It’s a crazy summer for us in the Gowan household, but I’m still holding onto my baking time. It sounds crazy, but its kind of like therapy for me. Last weekend, the kids were having a rest time and I was excited to get into the kitchen and try these Blueberry Lemonade Bars.
First let me say, I LOVE lemon bars. Heck, I love anything lemon flavored. Citrus just equals summer for me. These Blueberry Lemonade Bars are the perfect little treat in the summer time, and just the best thing to pack for a summer picnic or potluck dinner. I took this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and put my own spin on it. I swapped out the raspberries for blueberries simply because that is what is in season for us right now and I had a bunch leftover in my fridge.
These bars are really tart and not so sweet. The buttery lemon crust really helps balance out the whole thing. Also, don’t forget a dusting of confectioner’s sugar over the top because that will sweeten them up ever so slightly as well!
After I bought this pretty new bundt pan, I’m on a mission to use it more. I think I’ll probably make a cake a month, and be sending most of it to work (which is what happened to this Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake).
I really loved the tart lemon flavor mixed with the richness of the buttermilk. To top it all off, the cake was super moist! If you don’t have a pan like this, then you can easily make it into a small loaf pan, bake it a little bit longer and call it pound cake! Just make sure the toothpick tester comes out clean in the middle and you aren’t using a bigger sized loaf pan (it may never cook in the middle before it over-browns on top).
So (I think) this concludes some sugary recipes for a while. It’s time for me to stop eating so many sweets so things might get a little healthy around here. We’ll see. For now, enjoy this cake đź™‚
Read on for the recipe.
This is my last of the family Christmas cookie recipes (I have two others ready to go), but it’s probably the most popular. Buckeyes were something we always looked forward to every year. This was Gram’s recipe (my mom’s mother) and she’s definitely someone I got the baking gene from.
She was known for testing new recipes, and had perfected several in our family that our now legendary (I’ve never had potato salad like hers). I think that’s what I love about cooking though. Even though people aren’t with us anymore, you are still reminded of them through their recipes.
I have so many happy memories of my grandmother, especially spending time with her in her kitchen around the holidays. She didn’t have the best upbringing (growing up in the Depression was certainly difficult for many), but she always had an upbeat and patient way about her when it came to her grandkids. One of my favorite memories with her was spending a sick day at her house and watching Audrey Hepburn movies. She let me watch “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” when I was 10 or 11 – long before I understood what it really was about.
I had such a strong reminder of her this week when I tried someone else’s Buckeye recipe and it just failed miserably. The filling was dry and just crumbling into the chocolate and it was a big old mess. I literally put the spoon down and walked out of the kitchen for several hours. I was annoyed and grumpy, watching some TV and avoiding the dishes in the kitchen when I thought about what Gram would’ve said. Even though that batch of Buckeyes were terrible, she would’ve told me they were delicious and better than hers (which really wasn’t true), but that’s who she was.
It’s just great to be reminded of the people we miss through something like food. So these Buckeyes are just awesome. The peanut butter filling is super smooth while the chocolate really brings the whole thing together.
Also, a huge shout out to my sister, Colleen. The Buckeyes I tried, sucked, so the ones pictured above were from her freezer (and they’re delicious!).
Christen in the Kitchenâ€™s 12 Days of Christmas Cookies
Day 2: Press Cookies
Day 3: Peanut Blossoms
Day 4: Ultimate Ginger Cookies
Day 5: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Let’s take a quick break from the Christmas cookies and talk pie, shall we? This Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie is my second collaboration with the awesome folks at Whole Foods in Albany (stay tuned to the end of the post – there’s a giveaway!)
I really love to try new desserts for Christmas. I know everyone has their allegiances to certain pies on Thanksgiving (typically apple and pumpkin), but Christmas is special. It’s a time to try a new dessert, maybe something a little more decadent and this Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie is a home run!
So this Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie was born. The family and I stopped into our local Whole Foods the other day to pick up the ingredients and I really love the bulk section. It’s great to be able to buy exactly what you need for this recipe. I also wanted some big, whole pecans to make the design on the top and they had those in bulk took. A huge bonus – they had a 20 percent off beer sale on Saturday so you know we took advantage of that!
This pie is just everything I’m looking for in a holiday dessert. Not too sweet, but really delicious. The bacon cuts through the sweetness of the maple syrup and gives the pie that nice salty bite. I recommend a really high-quality bacon in this. No cheap flimsy bacon so go for some thick cut, center cut strips of bacon. Just make sure to chop them up pretty small (a little bit smaller than the pecans) so that it blends in nicely with the pecan pie.
I used my mom’s pie crust recipe for this pie since it’s shortening based. I wanted something not super rich (an all-butter crust can be), and it compliments the filling.
Read on for the recipe (and click alllll the way to the end for the chance to win a $50 gift card from Whole Foods!)