When Life Hands you Lemons…Make Lemon Bars!

I love lemons.

This factoid is no secret to close friends, relatives and acquaintances.

Lemons make me smile. How can they not? They scream summer, which is my favorite season.

So naturally, I had to make lemons bars.

I’ve made them before, but these lemons bars might be the best I’ve made yet.

The tangier the better, and the lemon filling (or curd) was rich, sweet and tangy.

I can’t receive all the credit.

No, no, no….

That should go to Ina Garten from Food Network’s “The Barefoot Contessa.”

I think I’m in love with this woman.

She has a beautiful house in the Hamptons, a KitchenAid, a husband who only comes home on the weekends, and a pantry full of “good bread,”  “good olive oil” and “good chocolate” among other “good things.”

In other words, I want to be like her when I grow up.

But until then, I’ll just settle for her lemon bars.

Lemon Bars

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

Makes about 15 squares

Shortbread Crust

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup  sugar

2 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon  salt


6 large eggs at room temperature

3 cups  sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until incorporated with an electric mixer. Next, gradually add in the flour, along with the salt, and mix gently  until the dough forms. The dough will be slightly sticky. With floured hands, place the dough into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and spread out with hands, making sure the pan is covered evenly with the dough, building up to a 1/2 inch border on all sides. Chill for 30 minutes.  Then bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.

For the filling, whisk together eggs, lemon juice, sugar, and zest. Gently add in the flour, and whisk until incorporated. Pour over the crust, and bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and ENJOY!


A List for Santa: 20-Something Cook Edition


I don’t get presents anymore, unless it’s from a secret Santa.

When you get to be my age, you get socks for Christmas and six months of your iPhone’s data plan payed for.

True story.

But if I had to make a list for what I wanted this Christmas, it would include a number of items conducive to my budding culinary skills.

Budding – Culinary – Skills. That’s a laugh.

So Santa, if you’re reading this, this list is for you. Below are 5 of my culinary wish-list gifts that would make my life in the kitchen a heck of a lot easier.

Extra cookies and milk will be provided.

Samoa cookies.


Monogrammed Mugs

Anthropologie: $8.00 each

Because even though I don’t drink coffee, tea or anything that would be appropriately suitable for a mug, I am a sucker for monogrammed things. Plus the prints are so cute!

Polka Dot Apron

Sugar & Spice Aprons: $30.00

Purchase on Etsy

Is it a dress or an apron? Or both? Well…not exactly. The back is open with ties at the waist and neck. But fooled you didn’t? This is something I need in my life because when I’m in the kitchen baking, I look like I’ve had a full-out war with the flour. The flour usually wins.

5 Ingredient Fix by Claire Robinson

Amazon.com: $16.68

Because homegirl can make dishes out of five ingredients or less. I’m sold.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Walmart: $179.00

This does everything. It mixes, whips, processes, makes breads, milks goats. Whoah…you get the point. Every cook should have one.

Rolling Pin

Anthropologie: $18.00

I’ve turned into a 1950’s housewife.

And I like it.

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