Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Lady with the Bars

My grandma, Jodelle, is amazing. I realize most people feel this way towards their family's sweet and loving matriarch (and rightly so!) but mine really is incredible.

Late last Fall, in the middle of the night, my Grandpa awoke to find her going into complete cardiac arrest. Paramedics were called, she was rushed to the hospital. The doctors had to put her in a medically induced coma to save her life. Now, the odds of someone coming out of a medically induced coma after a heart attack are very, very slim. My grandmother's age further exasperated the odds. The odds of someone coming out of a medically induced coma, at any age, and returning to their previous cognitive state are even worse. 

Thankfully, after a couple days and tons of prayer from family and friends, the medical staff was able to successfully bring her out of the coma. We were all so very thankful and thrilled that not only was she awake, her brain suffered no serious damage and she quickly returned to her normal self. 

Last month she underwent heart bypass surgery - she's recovering wonderfully and has plans to fly out for my little brother's wedding in August. 

(my grandma, my daughter and I in March)

I'm so very thankful for her. She's a strong woman who also happens to be one of the kindest, most thoughtful, caring and compassionate women I know. She's dedicated so much of her life to serving in her city of South Saint Paul in various community service efforts as well as volunteering in the public schools to help students work through some of their issues. 

If I can touch half the lives she has, I'll consider my life a huge success. 

Another thing that makes her amazing is her bars. Not the alcohol-laden kind, though after what she's fought through she deserves a drink or two, but the dessert kind that every good Minnesota woman knows how to make. 

Those are her hands cutting the Million Dollar Bars she made for my family back in March. We're all convinced this is one of her best recipes. 

Seriously. I might need to go make some today. 

These bars have a peanut butter and oatmeal base. Which then has chocolate chips and butterscotch chips melted together, mixed with salted peanuts and poured over the top. 


These are perfection. I dare you to try to eat just one. 


Million Dollar Bars
Yields 30 bars

1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup light Karo syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats

12 oz chocolate chips
12 oz butterscotch chips
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 ½ cups salted, dry roasted peanuts

In a saucepan over low heat, melt: butter, brown sugar, peanut butter, Karo syrup and vanilla together. In a large bowl, combine oats and peanut butter mixture until evenly coated. Line a 10x15" jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Press the oatmeal mixture into the bottom. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes or longer. 

In the same saucepan, again over low heat, melt together chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter. Pour in peanuts. Spread this insanely delicious mixture over the oatmeal bars. Chill until firm. Cut into bars and savor every bite. 

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