Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mid Month - Deer Experiments & Lemon Bars

Well it's already mid-January, can you believe it?

I can't.

Soooo, Mike has acquired ground venison from his neighbor and has played with it a bit to come up with different ways of eating it. His first was hamburger helper with venison. In my opinion that was a waste of venison but I dislike hamburger helper with a roaring passion. I would eat dirt first. Yes, I loathe hamburger helper. It was overdone and now I can't even stomach the smell.

Then he made venison lasagna, he wasn't terribly thrilled with it and said it wasn't blog worthy but to be honest - it's an experiment and yes it will need tweaking but it isn't a total bust like our Boeuf Bourguignon that we made that was absolutely disgusting and trash worthy only. I wouldn't have even fed that to the dog or raccoon's.

He made this in a traditional lasagna way. Layered with noodles, ricotta, tomato sauce and tomatoes, venison with onion and Italian seasoning, and then cheese on top. I thought it was pretty awesome myself, he wants to tweak how he made it and cover it with foil rather than leave uncovered for the whole process. It tasted good and hit the spot - considering I never eat lasagna because of how calorie dense it is, this wasn't bad for that either since venison tends to be on the lean side. It's good to have connections in the hunting world.

Tonight I'm making lemon bars for a co-worker's birthday that we are celebrating tomorrow. I have been searching for a recipe and finally decided on this. I seriously thought about just buying some because I"m feeling lazy and payday is tomorrow, BUT, in the tradition that is me when it comes to baking I tend to lean toward scratch baking rather than the "cheating" way out.

So I went to one of my trusty cookbooks, riddled with stains and spots from baking and cooking. Taste of Home - Reader's Digest 2008. So there are these deliciously simple lemon bars that are from a Melissa Mosness in Loveland Colorado. I am sooo happy she provided them. Probably one of the simplest recipes I've ever made that wasn't out of a box or pre-made.

First in this recipe, crust. Delicious shortbread style crust. Flaky and delicious. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; gradually beating in flour until blended. Then press into an 8-in square pan, or in my cake a 9 inch cake pan (for whatever reason I do not have a square pan - curious - this needs to be rectified. Then you par bake the crust for about 15 minutes in the oven.

Then while that is baking you make the filling. Which has sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flower and baking powder  How easy and simple is that. I personally have all those ingredients on hand all the time. So you beat these ingredients together until they are frothy and airy.

So then you fill the crust with filling and place back into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown and the center is set.

 Then after it has cooled you dust it beautifully with powdered sugar and cut into slices, or wedges. This is supposed to make 9 servings. I cut it down to more reasonable sizes for a larger group - more snack sized than dessert sized. So this served 16 instead.

How lovely is that? And to keep your plate clean, wrap in plastic wrap so you don't have to wash it later.

Lemon Bars
Prep: 25 min     Bake: 10 min + cooling

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) soft
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour (AP)

3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs (yes whole)
3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh or in the plastic lemon)
2 Tbsp AP flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Confectioner's Sugar for dusting

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until blended and light and fluffy; gradually beat in flour until blended.

Press into an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish (or just use what you have on hand). Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, for filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flour and baking powder until frothy. Pour over crust.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares.

Makes 9 servings.