When college rolled around I hadn't even figured out how to make pasta. Seriously! I didn't know how to make macaroni and cheese. Seeing as pasta is pretty much a college students only food group, I thought I was going to be in trouble. Luckily my freshman year I lived in a dorm with a food court (Wright Dormitory, IU!! :) and was able to prolong learning how to cook another year.
I honestly think I was afraid to learn how to cook. I guess it's because the few times I did try and cook on my own, they ended in epic failures. Like the time I tried to make a frozen biscuit in the microwave and almost set our apartment on fire. Or the time my sister and I tried to make cookies on my parent's nice Pampered Chef stone and dough ended up pouring over the edges and got all over the oven and ended up breaking the nice expensive stone and we tried to hide what we did only to be found out when our parents opened the drawer under the oven and found cookie dough EVERYWHERE! Or when I tried to make my first omelet and burnt the crap out of the frying pan and it had a million tiny egg shell pieces.
Needless to say I hung up the apron (more like burned my apron) for a long time. I was so lucky to have roommates the rest of college that cooked for me all the time. I would've starved without them! After college I moved in with my big sister and she felt so bad that I had the worst paying job in the world, she always paid for me to go out to eat with her. She, too, didn't have the cooking gene so we went out to eat a lot. Saved me from having to learn how to cook again!
Finally I met the man of my dreams, my Hubby. All I have ever heard growing up is "A way to a man's heart is through his stomach." or "To keep a man you gotta feed a man!". I know those are just funny phrases, but I started to take them seriously and told myself if I was going to marry this man and love him forever I needed to learn how to
He just so happened to decide it was time for him to buy a house shortly after I said that :) So we went and looked at a few dozen homes, and fell madly love with one. The kitchen was huge! We ended up looking at it six times we loved it so much. A couple days later I get a phone call from my future Hubby and he says to me "Honey I love you and want to buy you the house of your dreams. I put a bid on the one you love and I'm going to buy it for you!"! I laughed hysterically and then started bawling. It was the happiest I had ever felt...not because I was getting a house, but because I realized the man I was hopelessly in love with loved me back just the same. It was an amazing feeling. From that day on I vowed I would learn how to cook so I could feed my man and my future family.
First I made the yummy crunchy crust. This time around though I added vanilla wafers to it. Since I don't have a food processor (yet!) I threw a few cookies in a bag, smashed them up as well as I could, and cut a hole in the corner so that only the small crumbs would fall out.
Then I let it bake for a few minutes. While that was in the oven, I added together the rest of the ingredients but the jam and whipped it together. Then I poured it over the baked crust and dropped big ol' spoonfuls of jam into the lemon mix. Baked again, let them cool, added as much powdered sugar as I can handle, cut them and devoured!!
1 3/4 Cups flour
1 Cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/4 Cup crushed vanilla wafers (about 10 wafers)
1 tsp salt
1 Cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice (or lemon zest if you have it)
2 Cups sugar
1/4 Cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
5/8 Cup lemon juice (it's basically a whole bottle of the lemon shaped lemon juice)
3-4 Tbsp strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or coat it like crazy with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine the flour, powdered sugar, vanilla wafers and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the butter, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth and press into the pan. Make sure the crust is the same thickness throughout the pan.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly golden.
While baking, beat the eggs for 2-3 minutes.
Combine the sugar, flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Pour into the beaten eggs and mix it all together. Then stir in the lemon juice.
Pour the lemon mix on top of the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven. Drop the strawberry jam into the lemon mix randomly.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the bars are set. Remove and let them cool completely. I usually open my oven and let the squares sit there until the oven is cool. Then I put the whole pan on a wire rack and let them finish cooling that way.
Top with tons of powdered sugar (if you want) and allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Cut up and enjoy!!
Do you have any terrible cooking stories? Almost burn any apartments down like me? :) Love to hear your stories!!
Thanks for stopping by!
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