Summer Breeze Bars

 

So it may not be summer where you are, but here in toasty Arizona, we have already surpassed the 100 degree mark twice. Heaven help me! I just had to make these Summer Breeze bars to remind me that there are indeed good things about summertime. This is a light, airy, buttery, fruit dessert that will take you back to your childhood. Yum, a family favorite growing up for sure!

SUMMER BREEZE BARS

Crust:

  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 recipe cream cheese filling (see below)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together 2 cups flour and powdered sugar. Cut in butter with fork or pastry blender until mixture clings together. Press into a greased jelly roll pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar and lemon juice. Sift together ¼ cup flour and baking powder and stir into egg mixture. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese
  • 6 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

In a mixer, or hand mixer, beat the cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Spread a layer over the baked and cooled crust. Sprinkle blueberries over this layer and cover with set aside egg mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

Yields 30-40 bars

Carmelitas

Ooey gooey goodness. Yum.

Carmelitas have to be one of my favorite desserts! I crave them a lot. I want to make them all the time. I am surprised it has taken me this long to share the recipe. Something about chocolate and carmel together just makes me happy! Try these! I bet you already have all the ingredients in your pantry!

CARMELITAS

  • 60 caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture over caramel. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

A few weeks ago my husband turned the big 4-0! We had a family party for him and I wanted the dessert to be something that he would remember. Now my husband likes soda as much as the next guy, but he LOVES Dr. Pepper! What a great way to incorporate one of his favorite things into the dessert. The Dr. Pepper makes the cupcakes moist and yummy!

DR. PEPPER CUPCAKES

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 2 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
  • 3 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, Dr. Pepper, maraschino cherry juice, and vanilla extract; stir to combine.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and mix on low speed. Add half of the liquid and continue to mix. Repeat until all of the dry and liquid ingredients are combined (the last addition should be the dry ingredients), scraping down the bowl as needed.

Put batter in liners in a muffin tin. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

  • 5 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice

In a saucepan, whisk together the flour and milk and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens (I would compare it to mashed potatoes). It is very important to whisk continuously so clumps don’t form. This took me about 4-5 minutes, but it’s best to go by texture.

Set milk mixture aside in an ice bath and allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, (or bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a whisk) beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. (about 4 minutes) Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat on high for 3-5 minutes. If it looks separated, keep beating.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Lasagna Roll-Up

This just happens to be a different take on the classic lasagna. The portions are perfect  and there is no mess cutting and getting these babies out of the pan. I like to serve these at parties because they are so fun! We hope you like them, too!

LASAGNA ROLL-UPS

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat.  When it reaches a boil, salt liberally and drop noodles.  Stir occasionally and cook to just al dente.  You want to leave them slightly more firm since you’ll be baking the pasta.  Drain noodles and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add ground beef and brown.  When almost cooked through, add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add 1/2 the basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes, salt to taste and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs.  Add ricotta, Parmesan and remaining basil and oregano and stir together.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish lightly with cooking spray.  Add enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.  To assemble, on a drained noodle, add a spoonful of ricotta mixture.  Top with a spoonful of meat sauce and roll up.  Place seam side down in pan.  Continue until you’ve used all the noodles.  Top each with a little more meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining crushed red pepper flakes.  Bake approximately 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Lemon Crinkles

Lemon Crinkles. I had never had one of these before. But it just so happened that a friend gave me a whole lot of lemons that needed to be used up. I love cookies. I love lemons. This seemed like a no brainer. This Lemon Crinkle recipe happens to be the winner of the LDSLiving.com 2011 cookie contest. The original recipe is posted here. I just tweaked slightly. And for the record, these are great! Chewy, sweet, tangy! I doubled the recipe and made them the size of a typical chocolate chip cookie. Delish!

Lemon Crinkles

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (about 4 minutes) Add in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a shallow dish. Roll a heaping Tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

Winter has ended here in Arizona, and it feels like we skipped right over Spring. Today we hit 90 degrees and I am afraid there is no going back! So, as my farewell to Winter and Spring, I thought I would share a soup recipe. This recipe comes to me from my good friend, Jen. She has talked about this soup and how I must try it and how her whole family loves it. I tried it and I loved it! First of all, I love wild rice. I also love mushrooms. Plus, this soup is packed with lots of other veggies that make it healthy and a meal in itself. Look at these colors!

So thank you, Jen. It is just as wonderful as you said, and my kids loved it!

Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

  • 1 (6 ounce) box of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice Mix
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cup shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans of chicken broth
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

Prepare rice as directed on box and set aside. Saute the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil for 6 minutes. Add the flour and thyme. Stir to coat. Cook one minute. Then add water, chicken broth, and milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in rice and chicken.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole (A Pinterest Find)

So let’s talk about Pinterest for a moment. I am addicted just like the next person, but I am finding that a lot of the “material” is now going around for a second time. It’s taking the fun out of it for me a little. I am also finding that people are pinning things to Etsy shops or people’s personal work that they sell for money. Breaks my heart, actually. That artist worked hard for the inspiration and deserves credit for their work. It is sad to me that many of us may have done this! What if this is someone’s sole income? Who am I to go steal a great idea because I think I can make it, too? Of course, there are specific sites that are full of tutorials and are meant to be pinned and shared. Or the people that openly share and give tips and its obvious that they want people to “copy” them. Having said all this, Lucy Jane’s Best wants you to know that we feel awesome whenever anyone “Pins” one of our recipes. We want to share what we feel are really great recipes! So “Pin” away on our site! Share it on Facebook! We are okay with that!

