Easy-as-pie lemon squares

In this house, we love lemon.

It’s easily one of our favorite things.

I know it isn’t a traditional holiday flavor, but our collection of baked goods on Christmas isn’t complete without [at least] one lemony dessert. And this one is very quick to make, especially if you are pressed for time.

I first found the recipe for 2-ingredient lemon bars online years ago… and I couldn’t believe how simple they were. It was just mixing a box of angel food cake mix and a can of lemon pie filling. (Easy-as-pie. Get it? I’m hilarious.)

Even though the bars were good, they were not even close to being lemony enough for my taste. With the addition of some extract and zest, they finally met my standards. Cut into small squares and dusted with powdered sugar, they’re simply perfect.

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Fruity crunch cake (a dump cake variation)

This is basically my own twist on a classic dump cake. I don’t personally like how a dump cake is baked in layers – with the fruity pie filling on the bottom of the pan. I like a more cakey texture, so I combine my fruit filling with a cup of the cake mix and some fresh fruit – and use the rest of the dry mix to make the buttery crunchy topping.

For this particular cake I used blackberry pie filling and lemon cake mix. My family LOVES lemon, and blackberries (or blueberries) work so nicely with lemon cake. Other pairings I love for this recipe are:

peach (or strawberry) pie filling + yellow (or golden butter) cake mix

cherry pie filling + devil’s food (or chocolate) cake mix

pumpkin (or apple) pie filling + spice cake mix

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Spicy lemon baked shrimp

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten (let alone cooked) seafood.

I was really craving flounder fillet… maybe broiled with some lemon, butter, and parsley…  but when I got to the fish market, these jumbo shrimp just caught my eye. They were huge.

I needed to buy them and eat them for dinner ASAP.

That broiled flounder does sound delicious, though. There’s always next time 🙂

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Lemony black bean salad

Cilantro has been growing like a weed lately out in the backyard. Since I don’t use it too often in my cooking, I tried giving some of it away. A friend of mine agreed to take some, but then forgot to grab it on her way out the door. Now I have handfuls of cilantro that I need to use.

The humidity has been so overwhelming. I still don’t want to have to turn on the oven, or stand over a hot stove. So this cilantro needed to find its way into a salad.

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Lemon basil gelato with blackberry jam swirl

lemon basil gelato with blackberry jam swirl
Big bowl o’ yum.

 

We don’t have a large backyard, but the space we have is occupied by my husband’s “farm”.

He is a city kid with the soul of a country boy.

When we moved in to our house two years ago, he immediately started making plans with what should be done with the back yard space. He basically wants to grow every type of fruit and vegetable that can survive in the northeast.

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