As I am writing this, it’s a cold torrential downpour.

The summer solstice has come and gone, the weather forecasters are promising better days ahead and we are all very hopeful summer will appear despite the high percentage of cold and gloominess.

This has me wanting to make something fun and cheerful to lead me out of this dreary beginning of summer. It’s no secret food can affect your mood and cushion the negative impact of a bad day or, in this case, bad weather. My feel good foods fluctuate. Sometimes it’s a hot cup of tea and a sweet but some of my favourites are fresh cherries, fresh cut fries, fresh apricots, and of course lobster. A weird variety I know but they all seem to have a mood attached to them. I think today is a hot cup of tea and sweet day!

When I was a kid it seemed that rainy days always called for baking. What I remember most is brown sugar fudge with peanuts, biscuits, doughnuts, and coconut squares.

So, in honour of the bright yellow sunshine we are hoping for and the sitting on the patio enjoying summer drinks weather, I am going to share with you my strawberry lemonade squares. Enjoy!

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350º. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil, with the ends extending over sides of the pan.

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of graham crumbs, 1/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Mix in 1/3 cup of melted butter then press in to pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the crust is cooking make the filling. In a stand mixer or using beaters, beat one 250g package of cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar until well blended. Add two eggs and 2 tbsp of flour, mix well. Add 1 tbsp of lemon zest, 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice and 1/4 tsp baking powder, mix well. Pour over crust and bake 25-30 minutes until centre is set. Cool completely then chill for a couple of hours in refrigerator. After they are completely chilled mix one package of strawberry gelatin with one cup of warm water and pour over top of squares. Chill for another couple of hours until set. Remove from pan using the foil overhang and cut into squares. Tastes like strawberry lemonade!

If you don’t want the strawberry just dust with icing sugar and lemon zest.