Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cried over the Royal Wedding--while grating onion for cucumber sandwiches

Middle Eastern flatbread
Wanting to somehow join in the celebration of the Royal Wedding yesterday, I decided to make cucumber sandwiches.
   For a cucumber spread, I just smooshed together 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1 to 2 tablespoons grated onion, 1/2 teaspoon onion salt and somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of both grated and finely minced cucumber. I threw it together in a hurry...sorry no pics of the spread!
Harvested my funny little Romaine lettuce crop--scant but free salad!
   Unfortunately, I'd had no time to bake bread; neither did I find time to stop by a bakery for a quality white or sourdough bread. So, we slathered the cucumber spread on some flatbread bought from a tiny little market we stumbled upon in Nashville on Thursday. (Three ladies were slapping the dough in a little room at the back of the store, and the freshly baked bread was available on a screened pass-through between that room and the store.)
   Granted, smearing cucumber spread on flatbread was decidedly less wedding-like than dainty little cucumber sandwiches would have been, but still, it WAS tasty!
   Hope something tasty pleased your palate yesterday! And may we all live HAPPILY EVER AFTER!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cheater salad dressings and some links to share

Cheater dressings: cheaper than commercially prepared, less packaging waste.
Okay, okay, I know I'm trying to make more of everything from scratch, but all this rain, rain, RAIN has me feeling very lazy. So today we'll be topping our salads with a cheater dressing: semi-scratch Italian made using a package of seasonings plus my olive oil, water and red wine vinegar.
   To console myself on not making the dressing completely from scratch, I remind myself that these cheater dressings do reduce packaging waste. The little seasoning packet tossed today is better than the big plastic bottle that packages a ready-made dressing.
   Same goes for the semi-scratch cheater Ranch Dressing, made with seasoning I buy in bulk, along with my mayo and milk. And there has to be a lower carbon-cost of shipping these seasonings without the added weight of the liquid ingredients.
   Tho' we recycle all plastic containers, using less plastic is always a good idea. Besides, we can expect high oil prices to raise the prices on all petroleum based or packaged products!
   I managed to visit the library yesterday. Brought home and skimmed through The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better by Chris Farrell, the Economics Editor of Marketplace Money, an NPR broadcast. I say 'skimmed' 'cause I'm less interested in investing than I am in frugality. Aside from the usual "buy used, reduce, reuse, recycle" advice, the book shares several links to frugal sites.

   Please let me know if you visit any of these and come across any new frugal ideas!
Frugal Link Love from The New Frugality
Frugal Living on
Frugal Village
World Changing
1Green Generation
The Daily Green
Green Yahoo
Greener Penny
TreeHugger (Love this site!)
Green Money Journal
Slow Food USA
Happy link hopping!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finally got-around-to-its: Kale chips and re-growing produce

Hey, I finally got around to trying a couple of suggestions I'd seen on other blogs. Aren't you proud of me?
Seasoning of choice this time--YUM!
   A riff on those by Meg over at Cooking.In.College, my kale chips were wonderful! Her suggestions to avoid crowding on the pan and to dry the kale as much as possible no doubt contributed to crispier chips.
   Too lazy to measure, I just poured some olive oil over the kale in the pan and spread it around with my hands before sprinkling the kale liberally with McCormick's Salad Supreme. Baked on a heavy sheet pan in a 350F degree oven, it took 7 minutes in my oven for these bad boys to crisp up.
   Some bites tasted like popcorn! Most tasted like...well, crispy, seasoned kale. Fine by me!
My baby Romaine lettuces--aren't they cute?
   Finally got around to trying Practical Parsimony's idea to get free produce from the normally discarded celery bottoms. Well, I had some Romaine lettuce on hand, so I plunked the cut off bottoms into some water...and wahlah, little baby lettuce leaves are growing!!
   The little outer leaves are just existing, previously cut leaves continuing to grow but the inner leaves seem brand new. I never knew it could be such fun to be a countertop gardener!
   Even if I only get one salad out of these, it'll be a FREE salad, eh?!
   Sure feels good to scratch two things off my to-do list, particularly since both were successes. Any projects waiting for you to "get-around-to-it" over at your place?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Contemplating waste--well, that and Coconut Chess Pie

