Walnut Bars and What Happened to Courtesy?

Walnut Bars and What Happened to Courtesy?

Walnut Bars with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing - YUM!

Walnut Bars with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing – YUM!

1 + 2 + 3

Equals Walnut Bars iced with a Delicious White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Delicious Walnut Bars

Delicious Walnut Bars

Before I share this great recipe with you, which I must credit my sister Jean with encouraging me to make, although she isn’t around to have any, I need to vent about 2 encounters of the F-bomb I have experienced this week.

My concern with these events is what recourse do you have or what can be done to stop them.  Whose fault is it?  Do these people grow up in an environment where an adult speaks to them and in their presence and to others the way they spoke to me or has no one ever told them to be more respectful when speaking to others or when in the presence of others.

While walking into work a few days ago there were several cars parked in the fire zone.  I looked at one van and I mean only looked, no dirty look, no flipping the bird, not mouthing anything.  Suddenly the window rolls down and a young woman, maybe 19 or 20 years, calls out to me, “What the F you looking at, you F-ing Bitch!”  I turned around and walked up to the vehicle and said you are parked in a fire zone and pointed to the sign right beside her.  Plus she was facing in the opposite direction of the traffic.  She then told me, “What the F do you care, Bitch.  It’s none of your F-ing business.  And I’m not parked, I’m stopped.”

So my thought was do I stand her and wait a few minutes and see if it is her mom or dad she is waiting for and say a couple of words to them but I figured if she talks to a stranger who glances her way like that I would imagine whoever she is with would back her up.

Sure we have all parked somewhere we shouldn’t but if someone approached you wouldn’t you put your head down and pretend you didn’t see them because you know you are in the wrong or offer some lame excuse or something.  Since when do you get to verbally attack someone with profanity when you are in the wrong.

Incident Number 2.  Coming home from downtown Toronto on the GO train late Friday night after a concert.  Packed GO train car and a group of about 5 teens, probably 19 or 20 years old standing right in front of the door.  My 18 year old son and I have 2 seats right by the door were we have obnoxious drunk teen #1 and tall obnoxious drunk teen #2 as part of this group with the stupid girl friend who thinks obnoxious teen #1 is great.

Firstly, they are F-this and F-that and drunk teen #2 keeps talking about shitting his pants, etc.  Not once or twice for for about 5 minutes.  So I speak up and say, “Hey, can you watch your language.  There are a lot of women, kids, etc. on here.”  First I get oh, ok.   Several passengers, all woman look and me and give me a nod that I took to mean thanks.  The obnoxious teens keep swearing.  I mention their language again and finally tall obnoxious drunk teen #2 very loudly starts to say, “This is a public place and I can say whatever the F I want in a F***ing public place.”  Needless to say many more F words followed loudly plus more comments about shitting his pants.

Now several things come to mind.  There were quite a few middle aged men on board who could have spoken up and many other women who could have.  I mentioned about pressing the alarm as I don’t think having drunk and disorderlies on the train would be tolerated by the GO staff but one lady said “It would delay us.”

I am not saying I haven’t heard the words many times or expect others not to say them BUT there is a time and place.  Calling out you vehicle window when you are in the wrong or talking loudly in the presence of others is rude, crass and ignorant.  BUT then how come we always make excuses for these rude, crass people and feel we are in the wrong to point out their selfish, boorish behaviour?  Am I the only one that thinks this way.  I realize there are bigger issues in the world but isn’t a little courtesy and politeness a positive thing.  These people are the same ones that let the door slam in the face of the individual behind them, won’t hold a door open for a mom or dad pushing a stroller, park in the handicapped spot to RUN into their fitness class (yes, I have seen this and called the parking person…really if you have run into your fitness class you can park in the next section over and be 5 minutes late for your class…have you ever watched a person with disabilities struggle to just get in or out of their car), and think that others will pick up their messes, etc.  Believe me I have seen it and I see it more and more.

If you have any thoughts on this leave me a comment.  Now back to these easy sweet nutty treats.  A bite of one of these with a cup of tea will calm your frazzled nerves and make you forget the rude treatment of others.


Preheat oven to 325F and grease an 9 x 9-inch square pan.

Mix together in a medium bowl with a fork, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter.  Press into a 9-inch square pan and bake for about 12-15 minutes until light brown.

For the Filling: Combine 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 large eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Pour this over the baked crust and return to the oven for about 25 minutes until set.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.

For the Topping:  By hand or with an electric mixer beat 4 ounces of room temperature plain cream cheese, 1/4 cup soft butter and  3/4 cup melted white chocolate together until smooth.  Mix in 1/4 cup icing sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Beat until combined and smooth.  Chill until spreadable.

Once bars are cooled completely spread generously with icing.

Linda’s Notes:  You could probably halve the topping recipe but if you don’t the leftovers can be frozen until you have some cupcakes or cakes that need a little icing.

Orange Pecan Biscotti and a Happy, Healthy 2014

Orange Pecan Biscotti and a Happy, Healthy 2014

Butter Baked Goods

Butter Baked Goods

Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin was a beautiful unexpected gift from my friend Jayne.  A gorgeous cover and glossy attractive photos accompanying the recipes.  If you enjoy baking you probably are familiar with many of the recipes as they are favourites in my home and in my home when growing up. Recipes for Lemon Meringue Pie, Butter Tarts, Vanilla Cupcakes and more.  It is terrific to have all the recipes in one spot accompanied by pretty, feminine photos….you know pretty soft pinks and soft greens, nice tea cups in the photos, etc.

So before heading off to a New Year’s get together I baked up the Orange Pecan Biscotti on page 96 as the hostess is a fan of biscotti.

The biscotti baked up quick and was extremely flavourful.  The orange zest and fresh juice squeezed from said orange plus chocolate chips and toasted pecans made it a recipe I will make again.  These babies baked up a little on the soft side so if you prefer a crunchier biscotti I would suggest baking them perhaps 10 minutes more.

Orange Pecan Biscott

Orange Pecan Biscott

The orange pecan biscotti turned out great but not as great as the New Year’s Eve get together.  You know good food and nice wine are always great but as trite as it may sound being with people who truly care about you and each other and can be comfortable and have some laughs is one of the best things to be around and part of.  Thank you to all my great friends and to Liz, Scot, Shona, John, Jessie, Thomas and Melissa for making last night so much fun.

Next up will be some walnut bars with white chocolate cream cheese icing my sister has been raving about.  I need to dig around for the recipe and hopefully will have a post on it in the not to distant future.  All the best in 2014.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup pecans, toasted

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2  large eggs

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat briefly after each addition.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add the orange zest and juice and mix.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

By hand with a wooden spoon or with mixer on low add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Turn batter out onto the parchment lined pan and shape into a log about 18-inches long by 4-inches wide.

NOTE: I found the batter very sticky and it helped to rinse my hands in cold water and leave them wet when shaping the dough.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and remove from oven.  Let cool for about 15-20 minutes.  Use a serrated knife and cut the log into 18 even slices.  Lay slices flat and bake for another 10-15 minutes.