Friday, April 3, 2015

Pistachio Graham Cracker Lemon Meringue Dessert



Hi everyone! Happy Easter weekend to those who celebrate! Paula Deen once said, "everything is better with butter" (or something like that), but she was wrong. Everything is better with pistachios, especially pistachios from American Pistachio Growers! I have revamped my graham cracker lemon meringue to include pistachios and let me tell you, it made it 1000x better! I like to put mine into Jello Shot Cups with lids (no other name for those, unfortunately) and top with a little spoon for single servings. These are guaranteed to be a hit at your next party! Share these with your family this Sunday. :)


Pistachio Graham Cracker Lemon Meringue Dessert


Pistachio Graham Cracker Layer:

1 sleeve plus 2 full cracker sheets
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Crush graham crackers. Combine with chopped pistachios in a bowl. Add butter and sugar. Mix together thoroughly. Spoon into the pan or container that you are using for your dessert.
If you are using individual containers, then you will need to by Plastic Jello Shot cups with lids. They are available at your craft or party store. You can also buy little spoons to tape onto the tops to complete your “dessert” look.
If using the plastic shot cups:
Put 1 tablespoon into the bottom of the cup. Using another cup, press down to flatten.

Lemon Filling Layer:

3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups water

6 slightly beaten egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cup to 1 cup lemon juice (I like mine lemony!)

Mix sugar, cornstarch, flour, and water in a pot.  Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat. Now you are going to “temper” your egg. This works the best for me: holding your small bowl of beaten eggs in the palm of one hand, add a teaspoon of the hot mixture in to the eggs and stir. Keep doing this until the bowl feels warm on your palm. When it feels warm, then it is safe to add all the eggs into the flour/sugar mix. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the butter, lemon juice, and the zest to the mix and stir. Spoon over your pistachio/graham bottom layer.

No Bake Meringue Layer:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 light corn syrup
6 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons meringue powder (you can buy this at a craft store in the cake supplies)
1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, syrup, 6 tablespoons water, cream of tartar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl beat the meringue powder and 1/2 cup water until foamy.  Slowly pour hot sugar mixture into meringue mixture.  Beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon onto lemon filling layer.

If using the jello shot cups, use less meringue than you think you need. When you put the lid on, it causes the meringue to spread evenly over the top of your dessert! If you are using individual little spoons, tape one to the top of each cup lid and you are good to go!

March Recap!

Hi everyone...didn't March fly by so quickly?! Less than three months now until Miss California! In fact, a week from today we leave for orientation! I am so excited. :)

This month I...




Unveiled my NEW Lyme Disease Awareness clothing line, available exclusively at CafePress.com!





I read books to three different kindergarten classes and hosted a photo booth at a Dr. Seuss event in Danville all in honor of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday!




I spent Miracle Pancake Day at the IHOP in Walnut Creek educating the patrons on the Miss America Organization, Children's Miracle Network, and Children's Hospital Oakland. It gave me a little taste of what it's like to be an ambassador like Miss California and Miss America!






I celebrated four wonderful volunteers that make me feel special! This organization runs solely on volunteers (and love!) and I don't know where I would be without all of their support and kindness!

I took the Take a Bite Out of Lyme challenge and donated to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society to help spread awareness and find a cure for Lyme disease! If you're reading this, I challenge you, too!


I made some delicious Pistachio Pudding for Saint Patrick's Day using American Pistachio Growers brand pistachios, which is one of the Miss California sponsors! Yum!


I asked everyone to "LIKE" Miss Contra Costa County on Facebook (and I'm asking again here!) :)


I received a sweet thank you note for the Valentine's Day treats I donated to the Family House!


I participated in Dairy Queen's Free Cone Day that benefitted Children's Miracle Network! It was the best ice cream cone I've had in a long time!



I visited Children's Hospital Oakland during their St. Baldrick's Day fundraiser and activities to donate money and support the cause!



I played with dogs (of course!) at the Contra Costa Humane Society's The Hunt is On! Dog and Child treat and egg hunt :)



I debuted my new CLAPS program that teaches children about the dangers of Lyme disease, what it is, and how to prevent it! The curriculum follows common core standards and can be adjusted for different grade levels. Check back for more details soon!



I also visited the Children's Oakland Family House and donated some St. Patrick's Day themed treats for the families and patients that are staying there. It was my first visit where the weather was clear and sunny so I got to tour the playground!


I was featured on the Miss California blog twice!



I visited three pageants this month, including Miss Solano/Napa County, where I was an emcee!



I kicked off a City Council tour with the San Ramon City Council where I gave a short speech about our program. I can't wait for my next speech!

I also participated in Miss California's #MarchPhotoChallenge...to see those pictures, you'll have to go to my Instagram, @MissContraCostaCounty!

I might have missed something...but that was my March! :) I can't wait to see what exciting adventures April has in store!

xoxo Angela