Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Creamy Lemon Bars

I just made these for a family party and, oh my, they were good. The recipe comes from Definitely worth checking out!

(Note: instead of using lemon, I used lime. The coloring still looked like lemon because of the eggs, so next time I might add a drop or two of green food coloring to make it look more like lime. Also, I don't have a good zester, so I skipped the peel. It still was great. I also doubled the recipe, so it took about 3 limes to get 1/2 cups fresh lime juice. Enjoy!)

Creamy Lemon Bars

20 Nilla Wafers, finely crushed
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold real butter
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese (you can use 1/3-less fat cream cheese)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. grated lemon peel, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (don’t even think about opening a bottle!)
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray and set aside. (The foil isn’t too pretty, but it makes clean-up and cutting the bars a cinch!)

In a bowl, combine Nilla Wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup flour and the brown sugar. Chop butter into small pieces and then cut into crumb mixture with a pastry blender.

If you don’t have a pastry blender, just use 2 knives, or even your fingers to break up the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min.

While crust is cooking, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 2 Tbsp. flour, and baking powder; mix well. Blend in 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, and lemon juice and then pour mixture over crust.

Bake 25 to 30 min. or until center is set. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. These bars improve with time. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and remaining 2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel just before cutting into squares to serve. Store leftover squares in refrigerator. (As if you'll have leftovers!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cheese Fondue

  • Fondue:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Sliced green onion (optional)
  • Dipper Ideas:
  • Thick Pennsylvania-style pretzels
  • Toasted garlic bread
  • Apples or pears
  • Saltine crackers
  • Favorite veggies (celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers)


  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle flour in melted butter and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Whisk milk into flour mixture and constantly stir until mixture thickens and begins to boil.
  2. Lower heat to simmer; stir in Ranch and cheese until smooth. Pour into a fondue pot and sprinkle with paprika or green onion, if desired. Serve with dippers.