Lightly Lemon Squares

I like to call these delicious treats lightly lemon squares. I found the recipe on this blog, via Pinterest. They have an amazingly, creamy texture with just the right amount to tart and sweetness to them. The graham cracker really helps to balance out the lemons, leaving you with a wonderful sweet treat. I made this for the first time on Easter, and have since made them for several small group and parties. Give them a try, they are delicious and super easy to make. I used reduced fat graham crackers and fat free condensed milk to lighten up the recipe a bit, and they were still very good! Enjoy!

*Note I didn’t take step-by-step pictures, so please message or email me if you have any questions.

lightlylemonsquaresIngredients

  • 1 can Eagle Condensed Milk
  • 1 box of Graham Crackers
  • 1/2 cup of Lemon Juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 1 tsp grated Lemon Rind
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2-3 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1-2 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 1-2 tsp Milk
  • Yellow Food Coloring

Lemon Square Preparation

  1. In a bowl, stir together condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon rind until well mixed and thick.
  2. Layer the bottom of a 9x9pan with graham crackers.
  3. Pour a layer of the lemon milk mixture over the graham crackers and use a spatula to spread evenly.
  4. Continue to layer the graham cracker and lemon mixture another 3-4 times so that you have at least 4-5 total layers, ending with the top layer as graham crackers.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Lemon Icing Preparation

  1. Cream butter and about 1 cup of powdered sugar until well mixed.
  2. Gradually add in lemon juice to taste.
  3. Combine the remaining 2-3 cups of powdered sugar until the consistency is thick, but spreadable. If your icing becomes too thick, add small amounts of milk until the desired consistency is achieved.
  4. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring and milk well.
  5. Remove the lemon squares from the refrigerator and frost the top using your lemon icing.
  6. Return to the fridge. Bring the lemon squares to just slightly at room temperature before serving.
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Everybody Loves Crack

True story…everyone loves crack. You see, my friend, Gina first introduced me to crack and now I’m addicted. And you will be too once you make this. So that you don’t go into any type of withdrawal, I won’t drag this post out, I’ll just give you the fix you need.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 bag Chocolate Chips
  • 1 pinch Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Approx. 1.5 sleeves of Saltine Crackers
  • Aluminum foil
  • 11×17 sheet pan w/lip

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line lower oven rack with aluminum foil to catch an caramel boil-over.
  2. Cover the entire 11×17 pan with saltine crackers.
    crackers
  3. Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan.
    sugar
  4. Bring the caramel to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add salt and vanilla.
    caramel
  5. Quickly pour the caramel over the saltine crackers and spread out so that it covers all of the crackers.
    prebaked crackers
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove caramel covered crackers from the oven.
    baked crackers
  8. Pour chocolate chips over the crackers and spread until all of the crackers are covered in melted chocolate.
    chocolate chips
    melted chocolate
  9. Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes so that the chocolate hardens. Remove from the refrigerator and break the crack into pieces, like you would for peanut brittle or peppermint bark.
  10. Package up to give as gifts, or serve in pretty bowls at your next party. Yum!
    packaged crack

There you have it, crack. Everybody loves crack, I promise.

Weekend Without Words

ONE :: 

TWO :: 

THREE ::


ONE ::  Enjoyed these incredibly beautiful strawberries this weekend. I love the taste of summer!

TWO :: Nutella buttercream frosting on a chocolate cake. First shot at making the frosting, pretty tasty. I’m officially addicted to Nutella.

THREE :: We’ve recently rearranged our living room and with that we had a big wall to fill. I filled the space with these incredible New Orleans prints that I already had and the wrought iron scroll piece above them. I found these wrought iron sconces to flank either side. It’s has the perfect NoLa feel!

Never Knew About Nutella

Until yesterday, this gal hadn’t had Nutella. Yep, you read that right. My honey loves the stuff and being the cheap frugal person that I am, I’ve never bought it. That is until a couple of weeks ago I went to our new Walmart (also something I’ve never done, shopped for groceries at Walmart) and they had Nutella for $3 so I splurged!

