Monthly Archives: March 2013

Butter Tart Squares

Butter Tarts (Canadian Living, photography by Edward Pond)

So the request from Zoe was followed by a suggestion from my Mom to post the Butter Tart Squares recipe that was featured in the same Canadian Living magazine as the Lemon Squares recipe. Although I feel a little like I am giving away all of my secrets, here it is.  I suppose I can’t claim exclusive rights to something that was published in a national magazine over twenty years ago… (I actually found the original recipe here and discovered that my Mom, genius that she is, has actually doubled the recipe so that you bake it in a 9×13 pan instead of a 9×9 pan.  Good move, Mom, good move.)

Butter Tart Squares

This recipe follows the same pattern as the Lemon Squares recipe – shortbread base with a topping.  So here goes. Blend the following ingredients using either a mixer or a dough blender.

2 cups flour
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar

Press the crumbs into a 9×13 ungreased pan (glass is best) and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  While that is baking, mix together the following ingredients.  Just use the same bowl you used for the shortbread base – don’t worry about cleaning it out.

2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 pinches salt
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts, but pecans would be good too)

When the shortbread is done pull it out of the oven and pour the topping on the shortbread.  Bake at 350 degrees (same temperature as the shortbread, so it is nice and simple) for 25 minutes or until it is nearly set.  Just like for the lemon squares, the way that I test the doneness (not even a word, but whatever) is gently life up one end of the pan.  If the middle barely moves, it is done.  If the middle shifts significantly, put it in for another few minutes.

The best part of this recipe is that you get all the deliciousness of butter tarts without having to bother with individual tart cups.  I’m all about efficient baking, and squares certainly fit that description!

Lemon Squares

English: Shortbread lemon squares. Italiano: S...

This post is for my friend, Zoe, who requested my lemon square recipe.  I got this from my Mom who got it from Canadian Living or something (Mom, feel free to clarify the origins of the recipe).  They are extremely good.

Lemon Shortbread Squares

Blend the following ingredients using either a mixer or a dough blender.

2 cups flour
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar

Press the crumbs into a 9×13 ungreased pan (glass is best) and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.  While that is baking, mix together the following ingredients.  Just use the same bowl you used for the shortbread base – don’t worry about cleaning it out.

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel (approx 2 lemons worth)
6 Tablespoons lemon juice (just squeeze out the lemons and supplement with bottled lemon juice)
4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (NOT soda, I made that mistake once)
1/2 teaspoon salt

When the shortbread is done pull it out of the oven and pour the topping on the shortbread.  Bake at 325 degrees (same temperature as the shortbread, so it is nice and simple) for 25 minutes or until it is nearly set.  The way that I test the doneness (not even a word, but whatever) is gently life up one end of the pan.  If the middle barely moves, it is done.  If the middle shifts significantly, put it in for another few minutes.  Although I will say that underdone lemon squares are better than overdone lemon squares.  I also know this from experience.

Happy lemon-squaring!

Killing the Candida

First of all, did you know that Candida has its own theme song? Oh yes it does!

I was going to post the live version, but there is some extraordinarily annoying clapping during Tony Orlando’s live performance.

Subjecting you to Tony Orlando is my way of announcing that my candida levels have dropped from a “10” in November to a “0” in February! Ha ha!! Which means that my “no-go” food list has shrunk to this:

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I went to the a Valentines Pro-Life Dinner and Dance and I was able to have about three-quarters of the food in the buffet line. For the first time in three months I tried pickles (and more pickles), Cesar salad, and parmesan (ok, I cheated a little bit with the dairy). For the most part, I felt great, and when I could feel my head starting to get a little fuzzy, I just stopped ingesting the culprit, namely the Thai vegetable salad. But I had chocolate for dessert, and it was divine!!!

I thought I would write about this today because I have been spending the afternoon meal planning. Now that I can eat a wider variety of food, I thought I would take the time to crack open our cookbook collection to see whether I could vary our diet a little bit.

When cooking for my small family, I need recipes that are healthy, quick, and easy. No big deal, right? I can adjust recipes to use wheat and dairy alternatives (or just add the dairy after at the table), but I have discovered that a disproportionate amount of healthy, quick, easy dinner recipes contain tomatoes. They are everywhere. I know that you can substitute zucchini for tomatoes, but I think that only works for small amounts. I can’t imagine making the zucchini switch for a 28 oz can of tomatoes with juice. It just doesn’t translate. After looking through two cookbooks (one vegetarian and the other was just soups and stews) I was left with a total of four recipes that my children would eat and did not contain tomatoes. But hey, that’s four recipes that I couldn’t eat two weeks ago, so things are still looking up. And I’m sure my family will appreciate the variation in our dinners.

Nevertheless, if you have any healthy, quick, and easy recipes that are free from dairy, wheat, beef, pork, and tomatoes, would you mind passing them my way?

Update: I’m still having issues with onions and celery. I think the celery may be the main culprit, at least I’m hoping it is the celery… So the Dutch Farmer’s Soup I made for dinner two nights ago knocked me out. Oh well, at least the kids liked it. We have used it as a veggie side dish and that has been quite successful.

Most beautiful thing: Creativity

This Sunday was beautiful, and so is today, and it is a relief to sit outside in the fresh air and not get rained on. But the “most beautiful” title this week goes to my children and all the nifty things they create.

Benno and his “Lava Minion” – check out the blaster.

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Cate’s portraits of our family. Notice that I am holding John.

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John and his colouring. He generally can put the caps back on the felts by himself!

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