Fresh Lime Squares with a Graham Craker Crust

July 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Summer is a great time to get sweet tasting citrus.  I was lucky enough to pick up a bag of sweet tasting limes and I was very excited to try out different recipes with them.  I used the limes in cocktails and homemade marinades (see the recipe for veggie kabobs).  When it came to using the limes in a dessert, I could only think of one thing….key lime pie.  I didn’t feel like making a pie crust, so I decided to make lime squares instead.  It was the perfect mix between a key lime pie and lemon bars.  I this dessert would be a perfect middle ground for my husband and I (since he loves key lime pie and I love lemon bars).  Once we tasted these pale green squares of goodness, we knew we were both happy with this perfectly light summer time dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. grated lime zest
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 oz.) reduced fat or fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Directions:

1.  Preheat your oven to 350°.  Butter a 8 inch square baking pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and allow for a 2-3 inch overhand on the sides.  This will make it very easy to remove the lime squares from the pan.

2.   In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until you get 1 2/3 cups of graham cracker crumbs.  I thin it took about 1/3 of the box of graham crackers to make 1 2/3 cups of crumbs.

3.  Once you have 1 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs, add the sugar and lime zest to the food processor.  Pulse until combined.  Once all of the dry ingredients are combined, add in the melted butter and pulse.

4.  Put the crust mixture into the 8 inch square baking pan.  Press the crumb mixture down to make the crust.  Make the crust as even as possible.  Put the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.  Take it out of the oven and let it cool for 25-30 minutes on wire rack.

5.  Use a handheld juicer to get 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice.  There is no way getting around this one if your don’t have limes.  Don’t even try to use the store bought lime juice to make this dessert.

6.  Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.  I like to keep the egg whites and use them for breakfast the following morning.

7.  In a large bowl, mix the two egg yolks, lime juice, and can of sweetened condensed milk together.  Make sure the mixture is blended together well and smooth.

8.  Pour the mixture, evenly, over the cooled graham cracker crust.  Bake the lime squares in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  You want the lime mixture to be set.

9.  When the lime mixture has been cooked all the way through, let the lime squares cool on a wire rack.  When they have cooled to room temperature, refrigerate the lime squares for 1-2 hours before serving.  Cut this dessert into squares (use a knife that has been dipped into hot water) and serve with fresh whip cream.

Veggie Shush Kabobs

July 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

Since I eat vegetables all of the time, I try to spruce them up by putting a variety of fresh vegetables in a soup, or in baked pasta, or in enchiladas, the list can go one forever.  The point is, I forgot just how good fresh veggies can be on their own.  These veggie kabobs make a great dinner and only needed some rice (I made coconut pineapple rice) to make a full meal.  So if you want to enjoy summer, use your grill,  and have a light dinner (one that doesn’t leave you comatose on the couch afterward) these kabobs are perfect!

Ingredients:

  • Various vegetables (I used peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, and sweet onion.)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. chili sesame oil (you can use regular sesame oil, if your don’t like spicy foods)
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Soyaki
  • 2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (less or more depending on your spice level)
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle

Directions:

1.  Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Then add in the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.  Let all of the flavors in your homemade marinade mix together while you chop up your fresh vegetables and start your grill.

2.  Cut your vegetables into chunks.  You want all of the veggies to be roughly the same size, so they finish cooking at the same time.  Make     sure to cut your onions and peppers into large chunks because they will be the veggies that finish cooking first.

3.  Once you have cut all of the vegetables, arrange them on the skewers in whatever order you want.  I usually use a pattern because it looks great on the plate.

    4.  Put all of the vegetable skewers in a baking dish.  Brush each skewer with the homemade marinade.  If you have leftover marinade, pour it onto the skewers.  Let the skewers soak in the marinade for about 15 minutes.

    5.  Put the skewers on the grill.  Rotate and baste the kabobs every 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked all the way through.  The timing on the vegetables depend on which veggies you used, so just check up on them and make sure they don’t burn to a crisp.  When the veggies are done, use a basting brush to brush the kabobs with the marinade again.  To finish them off, sprinkle them with toasted sesame seeds.  Serve immediately.

      Essence of Summer Salad

      July 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

      This salad fully encapsulates the essence of summer: sweet, savory, and refreshing!  Perfect to pack for a summer beach day or to enjoy at the next BBQ.  The ingredients include watermelon and green onions, so if you love the sweet / savory combo, this one is for you!

      Ingredients:

      1/4 of a medium size watermelon

      1 bunch of radishes or 1 large cool cucumber

      1/2 cup green onions

      1 bunch of fresh mint

      Olive oil

      Salt

      *Optional for non-vegetarians: 3 slices of crisped prosciutto cut into small pieces for sprinkling (this is optional and could be eliminated for a vegetarian salad)

      Directions:

      I can’t make this one easier.  Chop all ingredients, mix together in a bowl, add olive oil and salt.  [Optional for non-vegetarians: Sprinkle with cut up prosciutto.]

      Enjoy!!!

      Sunday at the Farmers Market

      July 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

      I love summer at the farmer’s market because all the most amazing fruits and veggies are in season!  Don’t even get me started on the tomatoes… AMAZING!

      Here are today’s gorgeous organic finds:

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