Thursday, May 7, 2009

Looking for A Big Bloom on A Short Vine

title after Lee Ann Womack's song, "The Bees"

My seeds are sprouting into cilantro, basil and chives. Zinnias and California Poppies are coming, so today I drove my little red truck to my local gardening shop and bought more potting soil, pastel pink impatiens and purple sage. I love the guys at University Gardens, 8130 Delmar Blvd. in University City. They're down to earth, have a lot of cool tats, and excellent advice on how to grow a garden (a stinky yet Hulk-like hint: fish emulsion).

In the next month or so, I'm going to start my organic summer vegetable garden because, let's face it, the girl and her oven are going to want to conserve a little heat for summer-fresh fare. And I think it's a crime to go all summer without fresh pico de gallo.

But until the heat becomes the "hot mess" my friend Lindsey M. often called St. Louis summers, I'm still baking. In the past two weeks I've made six dozen chocolate chip cookies and a lovely pan of the lime bars pictured above. Lime Bars were an impulse bake on Monday night. Chocolate chip cookies continue to be chewy, buttery crisp with lots of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate. When my friend Beth comes to town on her way to her professorship at Bucknell, I'm going to use Scharfenberger to make her extra special delicacies. We're also hitting that taqueria on Cherokee St. and buying chocolates from Kakao. Hello, Maker's Mark chocolates and shrimp burritos. Yum.

But the best part of this week besides digging in the dirt and then baking (with liberal hand washing in between), was the little package that arrived on Wednesday night from Fed Ex. Our tickets from Travelocity arrived, which means Dave and I are definitely flying to Madrid in late June to visit some of his friends and then hitch a train to France for Carmella's wedding in Normandy on July 1. You best believe there will be a European edition of "A Girl and Her Oven." Double swoon with ripe camembert on top.

So, without further ado, to celebrate this week's bounty, here's my homage to tart lime bars (I promise to bake more chocolate chip cookies soon!). May the two flavors unite on this blog sometime soon. And if you're ever in town, let me know. I'll invite you to dinner, or at least dessert.

Hugs and high fives,

Lime Bars
a recipe modified from The Taste of Home Baking Book, a gift from my dad

Shortbread Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter (unsalted), melted

Filling Ingredients
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel

Dust confectioners' sugar on top once the bars are cool to the touch.

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Press into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 13-15 minutes, or just until edges are lightly browned.

2. For filling, combine eggs, sugar, lime juice, flour, baking powder, and lime zest in a large mixing bowl. Beat until frothy while listening to some good music. I recommend James Brown for this step.

3. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar.


1 comment:

Nishta said...

hi lovely! so glad to know your knees are well enough for gardening & YAY for all things lime-related.

funny, I didn't intentionally steal "un-fussy," it just seemed to be in my brain when I was writing website copy. of course, clearly it came from you! ahh Kella, my inspiration in so many ways, and I mean that in the least cheesy, most-genuine way possible. xo