2 cups granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
optional: confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
Make the crust: Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir to completely combine. The dough will be thick. Press firmly into prepared pan, making sure the layer of crust is nice and even. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the warm crust (not all the way through the crust). A new step I swear by, this helps the filling stick and holds the crust in place. Set aside until step 4.
Make the filling: Sift the sugar and flour together in a large bowl. Add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk until completely combined.
Pour filling over warm crust. Bake the bars for 22-26 minutes or until the center is relatively set and no longer jiggles. (Give the pan a light tap with an oven mitt to test.) Remove bars from the oven and cool completely at room temperature. I usually cool them for about 2 hours at room temperature, then stick in the refrigerator for 1-2 more hours until pretty chilled. I recommend serving chilled.
Once cool, lift the parchment paper out of the pan using the overhang on the sides. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares before serving. For neat squares, wipe the knife clean between each cut. Cover and store leftover lemon bars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Freezing Instructions: Lemon bars can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. Cut the cooled bars (without confectioners’ sugar topping) into squares, then place onto a baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Individually wrap each bar in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place into a large bag or freezer container to freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator, then dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. It started with fried Eggplant in my Mother’s kitchen, and through the years I have experienced eggplant in many ways. I have made Ina Garten’s Eggplant Spread dozens of times. This recipe is more like baba ganoush, with that wonderful smoky flavor. The dip would be wonderful served with a fresh Greek Salad.
SMOKY EGGPLANT DIP
Makes about 2 cups
2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each) 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, or to taste 6 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), well-stirred if a new container 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste, if desired Pinch of cayenne or aleppo pepper Pinch or two of ground cumin 2 tablespoons well-chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided Toasted sesame seeds or za’atar for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 375°F.
Brush a baking sheet or roasting pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.
Prick eggplants a few times with a fork or tip of a knife. Over a gas flame, grill or under a broiler, evenly char the skin of your eggplants. I like mine quite smoky and like to leave no purple visible. Transfer to a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, trim off stem and cut lengthwise. Place cut side down on prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until very, very tender when pressed. Let cool to room temperature.
Next Step Option 1: Food Processor: In a blender or food processor: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and into the work bowl. Add tahini, lemon, cayenne, cumin and 1 tablespoon parsley. Blend in short bursts (pulses) until combined but still coarsely chopped.
Taste and adjust ingredients if needed. You may wish to add more salt and lemon.
To serve: Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter with second tablespoon of parsley, and some toasted sesame seeds or za’atar, if desired. Serve with pita wedges or naan.
Raspberries may very well be my favorite fruit and would certainly be on my ‘last dinner’ list. This recipe started out to be Lemon Blueberry Bars as the original recipe stated. Midway through making the bars, I realized the frozen blueberries were off, so quickly switched to raspberries that I had in the freezer. Frankly, I love the results. Even the nutmeg called for in the original recipe suited the raspberries.
Another new favorite!
LEMON RASPBERRY STREUSEL BARS
yield: 24 BARS
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries (I thawed frozen raspberries)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9×13-inch pyrex pan with nonstick spray.
Prepare the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, zest and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg and vanilla together; stir into the crumb mixture until a dough forms. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. (Keep the oven on)
Sprinkle raspberries over the crust. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg; sprinkle over the raspberries.
Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, use a rubber spatula to cream together the 5 tablespoons butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the flour, so that the mixture is crumbly, like streusel. Sprinkle over the raspberry layer.
When yellow squash and zucchini are plentiful and I’ve made every possible recipe, I go to the web and try to find something different to make. This bread was a phenomenal find. I’ve always been fond of lemon cake and this bread is addictive. No, you can’t have just one slice, I guarantee it!
LEMON YELLOW SUMMER SQUASH BREAD
There is no reason you couldn’t substitute zucchini in this recipe; would be pretty with the green zucchini and yellow lemon zest! I did not make the Sweet Roasted Lemon Garnish).
Serves: 2 loaves
1 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups grated summer squash
For the Glaze:
1 Tbsp. melted butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
For the Sweet Roasted Lemon Garnish (edible and optional!):
Grease and flour 2 regular loaf pans or 4 mini pans.
Mix butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until well blended.
Add eggs one at a time and once all are incorporated beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix thoroughly.
Add squash and stir just to blend.
Pour into prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes for small loaf pans or 1 hour for regular size loaf pans.
Allow the pan to cool; remove the bread and place top down on a serving plate (makes for a nice presentation for the glaze and lemons).
Make the Roasted Lemons:
Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain and pat dry.
Gently toss lemon slices with sugar, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until lemons are no longer wet and only slightly colored, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.
Make the Glaze:
Combine the melted butter and powdered sugar and stir until smooth; add the lemon juice and lemon zest and stir to combine.
Add water or milk if necessary to get the right consistency.
Pour the glaze over the top; covering it completely and letting excess dribble down the sides.
Fresh fruit salad in winter is a real treat. This recipe is delicious, combining several fruits including apples, kiwi, blackberries, pomegranate, bananas and Mandarin oranges. The dressing is fresh and tasty, delivering a nice side to compliment any meal.
