Saturday, March 10, 2018

When life or a coworker gives you lemons, make lemon bars!

I was given a half dozen meyer lemons and was too busy to put them to use before another bag of vibrant and fragrant bag was offered once again the following week. I accepted the lemons which felt like a delightful challenge and made a batch of lemon bars. Well the internet is full of lemon bar recipes and a few had too many recipes and would yield an excess of egg whites so I kept searching. I got lucky and came across Ina Garten's recipe which seemed perfect.

I used the recipe, but opted to cut cold butter into small pieces and make that work ;) instead of patiently waiting for it to come to "room temperature" on a chilly San Francisco evening. This took a little more effort, but I still got a delicious shortbread crust. I forgot a trick I picked up somewhere to use the bottom of a glass to press the crust down, so be sure to do that to really press the crust down. I pressed the crust while it was still hot out of the oven after baking it before adding the filling.
*Use meyer lemons if you can.
* I recommend you do not dust the top with confectioners' sugar. I didn't dust them to keep the sugar a little lower and the keep the lemon shining. The crackled white top pictured below is from the filling alone and I'm going to stick with this naked top from here on out.

Meyer Lemon Bars 

Total: 1 hr 35 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 30 min
Cook: 55 min
Yield: 20 squares or 40 triangles
Level: Intermediate

For the crust: 
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 

For the filling: 
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar 
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4-6 regular lemons, but I used 8 small meyer lemons) 
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.  (*I didn't chill the dough ahead of time and made due with cold butter as mentioned above)
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.  (*This is when I pressed the bottom of a glass down onto the crust to compress it a bit to make enough room for the filling).
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest (super fine), lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Cut into triangles. 
Let cool to room temperature.... if you can. We snuck a tiny bite from the corner while still warm and had to leave the kitchen to ensure there were some left to share the next day.
I placed the tray in the refrigerator overnight covered with another tray. 

 I have a feeling these will be on heavy rotation for a while... especially while lemons and grey skies are in abundance until Spring fruit comes in.

Enjoy and let me know what you think of the bars sans confectioners' or powdered sugar on top.

Monday, September 12, 2016

It's been a really long time since my last post

I've had some issues with content (photos) being used without credit and then working so much plus Instagram posts mostly sum up what I'm doing and yet I'm back. There are still images to share here and I continue to cook away at home and this is still a great place to share recipes and more of a story so I'll use this space a little more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hello, friends.

My goodness it's been so long since I've posted here. I hope to start blogging more now that summer has arrived. When I'm not here you can always find me and my photos on Instagram at bay2. Just click here to see. I'll be back again this week with a proper update until the here are a few photos from my trek up and over telegraph hill yesterday when the sun came out after days of fog.
hugs and love,

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Portland visitor

My dear friend Emily Katz came to San Francisco a few weeks back now to film a macrame class so we were able to catch up and enjoy the city. On the last day we started with brunch at Plow and the french toast topped with baked apples made the best leftovers. With full bellies and coffee we crossed the bridge to the east bay to Temescal Alley with the most delightful small shops including the Book Shop, and Esqueleto. After perusing the local shops we crossed back to San Francisco for lunch at Souvla where they serve up hearty Greek inspired salads and sandwiches topped with rotisserie meat and veggies. The brine the chicken in feta, yum! I always order the lamb and can't order anything else since I love it so much.We sampled the frozen greek yogurt and had to share a cup with honey and sea salt. Of course one last stop at Heath Ceramics is often needed as friends like to pick up one more mug to add to their collection. Emily is an inspiring person and artist. You can see some of her work and magic here and here

Saturday, November 29, 2014

sometimes it feels like life speeds up

It's been way too long since I last shared here. 'll try to catch up a bit now so pardon the potential slew of posts. hugs and love from this busy one

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Bike parking always makes me smile and it's the first thing I see before entering the festival. 
There's always an abundance of tasty bites. I almost caved and ordered a turkey corn dog or crab and garlic fries, but I picked Gerard's paella and it got me through the day.That's the amazing Chris Isaak in a sparkly suit walking from the main stage through the crowd to sound tent to perform for those way back in the field. 
This guy above is so inspiring and yes, awesome. I met this fella yesterday on my way to see Chris Isaak. He pointed at me and said, "you're awesome", his energy is infectious and he shared a little more about himself. His name is David Trudy, he just came back from his third tour in Afghanistan and now he's homeless in Berkeley, CA. He told me he came to the festival to hear some music and maybe meet some people and but did he ever. After seeing someone else with this sign early Saturday he approached them and they let him hold it and he continued to for the next six hours telling people they're awesome. The original sign owner told him he should have the sign and he kept up with his mission for another three hours by the time I met him. He said he never expected to meet so many people. I left the festival thinking about this guy and was thrilled to see him again today. Spirits still high and with fewer people around we were able to chat a little more. I learned that he's on a few waiting lists including one for housing that should place him in nine months. He said he'll be able to keep his spirits up until then. I hope you were able to meet this kind soul at the festival.
Huge thanks to the Hellman family for keeping the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival going

Monday, September 29, 2014

hidden views

little gems like this are tucked away just off the street/sidewalk that are easy to miss unless you're looking for them inside entryways and side streets in San Francisco

Fall at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market


the prettiest pears, local oysters shucked to order, heirloom beans like the gorgeous "tiger beans" on the left from Lonely Mountain Farm, rainbow chard, and then Icelandic poppies by the bucket full and dahlias lingering

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


the fog and rain are back in San Francisco and it seems that the city often appears to shift into black and white. I start noticing that even my shoes make for a monochromatic scene as I criss cross hills.