Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Big Bag

I have never been a fan of a big handbag. Never. I tend to keep the contents of my handbag to a minimum and just how much room do you need for a wallet, notebook, pen, cell phone, breath mints, and lip gloss? Those few items in a big, unstructured bag leave the bag looking deflated.

My sister, on the other hand, carries a bag roughly the size of my mid-sized suitcase filled with great and mysterious things. I really have no idea what's in there, but it's heavy. But I digress.

A couple of months ago, I fell in love with a Liz Claiborne black patten leather bag I found a clearance rack. It is far bigger than anything I've owned since my Cowgirl bag. This bag has solid, semi-rigid sides to hold it's form so that my measly belongings do not collect in one corner of the bottom. I adore this bag, but let's face it, there's a lot of unused real estate in there.

Until today.

This morning, I left the house with a 13 x 9 Pyrex covered cake pan containing Lemon Crumble Squares, two DVDs to return to the video store, a LaraBar, and a quart of sugar free French Vanilla creamer for my coffee at work. I tucked the creamer, the DVDs and the LaraBar into the bag, threw it over my shoulder, picked up the cake pan and still had a hand free to lock the door!

So now my love for this bag has grown exponentially.

The Lemon Crumble Squares were made for a pot-luck at work today. The recipe is one of my all-time favorites and something for which I always have the ingredients. My mom found this recipe in Southern Living some time in the mid to late 70s and was her "company" dessert at that time.


Lemon Crumble Squares

2/3 c room temperature butter
1 c light brown sugar, packed
1 c old fashioned oats
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest*
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and brown sugar; add oats, flour, baking powder, and salt. Place half the mixture into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish and set aside.

Mix together egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sweetened condensed milk. Let set for 1 minute. Pour over crust.

Crumble the remaining crust mixture of the top and bake for 20 minutes. Chill to set.

*I like a very intense lemon flavor and use the zest of two lemons.

You can take a look here at far better pictures from the Pioneer Woman.

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