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Archive for May, 2009

Mixed Berry Lemon Bars

Mixed  Berry BarI love lemon bars. Now that warm weather is here, it seemed like a good time to make a batch. I’ve posted about regular lemon bars, as well as lime bars, on this blog. These great recipes come from the always delicious Baking Bites blog. Recently, I came across yet another great incarnation of the lemon bar: strawberry lemonade bars. I followed the recipe exactly, except in two places – one I feel is an important change, and one not so much.

The not-so-important change is that I substituted the strawberry puree for a mixed berry puree. This is a great recipe to experiment with. Love raspberries? Use a raspberry-only puree. More of a blackberry person? Use blackberries instead. Whichever summer fruit seems right. (Papaya or mango would also be an exciting substitution.)

The important change: I used an 8×8 pan instead of the suggested 9×13. The 8×8 pan allows for a good sized bar with a thick crust and a good amount of fruit to bite into. As with my experience with the pumpkin pie bars, I think the 9×13 just doesn’t allow for a well-formed bar.

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Chicken livers - yum!

After having chicken livers at a tapas restaurant a few weeks ago, I decided to make some at home. Chicken livers are super cheap – slightly less than a pound only costs about $2.00. I used a simple recipe from The Joy of Cooking – a great book for old favorites like liver and onions.

Put the livers in a colander and rinse them, then cut the connective tissue of the lobes. Heat about 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and let it brown slightly.  Add the livers (first seasoning them with salt and pepper) and cook them on high heat, about 1-2 minutes per side. When they are done (you should see a bit of pink still) take them out of the pan and put them on a plate.

Next, add 1/2 cup of chopped onions to the pan(you can also use shallots).  At this point, add additional butter if needed. Cook the onions until they start getting a bit brown on the edges and then add 1/2 cup of white wine. Cook that until it’s reduced by half than add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and cook that down until it becomes thick and syrupy. Then add about a tablespoon of chopped italian parsely and a few drops of plum cider vinegar. Then pop the livers back into the pan to heat them up a bit.

The liver and onions can be eaten alone, or served over rice or pasta. I liked the idea of them over raviolis, and I think the flavors of the goat cheese and liver worked well together (if you like strong flavors of course).

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