Another holiday season come and gone. Who can believe that tomorrow is the last day of 2010? I certainly cannot! This year has flown by at a frightening pace, leaving all of my many crazy nights, hazy mornings, thrilling adventures, laughter, tears, mistakes, inside jokes, unexpected turns of events, and so on in a blur in my mind. It amazes me how much my life has changed over the past year and, more significantly, how I have changed as a result of it. Come to think of it, it wasn't so much me changing as a result of life changes, but my life changing as a result of my own personal growth. This year I learned that life can throw you some pretty big curve balls that can throw your mind out of whack for whatever reason. Just when you think you have it all figured out, something new and unknown, or even ghosts from your past that you thought you had shaken, are sure to enter your life again. But hey, you live and you learn, and some of those scary curve balls can turn into a home run. It's all about rolling with the punches, embracing all of those mistakes, and learning from them in the future.
A few months ago a sniffly cold and lack of focus left me making a big mistake when making Cranberry Coconut Lemon Squares. I accidentally made the squares in a pan much smaller than the recipe had called for. At first I was really mad at myself for being so careless, thinking that I had wasted all of those ingredients and my time. I kept telling myself how stupid I was, and I thought it was just so typical for me to do something so silly. Low and behold the squares turned out incredible! Because I baked them in a small pan, they were extra ooey gooey and each bite gave you an almost overwhelming burst of extra tangy lemon flavour. Who would have thought that my mistake would turn into such a hit. Despite how delicious my Ooey Gooey Cranberry Coconut Lemon Squares were, I couldn't help but want to try my hand at them again, but this time with a clear mind, remembering my past mistake. I decided to try out a new recipe this time to switch things up a bit, so I used a recipe for Cranberry Lemon Squares with coconut from Canadian Living, changing a few things here and there to suit my taste. I secretly thought that they really would taste better making the squares in a larger, correct pan (I apologize for my past dishonesty), but in the end they were both just as tasty. I couldn't even pick which ones I preferred. Despite how much control I had over the recipe this time and how careful I was, it turns out that mistakes can end with just as positive of a result. So let go, embrace your mistakes, and look at how much more you have gained in the end...even if that may be weight from eating so many of your delicious mistakes. Cheers to more mind blowing mistakes in 2011!
Tip: To add just a touch of extra sweetness, dust the baked squares with icing sugar.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, cubed and softened
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
zest from half of a lemon
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, cut in half
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the dry ingredients for the crust: flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the butter and mix until butter is well incorporated, crumbly, and holds together when pinched.
2. Evenly, pat mixture into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch cake pan. Bake in a 350º oven for 20 min, or until golden.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the filling: flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix in the flour mixture. Stir in cranberries and coconut.
5. Reduce heat to 325º, and bake until filling is firm in the centre, 45-50 minutes. Let cool, then cut into squares.
La Roux - Quicksand (Alex Metric Remix)
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