Tag Archives: Easter

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:


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

No Ham Left Behind

Written by Nick

I bet you get just as excited as I do during the holidays when you’re tasked with preparing the biggest, juiciest and most delicious ham. But now that Easter’s over and you’ve had about all the leftover ham sandwiches you can imagine… what are you going to do with all that delicious ham?

One of the great things about a baked ham, is it can be a welcome addition to all sorts of dishes. It’s a great way to add some meat to an omelet or quiche. The flavor mixes well with all kinds of pasta. I’ve even used it in potato croquettes.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few of our favorite ways to make leftover ham the centerpiece of a new and exciting meal.

Ham-It-Up White Bean Soup Recipe

Ham-It-Up White Bean Soup

Soup is a classic way to eat up all your leftovers and this Ham-It-Up White Bean Soup will steal the show with all its delicious flavor. Easter is over, but for a lot of people, spring still feels a long way away, so why not warm up with a hot bowl of soup.

Hawaiian Pasta Salad Recipe

Hawaiian Pasta Salad

If you are in the tropical spirit, this Hawaiian Pasta Salad is perfect for lunch or even a light dinner. It’s also a great side with a Ham and Cheese sandwich.

Hash Brown Casserole Recipe

Hash Brown Casserole

This is a great dish to feed a few straggling family members who might have overstayed their holiday welcome. The recipe calls for bacon, but sub in your leftover ham and you’ll be more than satisfied. Casseroles are excellent for their quick and easy one-dish preparation.

Fettuccine with Portabellos, Ham and Asparagus Recipe

Fettuccine with Portabellos, Ham and Asparagus

I’ve already mentioned ham is great in pasta. Pairing it with mushrooms and asparagus is too good to pass up. This dish will give your leftovers a fresh new beginning!

Head to Meals.com for even more recipe ideas. Have your own favorite leftover ham recipe? Share it with us in the comments below.

Easter Brunch: Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Written by Chris

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

Savory and full of flavor, this quiche makes a great meal any time of year, especially Easter Sunday. Serve with fresh fruit for brunch or a simple salad for dinner. If you enjoy wine, pinot noir or even chardonnay pairs well with this quiche. It can be made a day in advance and reheated the day of so that you can truly enjoy all that the day has to offer.

A year or two ago I made chef Thomas Keller’s Over-The-Top Mushroom Quiche – well, not exactly. I made the filling according to his recipe, but used a premade crust (no judging, I’m a busy lady!). It was so incredibly good! I wanted to make it again, but wanted to lighten it up a bit.

The crust is made with quinoa – any color quinoa works. Carnation Evaporated Fat Free Milk is used in the filling, providing enough creaminess that heavy cream is not needed. It’s loaded with mushrooms – I used a combination of oyster, white button and cremini, but you can use whatever you have laying around. Fresh thyme adds such a nice fresh element of flavor but you can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried thyme if needed. Gruyère cheese and Fontina cheese are equally good so use the cheese you prefer.

A quick tip about springform pans and this recipe. You must line the bottom of the pan with foil or parchment paper otherwise the filling will leak out. Trust me on this. I purchased new springform pans for a recipe shoot we had at the White on Rice Studio. I proceeded to make the quiche in their studio and it leaked all over. I found it so odd because it didn’t do this with the springform pan I used to develop the recipe. Sweet Todd ran out and purchased two more pans and those leaked as well. I was so embarrassed! I had to think fast so I ended up lining the bottom of the pan with foil, and then secured the rim. This did the trick. The foil made for very easy clean up too!

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Ingredients for 12 servings:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup red or ivory quinoa, pulsed in blender until close to flour consistency
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms (mixture of oyster, white button and baby bella/baby portobello/ cremini)
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped (1/2 to 3/4 cup total)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cans (12 fluid ounces each) NESTLÉ CARNATION Evaporated Fat Free or Lowfat 2% Milk
  • 1 (4 ounces) cup shredded Gruyère cheese


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

Line the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with foil or parchment paper (for visual reference, the quiche at the top of this post used a 10-inch pan, and the quiche the very bottom used a 9-inch pan). It’s best to use two sheets, crisscrossing the sheets. Place the side of the springform pan over the foil and close the latch. If using foil, fold the foil overhang up over the base of the pan. Spray inside of pan with cooking spray.

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

Combine quinoa, butter, water and baking powder in medium bowl; stir well. Press firmly into bottom of prepared pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Reduce heat to medium; stir in shallots and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Whisk eggs in large bowl; gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

Sprinkle half of the cheese over the crust.

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

Top with mushroom mixture.

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

Add egg mixture and remaining cheese.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

To serve, carefully loosen and lift side of springform pan. Gently peel away foil. If desired, transfer to serving plate using a spatula (it transfers easily!). Cut into wedges and serve.

