Desserts – Swedish Bars

Julie here-

Treadmill Desks and the Joy of Walking


Now that the weather has turned somewhat cooler, I’m back on my treadmill desk, which is just such a lovely concept. I walk at 3.0 MPH for anywhere from 30-90 minutes a day, and while I’m walking I answer emails, write, and do various looking around on the internet.

I’m in the middle of another batch of Portals of Prayer, the highly circulated devotional magazine produced by Concordia Publishing House. My assignment is for August of 2016, so mark your calendars! People are often surprised at how far ahead publishing houses or magazines work. But the editorial process is a long and involved one, which requires different people at each step of the process.

Already, I’ve spent at least 5 months on this particular assignment, and was assigned the group of devotions last February or March. So first, the editorial assistant assigns the work; then they collect the contract; then they wait for an outline. Since these are daily devotions and they have a different author working on them for every month, they don’t want a bunch of repeated themes or Bible verses. So, I had to clear all of my Bible readings, Psalms, and themes in an outline. After that was approved, I got to work writing. I still have a couple of months, and I have about 10 more.

Each devotion is around 240 words, which is extremely short, but I love the exercise. It forces me to be concise. I tried to select Bible passages from Old and New Testaments, and tried to choose ones that aren’t commonly in sermons or devotions.

After I finish my work late in 2014, I’ll send off my manuscript. Then it will be reviewed by several people before going into production. In production the text is laid out and designed before finally it goes to the printer and out to subscribers.

This is why I get a little irritated by the self-published crowd. I don’t have any problem with self-published books designed for a very small audience (like a family memoir). But it rankles me when people self-publish and then expect to compete with others who go through the long editorial process. The process is there for a reason, and unless I produced something intended only for my family, for example, I’d never want to skip the process.

I once went to a talk about a woman who used Kickstarter to raise $10,000 to produce her picture book. She showed us the finished product, which covered a waaaay overused topic. The art was confusing and not appealing to children. This book definitely could have benefitted from the editorial process.

Anyhow, this writer sure appreciates all of those editors, designers, and helpers along the way!

Swedish Bars


Karen O. knows how to create fabulous photos for a food blog! Way to go, Karen! Here are the basic ingredients for the Swedish Bars (p. 88).


First, you have to plump up the raisins by boiling them. I did this last week in a glass measuring cup in the microwave; Karen shows her method here on the stove. Either one works.


Here she’s combining the sugar and eggs.


And adding in the dry ingredients.


Until…voila! Swedish Bars! Didn’t Karen do a great job with these! Thank you, Karen, for your professional-quality photos. 🙂

This recipe comes from the lovely and gracious Carol D., Redeemer’s former pastor’s wife. The bars are almost as sweet as she is!


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