Twink's Treats: Sweet Love
Unconditional love has been described as “love with no boundaries, unchanging, no matter what the circumstances”. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, unconditional love is abounding. I know I feel it each time I think of my sweet mother, Frances, also known to her grandchildren and great granddaughter as “Mamaw”. She’s 91, and the role model for unconditional love. Feisty and witty to boot! She’s one of the strongest women I know, and as I look back and reflect on how she has impacted my life, it’s the quiet strength, the behind the scenes power that has upheld and supported my father throughout their 65 years of (happy) marriage, and guided our family my entire life. Her face lights up when she sees any of us. And the love – the unconditional love, always.
Although I have always worked outside the home, and love my career, my favorite job, the one that keeps me going, the one I’m so fortunate and humbled to have – is being a mother (and now a Mimi, too). God blessed me with a miracle in July 1980 – a miracle that I never take for granted, my son Chris. I like to say that we grew up together, since I was in my early twenties when he was born and quite naïve to motherhood! But we did well together and there’s a bond between us that I treasure with all my heart. From the moment he was born, I have loved him fiercely, totally, and unconditionally. He has made me so proud with each of his accomplishments throughout his life, no matter how big or small. My face and my heart both light up when I see him and when I think of him! He’s kind, loving, smart, strong, handsome; a great conversationalist, cook (); golfer, a fine man, and perhaps the most important – a wonderful husband to my beautiful daughter-in- law Meghan and the ultimate father to Ellsley Mae, my sweet, sweet granddaughter. My circle is complete – abounding with unconditional love. Thank you, Chris, for bringing me such happiness and joy always!
He also has always been my biggest critic in the kitchen. Quick to let me know when he didn’t like one of my creations but also quick to praise those he did (and does) like. I have created and named actual recipes after him. When he comes to visit, I worry more about what I make for him than I do with anyone else! But cooking for my mother is a little different – it’s that unconditional love she has for me. As long as I have something chocolate for her – we’re good! For years, I have made a dessert that my mother loves, and since it is Mother’s Day I am sharing it with you, in honor of her. This is not low calorie or low in sugar, but sweet, just like she is!
Franny’s Candy Bar Cake
1 package German Chocolate Cake Mix (Pillsbury or Betty Crocker)
½ cup canola oil
1 t. pure vanilla extract (such as McCormick’s)
1 ½ cups water
1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
1 jar Hershey’s Caramel Topping
Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
Heath candy bars
Butterfinger candy bars
1 (8 ounce) carton Cool Whip, thawed
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Beat cake mix, eggs, oil, vanilla and water with electric mixer on low for 1 minute and on high for 2 minutes. Pour batter into pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until done. Remove from oven. Poke holes in cake with spoon handle in rows across until cake is covered. Pour condensed milk over cake, spreading to make sure it goes in the holes. Then pour most of the caramel topping across the cake. Crush Butterfinger candy bars, and spread on top of cake. Cool completely. Spread Cool Whip on top of cake, and top with crushed Heath Bars. Drizzle with caramel and chocolate syrup. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Until next time, be kinder than necessary, and celebrate those in your life who deserve unconditional love!