My favorite store inside of Mills Mall that we went to this past weekend was a store called Missouri Mercantile. http://www.missourimercantile.com/
Everything it sells is made there in the state. They had a nice selection of wines, dips, sauces, pickles, soup mixes, even soaps, lotions...you name it.
I bought myself and my Mom a soy candle that smells delish.
For my step dad who we call "the grill master", I bought him a jar of BBQ rub and a jar of Rib rub.
I really wish we had something like this here. It is so hard to find local items. The convenience of having so much of it in one location would be awesome. At least with this store, even though it is in another state, it is under the 100 mile range that I have been shooting for.
Last night I made my contribution to the cookie boxes our office is putting together for the different departments at the hospital that I work at. I am really happy with the choices we made in the office this year as far as our holiday celebrating. Instead of drawing names for a 10-20 dollar gift that no one usually needs or likes we each picked a name off of the tree at the hospital and purchased gifts for those children.
The cookie bars I made are supper easy, freeze well, make a lot and are to die for.
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 package chocolate chips ( or you can use butterscotch, white choc...whatever)
1 1/3 cut shredded coconut
1 can (14 ounces ) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in 9x14 inch baking pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over melted butter, drizzle sweetened condensed milk, sprinkle with choc. chips and coconut. Sprinkle with the chipped nuts.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and then cut into squares.