down a 7-Eleven and some sunblock. Then time for a swim. To someone used to swimming in the Atlantic ocean (if at all) I was amazed at how warm the water was, which makes sense seeing how it's warm here constantly. Both days we were there we went exploring and had lunch at other resorts up the road. One where I had an awesome Pad Thai, and one where we had dubious burgers and onion rings.

pad thai

Both mornings we also had free coupons for an "American Breakfast" at the resort restaurant. Coffee, eggs, toast, ham slices and tiny hot dogs. The second morning we were able to convey our desire to have the eggs scrambled. (Sometimes it's the little things).

beach dog

The resort also seemed home to a variety of beach dogs. There are street dogs everywhere in Thailand. There's one that lives on Brian's street that they feed occasionally. Still petting the dogs is not encouraged, as they are probably home to a fair amount of diseases or bugs. And as the girl who constantly approaches dogs on the street, a dog lover to heart, seeing but not being able to touch or really feed the dogs breaks my heart. At the resort it was pretty clear these dogs were fed leftovers from the restaurant daily, and perhaps from frequent romps in the ocean they seemed fairly clean. Saturday night I finally gave in and fed some of our green curry to one of the dogs. The next morning at breakfast she definitely remembered me as soon as we sat down to eat. I figured there was no risk of attachment since we were leaving that afternoon.

remains of the beach (#149)

So after some reading and a nap on the beach, we packed up the motorbike for a windy ride back to Surat. Because it wasn't a holiday weekend, Khanom and the resort were pretty much deserted. The only other people there were a few Thai families. It was beautiful and peaceful. Awesome.