Mushroom Quiche with Quinoa Crust Recipe

Happy Easter, my friends!

Complimentary salad recipes:

Walnut Caesar Salad Recipe Fresh Fruit Salad Recipe
Walnut Caesar Salad Fresh Fruit Salad

How to Roast a Rack of Lamb: Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto

Written by Chris

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto Recipe

Easter is right around the corner, so I thought I’d share my favorite spring lamb recipe! If you are having a few people over, this recipe is for you!

When it comes to recipes, I don’t “do” complicated. I just don’t. Perhaps when my kids are grown, I will change my tune. But, for now, I like keeping it simple, delicious and nutritious.

Take this recipe, for example. I am using a rack of lamb – not a crown roast or leg of lamb. All taste delicious, but a rack of lamb is hands down the easiest to prepare.

In the spirit of keeping it simple, I took a couple shortcuts with this recipe. I purchased the rack of lamb already frenched (more on that term later). I also used premade Buitoni pesto. Buitoni All Natural Pesto is really good, friends! There’s no need to make pesto from scratch – let Buitoni do the work for you. I did add a little fresh mint and lemon juice to the pesto – mint pairs so well with lamb and lemon adds a nice zing!

Back to the term “frenched”… this just means that the rib bones are exposed (see picture below). Most racks are packaged frenched. If they aren’t, you can ask your butcher to french them for you.

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto Recipe

I usually buy Australian or New Zealand lamb from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Costco – it’s a bit leaner and less expensive. One rack typically has 7 to 8 ribs, and this will feed 2 to 3 people. I’ve finally graduated to two racks for my family of five. (I was really taken back by how much my boys like lamb – very nice surprise!)

The cooking time depends on how big your rack of lamb is (most are packaged at 1 ½ pounds), and how rare you want it cooked. Rack of lamb should be cooked rare, or at most medium rare. The instructions I’ve provided are for two 1 1/2 pound racks (roast time is the same for one rack). Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. I prefer it to register between 125-130° F which is on the rare side. Once it’s pulled out of the oven, as it rests, the temperature will continue to climb a few degrees.

If you have a large oven-proof skillet, it will work great with this recipe! If you don’t own one or are unsure if it’s oven-proof, simply sear the racks in the skillet you have, and then transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet that’s been lined with foil. The foil isn’t required, but it sure makes for easy clean up!

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto

Ingredients for 6 servings (2-3 chops per serving):

  • 2 (1 ½ pounds each) frenched racks of lamb (about 8 ribs each)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 container (9 ounces) BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Refrigerated Pesto with Basil, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto Recipe

TRIM excess fat from the lamb.

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto Recipe

ALLOW lamb to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before roasting. When it’s at room temperature, it will cook evenly. Season the lamb on all sides with salt and pepper.

PREHEAT oven to 400° F.

HEAT the oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb racks, fat-side-down, in skillet; sear until browned (this should only take a few minutes – you just want them browned). Turn racks over and sear other side. At this point, I like to drain the oil from the skillet so it doesn’t spatter in the oven. Turn racks meat-side up; place skillet in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until thermometer placed in thickest portion registers 125-130° F (medium-rare). It’s best to check it at 15 minutes, especially if your oven runs hot.

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto Recipe

TRANSFER lamb racks to a work surface and cover loosely with foil; let them rest for 10 minutes. Don’t skip this step – this is what makes the lamb so tender and juicy! Now is a good time to prepare the pesto sauce since it takes only a few minutes to put together.

COMBINE pesto, mint and water in medium bowl; stir well to combine. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add 1 more tablespoon if you prefer more tang. You might question why I added water to the mixture. I wanted it to be a little thinner in consistency – it’s just a matter of preference. I love the tang the lemon juice provides, but didn’t want to add too much. I could have also added more oil, but I didn’t want to add the calories. So water it was!

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto Recipe

Cut the lamb between the bones into single chops. The chops above are too done for my taste, but they are cooked to perfection for my kids. They like their lamb medium, and this was their rack. The lamb in the image below was cooked rare to medium-rare. Just the way I like it!

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint-Basil Pesto Recipe

Arrange chops on plates; drizzle with pesto. That’s it! This is truly one of the easiest recipes to prepare. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Related recipes:

Marinated Leg of Lamb Recipe Baked Cola-Brined Fresh Ham Recipe
Marinated Leg of Lamb Baked Cola-Brined Fresh Ham

A Make Ahead Brunch: Pan Dolce French Toast Bake

Written by Nick

Pan Dulce French Toast Bake

I love classic French Toast. Growing up it was always a special treat to have French Toast, but my dad would be stuck in the kitchen while we were eating. The idea of a French Toast bake is new to me. It wasn’t until I had a friend’s Overnight French Toast that I even thought of making this type of dish.  So, when I saw this Pan Dulce French Toast Bake, I knew it was something I had to try.