Caught the documentary Wasteland (movie trailer below) on PBS' Independent Lens last night. Watching folks walking around on literally mountains of trash sure makes me more mindful of every little thing going into the wastebin here at home. Good reminder that throwing it away doesn't mean it's GOING away.
Previously-homemade frozen piecrust
    All the more reason to cook foods from scratch as opposed to buying pre-packaged goods. And this Coconut Chess Pie couldn't be any easier! Just the thing to brighten these gray skies on yet another rainy, rainy day here in Kentucky.
   To my way of thinking, reducing one's trash relies on reducing one's consumption. And though I may never reach the heights achieved over at Zero Waste Home, every day I am working to glean at least ONE unneeded thing from my closets or cupboards.
   I'm working on changing my mindset from 'I need more' to 'I need LESS.' Wish me luck!

Coconut Chess Pie
Chess pies are just soo easy--gotta love 'em!
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar (or less!)
3 eggs
1 cup flaked coconut
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
unbaked 9" pie shell (if frozen, no need to thaw)
Whisk together filling ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie shell; bake in a preheated 350F degree oven for 45 minutes or until set.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quiches are great for using up leftover stuff

Smoked Salmon Asiago Quiche
We've been eating quiches around here ever since I discovered the recipe in my 1976 copy of Laurel's Kitchen. It contained a quiche recipe that is soo easy to adapt to whatever ingredients are on hand. And quiche works beautifully for a minimal meat meal (2 to 3 oz. smoked salmon in this quiche) or with leftover veggies as a vegetarian meal.
   Storming here in Kentucky and looks like we're in for another week of rain/storms to come.
   I'll share my favorite zucchini quiche recipe another time. Care to share your favorite quiche combination?  
   What's cooking over at your place? As always, feel free to leave a link to a post you'd like to share. I'm always looking for new ideas for ways to use leftovers.
   Hope you're having a fantabulous weekend!!

Here is the Laurel's Kitchen recipe slightly adapted:
Basic Quiche Recipe
3 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup grated cheese
1/4 to 1/2 to 1 cup leftover proteins or veggies
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
pinch freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
sprinkling of ground nutmeg
9" or 10" unbaked pie crust
Sprinkle cheese over bottom of pie shell; then sprinkle with the cooked leftover of your choice. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over the cheese and leftovers into the pie crust. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg then dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
1/3 c. liquid (half water/ half vodka) makes 2 crusts easier to handle but still flaky.
I always try to make two pie crusts, 2nd to freeze for later.
Uncooked quiche with dots of butter floating on top.

Friday, April 22, 2011

This moment: Drive by landscaping gaping

No grass landscaping--these folks are geniuses!
Happy Earth Day!! Every year I'm trying bit by bit to edge our one acre lawn toward becoming a grassless permaculture. (Guilty confession: I buy the plants/bushes/trees, Hubby plants 'em, but don't dare tell him of my diabolical plot to eventually get rid of all the grass!)
   Rosalind Creasy's Edible Landscaping is my ideal. Seriously, if at all interested, visit Creasy's link--incredible pics there!
   With water resources becoming ever more precious, permaculture, edible landscaping and xeriscaping are the sustainable wave of the future. So, when I'm out and about, I snap shots of other folks' lawns in hopes of finding something to incorporate into our own landscaping. I hope to find schemes/layouts to reproduce on our place...with edible plantings woven throughout. Wish me luck!
   Raining, raining, raining here in western Kentucky. What's it like outside your window today??

Thanks to Soulemama for this Friday photo sharing concept. Feel free to leave a link to your moment.
I liked the bright green ring around the tree on the left.
This looked better in person than in the picture...such a variety.
For some reason, this was my favorite--do love the deep, contrasting colors.
Wonder if bushes lower electric bills by insulating the house from sun?
Sadly, landscaping takes work to maintain...this yardscape is going to pot!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On my mind: Meeting green halfway works for me and my budget

