This was a nice weekend, over all. On the downside, Charlie’s been coming down with a bad cold (or something) and spent all Sunday out of commission. Which meant, of course, that he got to avoid the craziness of a family holiday dinner.
The dinner was, needless to say, ultra-delicious. My mom’s side of the family is populated with great cooks and the food we had this year was no exception; ham, scalloped potatoes, carrot souffle, scalloped pineapple, green beans, asparagus, and probably something else that I’m blanking on. Plus three desserts; banana pudding, a carrot cake, and lemon bars that I’d made and brought with me.
The bars turned out pretty good overall. Next time I need to make sure I really push all of the crust out nice and flat; it was a little high at one end and those bars had to get thrown out because they were almost all crust and no lemon. Also, I need to buy a lemon zester before I make this again because using a cheese grater is a real pain in the butt. Still, overall, they were good. (Jim, I’ll edit in the recipe under a jump when I get home tonight.)
This morning I finally got off of my butt and went lap swimming for the first time in approximately 20 years. So yes, I did indeed survive. If my counting was correct (and it may very well not be) I swam 20 laps (or 40 lengths) of the pool, which comes out to 1000 meters. With little rest breaks between each lap, mind you, with which to confer with Julie and Laura. It was a nice time, although I clearly need to get some goggles because everything is now a tiny bit blurry. Also, need to find my rubber flip-flops. It’s been a while since I’ve had to do the whole shower-at-the-gym routine. (My current gym is all of 5 minutes away, my old gym was a 2 minute walk around the corner.)
I’d originally wanted to use this spring to tackle a triathlon, but missing Philly back in November put a hold on that. But I might give one of the mini-triathlons from Tri It Now a stab. If I get the bike serviced I am pretty sure I could handle that right now with no problem. (Famous last words, I’m sure. I can hear Moose cackling at my naivety.) In the meantime, though, I just need to keep at it. Practice makes better…
Lemon Bars Recipe
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup confectioners’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 6 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 12 x 18 jelly roll pan.
In a large bowl, on a low speed of a mixer, combine all the crust ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Form the dough into a ball. Spread crust evenly into prepared pan. Use a large piece of waed paper to firmly and evenly press down crust. (If it’s not even, wherever it ends up too high will end up being all crust and no lemon!) Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before proceeding.
While the crust is cooling, in a medium-sized bowl, on the low speed of a mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour over slightly warm crust. Return to oven. Bake 18-20 minutes until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Allow to cool to room temperature, or overnight, before cutting and serving.