Recipes for July

cookie_barDiane's Ooeey Gooey Cookie Bars

It's summer so go ahead and splurge! This is a very sweet treat. It’s a cross between a brownie and a cookie.

If you're packing up a picnic these are perfect, or if you're bringing desert to pass around the campfire, make a double batch because they will be gone in a jiffy!

Ingredients for a single batch:

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup any of the following: semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch morsels, M & M’s, or Reese’s Pieces

Friends have added the following because they are nutty over nuts. If you are too, you can add ½ cup any of the following: walnuts, pecans, almonds, or peanuts.

Hopefully you will enjoy this “Gotta have another one!” dessert!


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2. Measure 1 cup sifted flour. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift again. Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts. (If you are going to put them in.) Mix well and set aside.

3. Melt 1/3 cup butter. Add 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and mix well. If shortening is used, add 1 tablespoon hot water. Cool slightly.

4. Add egg (beaten) and vanilla. Blend well. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing well.

5.  Mix the chocolate chips or whatever.

6.  Spray pan heavily so that these won’t stick.

7. Spread in 9x13 inch pan. (double recipe.) Smaller pan for single recipe.

8.  Bake for 35 minutes (for doubled recipe.) Will be crispy outside chewy inside. (25 minutes for a single recipe, but ovens vary so check doneness with a toothpick.)

9. Let cool and then cut into bars.

10. Can serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top as the perfect end for a super summer meal. 


firecrackers, cooking with kids in JulyCrunchy Firecrackers:

For a fun snack to make with your little ones try this sweet & salty treat.


  •  a bag of fat pretzel rods
  • 1 cup of white chocolate morsels 
  • 1tablespoon of Crisco
  •  red sugar or red Jell-O


  1. Melt chocolate and Crisco in a double pot.
  2. Dip pretzel rods half way into the chocolate and swirl them around so that they get covered.
  3. Hold in the air so that they dry a bit.
  4. Dip the tips into red sugar or red Jell-O
  5. Lay on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.
  6. Allow to sit for 10 minutes then "Happy 4th of July!" Crunch-Munch-Crunch


fried_ice_cream, cooking with kids, summer recipes for kids, kids in the kitchen FRIED ICE CREAM:

I was surfing the net to see if I could find something on the extraordinary side that I could post a link to, and this fit the bill. 

So if you're into doing something amazing to wow your children with, try making a weird recipe, like frying something that melts!

Click on the link to view the video to see how easy this Japanese restaurant makes Tempura Fried Ice Cream look, then see if you want to give it a whirl.  I haven't had time, but it's on my list of things to do before summer's over! Let me know if you had fun!

watermelon shark carving, cooking with kids, summer recipeswatermelon shark, carving watermelons, birthday party ideas, summer birthday party idea, cooking with kids, recipes for kids, summer fun ideasMy final woo-hoo is a shark watermelon carving. Click on the link to see the National Watermelon Promotional carvings.  I thought they were pretty awesome!

I will be making the shark for my grandson's 6th birthday next week. (Next week's note: See photos of my grand accomplishment!)

I also loved the turtle and teapot, but he's a boy and I just thought a shark would be "way cool!" I'll let you know. 

There's some awesome "rosette" carved watermelons at this link.  Amazing what people can do with a watermelon.

If you want some tips on how to carve a watermelon shark or hedgehogAny Time Fun has a "how to" video. I sure hope I can make mine as quick as this guy does!

He sure makes it look easy! Click on the link to view it!


Well Nana did it.  She carved her 1st watermelon!  It's lucky I did this on Friday night as there would have been no time to whip this together on Saturday morning before the birthday party. 

Plan on an hour to do this project and buy TWO watermelons.  If your watermelon "guts" look anything like mine when you reach into the cavity of your shark and start "scooping" things out, you will NOT want to be serving those to guests!

summer birthday party ideas, summer birthday party center pieces, cooking with kids, recipes for kids, summer recipes for kids, watermelon carving, shark watermelonI had to run out Saturday morning to get another melon and cut those pieces into nice square chunks.  If you are nuts about using a melon baller go for it.  I'm into quick and easy after carving a shark. 

Doing the teeth was my favorite part.  The insides of the first watermelon did not go to waste.  I plopped them into a bowl and my husband, puppy and I will be enjoying those. 

I arranged "Wild-Berry" blue Jell-O jiggler squares (the ocean) that I  sprinkled with red Sweedish fish on the front of the glass tray and then heaped on fresh cut strawberries sprinkled with blue berries on the back of the tray.  I even hung a Sweedish fish from "Sharkie's" tooth!  It looked adorable and was a huge hit at the party.

Jeremiah's guests loved the look AND the ingredients!  The shark also went with the pool party swim theme he had going on in their front yard. All that was missing was the Jaws music. 

Until next time...bon appetit!