Monday, November 16, 2009

Miss You Cookies

Hubs took the girls to Houston this weekend; his family lives there and the girls had a lovely visit. And I got a little break from the day-to-day grind of being Mommy, which was, admittedly, welcome.

I can't remember the last time I was home alone in my house for more than a couple of hours. I mean, there was Harryboy underfoot--an utter nuisance--and Awesome Stepkid R. was here Saturday and Sunday, but it was pretty darn quiet within these walls.

I tried to be busy; I took a friend out for a birthday lunch, went shopping (someplace other than Target!) with my mom, had MADE plans to do dinner/movie in Denver...but then the snow hit. Trapped, yet again, in my home, due to Mother Nature. However, this time I was not snowed in with small children. It was crazy quiet. I did not cook a meal. I drank wine in peace and did not have to be the Pusher of the Potty.

Still, once Sunday afternoon wore on and it started getting dusky, I missed my clan. I missed their runny noses and their demands for the perfect snack and the shrieks of hilarity.

So I rolled up my sleeves and went into the kitchen--even though I'd declared the kitchen "Off-Limits" for the weekend--and baked up something to let my little Freakshow Circus that I'd missed them.

Modified Lemon Bars (adapted from Gramma Rhetta's Lemon Bars)

1/2 cup cold butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
dash salt

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Line a greased 8x8 inch square pan with heavy duty foil or parchment, leaving excess hanging over edges. Grease foil or parchment (generously!).

Combine butter, flour and powdered sugar to create coarse crumbs. Press firmly into the bottom of pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

Combine sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined.

Pour filling over crust, return to oven and bake 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool for 15-20 minutes, then use foil/parchment overhang to lift bars out of pan. Remove foil/parchment. Freeze uncut slab of bars for 10-15 minutes, then slice into individual bars. Dust with powdered sugar.

I am happy to say that my house is noisy once again. And I have two little minxes with powdered sugar mustaches. Life is good.


  1. Ooooooo! I am SO glad I stopped by today! I LOVE lemon bars and would love the perfect recipe to try. Thank you, thank you! Can't wait to try these!

  2. Just copied this recipe in my recipe file (and copying it at the same time because I truly can't wait to try it!) and I just noticed that the majority of the recipes I get online are now from YOUR blog. Thanks for keeping our tummies happy over here!

  3. My mother makes these! It was a Christmas tradition when I was growing up in Illinois. We gave small batches of them to people as presents (teachers, the school bus driver, etc.). They always liked them.

    And THEN my parents moved to Texas. The first time my mother made these for her knitting group, the ladies made all kinds of reminiscent noises and swooned. I imagine these must be more of a Southern specialty ... ?

  4. The life of a mother-wife-family woman, huh!? Sounds like a lovely little "me" time, but I know exactly what you mean! Your lemon bars look delicious :D LOVE lemon bars.

  5. Girl, yours look WAY better than those mangled things I turned out. I'm making these again this weekend.

  6. Aww...

    You and Inktopia share the dubious honor of being able to instill in me absolute longing for / horror of children in the space of mere days.

  7. Contemporary--Southern? You betcha. Although I adjusted mine to be a little more tart and less sweet...but the girls didn't mind one bit.

    Wendi: It's all about buttering the liner in the pan and FREEZING those pups a little before slicing--words from someone who should know better but had to futz around until she got it right!

    J. Harker--it's my pleasure. Should you need immediate birth control, feel free to babysit.

  8. Theycallmejane: Thanks for making this girl's day. :)

  9. We sound like we live in the same house!! Even down to living at Target!!

  10. Ohh... These sound heavenly! I love lemon bars. You are a lucky girl that got a weekend off and and even luckier girl that got to realize how much she missed her family! Good for you.

  11. What a sweet story. I envy the easiness with which you talk about your emotions and daily ups and down. As I writer, I should learn from you. As an introvert... I'm afraid I can't. Anyhow, I always enjoy your posts!

  12. This time of year we get a lot of lemons (the good lemony Bearss lemons not the lemon/orange not real Meyers lemons)on our tree. I love tart lemon recipes. I'll have to try this recipe.

    It's always nice to have some time to yourself and always nice when they come home.

  13. I sure wish I could have "popped over" for one of these! You know my weakness for lemon =). They look totally delicious. Glad everyone made it back healthy and happy!

  14. oooooh. I saw the picture and sucked in my breath and let out a big YUM. Can't wait to make these on Wednesday.

    As much as I crave time alone, I'd probably be wandering around my house aimlessly and lost after 24 hours without my kids.

    Then again, maybe not

  15. These say "Grandma Helen" all over them. I can almost smell them, thanks to your photos. She called them "Lemon Love Note." What a pretty name for a pretty little piece of heaven, don't you think?

  16. Wow. You're a good mom. Me? I would have stuck with the wine and spent the whole time reading. They would have come home to find the house tidy (it's nice to read in a tidy house), but empty of food.

  17. I get to missing my kids pretty quickly too! It's seems way too quiet when they're gone.

    I love lemon bars. My mom used to make some really good ones. I don't know if I've made lemon bars. I'll have to try these!

  18. awww...your such a good mum! I'm sure it is nice to have some peace and quiet occassionally...but only occassionally!!! :) xxx

  19. Leslie: Places exist other than Target? :)

    GEW: I did read, and it was wonderful! And the house was clean...for the first 10 seconds after those minxes hit the door. Sigh.

  20. Hear hear on the wine and quiet and snow.

    And, paradoxically, hear hear as well for powdered-sugar moustaches.

    Oh yeah, and YUM.

  21. I made those lemon bars the other day and they were gone within seconds!

  22. A weekend in a quiet house? Oh my wish my wish my wish. Oh how I wish I wish I wish. I know that I, too, would be missing runny noses and demands for snack by Sunday at dusk, but the wish? It is still there. I wish I wish I wish my husband HAD somewhere he could take the boys. For a weekend. Or even 24 hours. But it is a weekend that I truly desire. I swear I dream about it. I don't want to go away. I don't want a spa. I don't want a lavish trip filled with lavish dinners and desserts. I want HOME. MY Home. And quiet. And rumbling around doing what I wish. Sipping wine by a fire at 3 pm. And maybe just for a little bit? A few good friends to fill my home AND my heart.

    Won't you come over Kitch?

    How bout I come to Colorado to visit my brother and find my way to your kitchen? GOod, it's settled.

  23. Sarah, come on over! I'll even switch on the "fake" fire for you. I know what you mean about wanting to be alone IN your house. Sometimes I wish a babysitter would just take my kids AWAY somewhere because where I really want to be in home, but al-ooooone.

  24. Awww! That's so sweet. So lovely to have a break, but so lovely to have a bustling home again!

  25. I love being alone in my house...although it does't happen very often! I'm totally going to make these for my little sis,...these are her favorite!!

  26. Those look amazingly yummy! Great blog, just came over to say hello... :)

  27. Sounds yummy! I'm going to have to try that.