Gooey Lemon Squares

Gooey Lemon Bars

I love lemons. I really do. I normally have a bag of lemons hanging around. I like them in my tea, in water, to cook with, to clean with, you name it and lemons can come to the rescue!

For a while now I’ve wanted to make lemon bars and I’ve had ideas in my head of how I thought they should be and what should go in them. These didn’t turn out as I expected, but that isn’t a bad thing! They turned out great! Just the right punch of tart, with a pinch of sweet. Perfect!

These little babies are going to work with Jamison tomorrow for his pot luck. Any that are left I’ll feed to my dad this weekend since he’s always wanting to snack on when he’s here. That is if I don’t eat them first! ;oP

Gooey Lemon Bars: Crust Baked

What You’ll Need For The Crust:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 stick of butter, cut into pats
1/3 cup of heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Place flour, sugar and sea salt in the bowl of your food processor and process until well mixed. Add butter and heavy cream and process until mixture is pebbly:

Gooey Lemon Bars: Crumbly Crust

Press crust mixture in to a 13 X 9 inch dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray:

Gooey Lemon Bars: Crust Ready to Bake

Bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is like a big sugar cookie.

Let cool for 10 minutes. Make the filling while the crust is cooling slightly. (See below.)

Gooey Lemon Bars

What You’ll Need For The Filling:
3 cups of organic cane sugar
6 eggs
1 cup of lemon juice (usually 4 or 5 lemons)
1/2 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
Powdered sugar for dusting

While the crust is cooling begin making your filling. Leave oven on at 325 F.

In the bowl of a mixer beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes on high.

Slowly add lemon juice and mix until incorporated. Next add flour and stir until mixed well. Pour mixture on top of the baked crust:

Gooey Lemon Bars: Ready to Bake

Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown:

Gooey Lemon Bars: Baked

The center will still be sightly gooey.

Let cool to room temperature and sprinkle with powdered sugar:

Gooey Lemon Bars: Sprinkled with Powdered Sugar

Cut into squares and serve.

Notes: You can serve these straight up or you cant add a dollop of whipped cream or even some blueberry sauce!

Key Lime Mousse

Key Lime Mousse: Ready to Serve

If you’ve been a reader of Dianne’s Dishes for a while you’ve heard me profess my adoration of key lime before. To say I’m a huge fan is somewhat of an understatement. From ice cream, to cheesecake, to cookie bars, to even a parfait I’m all about the key lime!

The other day I actually stumbled upon a bag of key limes and I was thrilled! I’ve never had fresh key lime juice before and I was excited to actually try my hand at juicing the little fruits. It’s a lot of work, to be quite honest, for very little juice, but the flavor is well worth it in the end!

This mousse is ultra simple, yet oh so delicious. In minutes you have a really fabulous, impressive dessert that took no time (Other than squeezing those little limes if you go the fresh juice route!) to make. If you’re a fan of key limes then this is the dessert for you!

What You’ll Need:
1/2 of a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk (Note: I used the fat free variety, but any will work.)
1/3 cup of fresh key lime juice (Note: If you’re using bottled, it’s a bit stronger since it’s more concentrated so I’d cut it back to 1/4 a cup.)
1 cup of heavy cream
Graham cracker crumbs and graham crackers for garnish

In the bowl of your mixer mix sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice until well mixed. Add heavy cream and beat on high until the basic consistency of whipped cream:

Key Lime Mousse: Whipping

It will be a bit smoother than whipped cream, but along the same lines.

To serve place a dollop of the mousse in a bowl:

Key Lime Mousse

The sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs and place a section of graham cracker in the middle of the mound just to shake things up a bit.

Serve immediately.

And enjoy every, delicious bite!

Key Lime Mousse: A Bite

Notes: If you just must you could add a drop or two of green food coloring, but I wouldn’t advise it. You could also do this process with any other citrus.

Egg Rolls: Baked or Fried?

Egg Rolls: One Baked, One Fried

The other day I had the notion to make some egg rolls. I hadn’t made them in a very long time and thought about making them for Chinese New Year, but time got away from me. Alexis became intrigued with the idea and wanted to help so one day last week we set out to make some egg rolls.

I decided to take the same basic egg roll and cook it two different ways to see what would happen. I have always been curious about baking an egg roll versus frying it, so this was the perfect time to do a little experiment to see what would happen. Curious? Check out the recipe below and see how it turned out!

