Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lemon Bars and Cookies

Ina Garten

Mary Fowler and I have been baking fools!  Over the weekend we had the Christmas music playing and we baked these lemon bars.  Ina's recipe below!

We also baked one of my dad's favorite lemon cookies.  A girlfriend called the other day for this recipe and I remembered how easy and good they are!

Photo Source

1 box lemon cake mix
1 tub cool whip
1 egg

Mix and drop by spoonfuls into powdered sugar.  Bake on greased cookie sheet at 350 for about 8 minutes.  We like them a little underdone so they remain chewy.

Ina Garten's Lemon Bars

For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose 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 all-purpose flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

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 x 13 x 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 confectioners’ sugar.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Are You Santa?

I think I found this letter below originally on Pinterest.  I am about to print it out and give it to Mary Fowler.

The complete article can be found here (link).

Dear ____________,
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.

Raise Your Hand if You Meditate

I have read for years how good meditation is for the mind, body, and soul.  And while I definitely believe in the power of prayer and do it daily, "meditation" is kind of out of my comfort zone.

But I am curious so I signed up for Oprah's Twenty-One Day Meditation Challenge (link here) .

I love the daily email reminders and what they say but I have yet to actually pause and "meditate."

One of these days...

I have, however, been doing laundry.  

After a few months of mountains of clean laundry piled up in the guest bedroom, I started making myself fold the clean laundry AS I REMOVE it from the dryer.  I just pile it on top in each person's pile and then deliver the piles to their rooms.  So I had to laugh as I enjoyed my 12 seconds... (see below)

Friday, November 2, 2012