Coconut Nut Bars

20160911_184040-2It’s back to school time and one of the things I remember is lunch bags.   Actually, I remember not having to prepare lunch bags. That was done by Hubby for Kid1 and Kid2.  Aside from inventive wraps and chopped veggie things, he prepared some delicious snack bars.

I recently discovered his secret – a dog-eared recipe book called “Brown Bag Success” by Sandra K. Nissenberg and Barbara N. Pearl.  I skipped past the pages on Healthy Lunches and Sandwich Staples and zoned in on “Snacks, Treats and Finishing Touches.”  There I found what I’d been looking for. The chewy, nutty, butterscotch flavored Coconut Nut Bars.

It was deceptively easy to make. I whipped up a batch in less than ten minutes, baked it for 20 and waited for it to cool.   Kid2 who is now twelve years older and two feet taller, hovered around the kitchen.  Unwisely, I left the bars unguarded.  When I returned to store them away, I found the supply woefully diminished.

Challenged, Kid2’s only response was “Huh? Humph…(swallow)..nuhme!”

Coconut Nut Bars

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (add 1 cup if you’re nut crazy like me)

Grease and flour a 8×8 pan
Preheat oven to 350

Measure flour and baking powder in a bowl
Melt butter in microwave.Stir in brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla.
Mix in to flour mixture. Add coconut and nuts. Batter will be stiff.
Spread into pan.  If it doesn’t look it has enough nuts, shove some more into the batter.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
Cool for 15 before removing from pan. Use a long serrated knife to slice into bars.

Makes 12 bars


Easy Egg & Tomato stir-fry

Egg Tomato stirfryI first had this dish in a dingy restaurant in a back alley behind Beijing’s Pearl Market. It is a home-style dish and not one normally found in restaurants.  It was delish.   I’ve since had it in Taiwan and seen recipes widely available on the internet.

I have perfected my own version. It is less soupy and more flavorful.  At least that’s my opinion … and hubby’s too. Although truth be told, he has to say that; it’s in his own self-interest.

This recipe is super easy to adjust from one to ten servings.  Perfect for single cooks, bachelor sons and lazy Moms.

Egg & Tomato Stir-fry

4 eggs
2 tomatoes, medium size & firm
1/8 tsp soup powder dissolved in 2 tbs water
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely shredded
2 spring onions, 1 inch slices
1/2 tsp Sugar (to taste)
1 tbs Oyster sauce (to taste)

Dissolve soup powder with a bit of water. Mix in eggs

Cut tomatoes into large, one inch wedges. They should be large enough to maintain shape after cooking.

Heat wok with a bit of oil. When hot, add eggs and cook. You can scramble if you wish. I prefer to fold into a loose fluffy omelette. Remove from pan and set aside in a serving dish.

Reheat the wok with oil over high heat. Stir fry the ginger & green onions until fragrant. Add tomatoes, sugar and oyster sauce. Add a dash of water to prevent tomatoes from burning and begin cooking, but not so much water as to make it soupy. Cook until the tomatoes are slightly soft.

Pour tomato mixture on the eggs & serve.

Four eggs makes a simple dinner main for 2 with a vegetable side.
Portions can be adjusted plus or minus  2 eggs & 1 tomato per serving.