The recipe was simple and it keeps you out of the kitchen and with your friends and family. It would be a great dish for Easter brunch or whenever you might have friends or family for brunch. The toast was crispy at the top and had a cake like consistency in the middle. The coffee and cinnamon combination was perfect, giving it almost a coffee cake taste. It was so flavorful, you don’t even need to add syrup (although it’s quite delicious with NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche if you want a decadent treat).

If you’re new to the French Toast Bake, try this one out. You’ll be glad you did!

Pan Dulce French Toast Bake

Ingredients for 4 servings:

• 2 tablespoons NESCAFÉ CLÁSICO Pure Instant Coffee Granules, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
• 1 (12 fluid ounces) can NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
• 4 large eggs, beaten
• 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 8 (about 4 small) cups cubed pan dulce (sweet Mexican bread)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 8-inch-square baking pan.

WHISK coffee, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon in large bowl until well blended.

PLACE pan dulce cubes in prepared baking pan. Evenly pour egg mixture over pan dulce, ensuring all cubes are moistened. Let stand for 5 minutes for cubes to absorb the liquid.

BAKE for 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

SERVING SUGGESTION: Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche or your favorite syrup.


Ovaltine French Toast Recipe Caramel French Toast Cups Recipe
Ovaltine French Toast Caramel French Toast Cups

Faux Fried Fish on Fridays: Two Fish Recipes

Written by Jenny

Crispy Oat Crusted Fish Fillets with Carnation Tartar Sauce recipe

About a month ago our local newspaper published all the locations in our area for a weekly Friday Night Fish Fry. I could not believe the number of them — literally hundreds — and some have been going on for more than 3 decades! Other publications I found help search them out by providing the type of fish and side dishes served, whether alcohol is available, credit cards taken, etc. Until a few years ago, I had not gone to many despite growing up very close to the Atlantic Ocean and now near one of the Great Lakes. How could this be?! Thank goodness one of my girlfriends straightened me out. She has made the Friday Night Fish Fry a get-together time that we look forward to every year.

Instead of going to a tavern, club, hall or church this week, perhaps we will switch things up by having our dinner at one of our homes. I have two recipe choices: Crispy Oat Crusted Fish Fillets with Carnation Tartar Sauce and the Panko Crusted Tilapia with Spicy Tartar Sauce. Both recipes  have a crunchy coating made without a fryer and are mighty tasty. Whatever recipe we choose will be served with sides of laughter for sure. Who knows…this may be our favorite location yet!

Crispy Oat Crusted Fish Fillets with Carnation Tartar Sauce (Pictured Above)

Ingredients for 6 servings:


  • 1 package (8 oz.) light cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 2 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh or frozen (thawed) white fish fillets (such as tilapia)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil to 3
  • lemon wedges



BEAT cream cheese and 2/3 cup evaporated milk in small mixer bowl until creamy. (Save remaining evaporated milk for the fish). Stir in relish, vinegar, salt and pepper. Store refrigerated in covered container for up to 4 days. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.


COMBINE remaining evaporated milk and egg whites in shallow dish. Combine oats, garlic powder and paprika in medium bowl. Dip fish fillets into evaporated milk mixture, coating both sides and then into oat mixture. Press oats gently onto both sides of fish to form crust. Place coated fillets on baking sheet. Discard evaporated milk and oat mixtures after dipping.

HEAT oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fillets; cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. (Thicker fillets may take longer to cook.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Creamy Carnation Tartar Sauce and lemon wedges.


  • For Tartar Sauce with a kick, add hot pepper sauce to taste.
  • If your quick-cooking oats are large in size, they can be processed to a smaller size in a blender or food processor.

Panko Crusted Tilapia with Spicy Tartar Sauce recipe

Panko Crusted Tilapia with Spicy Tartar Sauce

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons MAGGI Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs or regular unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 (about 12 ounces total) tilapia filets
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco, Tapatio or Cholula)


PREHEAT oven to 450° F.


PLACE flour and 1 tablespoon bouillon in shallow dish; mix well. Beat egg in second shallow dish. Place panko and remaining tablespoon bouillon in third shallow dish; mix well.

DIP fish in flour mixture, coating both sides. Dip in beaten egg, lightly coating both sides. Dip in panko mixture, coating both sides. Place fish on baking sheet.

BAKE for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through and breading is slightly golden. Serve with Spicy Tartar Sauce.


COMBINE mayonnaise, relish and hot sauce in a small bowl. For a spicier sauce, add more hot sauce to taste.


More recent fish recipes:

Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Salsa recipe Grilled Swordfish Kabobs with Avocado Butter Recipe
Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Salsa Grilled Swordfish Kabobs with Avocado Butter
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