Image

Easy Lemon Bars

Hello hello!  I discovered this recipe from All Recipes Australia whilst looking for something yummy to make for a morning tea with my cousin.  She is an EXCELLENT cook so I wasn’t going to try anything too fancy that would demonstrate how un-excellent I am in comparison to her.  This slice was very simple, tasted delicious (my cousin took the remainder home to share with her family), and didn’t require a lot of mucking about.  I am lazy when it comes to cooking – I don’t want lots of complicated steps or procedures, or weird ingredients NO ONE has in their kitchen cupboards.  I don’t want to have to do a three hour shopping trip just so I can bake something for dessert.

Anyway, this recipe is super easy and pretty fool-proof (I’m a fool and the recipe worked, so there’s your proof, ha ha).  It’s nice and zingy with plenty of lemon flavour.

Easy Lemon Bars

Ingredients

For Base

125g butter, softened
1 1/3 cups (175g) plain flour
1/4 cup (60g) caster sugar

For Filling / Top

2 eggs
3/4 cup (185g) white sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Icing sugar to dust

Method

  1. For the base : Rub butter into the flour and icing sugar, until you reach a crumb stage.
    IMG_1531
  2. Press the crumb mixture into a 20cm square cake tin, lined with baking paper.  Press down with a fork – make sure mixture goes all the way to the edges.
  3. Bake at 180 C for about 20 minutes.  Don’t allow it to brown – it should be just cooked.
  4. For the filling : In a food processor (or, alternatively, use a whisk), beat the remaining ingredients together until smooth and well combined.
  5. Pour filling over prepared base, and continue to bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 C.
  6. Remove from oven, dust with icing sugar and allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Best kept in the fridge if weather is warm.  The base is basically like shortbread, but the centre becomes gooey if allowed to get warm.  Not that gooey is a bad thing, mind you 🙂

IMG_1532

Hope you give these a try – they really are very quick and easy to make and VERY yummy.  My cousin and her kids approved 🙂

Thanks for stopping by x

Advertisements
Birthday Bonanza (and lots of tea!)

Birthday Bonanza (and lots of tea!)

Apologies for the lack of bloggyness.  I have been busy turning 40 and celebrating it and mourning the loss of my thirties (not really, I barely noticed their passing) and getting thoroughly spoilt by family and friends.  It’s such a tough life 🙂

On the morning of my birthday, I met with friends to have a delicious breakfast at the Witch’s Cauldron in Subiaco.  So yummy!  I always have the French Toast – it is stuffed with apple and served with strawberries, maple syrup and crème fraiche.  I could eat it for days…  My friend ‘M’ had the Blueberry Pancakes which looked amazing – they were HUGE, like, quite literally a stack of cakes on her plate.  ‘F’ had poached eggs and toast with bacon.  We all enjoyed our complementary homemade mint lemonades (so yummy – refreshing and tasty) and endless cups of tea.  I think we waddled out of there very satisfied, but groaning slightly.  ‘M’ & ‘F’ both presented me with lovely gifts – a gorgeous canister filled with Body Shop goodies and a potted succulent in a cute teapot.  Nice!

At lunchtime, I went over to my Mum’s to meet up with my best friend and her Mum.  They gave me a much-needed outdoor setting (two chairs with funky cushions and a little table, just right for tea for two!) so I can finally utilise my nice front courtyard.  My best friend also gave me a sweet little pendant from the RSPCA – very cute and just right for animal-loving me.

My cousin came by shortly after and we fortified ourselves with tea before heading out to op-shop. I needed something to wear to my high tea the following afternoon and my wardrobe, though very full, was looking decidedly uninspiring.  My cousin was also looking for something for herself (her birthday is coming up soon too) and so we parted ways at the front door of each store and met back at the change rooms and checkout.  I didn’t have much luck finding something suitable – I really wanted something pretty and girly but also for it to be something I could wear again.  I found a couple of nice dresses (and I did buy them) but they weren’t right for the high tea.  Eventually, after we had basically given up and were in dire need of a sit down and another cuppa, I saw a beautiful dress on sale in the window of a shop I wouldn’t normally go to (too rich for my blood).  I tried it on and it fit perfectly – the colour was lovely and it was just what I wanted.  Even more awesome was the fact it was reduced further in price when I got to the counter – originally $150 down to $37!  Such a bargain!  I hardly ever buy new things and even $37 is a lot to me, but it’s a heck of a lot better than $150!  I also got another dress – really pretty and floral, just so I would have a couple to choose from.  You know us girls, indecisive!

That evening, my Mum and I went to dinner with my Dad and Step-Mum.  It was a nice evening and we had a lovely meal (but I was good and didn’t have cake – in preparation for my high tea the next day).
I was pretty tired by then and glad to get home and put my feet up.