Okay, I'm trying to buy greener products, but they don't always suit me. So I've decided to meet green halfway and guess what? IT WORKS!
Underarm Deodorant 
    I'm a big believer that "layering" underarm deodorant makes it work better, but never foung a "green" deodorant that seemed to work. I tried three different brands: Kiss My Face, Tom's and Jason's, but even if I applied the natural deodorants at night and in the morn and then reapplied yet again a few times during the day, I seemed to smell of lavender AND sweat. UGH!
Add water to baking soda for a thick paste.
   So I decided to go halfway green: I apply a natural deodorant at night after my shower and in the morning I use a standard commercial antiperspirant/deodorant. Works great!
No 'Poo Shampoo
   Never found the time to give the "no 'poo" baking soda shampoo the days supposedly required for my "natural oils" to kick in, so I've been using the baking soda paste every other shampoo or so (about 1 1/2 teaspoon for short hair). Works great!
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
   The cleaner greener homemade dishwasher detergent I made a few weeks back is working for me too. Still using it every fifth time or so and there hasn't been any of the buildup I'd been warned about with the green recipes. Works great!
   Until I can find my way to natural products that work, meeting green halfway not only eases my budget but also eases my guilt about the environmental impact of commercial products.
   Are there any ways you are meeting green halfway? Any recommendations of natural products that DO work would also be appreciated!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cooking the harvest challenge continues: Asparagus glut begins

Not that I'm complaining, but the asparagus is coming on like gangbusters! Every day new shoots inch their way up to harvest height.
   As for my thrown together pasta, what's not to love about big bits of melting Parmesan, pan-roasted walnuts and asparagus? (Seasonings: olive oil, butter, thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, S&P.)
   BURNED the first batch of walnuts -- what a waste of walnuts, olive oil and butter! HATE waste, salvaged what I could by cutting off the black bits. The salvaged walnuts were tasty on a salad...leftovers pictured here.
Oriental Asparagus Salad -- minus ingredients I didn't have.
   The Oriental Asparagus Salad was just slightly cooked asparagus marinated in a dressing made of 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic and 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger. Found this recipe, which also called for fresh bell pepper and water chestnuts, in The Best Kept Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. (recipes). Have yet to make a recipe of hers we didn't love!  
   Hope I can meet the challenge of all this asparagus. And we still have gobs of kale to eat! One of these days I'll get around to making these Kale Chips found over at Cooking.In.College.
   What we can't eat of our garden produce we do try to give away, so hopefully little will be wasted. Did I mention that I hate waste?!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Make over: Candle holder from a soda can

Okay, I know I already made a post today but just came across some creative repurposing I had to share!
   Meanqueen over at Life After Money makes the cutest little tea light candle holders out of aluminum cans. We don't drink many sodas, but we do save them until we get enough to recycle. So if I wanted LOTS of little tea lights to brighten up an outdoor party, this can repurposing would be the no cost way to go!

Pretending 'this may be my last' saves me money

In the Great Depression, people learned to "Make Do, Make Over, Do Without" because when there's scarcely enough money for food, everything else becomes a luxury. Though most of us reading this don't worry about where our next meal may come from, consciously trying to make things last still helps our budgets and our planet!
   So, I play a little mind trick on myself before tossing/re-buying anything. I ask, 'What if this _____ is my last?" If this were my last pencil, I'd make do with a dull point to use all the carbon before sharpening it again. If this were my last tea towel, I'd durned well make it over instead of tossing it into the rag bag.
   The more I learn about the environmental impact of the products we use, the more I'm motivated to apply the 'this may be my last' mind trick. This past weekend I discovered a fascinating series produced by the Sundance Channel called Eco-Trip, and its episode about the impact of a cotton t-shirt really got me thinking. Evidently the use of pesticides in growing cotton make it the world's 'dirtiest' crop. So, I'll be looking for organic cotton, I'll be trying to buy from companies with ethical practices, and I'll be working even harder to make sure anything made of cloth that I do buy is well cared for.
   And if there's anything to this Peak Oil business, the ole ditty "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" will really come in handy.
From rags to riches
   Did I mention I have an amazing mom? She revamped these years-old kitchen linens of mine by sewing like-colored lace and little patches over the holes. Don't know where she got the "moda" ribbon that she repurposed to make some patches from, but at least four of my kitchen towels now sport this new "logo." (Including the one I accidentally burned recently!)
     Patched kitchen towels suit me fine. I'd much rather buy new clothes than new kitchen towels, wouldn't you? Sporting any patches over at your place?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Passover--celebrating each other's faiths with food!

