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No-Bake Mountain Bars … and a Dream

by Shannon on October 18, 2012

in Dessert,Gluten-Free

I had a dream last night … and it was a doozy.

I was in a foreign land, or so I thought, until I realized it was Brooklyn. Dave was there with me, and someone asked him to do a Catholic funeral at a place that was supposed to be a large church, but which ended up being big and expansive, like a sports stadium, except that it also felt like a small, intimate bowling alley. We were assigned the center four “lanes” for this particular funeral, but there were other funerals going on all around us on the other lanes. Ours was the biggest. And something was going on down in the field below our “stadium,” I just couldn’t be sure what it was.

I was in charge of lighting the candles. There were … like … 500 of them, all in different shapes and sizes, tucked here and there and everywhere. Some were hurricane lamps, some were tea lights, some were votives, tucked way down deep in giant mason jars. All they gave me for my task was a box of stick matches, so I kept having to strike a new one every few candles, and the wicks were too far down on a lot of the hurricane lamps, so I kept having to blow out my match and stop and tug on those blackened wicks. The whole time I was lighting the candles and lamps, these disapproving Catholic church ladies kept circling and watching me, and tsk-tsking my candle-lighting performance. Meanwhile, I kept looking over my shoulder trying to watch this TV interview with Lenny Leblanc, who was explaining why he felt compelled to go back in the studio with six back-up vocalists and remake his 70s mega-hit song, “Falling” (one of my all-time favorites). This may have accounted for some of the tsking.

I thought I was dressed appropriately for a funeral (I was wearing black pants and a black blazer, and a silky red blouse), but people started asking me when I was going to change my clothes. I saw my friend, Janet B., sitting on one of the bleacher/pews waiting for the funeral to begin. “Is this blouse okay?” I asked. She scoffed and said, “Why would you wear red to a funeral?” But she was wearing a red fox stole around her shoulders, which really confused me. Janet and all the church ladies around her started pointing to me and saying, “Inappropriate! Inappropriate!” Figuring I was inappropriate, I looked around for something else to wear, and eventually found a black tank top with cougar print all over it (in shades of gray) that I first tried to pin to the front of my blazer (like a dickie) before realizing I could just put it on.

My friend, Teresa T., was asked to sing Ave Maria at the funeral. I had no idea she could sing. She asked me to pray with her before she went on, so I figured that maybe it was news to her too. After praying with her — and I had to really speak up for her to hear me, because we could hear bowling pins being knocked over and cheering from the sports fans in the stadium — I went around the side of the bleacher/pew to light some more candles and found a torch, but it was out. There was a Filipino man there who had another torch which he tried using to light mine, but it didn’t work, and I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say to me. His friend came over and asked me questions, but I couldn’t understand him either. They stuck some things in my torch that looked like a combination of car fuses and stogies and tried to light those. But I could hear Teresa starting to sing in front of the stadium, so I dropped the torch and ran around to hear her.

She began singing Ave Maria (and she was actually pretty good), but it morphed into the Star Spangled Banner, and she kind of shoved the words into weird spots that made it almost unrecognizable. I finally figured out that she was doing a comedy routine. When I came around the side, she wasn’t in her dress anymore, but in a fuzzy pink costume. She was talking a lot about bunnies and cherry mountain bars. Everyone loved her. They were all clustered around her gushing about her act and listening to her describe her other comedy routines and trying to book her for other funerals. (Wow. Do I get a plaque or something for fitting “her” in that sentence five times?)

I had been asked to recite the Lord’s Prayer, but I couldn’t remember the second to the last verse, so I had to stand up there saying the first part all somber and serious while trying desperately to search for the prayer on my iPhone. I couldn’t ask Siri to do it for me while simultaneously talking into a microphone, so I was just punching in stuff in google trying in vain to find it before reaching that part of the prayer.

The funeral ended, I changed back into my inappropriate red blouse, and I flew to Europe.

When all that was over, I woke up thinking exactly what you are thinking: Man, I want a mountain bar!

So here’s a recipe. 😀

No-Bake Mountain Bars

Before I give you the ingredients, let me explain that we’re trying to substitute coconut oil (which is actually really yummy) for butter as much as possible. Lots of new data is showing how healing coconut oil is to the body, and that it may even help prevent Alzheimer’s. And I really don’t want to be a lonely old lady when Dave and I are ninety.

  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (you could use all white … I just didn’t have enough)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (you could use butter)
  • ½ cup rice milk (you could use regular)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1 TBSP pure vanilla
  • 2 cups regular oats, blended just briefly in a blender to pulverize a bit
  • 1-2 cups oats, just enough to hold it all together

Here’s a picture of what the coconut oil looks like, in case you haven’t used it before. It’s solid at room temperature, but it melts at a temperature a little lower than butter. As you can see by the photo, it is vital that you are extremely accurate in your measuring:


Mix sugar(s), oil or butter, milk and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute.

Reduce heat and add peanut butter. Stir to blend.

Add vanilla.

Add the oats you pulverized (just slightly). Begin adding oats, up to 2 more cups, until the mixture looks like it will hold its shape together when you put it on waxed paper.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or a silpat. They’ll set up in ten minutes or so.

Set a little to-go package aside for your daughter to take with her to school.

