When Life Gives You Lemons!

Thursday, July 04, 2013


I'm honestly a little sick of Summer. (gasp!)

No, I'm not crazy. It's just, Summer is usually the time to break away from normal routines and live a free unscheduled life, right?


Riiigghhhttt. That's what they all say. 

Because of cross country, basketball, appointments, and every other errand that has been put off saved over the course of a year for these precious days off, my days have become terribly predictable and scheduled; down to the last spoonful of peanut butter I eat before bed.


Don't get me wrong. I love my very scheduled and predictable Summer, but I also love change.

Since my cooking, like me, over the past few weeks has been slightly humdrum and unexciting, I figured I should start off by taking my quest for change to the kitchen.

Your stomach is always the perfect place to begin.


My brother, (seen here hugging my cat, in case you need a visual) decided that lemons are the perfect Summer change/treat and that it was imperative that I make something lemony.



Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I completely agree with him.


I don't know why, but I've always associated lemons with Summer. I seem to do this for no particular reason. Lemons just seem summery, and we had a whole bag of lemons begging to be used.

You know what they say; when life gives you lemons...


 Clearly making Lemon Bars was inevitable.

These might even rival some of my creations involving peanut butter. Did I really just say that? Maybe I'm changing more than I thought!


Lemon Bars
Serves: 16

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Beat confectioners' sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy.
  • Gradually add the 1/2 cup of flour and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan.
  • Bake the crust until it is golden brown, this usually takes about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 325ºF.
  • Whisk the eggs on medium speed until foamy in a separate bowl. 
  • Add the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Pour the mixture over the baked crust and bake until set, about 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • Cut into 16 squares and dust with confectioners' sugar.



Happy Fourth of July to all my American readers! I hope you have a wonderful holiday! If you aren't celebrating, only 2 days until the weekend. That's cause for celebration to me! :)

Do you have any foods that you associate with a certain season?
What's your favorite thing to eat in the Summer?
When life gives you lemons, what do you make?

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53 Happy Thoughts

  1. I love lemon bars and so does my husband! These sound amazing and they look so pretty too! :-)

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    1. Thank you Holly! My family loves anything lemon too! :)

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  2. These look so yummy! Lemon bars always remind me of my grandmother- she loved to put lemon in *everything* :) I'm eating/juicing a lot more of them now in the hot weather, but I love lemon water especially all year long.
    Have a good holiday!

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    1. I love when food brings up a good memory! It's always fun to eat food that has a story behind it. Lemon water is amazing! I'm drinking some right now actually. It makes water such a treat!

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  3. I am on my way over to eat some right now!;) my favorite food in the summer is watermelon, or really any fruit, and I think s'mores are very sit around the bonfire in the fall, also hot chocolate in the winter.

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    1. I've left the door unlocked for you :) At my house we go through 1 or 2 watermelons a week. I'm more of a grape, banana, and any other fruit in season fan! S'mores are so much fun! They seem wintery/fallish to me too for some reason!

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  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE lemon bars!! Well, any lemon dessert really is just amazing to me!!

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    1. Hahah me too Beth! Lemon desserts seem so refreshing and almost 'cool' (temp wise) to me!

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  5. I love lemon bars! We used to make the ones that come in those boxes by Krusteaz. Actually, we have a box sitting in our pantry right now :P

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    1. Oh man, I used to make those too and they are amazing. Homemade ones are good, but I can remember how wonderful those were too! I ate tons of those in elementary school lol!

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  6. Oh girl, as soon as I saw the picture I was like in lemon heaven. I must make these immediately. My family looooooves lemon squares as do I. Yummy. These look delicious. I can't wait to try them out.

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    1. 'Lemon heaven' I love it! I personally think they're really good, but I'm a little biased. Depending on how large you cut each bar, they're also 65-80 calories!

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  7. These sound sweet, delicious, and refreshing...SO perfect for hot weather!

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    1. Thanks Hannah! It's really hot here, so I though the exact same thing!

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  8. Summers really are never as relaxing as I think they should be! I always imagine sleeping in until noon, having a leisurely breakfast while watching a movie, maybe going shopping after... Um yeah, talk about a fantasy haha ;)
    Those lemon bars look amazing!! Lemon bars are one of my favorites. You're so right that lemons and summer just go hand-in-hand. I'd love to eat one of these while sipping on some fresh lemonade :D

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    1. For real! I have the same fantasies. Lately I've been waking up around 6:30ish. What! Fresh lemonade is another thing I associate with summer. It's not a tradition to drink it or anything in my house, and I rarely drink it, but it just feels like summer! :)

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  9. Cherries are summer :) And summer is definitely busy haha
    When life gives me lemons, I make orange juice because I am just that awesome ;)

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    1. Oh my mom has a huge bag of cherries in the fridge, so I completely agree with you on that one! Orange juice? Hahaha you are way too cool for me. I would've never thought of that!

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  10. These look SO good! Thanks for sharing :)

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  11. Don't get me wrong, I adore summer too, but I saved up all my errands too haha! Lemon bars are my weakness, especially in summer. And nothing beats homemade. You cat brother cracks me up ;) Happy 4th of July Katherine!

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    1. Somehow all those little 'we'll do that this summer' trips have really added up. And I 100% agree that most homemade things are better. I hope you had a wonderful 4th Sunnie!