Banana bread cooling; blond brownie dough ready to bake.
My blond brownies turned out okay, but I'll keep looking for the BEST recipe. Meantime, you may want to check out these Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch by David Lebovitz. Pretty much the same as the Saltine Cookies I make, but using Matzoh makes a nice Passover variation.
   I'm not Jewish, but I love celebrating foods with other faiths.
   I feel privileged to have visited and witnessed Rosh Hashanah services at a Jewish Temple, Friday prayer at a Muslim Mosque, a worship service at a Hindu Temple and a meditation with a Buddhist Dharma study group. Not to mention visits to several different Christian denominations.
One for Hubby to take hunting; one for freezer for later.
   Some of these visits were college credit requirements for a class in Comparative Religions; some visits were made for fellowship with friends. I am richer for having all these experiences -- MUCH richer for gaining a respect for all the different faiths. Gives me great hope to know the MAJORITY of us are seeking to find and do the right thing by each other.
And now for my cooking confession:
   Did I mention that I'm lazy? The pic at top tells the tale. Once it cooled in the pan on the rack, I propped my banana bread on top of the pan to finish cooling, so I wouldn't have to clean the cooling rack!
   Washing dishes never seems to end. If anyone likes washing dishes, please teach me your secret! Better yet...tell me how YOU avoid cleaning something!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why I need to embrace minimalism

Yeah, this picture frame falling off my closet cubbie is a definite sign. It's time to minimalize!
   Who'd have thought you couldn't keep adding things without ever taking anything away?!
   My closet is actually minimalist heaven compared with the closets getting makeovers on TV. But I guess the rules that apply to my closet should be no different than what I should apply to the rest of the house--its a question of whether I want to settle for "not as bad as it could be" versus "serene space."
    If you want to get motivated to clear the clutter before something breaks, you might like Choosing Voluntary Simplicity, a blog I found while working my way through the 2011 All Star List of Minimalist Blogs compiled by Minimalist Packrat.
   Or if, like me, you mainly have closet issues, check out this Transform Your Closet piece on Oprah's site.
   BTW, I love visiting your blogs. Just upgraded my browser and for some reason having trouble leaving comments on some sites, but I hope to troubleshoot the problem soon.
   Where does the clutter collect in your home? If you have any posts you'd like to share with the rest of us regarding clearing the clutter, please leave your link in the comments.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

This moment: Energy efficiency tax credit...the door, not the kiddo!

Sweet little G2 at our back door trying to wake up enough to start her day. And a great day it was, by the way.
   This door we put in last year is considered an energy efficient home improvement and earned us a tax break. Gotta love that!!
   Thinking of making any improvements of your own? Might wanna check out this info on energy tax credits on the U.S. Department of Energy's site.
   Hubby will be turkey hunting all weekend. Though he'll be missed, I love having a day or two to myself now and then. Don't you?
   Hope you have a stellar weekend!!

Thanks to Soulemama for this Friday photo sharing concept. Feel free to leave a link to your moment.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On my mind: Spring flowers & spring cleaning for my soles

The sneak on top was as dirty as the one below before I tackled it!
On my mind: Spring cleaning includes cleaning my sneakers.
   The soles of my other athletic shoes clean up well with a toothbrush and toothpaste, but for some reason I have to use a melamine foam cleaning thingy to get these eco-soles clean. (Like "Magic Eraser" but I buy generic.)
   Never thought I'd share a pic of my sneaks, but I love, LOVE these Simple Shoes for their eco-certified suede uppers and recycled-materials shoelaces and soles. Simple even makes shoes that are totally VEGAN. Gotta love that! (Just sharing the love of a green product...this is not a paid endorsement.)
   To leave you with something prettier than shoes to think about, I'll share these pics taken this morning while we were driving "in town." The dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom here in Kentucky & some neighborhoods are really putting on a show!