What You’ll Need:
Oil for frying
Sesame oil
1/2 a small head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 a large bunch of bok choy, chopped
1/2 a large red onion, cut into thin strips
1 large carrot, shredded
1 leek, cut into strips
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Brown rice vinegar
Egg roll wrappers
A small bowl of cold water
A pastry or basting brush

If you want to bake your egg rolls preheat oven to 400 F.

If you want to fry your egg rolls heat oil to 375 F.

While oven or oil is heating prepare your vegetables.

Thinly slice onion:

Egg Rolls: Red Onion

Shred carrot:

Egg Rolls: Carrots

Chop Bok Choy:

Egg Rolls: Bok Choy

And cabbage:

Egg Rolls: Cabbage

And finally cut leek into strips:

Egg Rolls: Leeks

In a large pot add a little sesame oil and then add all your vegetables, a sprinkle of sea salt, some freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of brown rice vinegar, stirring to coat:

Egg Rolls: Filling Ready to Cook

Saute, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and set aside. I actually moved the vegetables into another dish because Lex was going to be helping me and I didn’t want to risk burning her hands or fingers on the hot pot:

Egg Rolls: Filling Cooked

This step is up to you depending on whether you have a little helper.

Now you are ready to start putting together your egg rolls!

First lay your egg roll wrapper on point:

Egg Rolls: Ready for Filling

For those of you who aren’t sure what on point means, it means that your square looks like a diamond.

Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of your diamond:

Egg Rolls: Filling Ready

Bring the bottom point up to basically cover the filling:

Egg Rolls: Bringing Up the Point

Don’t worry if every single piece of the filling is covered. It doesn’t matter at this point.

Next bring in each side point and you’ll end up with something that looks a lot like an envelope:

Egg Rolls: Ready to Brush and Roll

Gently brush the top of the “envelope flap” with a little water:

Egg Rolls: Brushing Top with Water

Lex got a little generous with her water brushing here, but hey she was having fun and it all works out in the end! ;oP

Gently roll the bottom of the “envelope” until a roll is formed:

Egg Rolls: Rolled

The water helps seal the “envelope” and make the roll stay put while cooking.

Now you decided if you want to bake or fry!

For baking place your rolls on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper:

Egg Rolls: Ready to Bake or Fry

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown:

Egg Rolls: Baked

And now a look at the inside:

Egg Rolls: Inside of the Baked Eggroll

You’ll see in a moment that insides of the fried roll look much the same.

Now if you’d rather fry!

Place egg roll in the heated oil and cook for 2-3 minutes turning often until golden brown:

Egg Rolls: Fried

Place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain:

Egg Rolls: Fried

And the insides?:

Egg Rolls: Inside of the Fried Egg Roll

And as you can see much the same as the baked.

So the verdict of which was better?

While both were really good, the frying really does add something to the flavor over all! However the oven baked version were good as well for when you want a slightly healthier option.

Notes: You can freeze these rolls after cooking for use later. You can also add in other veggies. Mushrooms would be fabulous! Or how about some bamboo shoots? The possibilities are endless!

Five Weird Things About Me

1. I like mustard on my grilled cheese sandwiches. I’m not sure when this started, but I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember since I moved out of my parents house! BUT I only like the mustard on the sandwich if the cheese is American cheese. If I make it with cheddar or Colby or Swiss or mozzarella, or some mix of any of those cheese or another cheese all together I don’t do mustard.

2. I take most of my showers in the dark. When we moved in to our last house a couple of years ago we didn’t have curtains for a little bit and we had a very large window in the bathroom over the tub. So I got in the habit of taking showers in the dark so as not to be an exhibitionist to the neighbors behind us. I found it’s actually more relaxing to take a shower in the dark. I don’t know why, but it is, so I kept doing it and have for the past two years.

3. I can’t sleep with the closet door open. This is another one of those, who knows why sort of things, but it’s true. If the door is open, I’m not sleeping!

4. I’m desperately afraid of snakes. I’ve seen so many stories of people finding them having crawled up their pipes and ending up in their toilet bowl or washing machine that I always check these things thoroughly. Even in the middle of the night I’ll turn the light on for a moment if I have to go to the bathroom to make sure there are no snakey visitors. Yes, I’m weird and yes it’s the middle of winter so they should be hibernating, but my brain tells me to check anyway!

5. I despise cleaning, but my OCD despises a dirty house even more. I wish I could ignore messes, but I can’t. And believe me with a 6 year old kid and my 36 year old kid too, there are a lot of messes. Lex is pretty good about cleaning up after herself, most of the time, the 36 year old, not so much! ;oP

So who wants to tell me five weird things about you?

