lemon bars

ingredients for dough (for 9" x 13" pan):
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
ingredients for filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour (i used whole wheat flour for the filling and it was extra good)
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust: cream the butter and sugar. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Gather the dough into a ball then flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 x 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides.

Bake the crust until very lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Leave the oven on. While the crust is cooling start making the filling.

together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is set.

Let cool to room temperature then cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.

recipe is ina garten's but i found it here.


fried avocados

made these for ben, as well as my bro-in-law and his fiancée. everyone was very pleased. the texture is just so fun and they aren't super difficult to fry. just be sure to have a good set of tongs to turn the avocados in the hot pan. ingredients:
oil for frying (i used grape seed oil)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 firm-ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-in. wedges

Preheat oven to 200° (if desired). In a medium saucepan, heat oil on high.

Meanwhile, mix flour with 1/2 tsp. salt in a shallow plate. Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates.

Sprinkle the avocado slices with the remaining ½ tsp salt. Dip each slice in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then panko to coat. Set on plate(s) in a single layer.

Fry a quarter of avocado slices at a time until deep golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining avocados.

recipe adapted from here and photo also (they were too good, so eaten too fast).


broccoli quiche

ben came home from work and said he wanted to make a quiche. so we did. ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced*
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, melted

*we used a little less onion and added 1/2 of a yellow bell pepper. mmm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic and broccoli (and bell pepper). Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. Spoon vegetables into crust and sprinkle with cheese.
Combine eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in melted butter. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center has set.*

*for some reason, ours took a while longer to set (probably about 20 minutes extra).

recipe from here.


tortilla pizzas

even though i really, really love regular homemade pizza, i love these little tortilla pizzas i learned to make when i lived in italy. so simple and delicious.ingredients (1-2 tortillas per person):
flour tortillas (about 8 inch rounds)
olive oil
mozzarella cheese (or any cheese you like)
toppings like tomatoes, mushrooms, olives --- anything you'd put on a pizza

set oven to broil.
for crispier tortillas, warm tortillas in a frying pan first thing.
put tortillas down flat on a baking sheet. lightly brush olive oil on surface of tortillas. add cheese, vegetables, meats, whatever you like.
broil tortillas for about 5-7 minutes (or until cheese is melted and tortillas are slightly crispy on the edges).
cut up into slices like a pizza.
make again another night. if you like them, of course.


homemade oreos

ingredients (makes 25-30 sandwich cookies):
For the chocolate wafers:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar (depending on how sweet you want them)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
To make the cream, place butter in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

recipe from this blog.
also posted here.