Lemon Bars

Me and all the moms in Minnesota love to make lemon bars. I don’t know what it is that draws me to this dessert. I certainly have my affinity for all things chocolate, but the tart lemon custard and shortbread crust is irresistible. I traveled to Italy about five years ago and spent considerable time on the Amalfi Coast, known for its steep, terraced lemon groves. They had lemons the size of grapefruits! Not to mention the limoncello… and the lemon gelato… it haunts my dreams.

So, to mix it up from creamy and chocalatey, lemon bars are one of my favorites, especially for large crowds. This recipe yields an entire pan full, and they are quite tart so best in small doses. You’ll be slicing away at these for days! Trader Joe’s almost always has Meyer Lemons, which are my favorite to use. But beware – the skin is usually quite thin so they don’t yield much zest at all, a key ingredient in this recipe. Instead, either buy lots of extras or go half-half on Meyer lemons and commercial ones.

This recipe is an amalgam of Mark Bittman’s, Smitten Kitchen’s (too much flour!), Ina Garten’s, and from a lady named Lee Bailey. Yeah, I like lemon bars.

I recently perfected my lemon/lime bar recipe, so this is the same as the key lime bars with the addition and exemption of a few key ingredients in the curd portion. Enjoy!

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Arugula Salad with Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and Lemon Parmesan Dressing

Arugula Salad with Poached Egg, Smoked Salmon and Lemon Parmeson Dressing

We always have arugula in our refrigerator because, as my husband will happily do with spinach, I have begun to eat it by the handful right out of the bag. I don’t think I can ever get to the point where I eat spinach like potato chips (and good on you if you love it that much) but I feel pretty good about my sincere love for something green, whether plain or dressed.

Another reason I always buy a big box of arugula is so that I can make this salad, which I eat for lunch at least once a week. It is easy to prepare so I don’t have to feel bad for taking a long lunch (an easy thing to do when you work from home!) and the dressing keeps in the fridge for a few days if you want a redux.

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