Monday, February 28, 2011

Lemon Squares Part 2

The next two recipes are quite similar.  They have the same shortbread crust and the fillings are similar as well.

The first recipe comes from .  The only tweaking I did to the recipe was to put it in 2 9x9 pans instead of 1 9x13 pan.  My reasoning was that the ingredients for this recipe was basically double my regular lemon squares so I should be able to get twice as much instead of 1 1/2 times as much.  If you like thick squares - go with the 9x13 pan otherwise go with two pans like I did.

Luscious Lemon Bars

2 c flour
1 c butter or marg
1/2 c icing sugar
4 eggs       
2 c sugar
1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 c lemon juce

Icing sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 - 9x9 pans . 
Combine flour and icing sugar and cut in butter or marg.   Pat into pan.  Bake 20 minutes.
I combine the dry ingredients with the sugar so I don't have to worry about lumps.  Beat the eggs and add the rest of the ingredients.  Pour over hot crust.  Bake 25 minutes.  Cool then sprinkle with icing sugar, if desired.  Cut into squares. I cut each pan into 25 squares to get a total of 50 squares.

In the original recipe she cuts her 9x13 pan into 24 squares.  I prefer smaller squares because you can always have two if you want or you might want to try several different kinds.  If the squares are smaller, you can sample more varieties. ;)


This recipe is my regular lemon square recipe.  I received it years ago from a friend and it is an old standby in my house.

Lemon Squares

1 c flour
1/4 c icing sugar
1/2 c butter or marg
2 eggs
1 c sugar
4 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 c coconut

Mix together until crumbly.  Pat into a greased 9x9 pan.  Bake for 20 minutes in a 350F oven.
Beat eggs and add sugar, lemon juice and coconut.  Pour over baked crust and bake for 25 minutes more.  Sift icing sugar on top when cool.  Cut into squares.  Again I get 25 squares from a 9x9 pan.

Trying these two recipes, I think I'll stick with my regular one because I like the addition of the coconut.  Otherwise, as I previously mentioned, they are very similar in taste and appearance.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lulu Climbs the Stairs

Up the Stairs

Climbing, climbing to the top

Hopping, jumping never to stop.

Always climbing higher and higher,

Wings a-flapping never to tire.

No time to stop, no time to rest,

Onward, upward is Lulu's quest.

Climbing higher stair by stair,

One more step, I'm almost there!

Now at the top, it's time to rest,

In climbing stairs, Lulu's the best.

Poem by Joan DeLuca

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lemon Squares Part 1

My dad loves lemon and he loves desserts.  He especially loves lemon meringue pie but also likes other baked goodies that combines the tartness of lemon with the sweetness of sugar.  His birthday is next month so I am going to make him a number of varieties of lemon squares.  I have done this in the past and he thoroughly enjoyed having different kinds to choose from.

I will post all the lemon squares here over several days and you can then decide which is your favorite.

I got the first recipe from a Robin Hood recipe that I cut out of a magazine and adapted slightly.
Lemon Almond Cranberry Squares
2 c flour
1/3 c icing sugar
1 c marg or butter
4 lemons
7 eggs
2 1/4 c sugar
1/4 c melted marg or butter
1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c chopped or ground almonds
1 1/3 c dried cranberries (1 - 170 gm pkg)

Crust: Combine all ingredients until crumbly and press into 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is light golden in colour.

Filling:  Reduce oven to 325F.  Beat eggs and sugar until light and slightly thickened.  Notice how lovely and yellow the beaten eggs are.  My girls lay delicious eggs!! 

Grate rind from 2 lemons.  Squeeze out 3/4 c juice.  Add with the rest of the ingredients to egg mixture and beat well. 

Pour over baked crust. 

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until set and golden.  Cool and cut into squares.

You can sprinkle the tops with icing sugar before serving, if desired.  Makes 3 to 3 1/2 dozen squares.  (I cut mine 5 rows by 9 rows and got 45 squares)

These squares are very nice and tart and remind me slightly of the filling for lemon pie.  The cranberries swelled up and were very plump.
I got this recipe from the November 2005 Canadian Living Magazine.
Lemon Almond Bars
1 c flour
1 c rolled oats
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c butter or marg
5 eggs
1 c brown sugar
3/4 c lemon juice
1/3 c corn syrup
1/4 c melted butter or marg
1 Tbsp corn starch
2 c sliced almonds

Crust: Combine all ingredients until crumbly and press into greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

Filling: Beat all ingredients except almonds until well combined.  Pour over crust. 

