Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lemon Bars

These little yellow bars are amazing. They're moist and sweet with a little tang and perfect for summer! Or - if you're like me, they're good all year 'round. I brought them to a friend's house tonight and she loved them. Her kids loved them. I loved them - but then again, I always do. The best thing about this recipe, besides the fact that it's yummy and easy, is that you probably have everything in your cupboards right now!!

Lemon Bars
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 3 T lemon juice - i just use the refrigerated stuff to make it easy, but you could go all out and squeeze a lemon if you wanted. I also do 3 full, slightly overflowing Tablespoons.
  • Confectioners sugar - to sprinkle on top
--To make crust, combine butter, flour and 1/4 cup confectioners sugar and 'cut' until it resembles crumbs. Press into bottom of 9x9 or 8x8 baking dish.
-- Bake 20 mins at 350.
--Make filling by whisking together eggs, sugar, baking powder and lemon juice. Pour onto partially baked crust and put it back in the oven (or your toaster oven if it fits!) for another 20 minutes.
--Let cool and sprinkle with the confectioners sugar! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Homemade Popcorn

...in a bag! I know a lot of people who pop their own popcorn in a pot on the stove and they shake it and shake it so as to not let the kernels burn. And the popcorn is amazing when it comes out. I love homemade popcorn - I just don't love the clean up. So here's what I do! I found this trick right after Scot and I got married and we didn't have any extra money for things like popcorn - and really, who am I kidding, we still don't - anyways, I tried the old popcorn in a pan thing and I just couldn't get it and it was a mess to clean up, so I bought the supplies to make popcorn in a bag and I've never, and probably will never, look back!

You really only need the brown paper sack and popcorn (I like white), but I like Kettle Corn, so I add sugar and salt to the mix.

Put 1/3 cup corn kernels in the paper bag with about 1 T oil - shake. It should end up looking something like this.

Add about 2 T sugar if you want Kettle Corn, shake again, and then fold and squeeze air out. Lay in microwave like you would a store bought bag. Microwave for about 2.5 minutes (until the kernels stop popping rapidly)

Meanwhile, let your son play with the bowl.

When you hear the popping slow to about 1 pop per 3 seconds, stop the microwave and stand in awe of your very own bag of popcorn!

Pour into bowl - sprinkle salt (popcorn salt is best) and enjoy!

There are so many variations to this it's not even funny. I use the oil so the sugar sticks to the kernels, but the oil isn't necessary. Like I said, all you really need is the bag and the corn kernels and then whatever toppings you want. I just love sweet and salty, so this is my preferred choice.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

White Wine Chicken Parmesan

Oh man...my mouth waters just writing out the title to this delectable creation! I discovered this recipe at the beginning of the summer when my best friend Katie and I were going through our church cookbook, "Serving with Joy", and decided to make this dish - submitted my Mrs Anne Hughes - it was amazing. It's now my favorite way to make chicken. Enjoy!

White Wine Chicken Parmesan
  • 6 skinless/boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 - 2 cups Parmesan cheese - grated
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 - 1 cups white wine
  • 1 T Parsley flakes
  • garlic powder
--Dip each chicken breast in the milk and then coat with the bread crumbs. Place in baking dish
--Melt butter and stir in white wine. Pour over chicken.
--Sprinkle garlic powder on each.
--Liberally sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese.
--Top with the parsley flakes
--Cook uncovered for 40 minutes at 350

It's really that easy and it's probably the one of, if not the best, chicken dishes I've ever had.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Moroccan-spiced beef with couscous

This is one of my favorite meals to make! It's so tasty and so not like any other meal I have in my recipe box. I love meals like that. I made this last week when my folks were up for dinner and when I told Scot what I was making, he got really jealous that he wasn't there to enjoy it. This recipe was introduced to me at our church recipe exchange while back and it's one I will keep for years and years.

Moroccan-spiced beef with couscous

  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots - chopped (I have used baby carrots and just lined them up to chop - so easy)
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 lb ground beef, turkey, or lamb
  • 1 can garbanzo beans - rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup cut dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves - chopped (or about a 1/4 cup dried)
  • 1 can chicken broth (1.75 cups)
  • 1 (10 oz) box plain couscous
--Saute carrots, onion and spices in large skillet with oil until carrots are tender - 10 minutes.
--Add meat and cook until meat is done.
--Stir in beans, fruit, parsley, and 1/2 cup broth.
--Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
--Meanwhile, prepare couscous as directed, substituting remaining 1.25 cups of broth for some of the water required. Fluff when done.
--Scoop couscous into plates and top with beef mixture. OR - mix all together and serve in a bowl!

Monday, August 3, 2009

ChickenTortilla Soup-Dip

Soup-Dip? What the heck is soup-dip? Well, I'll tell you! It's a middle ground of sorts between soup and dip. It's thicker than soup, but thinner than dip. You can eat it with a spoon, or eat it with a chip! It's wonderfully easy and we love it because it makes a ton and is just a nice switch up to the formal dinner where you have to use those things they call utensils!! So go get a bag of chips, and dig - or dip - in!

Chicken Tortilla Soup-Dip
  • 2 cups prepared rice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can corn - drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can chickpeas - rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
  • 1 -2 cups shredded chicken (my friend uses 1 big canned chicken and it works great!)
  • Shredded cheese to go on top
  • Tortilla chips in lei of utensils
--Combine all except the rice in a large pot.
--Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes - stirring often
--Stir in rice and heat through.
--Serve with cheese, sour cream, and chips!