Friday, July 30, 2010

::Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares::

Hello Everyone and Happy Friday! For me, I picked up Sat & Sun so it's not so much of a "Friday." I picked up a shift on Wednesday too and worked Thursday, so since today was my day off I needed to fulfill my baking & cooking addiction for, what are my hopes, your ::From Scratch:: addiction!
It seems as if I'm always making things that my husband will like. Not that I always make things he likes and that I don't, but you know what I mean. He loves things lemon; lemon meringue pie, lemon pudding, etc. So, I was looking for a bar to make that had lemon in it, but that wasn't a "traditional" lemon bar. The Pioneer Woman ( never lets me down and is where I found this recipe. Let me tell you, it's wonderful! It's nice to have a "refreshing" type of bar. "Refreshing" I mean, something that's not like a big heavy brownie with ice cream and nuts, but something that might be still unhealthy yet has a great hint of, for example, get my drift. This recipe has a great crust on the bottom, with the creamy, lemon layer, and then topped with the same crust that was on the bottom. The recipe is not only tastey, but is very simple to make and only has a few ingredients. Enjoy!
::Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares::
By: The Pioneer Woman

1-⅓ cup All-purpose Flour
½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Slightly Softened
1 cup Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
1 cup Oats
1 can (14 Ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cups Lemon Juice
Zest Of 1 Lemon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.
Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 11 inch pan.
Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, but don’t press.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool.
Serve cool.
This picture is kinda funny. Vanilla must have snuck in there because it thinks it should be in everything...but it's not called for in this recipe. So scratch that out!

For some reason, I think lemons are such a pretty fruit. I would buy 2 lemons, as you need 1/2 cup of lemon juice for this recipe and I needed 2 to get that amount.

Again...pretty pretty!

1/2 cup of juice from 2 lemons.

A wonderful kitchen tool...the KitchenAid Mixer!

Measure 1 cup of brown sugar...lightly pack it into the cup.

Add it to the softened butter and mix until well combined.

For some reason, I think sifters are neat.

Put the flour, powder, and salt in the sifter and sift.

Action shot.

All sifted.

The 1 cup of quick oats.

This is the butter/brown sugar mixture.

Add the flour mixture and oatmeal to it.

And mix until crumbly.

Place half of the mixture in a pan. The recipe called for an 8x11 pan, but I used a 8x8 inch. The recipe also says that a 9x13 will work, the bars will just be thinner.

Zest the lemons.

Place the lemon juice and zest together. Then...

The sweetened condensed milk goes in.

Another action shot. How fun.

And blend together!

All the creamy goodness.

Dump over the crust layer.

And spread around evenly.

Then place the 1/2 of the crust mixture that was saved on top.

Don't press into the lemon mixture but spread it around so it's even on top.

The layers waiting to get in the oven! Looks yummy!

Another close up of the layers. Ready for the oven.

All baked up!

After you remove from the oven. Let it sit for 30 minutes...

It might be a long thirty

Then...cut into squares. Cutting evenly was not a prerequisite for obtaining blog access.
After you cut, place them in the fridge until cool. This will help the lemon layer to set.
It will seem like forever until they are cool...cause you will want to try them ASAP!
But it's so worth the wait for this goodness!

Another shot!

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

::Easy Chicken Fried Steak::

It's not easy being easy; especially when it comes to Chicken Fried Steak. I would say that "CFS" is one of my husbands favorite meals. I have tried making CFS a couple times since we have gotten married and finally found a combination of things that helped to improve and perfect it! My first time making it I used cubed steak (AKA round steak that is tenderized; did I mention I worked at a butcher shop for 4 years?! :) ) and it seemed too tough. The second time I made it I used hamburger, which was WAY better, but I still had to perfect the breading. For the breading, I was trying to get it so it would stay on and coat it good, be seasoned well, and also get a little crunchy! So, this last time, I got a wonderful combination! Also, my husband (and I would have to agree) thinks that if you don't have a good white gravy to go with it, then it just isn't worth it. Since this is an ::EASY Chicken Fried Steak:: Recipe, I used a packaged gravy mix where you just have to add water; how simple! I paired it with some seasoned boiled potatoes and a rhubarb dessert. Yee haw. Enjoy!
::Easy Chicken Fried Steak::
1-1.5 lbs. hamburger
4 eggs (1 for the hamb. and 3 for the egg wash)
Salt, Pepper, Onion Salt & Powder, Garlic Salt & Powder)
5 Crackers; crushed (I used Club Crackers)
Pioneer Brand Country Gravy Mix
Thaw hamburger and mix with 1 egg, seasonings (I usually sprinkle across hamburger a couple times), and crushed crackers. Patty out into desired sizes. Mix flour with some of each of the seasonings. Blend 3 eggs with a couple splashes of milk. Dip each patty into the eggwash, flour, then into the egg wash and back into the flour! Place in hot oil and fry until done on the inside and the coating is golden brown and crispy!
Prepare gravy according the package directions (I added a little seasonings to that as well, but you don't have to) and pour over CSF.
Love having cattle! Home raised beef is the bomb diggidy!

Easy gravy!


...into the beef!

5 Club Crackers, crushed.

Add the one egg and mix, with clean hands!

For the egg wash: blend together.

Kinda blurry...but all pattied out.

Season the flour mix.

Let the dredging begin!

I think my blog gives Cardiologists job security. Maybe I should get some commission. I wish.

Starting to get crispy!

All ready...and yummy too!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

::Pepperoni Bread::

Hey everybody! Catch up on making any of the recipes on here? I'd love to hear about it! This next recipe came from Brown Eyed Baker. It is great as a meal in itself and as well as a side. When I made it I had made some other little finger foods so I sliced this into small slices and served it like that. The recipe on Brown Eyed Baker used only pepperonis and I had some canadian bacon slices to use up so I used those on this as well. This is a great combonation of bready (i'm sure that's not even a word), salty, cheese, and a hint of grease! What more could you want! The day I made this I made a bunch of other things and when I was looking for the pics to upload, I only had a couple to go with this one. Enjoy!
::Pepperoni Bread::
1 loaf frozen (or refrigerated) bread dough
Sliced pepperoni
Shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Allow the frozen bread dough to thaw/raise throughout the day. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut the dough in half and roll out two rectangles. Layer the pepperoni on the dough, and then cover with mozzarella cheese. Roll up lengthwise and seal the ends and seam and place seam-side down on the baking sheet.
3. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
The dough!

Somedays don't you feel like that one on the right?