Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lemony goodness

Lemon squares are such a time honored dessert that I thought I had a great recipe already. That is until I found this beauty on this fabulous blog, Noble Pig. Although it sounds like a rather peculiar title for a blog, it is a blog that I keep turning to again and again for my beloved food porn (and that's a good thing!).

This past weekend, Mr. M and I celebrated his birthday with the help of our closest friends and family members. Since we were just having a small get together, I decided to just do desserts. I decided upon Lemon Squares because a) Mr. M likes them & b) I like them. Bet you can't guess which reason really made me decide to make them ;)

I'm sort of picky when it comes to my lemon squares. No gelatin, slimy lemon filling will do. I like substance in my squares and this recipe, does just the trick. Per usual, I made a few small adaptations and, if I may say so myself, it only enhanced the beautiful recipe by Ms. Noble Pig :)


Lemon Squares
(adapted from Noble Pig)

2 cups of flour plus 4 Tablespoons
1/2 cup of powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling
1 cup of butter (melted)
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
the zest from 2 lemons
the juice from 2 lemons
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

Combine 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and butter. Make into a dough and press into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes until edges are golden brown. Let completely cool.

Combine eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Whisk together. Fold in 4 Tablespoons of flour and baking powder until combined. Poor mixture over all ready cooled crust and bake at the same temperature for 25 minutes; make sure it is fully baked before removing from the oven in all spots otherwise it will be runny.

Sprinkle powdered sugar over the baked lemon squares while still hot from the oven. Sprinkle again once the squares have cooled.

When completely cooled, cut into squares.

Beef, it's what's for dinner.

The darling Mr. TL rarely gets red meat prepared at home. Why you ask... well, it's not my favorite. Unless you're taking about a tender, medium cooked filet mignon with a Gorgonzola sherry cream sauce, then I'm pretty much never going to be in favor of red meat. However, when I read rave reviews about this gem of a recipe, I figured I could appease the darling husband for one meal... with a big bun full of meat (with lots of sharp provolone melted over the top!).

I'll be the first to admit that this recipe was over the top incredible. Apparently the Pioneer Woman actually does know what she is taking about ;) I adapted my recipe slightly by utilizing my favorite kitchen gadget, the slow cooker, and allowing the beef to become magical by cooking all day. I'm not sure if it is a bonus or torture that you get to smell the delicious scent of it all day, but ya do. So deal with it and Enjoy :)

Italian Drip Beef
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

1 whole Beef Chuck Roast, 2.5 To 4 Pounds
1 can Beef Broth
1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Water
16 Oz Pepperoncini Peppers, With Juice
Buttered, Toasted Deli Rolls
4-6 slices of sharp provolone (but any cheese will do)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir lightly to combine seasoning with the liquid. Cover and turn on low for 6 hours.

When 6 hours is up (or when you can't stop salivating at the smell) completely shred all meat with two forks, leaving no large chunks behind. Serve immediately, or keep warm over a simmer on the stove.

You may make the day before, then store in the refrigerator. Remove the hardened fat from the top before reheating.

Serve on buttered, toasted rolls. Top with cheese (sharp provolone is recommended) and melt under the broiler if desired (and believe me, you'll desire it).

The way to my husbands heart...

Is via buffalo wing flavored items... buffalo chicken dip, buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo chicken cookies... ok, maybe not that last one, but you get the point. Mr. M loves him any meal inspired by the famous chicken wing and this meal, was no exception. And bonus points for the recipe being derived from Cooking Light!

I am a huge blue cheese fan so after one read through of the recipe, I knew I had to have it. The cheese, once folded with light cream cheese, became very easy to stuff into the butterflied breast and stayed intact surprisingly well during the browning and then sub sequential baking process. That is, until I cut into it, and had a blue cheese moat on my plate. That my friends, is pure heaven.

I made a few minor adaptations to the original recipe, which I've noted below and would make it with the same adaptations again in the future!

Enjoy :)

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce

(adapted from Cooking Light)

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons fat free cream cheese
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons 1% reduced-fat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons buffalo sauce

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff cheese mixture evenly into pocket.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Place panko in a shallow dish. Working with 1 chicken breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg mixture; dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour, egg mixture, and panko.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and extra virgin olive oil to pan; swirl until butter melts. Arrange chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over and allow to brown another 4 minutes.

Place skillet in oven. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until done.

While chicken bakes, combine remaining butter, water, Worcestershire, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; cook until butter melts. Remove from heat, and stir in hot sauce and buffalo sauce. Serve sauce with chicken.