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  12. Nope you don't get to be sick of Summer, it is FREEZING here, I'm talking ice cold winds, glove, scarf, boots, multiple layers, it is not fun.

    Enjoy it whilst it lasts, please :)

    Those lemon bars look good.

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    1. You've really put me into perspective Jan! I really should stop complaining about Summer and realize that I'm so fortunate to have all the sun and heat that anyone could want! :) Stay warm!

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    2. Haha I really actually can't talk as I think I remember complaining about the heat earlier in the year so you can never win ;)

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  13. bahaha love the "hugging a cat" photo :P

    These look SO good! Totally craving lemon bars now, mhm!

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    1. Thanks girl! I am too, but apparently my mom finished them last night! Oh well, I guess I'll have to bake something else :D

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  14. I wish I could say I am sick of summer, but I haven't really had one!? My state is so bipolar with its weather! HA! We had a HEATWAVE last week..and now it's calmed down again and in the low 70's. Not really much of a summer! These bars look delicious though and I would eat them even if it were 40F!

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    1. Aw I hope you get a little vacation soon! Seriously the weather everywhere has been so weird this year! It'll be 100+ during the day here, but the other day it was 72 in the morning. What? I probably would eat them if it was 40F too, so I totally can't blame you. Dessert is for ANY season!

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  15. Holy crapface these look amazing. I looooove lemon bars! They are my go-to summer baked good for sure.

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    1. Thanks Kat! I think I just like dessert in general. Woops.

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  16. These look fantastic! I know where you're coming from with the routine. Working, taking summer courses, working out, etc, etc. can certainly get tiring! I hope you have a lovely weekend, girl <3

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    1. Thanks Brittany! Sometimes the Summer routine is busier than the normal year one! But hey, it's Summer, so I really shouldn't be complaining!

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  17. Can you please come be my own personal baker? My birthday's on Wednesday, so you better get your bootay here quick so you can whip up a delicious batch of these & a cake too :) Ha ha!

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    1. I would love to be your personal baker! I love a good taste tester! Happy Early Birthday Jessie! If I could virtually give you some of these or a cake I totally would!

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  18. I'm normally not a big lemon fan, but those bars look delicious!! I agree, lemons do seem summery... & so does watermelon. :)

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    1. Thanks Karey! I am loving all your pancake recipes! :)

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  19. Those lemon bars look great! Great presentation too, I can make things that taste great but my presentation is awful!

    Do you have any foods that you associate with a certain season? Yes! Always associate soup with winter and watermelon with summer.
    What's your favorite thing to eat in the Summer? - Fruit salad or grilled chicken salads!
    When life gives you lemons, what do you make? - Lemon cheese cake!

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    1. Thank you so much Kate! I'm sure you're over exaggerating though! Your blog is so cute that I doubt you have any presentation problems at all!

      Soup is totally something wintery to me too. I've actually had it a few times this Summer though, so go figure! Grilled chicken and fruit salad are seriously my go to foods right now! SO GOOD! Ooh Lemon Cheese Cake? That sounds delicious!

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  20. I absolutely love lemon bars, and these ones look delicious! My favourite thing to eat in the summer is barbecued chicken and veggies, and corn! But there is so many good summer foods!

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    1. My house has been fully stocked with chicken, veggies, corn, and a ton of in season fruit! Summer is full of such good food!

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  21. Oh my I have to makes these!! My mom loves anything lemon flavored- I will have to make these for her!

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    1. These were made for my Mom too! Mom's love the lemon flavor!

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  22. I don't usually like lemon desserts but these look incredible! And I have to agree, lemon is very suiting for summer, it's so refreshing!
    Your pictures look gorgeous too, Katherine! I'm not so sure you need an eBook after all! ;)

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    1. I totally feel the same way. My family were the ones begging me to bake something lemony or ANYTHING without peanut butter!

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  23. These look great! The recipe is pretty similar to the ones from my grandma's cookbook that we grew up loving too :)

    Lemons remind me of the freshly squeezed lemonade that I used to get at the county fair in the fall!

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    1. I LOVE recipes from Grandmother's cookbooks. They are the classics that always taste amazing! Ooh a country fair and lemonade sounds amazing right now!

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  24. Definitely make lemon squares! Yours look delicious. The dough looks really good to. I just ate one for dessert over here. My mom makes a good homemade batch too. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

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    1. I'm a major dough person, so I have to agree! Whenever Mom's bake something it's incredible no matter what! I hope you have a wonderful week!

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  25. Lemon bars are one of my absolute faves--a great way to break up the monotony of other treats. I hope that you can find a way to spice up the rest of your summer! Thanks for the great recipe, and great food photos! You're a very talented food photographer. :)

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    1. I'm already spicing up my Summer! I'm leaving for vacation soon, so if that doesn't work then I don't know what will :) ! You're much too kind about my pictures! I try, but then I always find some stain or something in the background that makes me crack up! Loved your motivation monday post today!

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  26. Oh my goodness, these look AMAZING. I totally think lemons are summer-y as well. And uhg, I'm taking two classes plus work so this is the first summer I don't have off and it kinda blows... can it be fall now? haha

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    1. Thanks Jessie! I can tell you've been busy! I've missed your blog, but no worries, keep working hard! Fall will be here before you know it (with cool weather too!)!

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