Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lemon Bars

Probably half the cookbooks I've ever read have a lemon bar recipe.  Not a lot of differences in each of the recipes, but always a wonderful result.  I really like citrus flavors so have always been a big fan of these.   Grandma used to make the best ever Lemon Meringue Pie but since she has been gone I haven't found one even close to hers.  I do have her recipe but it just doesn't quite come out right-----so lemon bars will have to do for my lemon fix.

Lemon Bars


1/2 lb unsalted butter softened
1/2 c sugar
2 c flour
pinch of salt

lemon topping:

6 large eggs at room temp
3 c sugar
2 T grated lemon zest
1 c lemon juice
1 c flour

Preheat oven to 350

crust:  Blend butter and sugar with mixer then add flour & salt then switch beaters to dough hooks till blended, will form ball.  Put into 13 x 9 glass dish and press to cover bottom and go up sides slightly.  Chill so butter can re harden about 15 min should be enough, then remove and bake for 15 min or till lightly browned.  Let rest cooling slightly while you make filling.


Combine all ingredients in large bowl and whisk with wire whisk till well combined.  Pour over crust and bake 30 min till set.

let cool at room temp looks nice dusted with powdered sugar

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

 Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin is always good for a winter dinner, although I enjoy it off the grill also.   Roasting in the oven with vegetables makes the house smell great and your entire meal can be done together.  I always buy a larger size then I need because leftovers are great the next day for lunch or with BBQ sauce for pulled pork.

this dish is great for arranging the vegetable in a pattern,
mushrooms, onions, celery, & carrots
mixed the vegies this night onion, celery, carrot, parsnips & turnips

I usually buy a whole tenderloin (about 5 lbs)  spread it with Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard sprinkle with spices I like thyme, salt, pepper, and bit of garlic.  Pan sear it on all sides in preheated large saute pan. Place on a roasting pan that has been drizzled with olive oil, add vegetables drizzle top of them with olive oil and sprinkle the same spices on them.  Roasting at about 375 takes about 45 min if oven was preheated.  Let rest about 15 min then slice and serve.
I deglazed the pan the meat was seared in with a couple turns of Basalmic Vinegar, about 1/4 c red wine, 1/2 c beef broth and let reduce to make a gravy.

sometimes I'll add sides here was sweet potato, pecans & pepper
 drizzled with oil and roasted at the same time 

----these came out great, mashed potato put into baking dish,
 topped with carmelized onion and grated cheddar cheese

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vegetable Parmesan

Yum, I saw this recipe and thought I would use it as a side dish but after making it I decided it is definitely a main course.  Originally saw this recipe on one of Giada De Laurentis cooking shows and have twisted it a bit to suit us.  It is really a favorite of ours and a great way to have a vegetarian meal since it can certainly stand as the entree.

Vegetable Parmesan

1 eggplant peeled & sliced
2 zucchini sliced
1 fennel julienned
1 pkg mushrooms sliced
1 large onion sliced and separated
1 roasted red pepper cut up
favorite red sauce
bread crumbs (I use panko or whole wheat)

Eggplant, zucchini, and onion needs to be drizzled with olive oil and placed on cookie sheet and broiled turning to broil both sides---(if it is nice out these could be grilled).  Fennel and mushrooms I sauteed--- the mushrooms just till brown remove and then do the fennel in the same pan.  The original recipe had the fennel broiled or grilled but I found the fennel needed a bit more cooking so it softened through.  When all vegies are ready I cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with sauce then layer of eggplant sprinkle with a bit of the cheeses, spoon some sauce over top, layer of fennel, cheeses some sauce, layer of zucchini, cheeses, some sauce, mushrooms,  onions and roasted red pepper to top it off add another layer of sauce, cheeses and then sprinkle top with bread crumbs drizzle with olive oil.  Bake till heated through about 15-20 min at 350 works for me.  Leftovers are great for the next days lunches.   Also just about any vegetable could be used I have had all different combinations depending what is in season, the fennel really gives a nice flavor to the whole dish.

this night I had added leeks that I sauteed with the fennel
just before I added breadcrumbs and then baked

angel hair pasta with olive oil and garlic, & greens, onions, walnuts tossed with baslamic vinagrette

The salad and vegetable Parmesan would have been plenty, I had already made the angel hair when I realized how filling this dish is.