Yesterday I brought Nutella and sliced apples to work for a mid-day snack. Holy moly people, that stuff is like crack. Lick your spoon and run your fingers round the jar kinda good. Which got me thinking, how else might I be able to incorporate this tasty hazelnut treat into other culinary delights. How about like this …

Peanut Butter Nutella Cupcakes
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Nutella & Go! Yes, please!
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Nutella Hot Chocolate
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Nutella Ice Cream
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Did you know that Nutella has its own day? Yep, February 5th is World Nutella Day! You can bet I won’t miss this holiday next year. Make it a great day!

Teeny Weeny Ice Creamy

I’ve got a major sweet tooth and each night need just a little something to satisfy this craving. I don’t need a giant bowl of ice cream or an entire package of Oreos, just something small and sweet. Fruit, while it’s sweet just never hits the spot. I’ve tried to retrain my taste buds by giving up all sweets for an entire month. It didn’t do anything, I still crave the sweets. So for the sake of still trying to watch what I’m eating, I decided to make these teeny weeny ice cream sammies.

Ingredients

  • 1 box of reduced fat Nilla Wafers
  • 1 carton of ice cream
  • 1 cookie dough scooper thingamajig

Preparation — Really, do I need to go into detail here …

  • Open the box of Nilla Wafers
  • Open carton of ice cream
  • Remove one Nilla Wafer from the box
  • Using cookie dough scooper thingamajig, scoop ice cream out of container and place on top of one Nilla Wafer
  • Remove a second Nilla Wafer from the box and press down on top of ice cream to create a sammy
  • Repeat steps 3-5 until you have enough sammies
  • Eat sammies
  • Place uneaten sammies in container in the freezer

Additional Comments
You could really use any flavor fro-yo or even sorbet to make these sammies. Roll them in sprinkles, candy, nuts, etc. for a customized flavor. Enjoy!

Chicken Salad

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe, and in honor of my friend Daidra, who is leaving my company to start a new job I thought I’d post her Chicken Salad.

I’m a planner and need to have my lunches scheduled out for the week, otherwise I end up eating out, which isn’t good for my wallet or waste line. What I love about this recipe is that it’s very simply to make and makes enough to last throughout the week.

Ingredients

  • 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
  • 2-3 celery stalks; chopped finely
  • Red grapes; halved
  • Mayo
  • Salt & Pepper

Preparation

  1. Pull and chop rotisserie chicken and place into a large mixing bowl
  2. Finely chop celery stalks, cut grapes in half and place in with the chicken
  3. Add mayo (any amount you like, I think I did 2 tablespoons to start) and salt and pepper to taste
  4. Serve on crackers or pita bread

I’m always looking for something new to add to my mid-day meal routine. Do you have a recipe that you like to make for lunches?

Chocolate + Graham Cracker = A lil’ piece of Heaven

I’ve never been a fan of protein bars, they taste dry and what I’d assume cardboard must taste like. However, we’ve recently added to our cart at The $100 Club Costco, Zone Perfect Protein Bars. First, I’m all about the value and saving money so let’s talk cost first.  For 24 bars we pay less than $20…people, that’s $0.83 for one bar! I’ve also seen them at our local Harris Teeter for $1.39 a bar so, if you aren’t a Costco shopper you can buy these at regular grocery stores…but the best value is at Costco.

Now let’s get down to the more important details, the taste. The pack we buy comes with 12 Chocolate Peanut Butter (my honey’s fav. combo) and 12 Fudge Graham (insert Angel’s singing here). I’m not kidding you, the combination of the chocolate and cinnamony (yes that’s a word) graham is pure joy and a lil’ piece of Heaven. PLUS, one bar is a great breakfast and just the boost of protein that I need to get me through my mornings. I also keep these around for a pre/post workout snack.  The NI is as follows for what I look at:  210 calories, 7g fat, 23g carbs, 3g dietary fiber and 14g protein.  Are you a weight watchers tracker?  This equals 5 WW points plus. Trust me, you’ve just got to give these a try and let me know what you think.

Do you have a favorite protein bar that I should try?

PS — This week I caved and spent the $1.39 at HT for the Dark Chocolate Almond Zone Perfect bar. The verdict, it’s not nearly as tasty at the Fudge Graham. There…have I convinced you to try one yet? Come on…just try them. 🙂