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Lemon Cookie Tarts

Whoa, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything! Well maybe this post will make up for it a bit, this is a recipe for lemon tarts that I was inspired to make after seeing something similar on Pinterest, unfortunately that exact recipe wasn’t working for me so I came up with these instead and I love how they turned out!! So yummy, they’d be perfect for a lighter summer dessert or for a tea party.

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Lemon Cookie Tarts

Makes 30-ish.
Cookie Tart Shells

½ C. sugar
½ C. powdered sugar
½ C. butter, softened
½ C. vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ tsp. almond extract
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 C. flour

1. Beat sugars and butter till creamy.
2. Mix rest of ingredients into butter mixture until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.
3. Measure 1 Tbsp. of chilled dough and roll into a ball, place in a greased mini muffin tin and press down center lightly with your thumb. Repeat with rest of dough.
4. Bake at 350 F for 9 minutes. Remove pans from oven and, working quickly, use the back of a rounded 1Tbsp. (or ½ Tbsp. if 1 Tbsp. looks too big) gently press a shallow indentation in each shell.
5.Bake 2-3 minutes more or until edges of shells are firm and golden. Press centers down again if necessary.
6. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove to cooling rack.
7. Cool completely before filling with lemon curd. Can be frozen unfilled.

Creamy Lemon Curd

1 ½ C. sugar
½ C. butter, softened
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
½ C. lemon juice

1. Beat together the sugar, butter, and salt until fluffy. Add the yolks, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add the lemon juice slowly, beating well.
2. Pour the mixture into a stainless steel saucepan and cook over med. low heat until slightly thickened (it’ll set up completely once it’s been refrigerated so don’t worry if it seems soupy), about 20 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, pour into a glass container and cool. Refrigerate until ready to use, can keep up to a week in refrigerator.

Makes about 2 cups.
Great for any recipe calling for lemon curd, also good on scones and as cupcake filling.

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The best salad I’ve ever made!

It is the perfect time of year to spend time in the kitchen isn’t it? I’ve been longing to bake some yummy breads but haven’t got around to it (yet!) I have been experimenting with some new veggie dishes though and thought I’d share a couple. Both are delicious but the salad is easily my new favorite recipe of 2013, it’s perfect in every way!!

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Sweet Potato Salad (also known as the best salad I’ve ever made)

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 ½ Tbs. light olive oil
½ tsp. salt

Toss together and spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Bake at 400 F for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring two or three times, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Drain on paper towel and allow to cool.

Whisk together:
¾ C. fat free Italian dressing
1 Tbs. lemon juice
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. paprika

Stir in:
½ C. black beans
½ C. corn
1 small red onion, minced
¼ C. red bell pepper, chopped
Sweet potatoes

Season with additional salt if needed. Eat right away or refrigerate for a couple of hours.

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Curried Spinach and Veggies

1 c. fresh spinach
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. tomatoes, diced (fresh or canned, doesn’t matter)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 canned green chile, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. mild curry powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
salt
mozzarella cheese cubes

Sauté the onion, tomatoes, and green chile in the water until onion is soft and the water has mostly evaporated.
Add all spices and salt, drop in the spinach and stir until slightly wilted. Pour into serving bowl (you may wish to drain it, I never do but if you’re serving it on a plate you’ll want to) and top with mozz. cubes.

This serves 1 as a main dish and 2 as a side.

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Shelby Cookie Bar Recipe

Preheat oven to 350F.

Crust

1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
½ c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Mix flour, sugar, butter, and vanilla until crumbly. Add eggs and stir until soft dough forms.
Press into a well-greased 13×9 pan.
Bake 15 min.
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Topping

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ c. mini marshmallows
1 ½ c. shredded coconut
1 c. milk chocolate chips

Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Add marshmallows, coconut, and chocolate chips.
Spread evenly on crust when it comes out of the oven.
Bake 10 to 15 min. or until top is lightly browned and set.

Top with 1 c. milk chocolate chips and dig right in! (Or, if you have a will of iron, let it cool and cut into small bars) 🙂

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Leavenworth Layer Bars

Bottom Layer:
½ c. butter, melted
1 c. oats
¼ c. sugar
1 c. flour

Mix until crumbly spread in a greased 9×13-inch pan, pat down firmly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Turn oven up to 400 degrees.

Raisin mixture:
1 ¼ c. packed brown sugar
3 eggs
2 c. raisins
¾ c. water
1 ½ tsp. vanilla

Mix in saucepan. Heat on medium-high heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
Pour half of raisin mixture on bottom layer.

Crumb mixture:
2 c. oats
½ c. butter, softened
¼ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt

Mix all until crumbly.
Spread half of crumb mixture on top of raisin mixture in pan
Spread other half of raisin mixture on top of the first layer of the crumb mixture then top with other half of crumb mixture.

In a small saucepan heat together:
1 c. unpacked brown sugar
¼ c. water
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour evenly over top layer.
Bake 15 – 20 minutes.
Cool and serve.

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Chicken meatballs

I’ve been told these are best meatballs I’ve ever made 🙂 I’ve experimented with different things for a while now… but these are definitely my favorite!

2 lbs ground chicken
1 ¾ c. unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
¼ c. milk
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 425.
Mix all ingredients. Drop tablespoonfuls of mixture on well-greased baking sheets.
Cook for 15 – 25 minutes, turning once.
Makes 30 to 35 meatballs

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Ciabatta and grilled asparagus

Today I tried my hand at making ciabatta bread, using the recipe from this link Pease Pudding – ciabatta bread recipe I ended up with a pretty good loaf of bread, it was fun to make and there is no kneading involved so it’s easier on the wrists (plus, no waiting for a starter, unlike most ciabatta recipes) the bread turns out nice and airy with a lovely light texture and crispy exterior (and its a huge loaf, seriously, it was as big as my pan by the time it came out of the oven)

I also grilled some asparagus for supper and thought I would share my recipe for it:

Grilled Asparagus

Place 30 to 40 pieces of asparagus (to prepare asparagus, you will need to rinse the spears and break off the tough ends) in a large Ziploc.

In a small jar mix:

3 tablespoons each of vinegar and water

1/2 teaspoon light olive oil

1 pinch each of red pepper and garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon each of dried basil and dried oregano

Shake jar well and pour over asparagus.
Refrigerate for an hour or more and than grill the asparagus spears for 5-10 minutes, until nicely charred and just fork tender, turning them every few minutes so that they brown relatively evenly.
OR
If you’re like me and prefer to grill veggies on your George Forman than simply place them on the preheated George for 5 to 10 minutes.

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