I have been so fortunate in my life. This isn't to say that my life has been easy because it has been anything but. What makes me one of the lucky ones, is that I have survived all of the hardships of my life and they have made me stronger and made me acutely aware of what is most important. Nothing means more to me than my friends and family.
I have been blessed with some of the best girlfriends in the world and I have been lucky enough to spend quality time with 3 of them this past month: Betsy, Carrie & Amy. These women are truly like sisters to me. I am not lucky enough to have biological sisters but these women fill that void for me. I know I could go to any one of them (and I have) with my problems and they would be there for me. No matter what. It is a feeling I wish for all the women I know.
For a long time I put my friendships on the back burner and didn't make time for them in my day to day life. I focused on my family and was happy to do that but at some point I realized I was missing out. I actually made a New Years resolution one year to focus more on my female friendships. Thank God I did.
These relationships make me a better person. You enrich my life. You are supportive. You are beautiful. You give me something that I can't get anywhere else. You fill me with awe at how smart, strong, and giving women are.
So for those of you who are my friends "in real life", and for those of you who I have gotten to know and adore "virtually", I invite you to sit with me and enjoy this small treat. Lets share our dreams & worries over an oatmeal bar & know that I will always be there for you. No matter what.
48 soft caramel candy cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Coat a 9-by-13- inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line with a 9-by-21-inch sheet of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each short side. Put caramels and cream in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
2. Stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and the salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with a fork or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal; press half of mixture onto bottom of lined pan. Bake until just set and starting to color around edges, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle crust with chocolate chips; drizzle with caramel mixture. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350° until pale golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.