Tag Archives: easy

How to Make Easy Lemon Bars with Sweetened Condensed Milk

Written by : Chris

easy lemon bars image 1 400

Freshen up spring celebrations with these simple, sweet and vibrant lemon bars! Lemon bars are a classic American dessert composed of a shortbread crust topped with a simple, tangy lemon filling.

We’ve simplified the traditional recipe by using sweetened condensed milk. So once you make the crust, all you need to do is whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, fresh lemon juice and lemon peel. It couldn’t be easier!

Here’s the recipe for Easy Lemon Bars:

easy lemon bars image 2 400

Ingredients for 20 bars:

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Line 8-inch-square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

BEAT butter, powdered sugar and salt in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour on low speed just until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press dough onto bottom of prepared pan.

BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

WHISK together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon peel until smooth. Pour over crust. Bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

REFRIGERATE for 2 hours or until firm. Using foil overhang, lift onto a work surface; cut into 20 bars. Dust with additional powdered sugar before serving. Squares will hold, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

easy lemon bars image 3 400

A few tips:
If you make the bars in advance, don’t dust with powdered sugar. Only do this right before serving.

To produce really clean slices, place the baking pan with lemon bars in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Wipe the knife between cuts. If desired, trim away edges (I didn’t trim all the edges on the photo above, but I did freeze them).

For serving, place bars in individual paper cupcake liners. This way guests can easily help themselves and you don’t need to worry about dessert plates.

Happy spring!

All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Related Recipes:

Lemon Spring Tart Ginger Bites with Zesty Lemon Sorbet
Lemon Spring Tart
Ginger Bites with Zesty
Lemon Sorbet

Perfect Pizza Pairings

Written by Cynthia -

Pizza Portion

October is National Pizza Month. And I know what you’re thinking…there seems to be a food holiday for pretty much anything these days. But I must say…who doesn’t love pizza?! I, for one, love all types of pizza and for me, moderation is key, so I’m always looking for ways to combine my cheesy cravings with a nice nutritious balance.

Luckily, Nestlé USA has launched this great Pizza Portion Guide in conjunction with the Balance Your Plate initiative, a way for us to think differently about frozen meals. It’s simple – just combining a slice of pizza or a frozen entrée with fruits and vegetables helps you balance your plate with nutrients you need!

Last week, after a hard day’s work, I went out and grabbed a DiGIORONO® pizzeria!™ pepperoni pizza and put this toolkit to practice. My wish was for a quick and easy weeknight meal that I felt good about. I popped the pizza in the oven and while waiting, grabbed a spring mix of lettuce, threw in some tomatoes, carrots and avocado for a nice refreshing and simple salad. I paired the two and voilà – my 10 minute weeknight meal was ready to go!

Pizza Portion

For the approximate measure, the guide recommends picturing your hand as a pizza slice and enjoying only one or two hands’ worth. I chose one in this case, since I made a larger portion of the salad. Check out more clever ideas for enjoying perfect pizza portions.

Eating additional slices of this pizza deliciousness was definitely tempting, but merely combining it with a handful of leafy greens and fresh produce really managed to be very fulfilling in the end. Mission accomplished!

For more tips and tricks on balancing your plate with pizza, visit http://www.nestleusa.com/nutrition/enjoypizza.

Celebrating Hot and Spicy Food Day

Written by Cynthia - 

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Roasted Peppers

Today is Hot & Spicy Food Day, for me… one of the best days of the year! Since I come from Mediterranean descent, we don’t eat anything without a little bit of olive oil and a little bit of spice in it. So naturally, in celebration, I made these Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Roasted Peppers. I’m no expert chef, so what I love about this recipe is that it’s so quick and easy to make. I invited a girlfriend over to help me enjoy the fruits of my labor and boy was she fooled! She was pleasantly surprised at how I came up with such a “tasty and elegant-looking dish in such a short amount of time,” were her words to me exactly.

I started off with preparing the marinade, using BUITONI® Pesto with Basil. I love the taste of pesto – it adds such a rich flavor to pastas, salad dressings and marinades. While the recipe calls for some garlic, shallots and olive oil mixed into the pesto, I also added a small teaspoon of red pepper flakes to give it an extra spicy kick. Of course, you can play around with the measurements depending on how spicy or mild you prefer. I personally prefer extra spicy. Chili peppers can also be part of a healthy diet and are a source of Vitamin C to help maintain a healthy immune system.

