Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lemon Icebox Torte

It's working!
I started blogging in hopes that I would some day be able to cook like Granny.  She has a certain finesse for looking through cookbooks and finding two to three recipes to mishmash and usually ends up with a superb dish.
In trying to decide which dessert I was bringing to the family cookout I started thinking like Granny. I knew I wanted to make something cool and lemony (nothing says summer like a refreshing lemon dessert, right?).  I thought of this recipe and that recipe and what if did this instead of that and somehow I came up with a delectable Lemon Torte that everyone loved, despite that I never found a Meyer's lemon even after driving all over the city of Nashville! (Yeah, yeah run on sentence -- I know!) I'm not really sure it qualifies as a torte but I'm still going to call it Lemon Icebox Torte....or maybe Lemon Icebox Torture since the piece I'm supposed to be saving for a friend is currently in the frige torturing me right now. 
Unlike Granny I am able to recreate my recipe at any time because I took notes.

Lemon Torte
1 pkg. Pecan Sandies
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. confectioners sugar
8 oz container whipped topping, divided
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 c. lemon juice
1 egg yolk
¼  c. pecans, optional
zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350°. Start by crushing the cookies.

Combine crushed cookies & melted butter in medium bowl and press into 9x13 dish.  Bake for 15 minutes and let this layer cool completely (30-60 minutes).
Thoroughly combine cream cheese & sugar. Fold in half of the whipped topping.  Spread the mixture on top of the cookie layer.  Next, beat the egg yolk slightly and add milk and lemon juice and lemon zest.  When thoroughly combined spread this layer on top of the cream cheese layer. 
 Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.  Before serving top with remaining whipped topping and pecans.

Granny and I came up with a few alternatives for the cookie crust. She suggest trying vanilla wafers, I'm leaning more towards Golden Oreos. I think both would be pretty tasty.  And next time I will try it with Meyer's Lemons even if it means growing my own tree (that's how dedicated I am). 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cookin up some Magic

I am so excited I recently had the opportunity to attend the Food Blog Forum in Orlando at Walt Disney World.
I was so blown away by the talented folks that attended and coordinated the weekend's events.  Although everyone was very friendly and welcoming I couldn't help but feel like a fish out of water among the talent there.
Here I am blogging to share family recipes with our family and friends and there I was trying to fit in with those who reach the masses.  Despite my own insecurities I managed to flop out of my small little fish bowl and flop right into Disney's Grand Floridian which played host to the weekend of  knowledge and fun.
Being around so many phenomenal food bloggers (and being out of tiny fish bowl) was an experience I wouldn't change for the world.
The weekend started with a quick trip over to Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney then I was off to the FBF Welcome Reception (where I somehow managed not to take a single picture. I blame the nerves).
The introvert in me gets a little Goofy when I'm in mix and mingle situations.
 Later that evening my mom, friend Tasha, and I hopped over to Epcot. 

The next morning I enjoyed a magical breakfast I could never get from Granny's kitchen.
Seeing great food styling & presentation makes me one happy blogger!

I'm so ready to get back to Granny's kitchen to try out some of the lessons (and swag) learned at the Food Blog Forum. 
The magic was getting all of this to fit in our suitcase for flight home.
The food stylist -wanna-be side of me was in heaven this weekend.  I just wish I had the camera skills to truly capture how great it really was.
The only thing that could have made the day better was seeing Wishes at Disney's Magic Kingdom...
Oh yeah! This trip was pretty much the most magical weekend in the history of this girl! I'm thankful to have met so many great food bloggers.
Photo by Jennifer Holt