An embarrassing recipe

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Lemon lush

We are invited to a friend’s house for Easter dinner. I offered to bring dessert and said I’d make lemon lush. These friends were parents from my kids’ elementary school and the wife was a golf buddy of mine for years. We were surprised to find out that they moved from Palm Springs three months after we moved — and they live less than a mile away.

It’s an old recipe that I discovered in the 1980s when I worked in public relations for the Bob Hope Classic golf tournament. When the tournament was over, we’d have potluck in our meeting room for staff and volunteers. One of the wealthy woman volunteers brought in lemon lush and it was a huge hit. I asked her for the recipe. So many people asked for it that she used the copy machine and handed them to us.

I kept that recipe in my old Betty Crocker cookbook until it faded. There are tons of versions online. The one posted below is closest to the recipe that faded beyond recognition. (Tip: I use pecans instead of walnuts.)

Our friends loved lemon lush and asked for the recipe. I’m embarrassed to share it because it’s a Jello Pudding and Cool Whip recipe. But it tastes so delicious. When I’ve shared the recipe before, people look disappointed. It’s verging on embarrassment to share this with my friends! But it tastes so good — I won’t stop making it. Maybe I should throw in some fresh ingredients like lemon zest or fresh lemon juice?

I think it must be a recipe from the 1970s.


Printed from COOKS.COM


1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups ground walnuts
1 1/2 sticks of butter


8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of Cool Whip


2 small packages instant lemon pudding
3 cups cold milk


Using a pastry cutter, combine ingredients for crust and pat into the bottom of 9×13 pan.

Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. Let cool.


Mix well and spread over cool baked crust. Refrigerate.


Mix packages of lemon pudding with 3 cups of cold milk. Once mixture has thickened, pour over filling.

Top off with more Cool Whip and nuts, if desired.

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What recipe do you have that is super easy but so delicious?

39 thoughts on “An embarrassing recipe

  1. I’ve never heard of Lemon Lush and it looks like one of those older recipes that would have been popular in the midwest. It looks pretty and if it tastes good, go for it. It’s the epitome of EZPZ, Lemon Squeezy!

  2. I take about 2-3 lbs. of beef short ribs, no bones, and from a thawed state, put them in a gallon sized zip bag, add a package of mushroom gravy mix (dry variety), shake the bee-jeebies out of it to thoroughly coat, add a little bourbon (or a quarter cup of water), and put in a crock pot on low for about 7 hours. As the meat cooks to fall-apart-in-your mouth ready, it soaks up the gravy mix and brings out an awesome beef flavor.

  3. My daughter loves what we call birds nest…cooked spaghetti, a little heavy cream and butter and egg mixed up, toss in some veggies (we like peas and cherry tomatoes and spinach) cook on stovetop for about five minutes to blend flavors, throw in some mozzarella amd Parmesan and bake for like 40 minutes….

  4. I’m shamelessly going to try this lemon 70s dessert! It looks amazing. We love fresh pesto and tortellini! Another family favorite is fettuccini noodles with butter, heavy cream, garlic, and Parmesan! It’s not even 8:00 am and I’m starving. Hugs, C

  5. My husband and I trade off on making dinner. He is a good cook. I learned from my mom and he had training from the military and won a few design contests. Now he does over the garden design as you know. He just posted pics of our fire pit to be soon! An easy recipe I like for keto is fat bombs where I easily estimate the cream cheese, peanut butter, a little coconut oil, some stevia, mix and roll into balls…then freeze for 2 hours. Take out and melt bitter chocolate with a touch of stevia, dip the balls in chocolate and freeze again. A quick and very low carb dessert!

  6. I have a go-to 5 ingredient appetizer recipe I’ve used for so many years that I pretty much still have it memorized. It’s called Chili Cheese Squares so clearly is not low cholesterol. It came from a cookbook published by my favorite employer, TRW. It was called On The Eating Edge. It breaks my heart that I lost it somewhere amongst all my moves over the many years since I left the Tonka Rocket Works aka Truly Really Wonderful.

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