I opted to use a broiler instead of a griller this time. Right after preparing the marinade, I started working on cutting and then broiling the bell peppers for about 10-15 minutes and then removing the charred skin after they were cooled. My advice would be to definitely prepare the marinade and shrimp first and stick it right in the refrigerator to give it ample time to marinate, while cooking the peppers. In the meantime, I also prepared a side salad using again BUITONI Pesto with Basil. Can’t you tell I just love this pesto! Check out the entire meal plan for these recipes including a starter and dessert here.

I used wooden skewers to alternately thread the shrimp and peppers. Here’s an important tip: Soak the wooden skewers in warm water for 30 minutes to help prevent them from igniting either on the grill or broiler. The hardest part about this recipe? Waiting for the shrimp to be done while smelling the rich aroma of garlic, pesto and peppers take over your kitchen. Well, I must say it was well worth the wait!

Grilled Shrimp Skewers and Roasted Peppers Basted with Basil Pesto

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Pesto with Basil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh shallots
  • 8 (about 8 ounces total) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 bell peppers (yellow, red and green)
  • Skewers (NOTE: If using wooden skewers soak in water for 30 minutes before threading.)
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread (about 6 inches)
  • Fresh basil sprigs for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:

PREHEAT grill or broiler.

MIX oil, 2 tablespoons pesto, garlic and shallots in medium bowl. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Marinate in refrigerator.

CUT bell peppers in quarters; grill or broil until skins blister. Place peppers in bowl; cover tightly with foil. Cool until peppers can be handled; remove charred skins.

CUT cooled bell peppers into 1 1/2-inch squares.

THREAD bell peppers and marinated shrimp alternately on skewers; discard any remaining marinade.

TRIM ends off of bread and discard; cut bread in four 1-inch-thick slices. Grill or broil until golden and crispy. Spread remaining 1 tablespoon pesto evenly on bread slices.

GRILL or broil shrimp skewers until shrimp are cooked and turn pink.

PLACE 2 slices of grilled bread on each plate. Remove shrimp and peppers from skewers and arrange on top of bread. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs or with an herb bouquet. Drizzle with lemon juice; season with sea salt.

Related Recipes:

Spicy Corn Soup & Citrus Tuna Skewers Crostini Aperitivo Recipe
Spicy Corn Soup & Citrus
Tuna Skewers
Crostini Aperitivo

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie & a Slew of Summer Pie Recipes

Written by Liz -

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

When summer rolls around, there is one dessert I really crave — ice cream. I love to make ice cream in all it forms: ice milk, frozen yogurt, sorbet, granita, etc. And when I need a dessert to please a group, ice cream pie is one of the easiest ways to turn this iconic summer treat into a dessert for all.

This ice cream pie recipe features a homemade crust and homemade whipped topping, sandwiching one of Dreyer’s & Edy’s new summer Slow Churned  flavors: Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream. And homemade pie crust is actually pretty easy. To make the crust, just blend together graham crackers, coconut flakes, coconut oil and butter (see full recipe below).

And just think of the twists you can make on this pie crust recipe! Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of chocolate graham crackers, use honey or cinnamon graham crackers or any of your favorite crunchy cookies (ginger snaps, thin mints, milanos, etc.)
  • Instead of coconut flakes, use powdered caramel creamer or coffee mix, finely chopped ginger or any citrus zest.

And in the topping, I can think of many fun ingredients:

  • Add softened cream cheese to give it a frosting taste
  • Add a dash of any kind of flavored schnapps, maple syrup or almond flavoring
  • Use chocolate sauce or fresh fruit instead of caramel.

The possibilities are limitless when you think of all the ice cream flavors available! And don’t forget you can make just about any ice cream flavor you want. I’m looking forward to these additional summer flavors from Dreyer’s/Edy’s:

  • 3 Stripes You’re Out (Grand only) – vanilla ice cream with mixed berry and strawberry swirls
  • Sunny Salted Caramel Pretzel (Grand and Slow Churned) – vanilla ice cream with a salted caramel swirl and pretzel pieces
  • German Chocolate Cake Spectacular (Grand and Slow Churned) – chocolate ice cream with a caramel coconut swirl and brownie pieces
  • Take the Cake (Slow Churned only) – yellow cake-flavored light ice cream with a frosting swirl and multi-colored sprinkles

I don’t know about you, but I can think of a different ice cream pie I can make each week of summer! It’s definitely going to be a good one at my house.

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients for 8 servings:

CRUST

  • 9 large chocolate graham cracker rectangles, broken into rough pieces
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

  • 1 container (1.5 quarts) DREYER’S or EDY’S SLOW CHURNED Limited Edition Caramel Coconut Cookie Light Ice Cream, softened

TOPPING

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

FOR CRUST:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

PLACE graham crackers, coconut and sugar in food processor or blender; cover. Honey grahams are shown above.