WINTER FRUIT SALAD WITH LEMON POPPY SEED DRESSING
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. poppy seeds
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
8 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented (I used Cuties)
4 apples, diced
4 ripe kiwis peeled and diced
4 bananas, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1 large)
1-2 cups blackberries (I added to the recipe)
Combine all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.
Two of my favorite flavors…raspberry and lemon…together they are heaven. When we were planning older daughter Megan’s baby shower we made these cupcakes. The cupcakes (which you cannot see) were divine and the icing tasted wonderful, although it didn’t look as wonderful as I would have liked. The icing had a lumpy look to it but not in taste or texture.
The theme of the shower surrounded children’s books so we purchased edible children’s book toppers on Etsy. Adorable!
I’ll make the cupcakes again but I’ll play with the icing to get it just right!
RASPBERRY LEMON CUPCAKES
Yield: 24 regular cupcakes
For the Cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two large lemons
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For the Frosting:
1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen, thawed) (use 2 cups for 1.5x recipe of frosting)
1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons milk, if needed
To Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Position the rack to the center of the oven. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites until well blended.
Place the sugar and lemon zest in a large mixer bowl and rub together with your fingers until the zest has moistened all the sugar. Use the paddle attachment to beat the butter in at medium speed for 3 minutes, until very light.
Add in the extracts and then one third of the flour mixture, while continuing to beat on medium speed.
Mix in half of the milk-egg mixture, then half of the remaining dry ingredients. Beat in the rest of the milk and eggs until fully incorporated, then mix in the remaining of the dry ingredients. Beat at medium speed for a full 2 minutes to aerate. Evenly distribute the batter into the cupcake pans.
Bake for 18-22 minutes (for regular cupcakes) or 10-12 minutes (for miniature cupcakes). The cupcakes are done when they pass the toothpick test and are springy to the touch. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To Make the frosting:
Puree the raspberries in a blender and then push through a fine mesh strainer to discard the seeds; set aside. Cream together the butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl, with the paddle attachment.
Beat in the vanilla and most of the raspberry puree, until fully combined.
Stir in the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition, until reaching desired consistency. Use more or less sugar as needed, and add more raspberry puree to taste. If the frosting is too thick, beat in milk one tablespoon at a time.
Cranberry and Mango Quinoa Salad is a favorite salad shared by friend, Chris, at many of our Book Club and pot luck dinners. Finally, I decided to prepare it and savored every serving. I’ve also tried adding other ingredients to add variety, including bits of turkey or slices or fresh avocado.
This salad is great for summer meals and gatherings.
CRANBERRY AND MANGO QUINOA SALAD
2 cups of water
1 cup of quinoa
1 cup fresh kale or spinach in bite size pieces
1.5 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks (one to two fresh mangos should yield just about 1.5 cups)
1.5 c cubed melon (I used Honeydew)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted/optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
pinch of salt
Bring water to boil and cook quinoa per the instructions. Cool.
Add kale (or spinach), mango, melon, almonds, and cranberries to quinoa.
Mix together Lemon poppy seed ingredients and pour over quinoa salad.
Serving Option: Slice fresh avocado slices over top of salad.
Peaches are in season and I love a peach dessert. I adapted a recipe from Barefoot Contessa to be gluten-free. It was delicious. The rice flour is lighter, therefore, you need to add about 25% more rice flour that the all-purpose flour called for in a recipe. I’ve shown the rice flour and the all-purpose flour proportions in the recipe below. I also sprinkled sugar on top of the crumble to give it a little extra sweetness.
The Crumble served warm with good vanilla ice cream…it’s what I wish I were having for dessert tonight!
PEACH AND BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE
2 pounds firm, ripe peaches (6 to 8 peaches)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup rice flour (GF) OR 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (non GF)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1.25 cups rice flour (GF) OR 1 cup all-purpose flour (non GF)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily. Place them immediately in cold water. Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into buttered ramekins or baking dish.
For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit.
Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Sangria reminds me of summer, tapas, and good times with friends. It’s refreshing, light, fruity and delicious. History states that Sangria was first served at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. While interesting, I truly expected Sangria to be the drink of Spanish Royalty (or something equally impressive).
Nonetheless, it’s delicioso! This time, I made a mock Sangria (without alcohol) as well as the real deal. I enjoyed them both.
1.5L of chilled red wine
3 cups prepared lemonade
1 cup orange juice
4 tablespoons brandy
2 cups chilled club soda
sliced oranges, limes, lemons, apples
In a large pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, lemonade, and orange juice. Add the fruit slices and refrigerate until chilled.
When ready to serve, add the club soda. Garnish glass with slice of lime (or other citrus)
2 cups orange juice
1 cup white grape juice
1 cup cranberry juice
1 liter bottle lemon-lime carbonated beverage
sliced lemons, oranges, limes
In a large pitcher, stir the juices together. Chill.
When ready to serve, add the lemon-lime beverage and stir gently. Fill glasses with ice, then sangria then slices of fruit. Enjoy!