Whew! What a weekend. It all started with some serious time spent in the kitchen. I can safely say that my juicer (and hand) could use a break – I went through two Costco size bags of lemons and one bag of limes.
Remember those coffee crunch bars? Well, they did make it to Friday (thank goodness) and yes it is true – their flavor does improve over time. In preparation for the dinner that we were hosting with friends I also made lemon bars and blueberry crumb bars.
I decided to try the lemon bar recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. I have a love/hate relationship with Ina (the Barefoot Contessa.) I love her recipes (and her house – be still my heart, her style…I’m regressing) but without fail I always hit a bump in the road when I’m trying one of her recipes for the first time. There is always something that throws me off (and I’m actually starting to think she does this on purpose, no way it’s me…) But before I regress too far, let me assure you that this is indeed a fantastic lemon bar recipe. And no, I don’t have any pictures. Because I really didn’t have any desire to photograph them at 10 in the evening when the second batch was finally completed. But they tasted fantastic, and isn’t that what really matters?
However, the most colorful and tasty dessert award goes to the blueberry crumb bars.
There isn’t really much of a description needed for these bars. They are super simple (or as Henry would say they are “easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey”) – just be sure to remember the egg. However, Andrea and I also learned that if you do happen to forget that one darn egg, this bar recipe also makes a good crumble. (Isn’t it wonderful to have friends who love food as much as you do?) And again, no photos of my own bars (our backyard was beckoning) but Smitten Kitchen has some to share (and I will say that my bars did actually look as good as her photos.) Yummy.
I wrapped up all of our baking by mixing up a few special drinks (non-alcoholic) for our guests. The cucumber lime spritzer was refreshing, but the rosemary lemonade takes the cake. I’m pretty sure that this will remain my drink of choice for the rest of the summer.
2 c sugar
2 c water
4 large sprigs of rosemary
2 cups lemon juice
4 c water
rosemary sprigs for garnish
Stir together sugar and two cups of water in saucepan to make simple syrup. Add rosemary sprigs. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain syrup. Mix together syrup, lemon juice and four cups water. Add fresh rosemary sprigs. Chill. Serve with ice.
Don’t worry – I didn’t spend all of my time in the kitchen (though I am loving that more and more these days…) The warm weather beckoned us outside (as did the boys.) We enjoyed a nice leisurely walk on Saturday and really made summer official (as my friend Amy pointed out) by breaking out the slip and slide and wading pool.
Though it looks like we may have to work on the actual sliding part of the whole “slip and slide.”
Does it get any better?