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.

Oh, How Pinteresting!

Oh my love for Pinterest is back in full swing. It’s become my nightly ritual to browse before I go to bed. Even better news, my sister is FINALLY on Pinterest! This my friends is a blessing because I quite often was sending her links via text or email of things I saw that she’d like. After much nagging she created an account…yippee!

So, I’m linking up with The Vintage Apple for “Oh, How Pinteresting!” to share with y’all some of my faves from the past few days.

cupcakedecorPinterest via

mardigrascupcakes

Pinterest via

pumpkinpancakes

Pinterest via

painteddresser

Pinterest via

brickwall

Pinterest via

Grab and button & link up with The Vintage Apple for
“Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday”!

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.

Minestrone Soup – Good for you comfort food

Those that know me, know that I’ve been self diagnosed with an allergy to vegetables. I just don’t enjoy most of them, unless of course they are fried, dipped in dressing or coated in some yummy buttery goodness. What can I say, I’m from Louisiana and nothing from there is “healthy”…I mean Piccadilly serves fried okra as the vegetable side for goodness sake.

So in light of my recent life motto, read more about it here, I decided to give Minestrone soup a try. I called up my MIL (mother-in-law) for her recipe, which I doctored up a bit to my liking. I fried all the vegetables and used two sticks of butter to saute…ha I’m only kidding. I added cubed steak and mushrooms for a little more bulk to the recipe.

This recipe makes a lot so be prepared to eat soup for a week or do like I did and freeze some of it for later. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery and leaves
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 4 3/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 can (1 lb) whole tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1 /2 cup fresh green beans, chopped into bite size pieces
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 11 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cup uncooked, broken spaghetti noodles
  • 1 package of cubed steak cooked (Kielbasa sausage might work well too)
  • 1 package of sliced fresh mushrooms

Preparation

Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan. Add garlic, onion and celery, saute for about 5 minutes.

Minestrone Soup saute

Add the remaining ingredients except for the spaghetti, steak and mushrooms, stir ingredients until well mixed, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Minestrone Soup simmering

Add uncooked spaghetti, cooked steak and sliced mushrooms and simmer another 2-3 minutes until the noodles.

Minestrone Soup complete

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

Minestrone Soup served

New Year’s Eve Cocktail – Champagne Cosmo

I love champagne! I love the taste, the bubbles and the fun and flirty look of this bubbly drink in a glass. I also love champagne cocktails, and the Champagne Cosmo is one of my favorites. This is a great cocktail for New Year’s Eve, but who am I kidding, I don’t need a holiday to drink champagne. Enjoy!

Champagne Cosmo Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 8 thin strips of lime zest (from 2 limes), each about 1/4 inch
  • wide and 3 inches long
  • 2 bottles (750 ml) brut sparkling wine or Champagne, chilled

Combine the cranberry juice, Grand Marnier, and lime juice in a small pitcher and mix well. Hold a lime strip over a tall Champagne flute, twist or tie it into a single knot to release the essential oils, and drop the zest into the flute. Repeat with the remaining zest and seven more flutes. Divide the juice mixture equally among the flutes. Top each flute with the sparkling wine (depending on the size of your flutes, you may not need all of the wine). Serve immediately.

Simple & Easy Stovetop Chicken Pot Pie

I’ve made this recipe several times; it’s quick, easy and delicious! I’ve adapted this Southern Living recipe to include carrots and use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time. This recipe serves a lot so, invite your family or friends over and treat them to a new twist on a classic comfort dish!

What’s your favorite comfort food? If you have the recipe, please share.

Ingredients

  • 8 frozen buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 (0.7-oz.) envelope Italian dressing mix (about 2 tsp.)
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

Preparation

1. Bake biscuits according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until golden. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients; cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is thoroughly heated. Stir in peas and carrots, and cook 2 minutes. Spoon chicken mixture over hot split biscuits.