Lemon Bars – #southerncomfort
Gotta love the tangy goodness of this dessert and simple enough to make for a book club gathering!
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.
Stir together 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a large bowl until smooth; whisk in granulated sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir together baking powder and remaining 1/4 cup flour; whisk into egg mixture. Pour mixture over hot baked crust.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Lift from pan, using foil sides as handles. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Remove foil, and cut into bars; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Fried Strawberry Pie – #southerncomfort
These are worth the effort and time. I have had these and they are too good! This is a treat that people will be raving about the next time you serve them.
2 cups fresh strawberries, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
Combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring strawberry mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until thickened. Cool completely.
Roll 1 pie crust to press out fold lines; cut into 9 circles with a 3-inch round cutter.
Roll circles to 3 1/2-inch diameter; moisten edges with water.
Spoon 2 teaspoons strawberry mixture in the center of each circle; fold over, pressing edges to seal. Repeat with remaining pie crust and strawberry mixture.
Place pies in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze at least 1 hour.
Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch into a large heavy skillet; heat to 350°. Fry pies, in batches, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Classic Mint Julep – #southerncomfort
Here is the classic recipe. There are many variations. I even saw a sweet tea variation on the Southern Living Recipe page. Are you a classic kind of person or do you like variations? Which variation is your favorite?
3 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon Mint Simple Syrup
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon
1 (4-inch) cocktail straw or coffee stirrer
1 fresh mint sprig
Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over ice. Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw, and serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Baked Brie – Mid-Week Mixers
What is everyone doing this weekend? We did a bit of Christmas shopping on Friday so today I am doing some wrapping, then tonight we are having friends over and doing the same thing tomorrow night. It's always very hectic during the Christmas season because I eel there are people that I have to get together with – and yet the season goes by so quickly. All in favor of the Christmas season being extended to two months insead of one, raise your hand.
If you need a quick idea for an appetizer try this Baked Almond Brie.
1 14 oz. La Bonte Mini Brie
2 tbsp. Butter
3 tbsp. Sliced Almonds
2 tbsp. Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place brie on cookie sheet.
In small skillet, melt butter, add almonds. Saute till slightly brown, Stir in sugar.
Spread mixture over top of brie.
Bake 10 mins. Remove from oven and let stand 5 mins.
Serve with French Bread and wedges of pears or apples as hors d'oeuvres or dessert. (I usually serve with crackers and grapes).
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Welcome to Mid-Week Mixers. For the second in our exotic coffee series, Naomi is not only giving us the recipe for Carl's Coffee, but the story behind the story. Have fun.
We have a restaurant in our town called Art and Alma's, Century Inn. This restaurant is as old as the town itself. Although the food is really good, the bar is great! They have a bartender there by the name of Brenda. Brenda came to Burlington by way of a snazzy restaurant in Denver. Let's just say that she is quite the mixologist and I love to pick her brain.
Pat and I had meandered in there for dinner one night and stopped by the bar on our way out to grab a drink before the walk back home. Looking up on the “bar board”, I noticed a drink called “Carl's Coffee” and it got me to wonderin'. I asked Brenda what it was… she described it…I ordered it and the rest is history.
Now, poor Brenda,who as I said is a mixologist, not your run of the mill bartender or drink pourer, can never get away from me asking 50 million questions, as she is making my drinks (or anyone elses drinks, for that matter) and this drink was no different. I am almost like a five year old child with the “what, who, why and where” questions. If it was me, I would have been diving into the back room when I saw me mosey up to the bar, but not Brenda. She is a trooper and answers my questions!!
So, thanks to Carl who gave the recipe to Brenda and here we go:
Ahhh, just playin'….A few pointers first:
1) Use a clear glass coffee mug, if available. This is a beautiful drink and it really needs to be shown off.
2) You are not limited to the Kahlua mentioned in the “formal” recipe and, in fact, the real recipe calls for Tia Maria. I didn't have it at the time and found out the Kahlua and Tia Maria are basically the same type of liqueur. One is from Jamaica (Tia Maria) and one is from Mexico. OK, enough for the liqueur lessons! I have also used the flavors of Kahlua (although the cream based ones detract from the beauty of this drink), Di Sarrono and Frangelico.
3) Be sure to use heavy whipping cream, NOT HALF AND HALF!! Trust me, the first time I made this, I screwed it up and used the half and half!
Now, here we go:
5 oz HOT coffee
1 shot Kahlua, Tia Marie, Frangelico or DiSaronno~whichever you are in the mood for!
1 T. brown sugar
1. Place brown sugar and liqueur in the mug. Stir to blend.
2. Pour in coffee
3. Place tip of spoon in coffee..just enough to break surface tension.
4. Slowly pour heavy cream over back of spoon to create layering effect. I went a bit crazy with the cream above to show how it should look. The amount of cream should actually be about 1/4 of a cup!
Mid-Week Mixers are created and contributed by Naomi Blackburn, author of a food blog appropriately called The Pub and Grub Forum. You can enjoy Naomi's fun recipes of Words. Wit & Wisdom every Wednesday, and you can catch even more wonderful recipes on her blog at http://thepubandgrubforum.blogspot.com