Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lemon Crumb Bars

There is something about citrus desserts that I love.    It's that sweet and tart combination that makes your mouth so, so happy.

The citrus love probably started with Key Lime Pie.    In our family, it's a breakfast treat...as in, if there's any left from dinner, the first few people who get up in the morning might get a slice for breakfast.  Fortunately as a grown woman who does what she wants, I can make it any time and have it for any meal I choose.   

These bars have a filling that is just about the same as key lime pie, except using lemon juice.  You've got your sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and lemon juice. 

What You Need

Bar Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk,  regular or fat free
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (truth in baking - I'm not good about measuring zest - I usually zest the number of lemons that I use to get the juice I need for any given recipe) 
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large egg yolks

What You Do

Preheat oven to 350.  Line an 8x8 pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.  

Make the Bars - Part 1
Combine the dry ingredients:  flour, oats, salt and soda in a large bowl.   Then mix in the sugar and brown sugar followed by the melted butter and vanilla.

Take half of the bar mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan.   It's buttery, so your hands won't stick too much.   You can always spray your hands, or a flat spatula with cooking spray to help.    Bake the bottom crust for 15 minutes.

Make the Filling
Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, juice, zest and yolks in a bowl.   

Make the Bars - Part 2
After the bottom crust has baked 15 minutes, pull out of the oven and pour filling over the top.  Crumble the remaining bar mixture evenly over the top, then bake 20-22 minutes.

These bars slice better cold and you'll want to store them in the fridge as well.   Not that they'll last that long.   Especially if you have one for breakfast.    They are wonderful with coffee....just saying.   

Recipe Source:   Dinner Then Dessert

If you love citrus, you'll love these:

Meanwhile in San Diego...

Cocktails with Flowers
(Location:  BeShock Ramen)

Puffles Exist and are Wonderful
(Location:  Boba Bar & Desserts)

Happy Spring!

(and if spring hasn't found you yet...Wisconsin, I'm thinking of you - I hope it comes soon!)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mint Oreo Brownies

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Even if drinking green or wearing green is not your style, eating green can be.
And I'm not talking kale or spinach.    Maybe that's for tomorrow's recovery.  

It's the weekend, so let's roll with mint oreos.      These brownies are simple with minimal ingredients, including a boxed mix.  You can indulge in these brownies hot and gooey right out of the pan or cool and slice them for later.    

What You Need

1 box Betty Crocker Fudge Molten Lava brownie mix, including the egg, water and oil as listed on the box
7 mint Oreos, cut or broken into pieces
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, divided 

What You Do

Preheat the oven per package instructions.    Coat a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.  I use a silicone pan for ease.   Prepare the brownies per package instructions and include 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips.

Pour half of the batter into the pan.   Squeeze the lava filling included with the brownies onto the batter and top with the oreos and remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips.   Spoon the remaining batter on top of the cookies and chips and bake per instructions for 9x9 pan.     

Serve hot or at room temperature - your call.  Either way, these brownies will be devoured quickly. 

Meanwhile in San Diego

We're having more rain than normal, and in SoCal no one really knows how to drive in the rain.    
But, that means the roses at the Balboa Park Rose Garden are starting to bloom. 

The cactus garden at the park thrives all year, because that's how cactus do their thing.  

What are the signs of spring where you live?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Glorious Soups of Southeast Asia

From mid-January to mid-February I took an extended vacation.   My co-workers called it a sabbatical, probably because it felt like forever for them.   For me, I could have traveled even longer and still been full of joy. 

And soup.    Let's be honest.  I would be full of soup.

I didn't have the proper appreciation for Phở and it's cousins prior to this trip.    I do now.

Here were just a few bowls of glorious soup that I enjoyed in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.    Often at breakfast.   Sometimes with a mimosa.  Because that's how vacation soup rolls.  

First bowl of Phở in Hanoi

Soup aboard the Indochina Sails in Ha Long Bay

Breakfast soup with a watermelon mimosa in Siem Reap

Breakfast soup in Luang Prabang

Do you love soup?    What's your favorite?
Have you discovered or rediscovered a favorite food while traveling?  

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