Sunday, July 10, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons...

...rejoice!  Squeeze them and drift away in the bliss that is pure, unadulterated citrus.
We've moved, life is good, and I'm still finding things to feel good about.  Including beautiful lemons.

We were at the grocery store this week, perusing the produce.  I bent down to pick up whatever it was that was supposed to be keeping my Ellie's attention - but let's face it: gravity is far more exciting - and had the most beautiful whiff of lemons I kind of stood there for a minute, dreaming of the delicious citrus trees that I will never be able to grow on my new balcony, until Chloe patted my bum and said, "You are a Mommy.  You have a big bottom.  I am just a Chloe with a tiny bottom." 

I told her she was right, and that one day, if she was lucky, she would have a big bottom just like Mommy.  So we laughed and filled  a bag of lemons to take the memory home with us, and to make a treat to keep our bottoms perfectly sized. 

Creamy Lemon Bars
Preheat oven to 350*.

Stir together:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Gradually stir in:
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (today I tried walnuts, as pecans are so expensive right now... definitely a delicious substitute!)
Press dough firmly onto bottom of buttered 9"x13" pan.  Bake for 15 minutes. (You will begin to smell the nuts, and it will be lightly golden around the very edges.)

In mixer on high, beat until smooth:
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups sugar
Add until blended:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
Stir in:
  • 2+ tablespoons lemon zest/rind*
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice*
*this is about 2 lemons

Pour filling evenly over prepared crust.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool at least one hour.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.