Sunday, February 19, 2017

Take Two - Lemon Squares

I originally posted this recipe in 2012, but as I'm about to make it again, I thought it was time for an update on it.

2 1/4 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 c. powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 c. melted butter
4 eggs
2 c. white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
5/8 c. lemon juice
(Really?  Why can't it say just a little over 3/4 c.?)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  9 x13 pan, greased.  I use parchment paper for best results and no sticking.  Melt the butter.  Combine flour and powdered sugar.  Sifting is pretty important - I actually sifted all my dry ingredients so there are no clumps.  Blend the melted butter into the dry ingredients and press the resulting dough into the bottom of your pan.  Bake 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, squeeze 5/8 cup of lemon juice from fresh lemons (or you can use store-bought lemon juice).

In a large bowl, beat four eggs until light.  Combine the granulated sugar, baking powder and 1/4 c. of flour in a separate bowl.  (This is an extra 1/4 c. flour different from that used in the crust.)  Slowly blend the sugar mixture into the beaten eggs and then add the lemon juice. 

Pour into the prepared crust while it is still hot and return to the oven for 30 minutes.

The squares should be golden brown when they come out of the oven.  Sprinkle some powdered sugar on the top, allow to cool completely, and enjoy!


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fake News & Alternative Facts

First, let me start by saying this is NOT a political post.  Having said that, a year ago who ever heard the term "fake news" or "alternative facts"? Today, we know these terms all too well.  Just in case you've been on the moon for the past 6 months, "fake news" is an article that grossly exaggerates, and in some cases, presents false information.  "Alternative facts" are actually defined by a particular event (look it up on Wikipedia), but generally are statements presented as facts, without evidence (and maybe evidence to the contrary) to support them.

I am soooo over fake news and alternative facts. So what do you do to avoid this stuff?  Facebook is working on a filter which is good because most of this stuff is on social media. If you need relief before that, here are my rules:

1.  If the title leaves you hanging ("...and You Won't Believe What Happened Next!"), it's probably a ploy to get you to click a link to a story that has very little or no content.
2.  If there is a sensational photo attached to the title, especially if the title suggests something that seems implausible, it's fake news.  You may end up looking at stock photos with lots of ads.
3.  Look at the name of the website associated with the link.  If you've never heard of it before, it's probably not a reliable source of news.
4.  Finally, if no mainstream news sources are reporting a fact, it's probably "alternative."  You can also use Google and confirm that if you don't see similar information from reliable sources.

We are living in some strange times, and there is enough craziness out there without dealing with fake news and alternative facts.  Just say no to the clicks and keep your blood pressure down!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Recipe: Chili Verde

While the Super Bowl is over, I have to share a great recipe we love, especially in winter.  This recipe is also very low-carb, which is a bonus for me.  It was a big hit for our guests, and even if we didn't appreciate the result of the big game, we enjoyed the chili. 

The trick to this recipe is the use of pork instead of chicken.  Pork stays tender.  Also, note that depending on the brand of green chile you use, your chili may be more or less spicy.  That's why at the end of the instructions it describes the use of the jalapenos or hot sauce as optional.
Chili Verde
2 lbs pork, cubed
1 cup onion, chopped
14 oz chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 1/2 Tbl. chicken base
1 tsp celery salt
1 Tbl. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 Tbl. cumin
1/2 Tbl jalapeno
1 Tbl. Dried cilantro
1/2 Tbl. red chili powder
10 oz green enchilada sauce
27 oz green chile, chopped
8 oz green chile, pureed
1 tsp salt

Brown pork and drain.  Add onion and chicken broth.  Simmer 1 hour, stirring often.  Add spices and a little water.  Simmer another hour, stirring often to avoid sticking.  Add green enchilada sauce, simmer 1/2 hour.  Add chopped green chiles.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Add 8 oz pureed green chile.  Use jalapeno, salt or hot sauce to taste.

This stuff is so good!