Sprinkle on almonds. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and set. 

Cool and slice into bars.

Makes 36 bars.  (Again I cut it into 9 rows by 5 rows and got 45 squares).

NOTE:  The next time I make these bars, I will mix the cornstarch with the brown sugar before adding it to the wet ingredients so it doesn't lump up like it did this time.  I have to work the lumps out of the filling before I could pour it onto the crust.

I loved the oatmeal/brown sugar in the crust instead of the "normal" shortbread-type of crust.  The squares were more difficult to cut prettily with the almonds on top.  I enjoyed the larger almond pieces in these squares as opposed to the chopped almonds in the last ones.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lulu Indoors

Lulu spends most of the winter indoors.  On warm, sunny days she will go outside for awhile but she gets cold too fast since she can't move around very well. 

Here she laying by the fridge on one of the old throw rugs we keep for her to lie on.  I'm not sure if it is the heat or sound from the fridge fan that attracts her but this is one of her favorite spots to rest.

My son built her a roost to stand on.  We keep in in the corner of the kitchen on an old piece of lino.  This is where Lulu sleeps every night.  She will often put herself to bed when she is tired.  She just flies/hops up onto the roost and settles in for the night.

Here she is settled in on her roost.  She seems very comfortable there and stays put all night.  If I have the light on in the living room after she is roosting, she sometimes reaches down off her roost and has a few bites of chicken feed.  She loves being able to have late night snacks.

Here Lulu is saying, "Shut the light, can't you see we're trying to get some shut-eye here!"

Lulu really enjoys her throw rugs.  Here we see her getting it just right before she lays down. 

 "Ah, finally have the rug just the way I like it," says Lulu,  "Someone keeps coming around and messing my rugs up so they are all laying FLAT!"

Lulu isn't allowed on the carpet in the living room (you know - the poo factor) and she usually is good about not going on the carpet.  Here she is laying right at the edge of the living room on an old sheet.  She likes to be able to see what we're doing.

She is allowed on a footstool in the living room that is covered with an old towel.  But she can only go there when we carry her in.  Here she is stretching while watching me paint the walls.  "Work is so tiring,"  yawns Lulu, "I can watch someone do it all day."

Lulu looking out the window at the snow-covered gardens and mountains.  She enjoys the sunshine and its warmth without having to be out in the cold weather.

Now some of you are wondering about having a chicken live indoors.  I'll answer a few questions you may be thinking. 

Since she eats mostly chicken pellets and scratch, her poo does not smell.  Once in awhile, if we give her some people food as a treat, especially if it is meat, then it will smell.  But since she can't move around too much, it is all in one general area so it is easy to pick up. 

Chickens do not smell bad, if fact, I love Lulu's feathery scent.  We do have some loose feathers lying around but it was much worse cleaning up after a dog who was shedding.

Lulu doesn't mind water.  I've washed her feet when they are muddy and had to give her a bath once when she was outside and tried to dustbath in the flower bed and came in muddy. 

Chickens can be very cuddly.  Lulu loves to be picked up and petted and held on our lap.  I sometimes lie on the couch under a quilt and she lays on top of it on a towel.  We usually both fall asleep.

Chickens are nosy.  Lulu always wants to know what we're doing.  If we are in the kitchen and open a bag of food, she usually had to check out what we're doing - just in case there are treats to snack on.  (Lulu really likes peanuts and sunflower seeds - unsalted of course).

I can't speak for people who have chickens that can run around freely, but for me Lulu is a perfect house pet.  She's cute, she's funny and she really isn't much trouble at all.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day


Love can be red, like the intense heat of a passionate kiss

.....the color of sweetness

.....the color of strawberries

Love can be blue, like the comfort we take in a pair of denim jeans

.....the color of strength


.....the color of perfect skies


Love can be yellow, bright and warm like the morning sun the sounds of laughters of children on the merry-go-round the sounds of fun from the boys flying kites in the open fields


Love can be green, peaceful and serene I can hear your heart beats is the feeling of a loving hand that touch a grieving heart is the whispering of trusting words to a distressing soul

Love can be orange, the loudness of it can drive you up a wall can drive you to sing like nobody is listening can drive you to dance like nobody is watching

Love can be purple, the courage we need to love bravely and unselfishly

.....the moment I first kiss you i know that i am not afraid to risk involvement

.....the day the declaration of your love for me was made known to the world

Poem by Arun Kumar

All photos were taken in the Hawaiian Islands, USA or in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.