Sans Meal Plan: Zesty lemon bars because I’m already sick of pumpkin spice

I know this headline is pretty controversial, but even if you are a PSL-lover and have tried every pumpkin-spice-flavored treat on Thayer, you might find these lemon bars unseasonably refreshing. To make my lemon bars, I ended up settling on a Food52 variation of the ever-classic desert that makes use of ricotta, and when has cheese not made anything infinitely better?

Recipe for lemon ricotta squares:

Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) 

Filling

  • 8oz (1 cup) fresh whole milk Ricotta 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 1/3cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly butter a baking dish and line with one sheet parchment paper. Butter paper, then lay second sheet crosswise over it. I didn’t have parchment paper handy, so I aggressively buttered the pan and hoped for the best. The pan clean-up wasn’t seamless, but nobody complained about the extra butter.

Mix the flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt, and softened butter until it looks dough-y. A food processor is ideal, but I just did it the old-fashioned way. lemonbars1

lemon bars2

Sprinkle the dough into lined pan and, press firmly with fingers into even layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

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Sans Meal Plan: Sweet Potato Waffles

A few days ago one of my housemates got a waffle maker, so we obviously decided to have a breakfast party. We learned that Ed Sheeran is quality waffle-making music and invited friends with a selfie stick and GoPro for added entertainment. These friends also helped with the the leftover-batter-problem and dreaded dishwasher-less clean up. But waffles are also cool for those sans meal plan because you can freeze them for later. However, we didn’t make ordinary waffles, we made sweet potato waffles. Here’s an easy recipe from Food52, so in the morning you’re makin’ waffles.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted, melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups pureed sweet potatoes

STEPS

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest, ground ginger, and salt.

dry ingredients

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