Pecan Pie Squares

This is a new recipe I tried on Thanksgiving. Not all of us like pecan pie so I was looking for something I could bake and freeze. I think I found it. This was from Southern Home Magazine. They do know their pecans in the South.

I would happily forego the turkey and all the sides and go straight to dessert. Each and everyone of my teeth is a sweet tooth. G is trying to quit sugar for awhile, so I guess I will be brave and support him. What a good wife I am! Enjoy the pecan pie squares.

Crust

  • Baking spray with flour
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup unsifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions

  • Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2- to 3-inch overhang on 2 sides. Place flour, butter, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form, 6 to 7 times. Firmly press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until light golden brown, about 20 minutes. (Crust will have cracks.)

  • Filling: Whisk together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, honey, flour, melted butter, cinnamon, salt, and ginger in a bowl until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour over warm Crust. Bake at 350°F until Filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Slice into 32 bars.

*****From the Recipe Box:

Whenever I make something new I always have people vote on it. My sous chef didn’t think these were quite done so, we baked them a bit longer. This was a mistake; they got a little too dry.

and remember: Step aside coffee. This is a job for alcohol. Big kiss, Lynn

Lemon Bars from Ina

I have been making lemon bars for years, but I never expected to find a recipe better than my mother’s. And then I met Ina’s lemon bars. Cow-a-bunga. There is nothing like them. My mother’s called for sweetened condensed milk and a streusel topping. That can get a little frou-frou.

I want a lemon bar that singes the nose hair with its intense lemon flavor. I want Ina’s. Now don’t think it’s easy to make. Kidding. The hardest part is zesting all the lemons. Cramped fingers are us! Her recipes are amazingly simple, but so, so good.

I would love to spend time with her, but it is not going to happen. She lives a life I occasionally envy, but I’m unwilling to give up my treasures to see how she lives. Although those houses, wow!

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees .For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with powdered sugar.

*****From the Recipe Box:

These have great lemon flavor and they freeze well.

and remember: I wish it were socially acceptable to throw water balloons at people who annoy me. I don’t want to hurt them, but I do want to ruin their day.

Big kiss, Lynn

Chicken Pot Pie Attempt # 2

I want to perfect chicken pot pie, but I don’t seem to be making any headway. This is attempt number 2.

Using my cute 6 and 1/2 inch Lodge cast iron fry pans and some puff pastry dough, I began this attempt.

I made a basic white sauce:

1/2 cube butter melted in saucepan

1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard added to butter

Stir for 2 to 3 minutes to remove the flour taste.

Slowly add 2 cups milk and stir until thickened.

S & P to taste.

Add a cup of thawed mixed vegetables.

I’d cooked the puff pastry earlier, so I simply poured the white sauce and veggies into the Lodge pans and topped with the puff pastry. Duh-da, you have chicken pot pie. You don’t have to bake it or anything, just sit down and have dinner.

*****From the Recipe Box:

Whether you use puff pastry or pie crust, it will be good and easy.

This will be extra handy with leftover turkey on Friday. Simply double or triple everything for a family dinner.

and remember what Emma Watson said: Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love. Big Kiss, Lynn

Dog Humor

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The Pacific NW dealt with an atmospheric river event this week; some residents are still dealing with the horrible flood waters. G and I lost power and went to stay at our son and d-i-l’s house. Thank goodness we have a place to go; not everyone is as lucky. Rather than be totally maudlin about the experience, I thought I would share some dog humor. I’ll be back to normal next week I hope. Stay safe people.

Big kiss, Lynn

Creamy Chicken or Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

  • 1/2 cup long-grain Basmati rice, dry
  • 1/2 cup wild rice blend, dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon parsely
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup half n half
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken, shredded

Instructions

  • Prepare each rice according to package, drain and set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil.
  • Add in celery, carrots and onions and cook until carrots are tender.
  • Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant.
  • Pour in chicken broth and spices.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • While soup is simmering, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir in flour and cook until flour is golden, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in half and half while continuing to stir.
  • Stir until mixture has thickened into a creamy texture.
  • Pour this thickened cream into the simmering soup a little at a time, until fully incorporated.
  • Stir in the cooked rice and chicken.
  • Taste and add more seasonings if needed.
  • Serve hot.

We love, love, love soup. I found this one under the “Divas Can Cook” blog. And yes, yes they can if all the recipes are like this.

This is the best chicken rice soup we have had in a long time. This soup becomes very thick after the rice has had a chance to absorb the liquid, so the second time you go to eat it is almost like stew. Numm!

Fortunately our independent grocery store here on the Island carries bulk foods and I take full advantage of them. I especially love the grain options.

*****From the Recipe Box:

Sometimes you can’t find wild rice. I’ve even used Rice-a-Roni wild rice mixes.

Big kiss, Lynn: Instead of “Have a nice day”, I think I’ll start saying “Have the day you deserve” and let Karma take its course.