Enjoy a few with coffee while listening to Lenny Leblanc’s “Falling” (the original; not the unneeded remix 🙂 )

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  1. Anita Scheftner says:

    Wow..I’ve been time warped back to my youth…lol…

    1. Shannon says:

      Isn’t that such a great song? It took me right back to high school. 🙂

  2. Teresa Townsell says:

    Oh, Shannon, first you made me sit up a little straighter because I had a starring role in your dream; and, then, as I read further it was a good thing I’d recently filled my order of Vesicare, because I could have had a “little accident” laughing so hard.

    How DID you know I could sing? (Not!-And it is the biggest joke in my family! However, please do continue thinking of me singing on-key!) —But, yes, please do drop everything and come running when I begin to sing!

    Also, How DID you know I was such a comedian? (Not!–but, my second grade class thinks I’m funny.–Oh, what I do to the youth in America!)

    I think, at least in your inner consciousness, you must have remembered I am Catholic (raised, still consider myself Catholic, but not active in the church). I’m glad I could be at your side to stand with you, wearing your red blouse, as you faced the tskers. You didn’t mention it, but it must have been me who handed you the cougar-print shirt—which is certainly MORE appropriate for a Catholic funeral—LOL!

    Had you but tapped another dream talent of mine, lighting candles from my fingertips, then your “dream task” would have been taken care of without having to bother those nice Filipino men, who, seemed to have their own comedic act going with a torch, fuses and a stogie!

    Sorry, since you posted this dream, I’ve moved on from booking funerals and bar mitzvahs; I’ll be sharing, in my comedic pink fuzzy costume, my now-famous act on cherry mountain bars and bunnies, at The Viper Room in Los Angeles this weekend. We’re filming for Comedy Central; look for the special in November.

    By the way, don’t you think all epic dreams should end with one leaving on a trip to Europe?

    1. Shannon says:

      Hahaha! Oh, Teresa, you just confirmed my casting of you in that starring role. 🙂 You should have seen how you had the crowd eating out of your hand. They could NOT hear enough about your different acts, and how you came up with them, and what color fuzzy costume you wore to each. (That seemed to be your “thing,” although now that we’re talking about it, I remember that in one of your acts you wore a big plastic bag … I didn’t ask any questions about that.)

      I’ll be DVRing your Viper Room special, and yes. Every dream should end with a trip to Europe. 😀

      1. Teresa Townsell says:

        You nut!—Making me laugh more!

  3. Sandy Crittenden says:

    Shannon, you crack me up! (Maybe my dreams aren’t as crazy as I thought!) Sounds like a very entertaining funeral. 😀

    Your mountain bars sound much like what we Okies call no-bake cookies. My husband loves them. Guess it’s about time to make some.

    And thanks for the song — I’ve always liked that one, too. Boy, am I old!

    1. Shannon says:

      Haha … WE are old, Sandy! 🙂

  4. Ahh these sound delicious! gonna write this one down-thanks for sharing!

  5. Pam says:

    One incredible dream! Makes me wonder if there is some God-message in all of that. Like…. lighting candles. In my prayer time today, I kept thinking of how we are candles and He is shining through us – Isaiah, about all in the dark coming to us. (I was raised Catholic, too, and can think of some things about that… I am now non-denom evangelical) And the bowling alley… interesting.

    But what is even more incredible is all the details you remember! I never recall more than a few things and then if I don’t write it down, it flies off and out of memory…

    1. Shannon says:

      Pam, I sometimes remember details all through the day, but I’ve lost enough of these dreams that I don’t chance it if it’s as detailed as this one. I sat down and typed this all up the moment I woke up, just to be sure I didn’t forget.

      Love your thought about the candles 🙂

      1. Pam says:

        I’m glad you do… 🙂 I like the way you think too.

        You know, lighting candles in the Catholic Church holds a lot of symbolism, obviously for prayer. But I was just thinking of a lot of things I remember from childhood about that. People light them to pray for loved ones, usually those who are lost…and most especially the ones they believe are lost “in purgatory” for centuries of years. (They also used to have to pay 10 cents towards each candle) I don’t believe in that purgatory part now, but that strikes me as highly symbolic with your dream… lighting candles for the lost and you aren’t able to keep up with lighting them fast enough. People who could be lost for eternity.

        Not sure if they still do this, but when I was in grade school, I remember a day in their liturgical season when they taught your prayers were extra powerful in “getting people out of purgatory.” I remember in Catholic school, going in and out of the church every few minutes, praying my heart out for lost souls I didn’t even know(we were taught they could be there for millions of years and by praying like this, you could get hundreds of thousands of years knocked off their term), and lighting candles for them. Now of course that is all unbiblical, but in relation to your dream it might hold a lot of meaning… and being in a church that is like a bowling alley (a place where people are supposed to be taught of him, but are being entertained…?) – and funerals going on all around you… Well… just some more food for thought… 🙂

  6. Becky says:

    The cookies are great; thank you! I’m always looking for a better No-Bake Cookie recipe than the one I currently use, and this one is the best so far (I’m not going to say how much of the recipe I ate myself, and within 36 hours!) I think you may have listed the total amount of sugar twice in the ingredients; however, or perhaps your sweet tooth is even sweeter than mine! I used 2 cups of sugar total, and the cookies were just right. Enjoying paging through your blog very much, and you describe recipes a lot like my best friend and I do, which is fun! 🙂

    1. Shannon says:

      Oops! Thank you for pointing that out, Becky. I’ll have to fix that. Four cups of sugar? Ugh. Haha 🙂

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