Originally posted on Daffodil Lane.

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potatoes

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of those quintessential sides dishes that often grace dinner tables across the world. Don’t get me wrong, a basic mashed potato has its place, but it’s also fun to shake them up a bit! Jamison is a strictly plain mashed potato sort of guy and Alexis actually doesn’t care for mashed potatoes, so I don’t shake them up often, but when I do oh my!

Rosemary is one of my favorite all time things. I can’t even begin to explain to you my adoration for rosemary. I like it dried, I like it fresh and oh my the smell of rosemary can just perk me right up on the weariest of days! In other words rosemary is good!

By pairing two simple ingredients garlic and rosemary, with a little Parmesan, you end up with a really fabulous, really delicious side dish that really hits the spot. What is better than that?

What You’ll Need:
1 bulb of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds of red skinned potatoes
2 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup of fat free half and half (or any other type of dairy)
1 tablespoon of crushed Rosemary or 2 tablespoon of freshly chopped rosemary
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese (the kind you shred yourself)

Preheat oven toe 425 F.

Cut the top of the bulb of garlic off and place on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and then wrap up the foil around the bulb. Place in a preheat oven for 20-30 minutes, until garlic sticks tender.

Let cool and then squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic out of the skin. Set aside.

Cut red skinned potatoes into chunks (don’t remove the skins) and place in a pot with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.

While the potatoes are cooking place butter and half and half in a large glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or so until butter is melted and half and half is warm. Add roasted garlic, rosemary, a generous pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper and stir until incorporated. If your garlic is chunky then mash it a bit to make it a bit more smooth.

When potatoes are done drain well and add them to the bowl with the butter mixture along with the Parmesan. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and stir to mix in the ingredients from the bowl. I like the texture to be a bit chunky, but you can mash them as fine as you like.

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Serve immediately.

Notes: The garlic can be roasted and stored in the fridge for up to a week. You could also sprinkle on some chopped parsley on top if you liked.

Angel Food Cake

Angelfood Cake

I love angelfood cake. Alexis does too, it’s one of her favorites. It’s so light, airy and just an all around a fabulous little dessert that isn’t quite as heavy.

When we had company the weekend before last I wanted to have a bit of a variety when it came to dessert. I made some peanut butter cookies for Jamison and anyone else that wanted them, and then brownies and angelfood cake to round things out. I cut up some strawberries and made some whipped cream and viola…Dessert!

I’ve made angelfood cakes from mixes before, but this was the first time starting out from scratch. I have to say it was much easier than I had anticipated, but then again most things are it would seem! The crumb was fabulous, and the cake was airy, it was perfect!

Oh and anyone have any ideas what to do with 8 egg yolks other than brioche? Drop me a comment and let me know!

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups of egg whites at room temperature (Note: It took about 8 eggs.)
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 1/4 of cups powdered sugar sugar
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt

Place oven rack to the second lowest position.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

First up make sure your egg whites are at room temperature. It makes them beat a bit better. Place egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, almond extract and cane sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Keep a close eye on this as it beats so you are sure they don’t go too far.

While the eggs are beating sift flour, powdered sugar and salt together three or four times. (Note: For angelfood cake this is very important. This is one of the few times you’ll see me sift something.) Set aside.

Once the eggs are beaten to stiff peaks slowly add the flour mixture a little at a time, folding to incorporate. Once all of the flour is incorporated pour the batter into an angelfood cake pan that is ungreased.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until cake is springy when touched and a very nice golden brown.

Cool inverted (that’s upside down in case you didn’t know! ;oP) and then remove from the pan. You may have to run a knife along the edge of the pan for it to release.

Serve as soon as cooled or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Angelfood Cake

Notes: Angelfood cake is good plain, or with berries and whipped cream. I was discussing angelfood cakes with someone that works at the grocery store I shop at and he said he had heard of people making strawberry and chocolate versions. I must experiment!

Meet Tulip and Daffodil aka the Tadpoles

Alexis named them. I’m not sure why she chose flowers, but it works!

The Tadpoles

I had forgotten how cute tadpoles are! I mean seriously look at that little face!

The Tadpoles

They came boxed in Styrofoam and each in their own little individual bag:

The Tadpoles

Then you had to float them in their habitat to acclimate them much like you do when you buy a new fish for an aquarium:

The Tadpoles

And now they are swimming free! This will be a fun little experiment for Lex. I love this kind of stuff!

Originally posted on Daffodil Lane.