Grapefruit Bars

You know, honestly, my grapefruit obsession is fairly recent. Until I built up my relationship with the Texas Ruby Red, grapefruit, to me, was just another diet food served alongside a bowl of 0% cottage cheese. Ugh gag. Makes me think of breakfast after an early swim team practice.

As the spring starts its transition into summer, I find myself liking grapefruit more and more! Mix it with champagne for a more airy mimosa. Squeeze juice over tequila, ice cubes, and soda water for a delightfully refreshing Paloma. Or, just eat a half with a piece of toast for breakfast! Let’s not even get me started on Shiner’s summer brew- Ruby Red Bird.

I found inspiration for this post after looking over one of my favorite blogs. Grapefruit cookies, which sound and look droolworthy, made me think of lemon bars. I thought to myself, “why not switch fruits?” Oh yeah. I did just that.

Initially I wanted to use a recipe published by David Lebovitz, but alas I left my food journal at work and was too lazy to find the recipe online via my phone. The following recipe was adapted from a basic lemon bar recipe via Allrecipes.

Here is what you will need for this oh-so easy dessert:

Crust

1/2 cup butter (2 sticks) softened

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla

Filling

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit juicen(2-3 grapefruits)

2 tbs grapefruit zest

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

The Process

Prep time for this dessert is probably 15 minutes tops for both the crust and filling combined! You also won’t use a ton of dishes, making cleanup a breeze! Starting by making the crust is the best decision because it can be refrigerated for later use if need be. Also, you can work on the filling and watch your dog nap while it is baking in the oven.

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  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together your sugar, butter and vanilla. slowly work the flour in with a large spoon or spatula until it resembles a texture similar to cookie dough. ImageCongratulations! You just made shortbread!
  2. Pat your dough onto the bottom and sides of a baking dish (I used a glass pie dish) as you would if you were making a cheesecake crust. I wanted the crust for these bars to be thick, so don’t worry! There will still be room for the filling!Image
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. ImageGypsy napped while I started the process for the filling, which took a whole 5 minutes. Image
  4. In a large mixing bow (I used the same bowl to lighten my dish load) whisk together the eggs, grapefruit juice and zest, and vanilla. Add your dry ingredients and whisk together until smooth.Image
  5. Once the crust is finished, let it cool for about 5 minutes.Image
  6. Pour your grapefruit filling into the semi cooled crust and pop in the oven for about 40-50 minutes.Image
  7. You might want to use the ol’ toothpick trick to make sure the center is completely finished. ImageIt may look a little wobbly, but once completely cooled, the bars will firm up.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar, cut into 2×3 inch squares, and try not to fight over who gets and end piece!ImageImageImage

There you have it, a grapefruit bar! I personally think they are a million times better than a lemon bar because they lack the tartness. Kudos to my bright idea of adding vanilla! Oh yea, Allrecipes said these were “low calorie”. I say it’s dessert and it doesn’t matter.

P.S. Even my non grapefruit and sweets fans adored these tasty treats!

Roasted Vegetable and Tortellini Salad

IMG_5627A couple months ago I roasted vegetables for my first time ever and haven’t been able to stop since. Why had I not been doing this for years?! It’s so simple to do, is pretty hands off, and the results are always delicious. Seriously, if you are a fan of vegetables or trying to become one roasted veggies are the way to go.

This salad is one of my standard weeknight dishes for several reasons:
1. It’s simple
2. It’s versatile.
3. It’s inexpensive
And 4. It makes so much you can easily bring some for lunch for the next couple if days (or pack some up for your roommate to enjoy!)
Plus it’s filling and healthy! I could seriously talk your ear off about how much I love this salad. Yup, I’m a bottomless pit of boring conversation topics!

This time I made the salad I approached the fridge with the intention of using up the remaining veggies from last weeks farmers market trip which included brussel sprouts and some rapidly wilting asparagus. I rounded out the assortment with a red bell pepper (on sale! Score) and a can of corn for mostly color (who doesn’t like pretty food?). My local grocery store is a Kroger and they sell bags of frozen cheese tortellini for 3-4 bucks that work wonderfully, but any cheese tort will do for this! Or really any kind of tort if you wanna go for a chicken one. Cluck!

Ingredients:

Cheese Tortellini- 2c*

Brussel Sprouts – 2.5c*

Asparagus- 1 bunch* (don’t forget to cut off the bottom root part, thats gross)

Red Bell Pepper- 1, sliced how you like

Garlic- 2 bulbs

Can o’ Corn- 1

Olive oil

Freshly ground Salt and Pepper (fresh is the best)

Parmesan Cheese

*plus or minus, if you want more veggies or tort adjust amounts to your hearts content

The best approach to this salad is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees and start chopping your veggies and peeling the garlic! I like to peel the garlic first and throw them in the roasting dish as a whole clove and toss with a little olive oil, S&P. They usually take the longest to cook so if you start them roasting while chopping the other veggies they will get much softer and more flavorful. I will write a post all about my love of garlic and how to use it another time, but while cooking this dish I did get to talk Kitty Kate through the whole peeling process! (Thanks for the assistance girl!)

Kitty Kate peeling garlic for her first time! Thanks for the extra hands girl!

For roasting the rest of the veggies I start chopping and putting in the densest ones first (brussel spouts in this case) and go from there. While bell peppers can be roasted I prefer them to be crisp and raw in this salad, but really you can do whatever floats your boat.

Veggies chopped and ready to go! I forgot to do the garlic first but it still turned out great

And when it comes to the seasonings liberal use of freshly ground S&P does the trick. When it comes to spices I swear the veggies feel super sexy with the bare minimum. Just ask the brussel spouts when you roast them! But they might be too busy poppin’ like its hot.

The veggies turn an even brighter green while cooking!

So once you get all the veggies roasting in the oven set the timer for 45 min and let them do what veggies do in a hot oven. ROAST! (Side thought, Comedy Central style celebrity roast with veggies as the star? I hear brussel sprouts are in the spotlight right now). Check on these guys occasionally and stir them up from time to time so everybody gets an even cook. Sometimes I add more olive oil and S&P for funzies. If they seem to not be softening up try adding a little water and cover them with foil at the very end. Even veggies like hot room full of steam- it’s relaxing!

Once you get them roasting start boiling your water and cook that tort! It’s easy. I find they are done when all the suckers float, but it’s always worth munching one or two or five just to make sure.

IMG_5622Go grab a BIG bowl and get ready to toss everything together! It doesn’t really matter what order but I usually start right before the veggies are done roasting and add them last. So in this case I went tort, can of corn(drained), sliced red bell pepper (raw) and roasted veggies on top. Then pour on some olive oil (think more drizzle then thunderstorm) and some more freshly ground S&P to boot. Keep in mind while salt is amaaaazing too much can be bad for your health(blah blah blah) so I like to do more pepper for flavor.

Now toss everything together, put it in your favorite bowl, and add some parm cheese on top! YUMMMMM!

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WARNING: worst plating ever. Yours should be a giant mound with very little bowl showing!

I love this salad because it packs up so easy for lunch at work the next day. However, I get bored of eating the same thing too many times in a row so it’s easy to change up with the addition of a sauce (I use a bottled creamy garlic peppercorn one that is amazing with it) or possibly some avacado or fresh spinach. The salad is your oyster! (although I wouldn’t recommend adding those. Just sayin’)

Enjoy y’all! Oh, and if I digressed too much on how sexy the veggies are and didn’t properly clarify something just drop a line in the comments!

❤ -E