   Thanks, Rhonda at down-to-earth, for sharing this On My Mind concept. What's on your mind today? Share your link here or on down-to-earth.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Make over: Leftover tuna salad becomes Tuna Cheese Chowder

Let's talk about NEVER wasting food -- instead of hating leftovers, many of us RE-PURPOSE them instead!
   When feeding people that I don't see too often, I try to offer more than one thing, hoping to suit their tastes. Of course, that leaves me with leftovers, and I can only eat so many leftover tuna salad sandwiches!
   That's why I turned my leftover tuna salad (tuna, mayo, celery, capers, salt & pepper) into tuna cheese chowder. Cooked up some chopped onion & carrot sticks (too lazy to shred these, but a small dice cooks quickly enough). Stirred in a little flour then added some broth & milk and let the mixture thicken a bit before tossing it into the slow cooker with the seasonings below. About an hour before lunch, I stirred in the tuna salad; then stirred in some cheese about half an hour before eating. The slight crunch of the celery didn't affect the chowder a bit. I thought it tasted every bit as good as when I make it from scratch, as in the recipe below.
   I love changing leftovers into something new, don't you? Just found out Real Life Living has an idea for leftover French fries that I had never considered. Any leftover transformations you'd like to share?

Tuna Cheese Chowder 
2 med. carrots, shredded (1 c.)
1 med. onion, chopped (1/2 c.)
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk
2 c. chicken broth
1 (6 1/2 or 7 oz.) can tuna, drained and flaked
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. shredded American cheese (4 oz.)
In 3 quart saucepan cook carrots and onion in butter until onion is tender but not brown. Blend in flour. Add milk and chicken broth. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in tuna, celery seed, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Heat through. Add cheese - heat and stir until cheese is melted. Garnish with snipped chives. 4 servings. Recipe Source: Better Homes and Garden Holiday Cooking (Special Publication/Magazine from 1979!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Free maps equal free fun, plus Cane Syrup Granola

When Hubby and I travel, I always keep an eye out for giveaways that will keep the grandgirls entertained when they come over. On this last visit, the girls had great fun with the free maps of the United States that I snagged at some visitors' center. At these ages (G1 is 6 years old; G2 is 5), the girls just had fun highlighting things on their maps, but hopefully they will learn a little about maps and the U.S. each time they play with these freebies.
Granola Variation
   If anyone has access to cane syrup, it makes yummy granola. Just sub out cane syrup for the honey in this Honey Almond Granola recipe posted previously.
   I once attended a conference in New Orleans and came home with this syrup. (Yeah, foodie souvenirs are my favorite!) I'd been told folks down south love cane syrup drizzled on their biscuits and scones, but that didn't do it for me.
   Seeking a way to use it up, I tried it in homemade granola...and LOVE it! Now, I beg anyone going to Naw'leans to bring me back some cans.
   Is there any regional ingredient you love but can't get at home? And what kinda freebies do you look for when traveling?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Quest for homemade cracker recipe--by jove, I think I've got it!

Rolling out these Salt and Pepper Crackers, by Sunset Magazine, with Grandgirl2 was such fun.
   She rolled in one direction; I in the other. She was so sweetly dedicated to her direction that I did not have the heart to take over and roll the crackers "paper thin" as directed, so our crackers were a bit too thick.
   But, man, what a crispy cracker!! And soo easy! Rolling them out on the silicone mat made it extra easy to transfer to the baking sheet...cooked them right on this re-usable mat, instead of on one-time-use parchment paper.
   Now, our crackers were overworked a bit, as will happen with small hands, but I still think I've found my cracker recipe. Will know for sure when I roll out and bake the 2nd half of the dough, now in the freezer.
   Making crackers from scratch means less packaging waste, as compared to the commercially prepared crackers. But it also means better, fresher tasting crackers. Gotta love that!
   Raining, raining in our part of Kentucky this morn, but the dogwood tree out our window looks lovely in the rain.  
   Hope you're looking at something lovely yourself right now? As always, feel free to share what's out your window or baking/cooking/waiting to be eaten in your kitchen. People's comments/blogs are my glimpses into other worlds!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Could 2011 be my best year yet...starting with semi-scratch banana pudding??

