Downton Abbey Marathon… 1st January recipe test with Anna!

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Last weekend we had a Downtown Abbey marathon that led up to the premiere  of the first season 3 episode. It was incredible. Everything I was hoping for and more! Anna and I marked the occasion with our first recipe test of the new year!

We made Bruschetta Chicken Pesto wraps, and Key Lime Bars. The cast of characters for the key lime bars:

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Breaking up the vanilla ‘cookies’ and making the crust mixture:

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The cast of characters for the wraps:

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Chopping the goodies:

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Mixing the batter for the Key lime bars:

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The wraps were so quick to make- Anna wasn’t too thrilled with them, but I thought they were pretty good. Then again, chicken and tomatoes always sound good to me. 🙂

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Anna on the left and me on the right-

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After cooling overnight in the fridge we had the key lime bars on day 2 of our Downton Abbey marathon. They were SO GOOD.

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And now for a few of my favorite moments from episode 1 of Downton Abbey season 3. Warning, there are spoilers!

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Matthew and Mary got married! FINALLY!!!

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Matthew and Mary talk through a door the night of their wedding – a very cute moment:

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Shirley MacLaine joining the cast. She adds just the right amount of spice:

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Just in case you want to try out these recipes…

The Recipes:

Bruschetta Chicken Pesto Wraps
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 tomato, diced  (seeds removed)
1 tablespoon minced onion
1-2 tablespoons fresh minced basil or 1 teaspoon dry basil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt
black pepper
1 tablespoon light mayo
1 tablespoon light sour cream or plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons pesto
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and a little zest
1 cup shredded or diced cooked chicken breast, about 4 ounces
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce or spinach leaves
2 torillas, flat breads, rolls, pitas, etc.

Combine diced tomato, onion, basil, and balsamic vinegar.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Combine mayo, sour cream, pesto, lemon juice and a few grates of the lemon zest.  Stir mixture and combine it with chicken and pine nuts, stirring until combined.  Layer lettuce on torillas (or carb of choice), top with chicken mixture, and then bruschetta.

Serves 2 tortillas, or 12 mini pitas.

Creamy Lemon {or Lime!} Bars
Adapted from Kraft

20 Nilla Wafers, finely crushed
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold real butter
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese (you can use 1/3-less fat cream cheese)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temp (just place eggs in a bowl of warm water for about 10 mins)
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. grated lemon peel, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (don’t even think about opening a bottle!)
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a bowl, combine Nilla Wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup flour and the brown sugar. Chop butter into small pieces and then cut into crumb mixture with a pastry blender.If you don’t have a pastry blender, just use 2 knives, or even your fingers to break up the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min.

While crust is cooking, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 2 Tbsp. flour, and baking powder; mix well. Blend in 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, and lemon juice and then pour mixture over crust.

Bake 25 to 30 min. or until center is set. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. These bars improve with time. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and remaining 2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel just before cutting into squares to serve. Store leftover squares in refrigerator. (As if you’ll have leftovers!)

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