So I found this recipe on Pinterest. But the picture took me back to myrecipes.com. You can find the original recipe here, but I will also repost for you below, tweaked just a tiny bit.

I needed a quick and easy chicken dinner and had seen this on one of my friends Pinterest boards. So I gave it a shot. I shall start by saying it makes a lot. A thick layer of 9×13 pan, a lot. It is a very simple recipe with almost no fluff. (I thought the Ritz cracker topping was a good idea!) But if I had to name this dish, I would rename it Mac ‘N’ Cheese Chicken Casserole. That’s exactly what it tasted like, Mac ‘N’ Cheese. And to be honest, we get enough of that around here anyway. So, my overall opinion was an easy, quick, simple meal. Nothing fancy or amazing and very kid friendly!

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

  •            3 to 4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  •             1 (16 ounce) package wide egg noodles, cooked
  •             1 (24 ounce) container sour cream
  •             2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
  •             1/2 teaspoon salt
  •             2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  •             2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  •             1 sleeve round buttery crackers, crushed
  •             1/4 cup margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine chicken, noodles, sour cream, salt, soup and cheeses in a large bowl. Pour into a lightly greased 13″x9″ baking dish. Mix together cracker crumbs and margarine. Then sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until crackers are crispy and golden and cheese is melted.

Classic Meatloaf for Our Dad

This is our Dad. He happens to be holding Lucy in this picture. He has 11 grandkids and another on the way, and today is his birthday! I won’t tell you how old he is, because even he can’t remember! (love you, dad!) One of his most favorite main dishes is meatloaf.

He has become quite the meatloaf connoisseur. So he was the perfect person to test this recipe out on. This is a classic, no frills, good, All-American meatloaf. I served to him as an early birthday gift last night. His response was simple, “It is better than average.” I’ll take it! Why? Because I really am not a fan of meatloaf. It does nothing for me. It is kind of gross to make and so honestly it’s not a dish I make a lot. However, I paired it with some salad, crusty bread, and yummy mashed potatoes. The perfect birthday dinner for my Dad.

I used red potatoes and kept some of the skins on. I always add about a half stick of butter, salt and 1/2 cup of sour cream to my potatoes. It is one of my favorite side dishes and so easy! So Happy Birthday, Dad! Thanks for eating my Classic Meatloaf and giving it a good review!

Classic Meatloaf

  •          1 tablespoon butter
  •          1/4 cup minced onion
  •          2 cloves garlic, minced
  •          1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  •          1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  •          2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
  •          3 slices bread, toasted and crumbled
  •          7 Ritz crackers, crushed
  •          1 egg, lightly beaten
  •          3 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
  •          1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  •          1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce, divided
  •          3 tablespoons ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion and garlic 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, mix the onion and garlic, beef, crumbled bread, crushed crackers, egg, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 can tomato sauce. Transfer the mixture to a 5×9 inch loaf pan.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 40 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking 15 minutes, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining tomato sauce and ketchup. Pour over the top of the meatloaf, and continue baking 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let meat rest 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Muffins

My house smells so good! Lemon muffins have to be one of my favorite things to take out of the oven and then to eat! I have tried and experimented with several lemon muffin recipes. Some are too tart, too sweet, to dry. This recipe puts all others to shame. The secret sauce “topping” gives it that extra tang that I think several lemon muffin recipes are lacking. If you are feeling saucy, add some blueberries or cranberries. I just prefer the plain old lemon today. Yum!

Lemon Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  •  3/4 cup sugar
  •  1 tablespoon lemon zest
  •   1 teaspoon baking powder
  •   1 teaspoon baking soda
  •   1/4 teaspoon salt
  •   1 egg
  •   1 cup lemon yogurt
  •   6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  •    1 tablespoon lemon juice

Topping

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, using a wire whisk, beat the egg, yogurt, butter and lemon juice. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for for 12-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Leave muffins in pan. Using a toothpick, poke 6 holes in each muffin. In a saucepan, combine the topping ingredients. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Spoon over warm muffins.

Yields 12 muffins

Monkey Bread

 

If you like dessert for breakfast, then this is the dish for you! OK, it’s not exactly dessert, but the way my family inhales this you might think that it was! Buttery, cinnamony (is that a word?), gooey, pull apart, yumminess! Monkey Bread has been around for a while and this recipe is a semi-homemade, make the night before, easy recipe! Plus, it has all the gooey goodness that monkey bread is famous for. The secret is adding the butterscotch pudding packet. Yes, pudding! I had my doubts at first too, but once I tried it I knew it was a must! The recipe is semi-homemade because I use Rhodes Frozen Dinner Rolls. (I can’t always be a rock star momma!) But, when I have the time I use Shannon’s Famous Roll Recipe. Both are delicious, one just takes a wee less time.

Monkey Bread

  • 20 frozen Rhodes dinner rolls
  • 1/2  package cook & serve butterscotch pudding (NOT INSTANT)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Place the frozen dinner rolls in a greased bundt pan. Using only half the pudding packet, sprinkle over the rolls evenly. In a medium bowl combine melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour cinnamon mixture over the rolls. Place on counter uncovered overnight to rise. Get up before your kids and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-28 minutes, or until tops of rolls are a dark golden brown. Remove from oven. Place a large plate on top of the bundt pan and quickly flip so the bundt pan is now on top, upside down. Remove bundt pan and let monkey bread cool 5 minutes on plate before serving.