While reading the book Paris Was Ours: Thirty-Two Writers Reflect on the City of Light, compiled by Penelope Rowlands, I came across a story in which the author stated that his year in Paris was his best year ever.
   That line has been haunting me ever since.
   I have a couple of best years ever of my own, and it saddens me to think my best years might be behind me. So, I wondered 'WHAT would I have to DO to make 2011 my BEST YEAR EVER?'
   Do you have a best year ever??? I've got a few ideas, but what do you think it takes to make a year the BEST? Really, help me out here...why shouldn't 2011 be our best year yet?

 As for the Banana Pudding, this is my go-to super-easy recipe for feeding a crowd. As a person committed to reducing packaging waste, I'm kinda ashamed to be sharing recipes that call for packaged products. SO, I will be looking for ways to make these recipes completely from scratch--but still super EASY. Links below for scratch versions of some of the commercial products; I'll be trying these the next time I make banana pudding. Wish me luck!
Banana Pudding
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Homemade version on Down-to-Earth)
4-5 bananas
1 box vanilla wafers, reserving a few for crumb topping (Homemade version on SeriousEats)
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix (Homemade version on JoyOfBaking)
3 1/2 cup milk
16 oz. Cool Whip (Homemade version on E-How)

Mix the pudding mixes with the 3 1/2 cup milk, as directed on the box. Add the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk and mix until thoroughly combined and mixture is smooth, creamy and thick. Fold 1/2 of the Cool Whip into the mixture. In a 13"x9" pan, Layer half of the vanilla wafers, then bananas, then half of the pudding mixture. Repeat. Spread remaining Cool Whip on top. Crush reserved vanilla wafers and sprinkle over top of all. Refrigerate.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lemon Pie Bars become lemon tarts

Had such a great time with the grandgirls this past week!!
   Grandgirl1 suggested a picnic, so our deck saw its 1st picnic of 2011. Yea! Here is our picnic gear, but really took the pic to show how Hubby solved the "I want the blue one" dilemma with the girls' water bottles. Even after drawing to see who got which bottle, the girls weren't happy, so Hubby made them both happy by switching the caps.
   I cooked on the days we just had one grandgirl on hand. Turned my lemon pie bars recipe into tarts...mainly to involve the young'un in the cooking, since I like this recipe better as bars. We "took turns" pressing the dough into the pans. G2 smooshed the dough into each little pan and then I finished by smoothing them out and up the sides.
Lemon Pie Bars
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup), softened slightly (cold if using food processor)
Cooling. Much prettier once dusted with powdered sugar. 
2 cups white sugar
5 Tablespoons of flour
5 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Mix 1 1/2 cups of flour and confectioner's sugar together. Cut in the butter or margarine. Mix well until the dough resembles pie dough consistency. (I use the food processor. Process until the dough follows the blade around the bowl.) Press the dough evenly into a 13"x9" inch baking pan.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  (Takes 20 minutes in my oven.)
Meanwhile: Beat together filling ingredients: eggs, sugar, 5 tablespoons flour and lemon juice until completely combined. (Helps to stir together flour and sugar first.) Pour the filling mixture over the hot baked crust.
Bake the bars another 20 minutes, or until the lemon topping has set and bars are lightly browned. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar when cooled. Refrigerate.
I sneak 1 tablespoon of Ground flax into most doughs.

   If you make these into tarts, be sure to remove from pans while still warm!
   I am looking for some good tart recipes. If you've baked up some winners, please share a link to your post in the comments.
    We had family over for lunch including some from out of town, but they've gone now. After finishing this post, I'm going to chill awhile and watch a movie on Netflix.
   Hope you're finding plenty of fun on this beautiful weekend. It's sunny and 86F degrees right now here in Kentucky!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

This moment: Will there be no more trees?

The blaze as seen from our kitchen window.
Back door neighbors' driveway separates
our property from the patch of woods.
Our northwest neighbor burned his little patch of woods last night.
    The men gathered round to watch the fire in all its glory. I avoided them and took pictures.
   And cried.
   An ice storm hit this area in January 2009 and people have been getting rid of their trees ever since. Africa was once lush with trees...until too many of them got chopped down. If we keep taking out the bulk of the trees, how can we be so sure desertification won't one day become a reality for parts of our great country?

Thanks to Soulemama for this Friday photo sharing concept. Feel free to leave a link to your moment.
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