The next day I got up late (hey, I’m old now – I need my sleep!) and got ready to go to the high tea at the Pan Pacific.  For once in my life, my hair behaved itself and did exactly what I wanted it to.  Amazing!  That is an event that occurs very rarely.  I probably should have bought a lottery ticket…  My cousins picked me up (and Mum) and we all drove into the city, snagging a premium parking spot right outside the hotel (so lucky and it was free!).  I had told everyone to get there at 2pm despite the fact my booking wasn’t until 2.30pm.  I have a perpetually tardy family and I thought it best to let them think they needed to arrive earlier than they actually did.  Everyone got there on time, even my poor friend GK who had trouble finding parking (Perth on a weekend?  Forget it!).

The afternoon was lovely, spent with my family members and friends, yummy food and lots of laughs.  I had SUCH a nice time.  I got completely spoilt by everyone – such lovely gifts and cards and just general self indulgence and awesomeness.  I won’t list all the things I got, that’s a bit show-offy, but I was almost embarrassed by the amount of wonderful gifts I got.  I was just happy everyone was there – presents were a bonus!

The food was so yummy and I even let myself have some chocolate as a treat.  Come on, it was my birthday!

Image
So many yummy things to sample!

Image

Drool…

Image

 Getting’ full now…

Image

 Forgot about these…I’ve still got room!

Image

LOVE this picture! My cousin got me a gorgeous ring (gotta get it re-sized before I can wear it) of white gold and diamonds.  It’s two bands entwined together, to represent our friendship and bond 🙂

  My friends had organised a “Ten Questions” sheet for everyone to jot down memories, thoughts and favourite things about me.  These were touching and heart-warming at times but also bloody hilarious at others.  The amount of people present who didn’t actually know my date of birth was quite disturbing, considering they were at my 40th birthday party.

During the week, I had made simple little brooches for everyone and made up little thank you gifts with special teas in an envelope, tied up with raffia with the brooches as embellishment.  Gotta thank my awesome guests who made my day such a memorable event!

Image

Image

Image

Image

The restaurant presented me with this birthday platter at the end of the afternoon.  Don’t know where they thought I could fit any more food in!  I took the goodies home 🙂

Image

My Mum and I.  Seriously, this is the only decent photo I have of us.  Ever.  We cannot pose for pictures, certainly not together – one of us is usually pulling a face or got our eyes shut.  Hopeless.  But I LOVE this one and will treasure it. 🙂

Image

Cousins!

Image

I am the luckiest girl in the world to have have had the bestest best friend in the world for nearly my whole life.  
She means the world to me 🙂
(That’s a lot of “worlds” in there…how about she means the Universe to me?)

The day was an amazing finish to a lovely weekend and I felt so loved and blessed and lucky.  I hope in another 40 year’s time I will be again celebrating with my wonderful family and friends – in fact, I wish I could turn 40 every year!  Or would that be greedy?  🙂

Bran Muffins

Bran Muffins

Hubby and I were invited to a pot-luck breakfast this weekend.  I didn’t end up attending but did send hubby off with a batch of healthy bran muffins to add to his contribution of apple pancakes.  These muffins are super easy to make and I’m calling them “healthy” because they don’t have a lot of fat in them (well, fat in terms of oil or butter…you can make your own calculations as to how much fat is in the other ingredients!) and contain tonnes of fibre.  I’m not supposed to eat a lot of whole grains (another wonderful restriction my renal problem has forced on me) but the rest of you should gobble these up with abandon.  They’d be a handy snack to take to work or eat on the bus on the way to work.  I think they’re tasty enough that kiddies would eat them – they’re a good substitute for cupcakes or other treats.  Serve them as is or nice and warm with a bit of butter if you so wish.  There’s lots of sugar in these (in the form of golden syrup) so no need to add honey or jam.

 

Image

Bran Muffins

2 Cups Wheat Bran
1/2 Cup Plain Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Bicarb
1/2 Cup Golden Syrup
1 Egg
1 Cup Milk

Place wheat bran into a large mixing bowl. Sift other dry ingredients on top of the bran and then mix through.  Warm the golden syrup over a low heat in a small saucepan (or in a bowl in the microwave) until it becomes runny.  Take off heat and mix in egg and milk until thoroughly combined.  Add to dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Mixture will be quite runny and wet – that’s ok!  Spoon or pour into prepared muffin tins or patty pans.  Bake at 200 C for approximately 12-15 minutes.  Muffins should be just firm in the middle and golden in colour.  Because of the high sugar content, they can burn so keep an eye on them.

Serve warm with butter or leave to cool and eat whenever!  Keep them in an airtight container to stop them drying out.  They freeze well though so keep a batch in the freezer for unexpected midnight hunger pangs!

Hope you enjoy them – they really are very easy to make, don’t have lots of ingredients and taste yummy.  Give them a try 🙂

 

Image