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

Process for 30 seconds or until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Place crumbs in medium bowl; stir in melted coconut oil and butter. Stir until crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch glass pie plate.

BAKE for 20 to 22 minutes or until crust is set. Cool crust completely on a wire rack.

FOR FILLING:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

SPREAD softened ice cream into pie crust. Cover; freeze for 6 hours or until ice cream is completely firm, as shown above.

FOR TOPPING:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

PLACE cream and sugar in chilled medium mixing bowl. Beat just until stiff peaks form. Evenly spread whipped cream over ice cream. Sprinkle with toasted coconut; drizzle with caramel topping (above shows chocolate sauce). Cut into slices; serve immediately.

Links:

Related recipes:

Frozen Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie recipe Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie recipe
Frozen Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie

Easy Spring Pasta Recipe: Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme

Written by Liz -

Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks and Thyme recipe

Spring has sprung in California – as well as most of the country. To me that means spring vegetable season; asparagus, leeks, peas, artichoke, fennel and fresh herbs are bountiful in farmers markets. Much of this produce is available year-round, but spring is the best time to get the freshest spring vegetables, whether at your local market, grocery store or from your own garden!

fetpeasveg

And those fresh spring flavors really come through in this easy spring pasta recipe, Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme. It’s a cinch to make and it’s packed with flavor and nutrients, plus spring is a great time to get hooked on the Mediterranean way of eating. Adding a bit of the pasta water instead of using sauce is a traditional way to make pasta dishes in Italy. This recipe is a sure way to eat more vegetables and wow your friends with your culinary savvy!

Wine Pairing

  • Italian wines can be hard to find, other than the super popular Pinot Grigio. If you can find a Soave wine, it’s a soft, fruity, clean wine with crisp lemon flavors and really complements this dish.
  • Grenache Blanc with its acidity and rounded flavors, or Sauvignon Blanc with its herbaceousness, would also be great wines with this pasta.

Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme

fetpeaingred2

Ingredients for 3 servings:

Directions:

PREPARE pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup cooking water. While pasta is cooking, prepare leek mixture.

fetpeasstove

HEAT oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden. Stir in peas; cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, as shown above.

fetpeaslast

ADD reserved pasta cooking water, thyme leaves and cheese; stir in gently. Toss pasta with leek mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Links:

More spring pasta recipes:

Vegetable Tortellini Soup Recipe Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Fresh Herb Pesto recipe
Vegetable Tortellini Soup Butternut Squash Agnolotti
with Fresh Herb Pesto

Easter Sweets: Butterfinger Panna Cotta with Easter Egg Nests

Written by Liz -

Butterfinger Panna Cotta Nests recipe

Panna Cotta, or Italian “cooked cream,” is an eggless custard that is silky-smooth and so easy to make. In fact, David Lebovitz writes that if it takes you more than 5 minutes to put it together, you’re doing something wrong. If you haven’t yet tried to make custard, crème brulée or flan, panna cotta is the recipe to try first.

Our easy version for Easter, Butterfinger Panna Cotta Nests, uses items you already have in your pantry, since it replaces the cream with evaporated milk. That also lowers the fat and increases the nutrients! This dish has to be made in advance so it can set in the refrigerator, leaving you free on the day of the meal to entertain or cook other dishes. Putting the ingredients together and warming them in a pan are a snap, and the shredded coconut egg nests on top are perfect for a pretty Easter table.

Panna cotta is also an extremely versatile recipe. You can experiment and make your own version by adding lemon or orange zest, almond extract or even spices like saffron, pepper or rosemary. Here are some panna cotta recipes we love using chocolate and amaretto, as well as pumpkin spice and chocolate pistachio.

Happy Easter!

Butterfinger Panna Cotta Nests

Ingredients for 4 servings:

PANNA COTTA

NESTS

Directions:

FOR PANNA COTTA:
GREASE four 6-ounce or six 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups.

PLACE water in a small bowl; add gelatin and let stand to soften.

PLACE evaporated milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat. Add gelatin mixture; stir gently to dissolve gelatin.

POUR into prepared ramekins; sprinkle with crushed Butterfinger.

REFRIGERATE for 2 hours or until panna cottas are firm.

FOR NESTS:
PLACE coconut in a resealable bag. Add green and yellow food coloring; seal bag and shake to thoroughly mix. If necessary, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of water to help color mix.

TOP panna cottas with coconut “grass”; top with 1 to 2 unwrapped Nestlé NestEggs.

Links:

More panna cotta recipes:

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta with Pistachio Sauce recipe
Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta with Pistachio Sauce
pumpkin-spice-panna-cotta recipe
Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta
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