Thursday, June 10, 2010

Other People's Food

I did not make these lemon bars.

No, it was Christine. She brought them to dinner at my house a couple of weeks ago, and friends, they were insanely good. She assured me they are both super easy and super quick, so I gave them a whirl last weekend, and, well...she was right.

A couple of notes here: first off, almost everything fantastic I've eaten of late somebody else has made. I need to get my culinary game on. I'm considering some cooking classes to freshen up the repertoire.

Second, I had already made dessert the night Christine and family came for dinner, so I put the lemon bars in the freezer to keep. This was a serendipitous move as the bars are killer "frozen"... sort of a cross between a lemon bar and a lemon ice cream-ish thing. (I actually let them thaw on the counter for just a few minutes, but not long.) Totally fantastic.

Christine's Lemon Bars (recipe from Martha Stewart)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.

Make crust: Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add flour, and mix on low just until combined. Press dough into the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of prepared pan; prick all over with a fork. Bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Make filling: In a large bowl, whisk together yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over hot crust in pan; return to oven, and bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

Refrigerate until filling is firm, about 2 hours or up to 3 days. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares, and dust with confectioners sugar.


  1. Love, love, love lemon bars! Haven't tried this recipe before so will give it a whirl. We did a post with Ina Garten's and they are pretty nuts as well. Will definitely give the freezing thing a shot. Such a good idea:)

  2. Those look fantastic! And I love the plate underneath. =)

  3. I've been thinking about "other people's food" since I read your post yesterday. I was thinking how nice it would be to have the go-to meals of other busy moms of young kids. With that in mind, I'm sharing one of my go-to recipes that covers two nights of dinners! Both my girlies LOVE these burgers and they are full of vegetables, so a win-win in my book. :)

    Turkey Burgers—adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe
    (buy organic whenever you can)

    1.25 lbs ground turkey
    ½ onion, chopped
    ½ yellow (red, or orange) bell pepper, chopped
    3-4 large mushrooms, chopped (optional)
    1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
    2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
    1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
    3 tbsp tomato paste
    salt and pepper, to taste
    olive oil

    Mix all ingredients by hand. (If you don’t like to chop, a food processor works well, just make sure you slice veggies before putting into the machine and make sure you process well so that you don’t end up with a big chuck of onion! Small children especially don’t like to bite into that.) If using white meat, add a tbsp or so of olive oil as well. Make patties. This recipe makes 4 large patties or 6-8 smaller ones. Grill or pan fry in a small amount of olive oil, 4-5 minutes per side. I always top with some sort of sliced cheese.

    I typically double this recipe. One night I make the burgers, the next I make meatballs which I bake at about 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then serve with pasta and home-made marinara (or Rao’s if I don’t have any home-made frozen.)

  4. Stephanie -- this looks great!! + we were just talking about turkey burgers last night, so great timing.

    my girlies are also nuts for meatballs, so I'm digging your night #2 recipe too!


  5. just pulled these out of my oven. it's taking all my willpower not to cut into them right now--they look fantastic! thanks for the post.

  6. The bars look good -- but that plate looks beautiful! Do you know what it is and who makes it?

  7. lurban -- the plate is Iittala's Taika line

    I've been collecting them over the years. they're one of my very favorite possessions...

  8. a-ha! i can tell these are going to be seriously good. you know how? no egg whites in it. to me, whole eggs make lemon bars taste overly egg-y, while egg yolks just give it a little richer flavor. i've been in need of this recipe so thanks.

  9. Thanks for the tip. I can almost taste them!
    Anna (also in Dallas!)