Friday, March 23, 2012

Luscious Lemon Bars

I love this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa for lemon bars! They are very mouth-puckering, and I love it! A couple of hints: I spray and line my pan with parchment paper, then spray the parchment paper. To get my bars to cut nicely, I make sure the lemon bars are cold before I cut them, and always use a clean knife!

Lemon Bars

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook


For the crust:

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I have been making a lot of cupcakes lately. I think one of my favorites is the Brown Sugar Vanilla cupcakes. Here is the recipe from AverageBetty website:

Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk

Ingredients for Vanilla Frosting:
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons whipping cream

NOTE: Makes enough batter and frosting for 12 cupcakes, 24 mini-cupcakes. Bake 350(F) for 20 minutes.

Vanilla Cupcakes


Preheat oven to 350(F). In an electric mixer, cream butter thoroughly. Add white and brown sugars and cream again. Mix in baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs and cream thoroughly. Add flour and combine thoroughly. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl if necessary.

With mixer running on low speed, stream buttermilk into mixing bowl. When all of the buttermilk has been added, crank the speed to whip air into the batter.

Add vanilla.

Spoon batter into paper lined pan.

This recipe makes 12 – 16 cupcakes depending on how much batter is filled into each cup. Bake at 350(F) for 20 minutes, checking every two minutes thereafter. For mini-cupcakes, reduce baking time to 10 minutes, checking every two minutes thereafter.

Cupcakes will be golden and puffed. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for about ten minutes; until they can be handled without crumbling or dimpling.

Allow cupcakes to rest on rack until completely cooled before frosting.

I add vanilla bean paste, instead of vanilla. I also frost with cream cheese frosting! Really yummy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009



  • 1 Devil's Food Cake mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 C. Shortening

  1. Mix cake mixes, eggs, shortening.
  2. Roll in prune-size balls.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet.


  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 stick butter

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sloppy Joe's


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 hamburger buns


  1. Place ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until evenly browned, stirring to crumble. I like to use a potato masher to even out the lumps. Add onion and celery, cover the pan, and cook until tender and transparent, about 5 minutes. Drain off any grease.
  2. Stir the tomato soup (undiluted), ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce into the beef mixture. Season with salt and garlic powder. Heat to a simmer over low heat, and cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
  3. Spoon the hot beef mixture onto buns, which may be toasted first, and serve.

I have not actually used this recipe, but it got very good reviews. I am a Manwich girl myself, grew up on it, and now so have my kids. I just felt like I needed to add a real recipe if someone wanted one. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Hot Cocoa


  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • miniature marshmallows


  1. Blend cocoa and sugar in a small bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat milk to scalding.
  2. Mix about 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the cocoa-sugar mixture, then pour cocoa mixture into hot milk in the saucepan; stir until well blended.
  3. Add Vanilla and marshmallows or Whip Cream.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pumpkin Cookies


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup raisins (I didn't add these)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla then stir in the pumpkin puree. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. Mix in raisins. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I did add nuts and chocolate chips also. Yummy!

Sunday, September 23, 2007



  • 4 Slices Bacon
  • 1 cup Chopped Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 cup minced Celery
  • 1 cup cubed Carrots
  • 2 cups Tomato Puree
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced Tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Beef broth
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French Onion soup
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped Zucchini
  • 2 cups Spinach, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Garbanzo Beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 Box Elbow Macaroni


  1. In a large stock pot, cook bacon and drain off fat. Add onion, garlic, and beef. When onions are translucent, add celery, carrot, pureed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, broth, condensed soup, water, wine, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in zucchini, spinach, pasta, garbanzo beans and parsley. Cook for at least 20 minutes, but the longer you let it simmer, the better! Serve with fresh Parmesan or Mozzarella.
  3. While soup is cooking, cook noodles.

I liked it with Mozzarella the best, and definitely serve with Garlic or French Bread. I also would have loved to have some croutons, or bread crumbs...