February 15, 2013

Lemon Love Note Bars - Sweet and Sour

These bars are sweet and sour all at the same time

...kinda like marriage.

I love my husband. It's true, he's the man for me. He puts up with my moods and endless chatter. He brought me flowers and a huge balloon for Valentine's Day, and the man HATES balloons. He eats everything I put in front of him. He can build me anything I ask for. He's the most supportive and encouraging person I know. He's there for me whenever I need him. (Boy, oh boy, have I realized how much I need him lately.) We are a team and a great one at that. (I'm pretty sure we could win the Amazing Race.)

However, there are definitely times when we seem to treat each other more "sour" than sweet.

Everyone has some sour moments - right? At this point in our marriage (ten years) I'm pretty sure it's normal. I mean, you are not really supposed to get along with someone every single day right?

I logically knew it wouldn't all be roses before we got married. I even engraved it on the inside of his wedding band, "Come What May". And while I don't love being in the down times, I do love the wonderful tenderness that comes after we get out of the funk.

The sour, just makes the sweet all that much sweeter.

Honey, MacGuyver, Babe, Husband....this one is for you. I love you...come what may.

Lemon Love Notes

1 c butter
2 c flour
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 eggs
2 c sugar
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c powered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
3 tsp milk

Blend butter flour and sugar together with pastry cutter or a fork. Pat into a 9x13" ungreased baking dish. Make sure this is very flat and even. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool until you can touch the baking pan.

While that is baking and cooling, make the filling. Mix together zest of one lemon and the juice of the lemon with eggs, sugar, flour and baking powder. Pour this on the cooled crust and bake again at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool again.

Melt butter. After the bars are cooled off enough you can touch the pan again, make the icing. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, vanilla, melted butter and milk. Pour over the top of the pan. Cut into small bars because these are super rich. They will keep fresh for only a few days.

February 9, 2013

Apple Carrot Slaw

I had some carrots in the fridge that needed a home and I just didn't feel like cooking them since the weather here in GA has been so warm. It's absolutely crazy... my daffodils are trying to come up. I have really missed winter this year. I know those of you up north think I'm crazy, since you are underneath a mound of snow.

Mom and Dad were flying back from Dad's chemo treatment yesterday and were delayed with all the flights being cancelled. I was a little worried about them, but they are home, safe and sound. Dad is exhausted, but hanging in there.

On the other side of the family, my father-in-law has moved into an independent living place so we are sleeping better around here, since we don't have to worry about him on the stairs. Thank you all for the kind words and prayers.

This recipe is perfectly refreshing with a roasted chicken and homemade wheat bread. I love the addition of celery seeds. I usually add those to our cabbage slaw because that's how MacGuyver's Mom makes slaw. I never thought to add them to a sweet slaw. 

I have the perfect imitation recipe for Chik-Fil-A's carrot slaw and this recipe somewhat reminded me of that, so I left the raisins out of the original recipe to make it different to my family. Let me know what you think.

Apple Carrot Slaw
Adapted from Feast on the Cheap, check out their beautiful photo and original recipe

3 crisp sweet-tart apples, cored and cut into matchstick-size strips
3 large carrots, washed, peeled and coarsely grated
2 tbsp sweet onion, minced
3 tbsp low-fat mayo
1/3 c cider vinegar
1 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tbsp celery seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk mayo, vinegar, celery seeds, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside. Prep the slaw ingredients and combine in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  

February 8, 2013

Moose Munch - Chocolate Covered Caramel Popcorn

See. I wasn't kidding.

I've been making everything. Chocolate covered caramel popcorn this go round.

My Mom made this addicting stuff for us for Christmas. It's a take on Harry and David's Moose Munch. I figured it would make great thank you gifts. One bag to a neighbor who has taken care of my kids during all this chaos and another bag to our marriage mentors, who keep us from taking the stress out on each other. The problem was: I tried it, the kids tasted it and I let my husband taste it. We ate the whole recipe! It's that crazy good.

There is no way you can eat just a little bit of this stuff. You have been warned. Make a double recipe and give a bag to your loved ones for Valentine's. Attach a note to let them know how much you love them. Send it to someone you haven't seen in a while and you miss. Don't wait for the "perfect time" to reach out. Now is the perfect time.

Chocolate Covered Caramel Popcorn

8 c popped popcorn
1 stick butter, cut into fourths)
3 tbsp corn syrup (the recipe will work without this, but the caramel won't be shiny or as crunchy)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips (Mom choose dark chocolate)
peanuts, m&m's, mini marshmallows (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Remove all unpopped kernels from popcorn and pour popcorn into a large bowl. Combine butter, corn syrup, salt and brown sugar in microwave safe bowl. Cook on high until mixture boils - watch this carefully - don't let it boil over. Remove, stir and microwave for another few minutes. (Or you can do this in a pot on the stove over med-high heat).  Cook and stir until mixture boils. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
Pour caramel over popcorn and stir to coat. Work quickly before the caramel cools. Spread onto silicone lined (or greased) baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes (10 for chewy, 15 for crunchy).
Remove from oven and add chocolate chips, stir around on sheet to melt the chips. You can also melt the chocolate and drizzle over the popcorn for a fancier look. 

February 6, 2013

Butternut Squash Bean Chili

Difficult season of life right now...

My Dad is terminally ill with cancer. My father-in-law had a major car accident and is living with us for a bit. 

At this point, functioning is difficult. Writing complete, coherent sentences with correct spelling is a challenge. Please forgive my choppiness. I need sleep. 

I'm taking comfort in food which is a dangerous place to be. I know me - stress equals eating. 

I need to make healthy things. Vegetarian chili comes to mind. We have a butternut squash and out came this. Warm comfort in a chocolate bowl.

Butternut Squash Bean Chili

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp lime juice
2 14.5 oz cans tomatoes, undrained
2 14.5 oz cans any beans (black, red, pinto, etc), drained and rinsed
2 c butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1lb)
Salt and Pepper
Sour cream 
Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in pot over med-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and jalapenos, stir 1 minute. Add spices: chili powder, cumin, oregano and lime juice, stir 1 minute. Add in tomatoes with juice, beans, and butternut squash. Cook with lid on until squash is soft, about 20 minutes. Stir the pot around 10 minutes, add water if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and lime wedges.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...