Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lemon Bars With Friends

The guys from Platter talk invited me over for their super fun Guess Who's Coming For Dinner? segment on their site!  It pretty much MADE MY MONTH and has been the highlight of my blogging career!  They have an absolutely wonderful blog with top notch recipes and beautiful food photography!  They also happen to be just about the nicest folks around!  We had such a great time collaborating!  It was only the proper thing to do to return such a wonderful invitation and BOY OH BOY am I glad I did!  There was a serious lack of baked goods on my blog and these have filled the void QUITE NICELY!!!  I am HONORED to welcome one of my best foodie friends to Aunt Bee's Kitchen!  It is my pleasure to introduce Dan:

A few weeks ago I met my friend Brandi.  Actually, several thousand of you did as well.  She is the lady behind Aunt Bee's Recipes; ring a bell?  Or should I ask, make your stomach growl and lips start smacking at the mention of her name?  If so, it's no coincidence.   Brandi was our special guest on Platter Talk a month or so ago and quite a few of our readers liked the Smoked Sausage Penne Alfredo that she brought along with her, all the way from Alabama.  In fact, so many liked it, her post has become the fourth (and soon to be third) most read post of all time, on the site.  Clearly Brandi has got a special touch with her recipes and her prose - imagine the trepidation I felt when she so matter-of-factly relayed to me the simple message, "Don't forget, y'all owe me one."

I admit, I had hoped that Brandi would just let it go.  Asking others to do a guest post for you is easy, returning the favor as it turns out isn't all that difficult either.   By now you've figured out that Brandi did not let it go, and for that I'm grateful.  Had she not reminded me in her not-so-subtle way, and had I not manned-up and returned the favor, these lemon bars never would have been made and as my good friend Brandi might say, "Y'all would not be reading this right now."

But I am returning the favor, or should I say we are returning the favor.  This post is a true collaborative effort between my husband and me.  He's the guy who put these soft and lemony bars together, and I'm the one writing about it.  One of the things that struck us the most about these bars is the amount of flavor obtained from just 6 tablespoons of lemon juice.  It doesn't sound like much, but it's just the right amount.

Doing this post, and thinking of the many posts that other talented food bloggers have prepared for Platter Talk, I was reminded once again how food brings people together.  I'm especially aware of this in part because of the book by Sue Monk Kidd that I just finished reading, The Invention of Wings.  It's a tale dear to my heart in part because much of it takes place in Charleston, SC, home of my Alma Mater.  Of far greater importance though, it's a story that illustrates the opposing views of people within our own country which eventually led to the most divisive social issue in our history, and one that regrettably still exists to some extent.  Thank goodness, the vast majority of the monstrosities that were manifested out of racial inequalities have been resolved.  Like many social issues, especially those stemming from the bias and prejudices of generations that have gone before; there is still work to be done, even 200 years later. 

Back then, it would be unfathomable that a young married mom in Alabama, and a man married to another man in Wisconsin, would ever cross paths let alone collaborate together with a passion they both share.  Guess what, friends - that's what has happened here.  We've come a long ways.  Many of us have been dealt lemons along the way and some of us have even been the ones to dole out some of the fruit.   Today though we are leaving all of that behind us and moving forward.  We are making lemon bars out of lemons.  These are for my friend, Brandi.

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Lemon Bars
recipe from Mike Cooney

yield 15 bars

for the crust
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
for the filling
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix flour, powdered sugar, and butter with pastry blender.
  • Spread the mix in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, bake for 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile prepare and mix the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour filling over the baked crust and bake another 25 minutes.
  • When done, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Ingredients for crust can be pulsed in a food processor.
  • In lieu of greasing the baking pan, it can be lined with parchment paper to help prevent the crust from sticking.

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  1. What a beautiful post Dan, and I am so glad you and Brandi have formed a special bond through food and blogging. I am proud to call Brandi my friend and so glad to have you as a friend also Dan. Kudos to your husband for making these delicious treats.

    1. Patty, Thanks so much! Brandi definitely is a great gal, as they say up here :-)

  2. Dan, you and Brandi are an awesome "kitchen twosome". These bars sound so delish and as always you've given us a great background story. I remember that dish from Brandi and it's def "drool" worthy. Thanks to you both for your foodie favors!

    1. Thank you, KC! (I was chopping today and naturally had to think of you! :-)

  3. I adore lemon bars and those look so good!!

  4. WOW, these sound delicious. I think I might have to try them out. I love lemon.

  5. I just don't even know what to say Dan and Brandi! These are just absolutely fantastic! You are both wonderful!

  6. What a wonderful post and FABULOUS lemon bars!! (they are one of my MOST favorite desserts!!) So happy to have BOTH of you in my "foodie family!" Hugs to both of you!! <3

  7. Holy heck these lemon bars are making my taste buds pucker. I can just imagine the sweet and tart contrast. YUM!!

  8. These lemon bars look delicious. I would love to dig into these! I'm such a fan of all things lemony.

  9. What a wonderful guest post Dan! Not to mention... yum! Love Lemon Bars! Thank you Brandi for reminding Dan to do it!

  10. congrats and these look delish!

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  12. What a sweet story of friendship and lemon bars.

  13. Oh my goodness, I so want one of those lemon bars. Nice guest post too.