No-Bake Lime Squares

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Let’s talk condensed milk for a sec here. I adore condensed milk. It’s simply delicious. Possibly even better than Nutella. Sorry, Nutella lovers.

Today, I have here for you a very simple dessert recipe to help you re-discover the deliciousness of condensed milk. And, when I say simple, I mean it. You will only need 4 ingredients and 15 minutes of your time to make this! How much simpler can it get, right?

You do not need the oven for this one, either. No hot ovens in the summer for me, thank you very much. What’s even better about this dessert is that your kids can definitely lend a helping hand to make it. Speaking of kids, let me tell you a cute story about this recipe. These lime squares were the first thing I ever “cooked”. I was about 7 years old. On Wednesdays at school, we had to go to a mandatory workshop of our choice for half the day. I picked the cooking workshop, of course. At the time, I think I was just hungry when I was trying to decide on a workshop. Little did I know cooking would soon become my passion.

Making this dessert brings back countless amazing memories, for sure. It doesn’t hurt that it is delicious too. Trust me on that one – I’ve been making them for the past almost 20 years. I should have a “lime square expert in the house” shirt or something by now. Haha.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, if you want to make a more grown-up friendly version of this dessert, check out the tips at the end f the recipe.

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Creamy Lime Squares
(Makes 6 mouthwatering squares)

Ingredients:
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 ½ packages of Maria cookies

Instructions:
1. Place condensed milk, evaporated milk and lime juice in blender. Blend until smooth and thick. This will be our lime custard.
2. In a medium rectangular baking pan, place a thin layer of lime custard to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Take a cookie and dip it in the custard. Place cookie on top of the thin layer of custard. Repeat with as many cookies as you need to create a layer of dipped cookies. Cover the cookie layer with a bit of custard so that all the cookies are fully covered. Create another layer of dipped cookies followed by another layer of custard and so on. Keep forming layers until you have used up all of the custard. The last layer should be a custard layer.
3. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow it to set.
4. Cut into squares of appropriate size depending on the size of your baking pan. Enjoy!

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Tips:

  • If you can’t find Maria cookies, you can use arrowroot cookies instead.
  • If you don’t have limes at home, you can use ½ cup of imitation lime juice instead.
  • If you want an adult version of this, add 1 or 2 ounces (depending on how your day is going) of tequila to the custard and garnish it with lime zest or a thin slice of lime when serving. Perfect boozy, summer dessert!

Bon appetit!

Cooking Like a Pro: Blanching Veggies

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“What on earth is blanching?”, you may be asking yourself. Well, blanching is the best thing ever. Let me explain. When I was little, I hated eating vegetables with a passion. I would rather eat dirt than broccoli. There was simply no logical way to get me to eat a single vegetable. I think the reason why I despised vegetables so much was that they looked absolutely disgusting. Sorry, mom!

Blanching is a cooking technique that will help you bring out vegetables’ natural beauty. You can then use them in salads, pastas, sides, soups etc. You can also freeze them. The possibilities are simply endless when you have handsome vegetables. Let’s get blanching, shall we?

You will need a big pot of boiling water, a slotted spoon and a big bowl of ice-cold water. Add your lovely vegetables to the pot of boiling water. Let them have a good time in there until they turn bright in colour. Once that happens, try one. It should be firm to the bite – not mushy or too crunchy. Take them out of the boiling water with the slotted spoon and place them right away in the icy water. Leave them in there for a few minutes. Fish them out and place them on paper towels to dry a little. From there, the food world is yours to conquer, my friend. Put them in ziplock bags if you’re planning on freezing them.

Easy, right? You can blanch pretty much any vegetable. It does work best on green veggies, though. However, don’t be scared to blanch carrots, corn kernels, pearl onions, etc. You can also blanch herbs. Fresh mint for mojitos, anyone?

When I was first introduced to this technique, I fell in love with it. Not only that, but I fell in love with vegetables all over again. I’m sure you will too.

Attack of the Smoothies [Recipe]

Nowadays, who doesn’t have at least one vegan or vegetarian friend? I know I do. I have this friend who went vegan a few years ago. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet, but…yes, there is a but. For the past few weeks, she’s been trying to get me to go vegan too. I have absolutely nothing against vegans or vegetarians but I just love cheese too much to go vegan. Cheese and I go way back. It’s easy to break off the kind of special relationship cheese and I have, you know? Love you, cheese!

Vegan Green Smoothie

Long story short. My very vegan friend has been making me try vegan dishes/meals/recipes for the past few days. Some of them did not sound very appealing to me but some others were not half bad. Here’s an example of one particular smoothie I really enjoyed. I must confess, though, I was not really looking forward to trying this when my friend made it for me because, well, it is green AND vegan. Thankfully, it turned out to be pretty tasty and incredibly easy to make. I was expecting a recipe listing all these weird vegan ingredients I didn’t even know existed, but that was not the case. So, no excuses now. Give this awesome smoothie a try and let me know what you think. Is it good enough to make you go vegan?!

Vegan Green Smoothie
(Makes one large, amazing smoothie)

Ingredients:
½ banana
½ cup of baby spinach
4 large strawberries
3 tablespoons of soft tofu
1 tablespoon of agave syrup
1½ cups of soy milk, unsweetened

Instructions:
1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend away until smooth. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • This smoothie is very filling so it’s perfect for those days when you only have a few minutes to make breakfast in the morning.
  • Agave syrup is used in this recipe to keep it vegan but you can use honey instead if you want it to be just vegetarian.

Bon Appetit!