For the past two years a group of moms from church has been meeting together religiously every Thursday night at a local Panera. We started as a book club/bible study group but over time we have become a counseling/support system for each other. We have a designated table at the restaurant that we claim weekly and throughout the night we will see many come and go as we sip on our lattes and share our latest life story. We usually sound like a group of hens clucking at the top of their lungs as we sit and discuss life, marriage, children, love, heart break pain, any and every topic. Many of us have had our first, second, or third child since this group began and it has been amazing to watch these babies grow up week by week and share stories of them taking their first steps, first real food, sleeping through the night, etc.
Tonight I hosted the girls here for a night of soup and salad and coffee. Every once in a while I will speak up and voice my concern for how much money we are dumping into Paneras pocket and how I can't handle another Greek salad with extra olives and a bowl of chicken soup so I decided to just have everyone here instead. What a blessing. To know that if it were not for the Father that our lives would not be woven together like a patch work quilt. I love sitting back and watching everyone and listening to the bustle of conversations knowing that we all need each other, depend on each other and are here for one another and that if I am ever in a crisis I can call on any of these girls and I know that they will come and help whatever it takes.
Tonight for the menu I prepared a broccoli cheese soup, spinach salad with apples, bacon, blue cheese and my house dressing and for dessert we had some gooey pumpkin bars with coffee. I love, love gooey butter bars. They are one of my most favorite desserts.I have always had a long time love affair with chess pie and gooey butter bars help fill that gap in my life. My local Kroger use to carry their own version of the bars and it was T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Well, tonight I decided to try out Paula De ens recipe for gooey pumpkin bars and add my own touch and they were the perfect end to a perfect night. Thank you God fort the blessing of friends. Enjoy!
1 Butter Cake Boxed Mix
1 Stick of butter melted
Combine all of the above and pat into a 9x13 pan.
1 8oz cream cheese at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of butter melted
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 dash salt
1/.4 tsp ginger
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Next add in pumpkin, eggs then the rest of the ingredients. Spread over the cake mixture. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, the center should still be a bit gooey. Allow to cool then top with glaze.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs half and half or milk
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Stir until combined. Drizzle over cooled bars. If glaze is not coming together all the way add a splash more half and half.