Mud Hen Bars & Book Review

Where did the weekend go??  Come back, weekend!!  We didn’t get enough time together.

Okay, that’s pretty much all I could come up with on what to write.  Ha.

Let’s just do this thing, shall we?

Book Review:

The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble


I read The Girl Next Door on my flights to & from Charlotte last week.  This book is yet another from my loot at the closing Borders store months ago.  I remembered reading an Elizabeth Noble book before (The Friendship Test).  So it was a pretty safe bet for my $.50.

The Girl Next Door is the story of Eve Gallagher.  She moved from England to NYC when her husband gets a promotion at work.  Eve & Ed moved into a Manhattan apartment complex.  From there, the story is more of an ensemble type book with each chapter featuring a different tenant/s.  Some of the stories co-mingle too.

In the beginning of the book, there was a list of 24(!) characters and which apartments they lived in.  Yikes!!  I’m glad I didn’t see that list until after I started the book or else I would have been overwhelmed.  The author really just focuses on 8 characters though, so that’s very doable.

So this book…eh, it’s alright.  It served the purpose of keeping me entertained in airports.  It was interesting enough that I wasn’t bored.  But I didn’t find myself rooting for any characters.  There were definitely a few twists that I wasn’t expecting and that was a pleasant surprise.  But in the end, I just found myself thinking….okay, that book is done.  What’s next?

The Girl Next Door:  2.5 out of 5 stars

Now on to something sweeter!!

Mud Hen Bars

Recipe from Taste & Tell


1/4 cup shortening
4 tbl unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg, whole
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts–I used walnuts
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup packed light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan.

Cream together the shortening, butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add in 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks.  (You’ll be reserving the 2 egg whites for later.)  Mix well.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet.  Mix well

Spread the batter into a butter 9×13 inch baking dish.  the prepared baking dish.  You can use a spatula (or hands or both!) to spread & pat evenly.  Sprinkle chopped nuts on top of batter.  Sprinkle mini marshmallows on top of nuts.  (I squished the marshmallows down a bit as they were close to brimming over the pan.)  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the marshmallows.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat your 2 reserved egg whites until stiff.  (You’ll need a beater or mixer for this one!  I tried (and failed) to stiffen mine just with a hand-held whisk).  Fold in the light brown sugar.  Spread sugar mixture evenly over the top of the chocolate chips.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  The top will be lightly browned.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.

These mud hen bars are best served warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!