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Tuesday
Feb052013

Luscious lemon bars

I like to store ideas for lemon-related recipes in the back of my head until January of every year. My mother-in-law loves lemon desserts and since January is her birth month, it has also become lemon month. It is nice having a little taste of summer in the dead of winter!

My first 2013 lemon experiment was edible, but not blog-worthy. My second, this delicious little bar, was fabulous! If you, too, have a loved-one who swoons over lemon desserts, you must give these a try.

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

2 cups flour

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks butter, softened

Mix until crumbly.

Using your fingers, press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

Zest from one lemon

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup flour

Whisk until lumps are gone. Pour over the partially-baked crust and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Once the bars have cooled, dust with confectioners' sugar and cut into squares. Store covered in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Luscious Lemon Bars

If you are a lemon-lover, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite dessert!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Feb 5, 2013

Serves: 16

Total time: 1 hr

Luscious Lemon Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the 2 cups flour, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, kosher salt and butter. Mix until crumbly. Using your fingers, press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and ¼ of flour. Whisk until lumps are gone. Pour over the partially-baked crust and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Once the bars have cooled, dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares. Store covered in the refrigerator.

 

 

Tuesday
Jan292013

Creamy vegetable dip

2012 brought a strangely mild winter, and I longingly think back to what a gift that was.

Our current reality:

Barely making it down the driveway in one piece while walking my kindergartener to the bus.

Sliding backwards down the driveway while the occupants of my son's school bus watch me make a fool of myself.

Being unable to wear mittens that I have left in the car because that is far colder than bare-knuckling the freezing cold steering wheel.

Not ever being able to fully warm up my very old yet reliable car and curling my toes for added warmth everywhere I drive.

Wearing the following items of clothing everywhere I go: knee-high socks, leggings, jeans, knee-high winter boots, 2 long-sleeved shirts, scarf, winter coat, mittens.

At least the Super Bowl is just around the corner! We can stay in our warm home, eating comforting food with friends. Comfort at its best! Here is another party staple for your own Super Bowl party. Dan and I thought up this dip last week and we both adore the texture and flavor that the veggies add to the creamy base. We will make this again and again!

 

In the bowl of a food processor, combine:

2 large carrots, cut into chunks

1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeded, stem removed and cut into chunks

1/2 of a cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks

3 stalks celery, cut into chunks

1 cup broccoli florets

3 serrano peppers, stems removed and cut in half (optional)

Pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:

1 cup sour cream

8-oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Juice from 1/2 of a lemon

Salt and pepper, to taste

Stir until creamy. Add the vegetables to the sour cream mixture and stir until combined.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with fresh vegetables or crackers.

Enjoy! I hope you are warmer than I am right now!

Creamy Vegetable Dip

This cold, creamy dip is packed with nutritious veggies!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Jan 29, 2013

Serves: 12-16

Total time: 20 min

Creamy Vegetable Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeded, stems removed and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 of a cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 3 serrano peppers, stems removed and cut in half (optional)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, celery, broccoli and Serrano peppers (if using). Pulse until veggies are finely chopped.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir until creamy. Add the veggies and stir until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with fresh vegetables or crackers.

 

 

Monday
Jan282013

Superbowl ideas

Thursday
Jan242013

Chicken bacon artichoke dip

I love the couple of weeks leading up to the Superbowl because I have an excuse to make yummy, gooey dips with the intent of sharing them with you! Dan and I have a weakness for dips, which makes the Superbowl a fun event for us every year. Someone told me once that there is actually FOOTBALL being played that day?! Ha! Nice try.

I was inspired to make this recipe after seeing this on Allrecipes. I just about squealed when I saw all of these delicious ingredients swimming together in my baking dish. When it came out of the oven, Dan and I both pounced. Mmmm, it was everything I expected and more.

Preaheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a medium-sized baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded

6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

14-oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup milk

3-oz. package cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Mix well and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm with chips or crackers.

More Superbowl options to come!

Chicken Bacon Artichoke Dip

Chicken, bacon and artichokes make up this ooey-gooey dip!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Jan 24, 2013

Serves: 12

Total time: 45 min

Chicken Bacon Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 14-oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a medium-sized baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic, mayo, milk, cream cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, Swiss cheese, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Mix well.
  3. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm with chips or crackers.

 

 

Monday
Jan212013

Skinny Mom feature

I was honored to have been asked to do a Q&A feature for Skinny Mom. You can visit the feature here, just for today. After today, scroll down to the "food" box on the main page and it will be one of the stories in the box.