Friday, June 11, 2010

On The Move Again

Life has its bittersweet moments, eh folks? *dramatic sigh*

Wow. That was a bit of a downer sentiment. Not the ideal way I like to start my blog posts. Ok, let's try again ...

Life sure knows how to keep me on my toes! I've never been more exhausted from having so much summer fun! (that's better; a little fake, but I'll make it work)

Before you think I've gone off the deep end, let me explain dear readers. See, I'm moving. Again. Yup, just one year in our little Connecticut town, and it's time to pack up and move - to Michigan, this time! So the last couple of weeks have been all about meeting up with local friends and family for one last time before the big move. All this socializing has been wonderful - certainly the most action I've had in a while (DH is going to take that the wrong way). But I'm no celebrity, used to partying it up till the wee hours of the morning. I'm a new Mama, who is barely functioning on minimal sleep. So while it's been wonderful and fun, and I've thoroughly enjoyed getting dressed up and mingling with like-minded adults, I'm now officially knackered!

So please be patient with me, dear readers. I know I have a lot of catching up to do with your blogs - and I intend to do them justice when I do get to them - but please allow me to be a little more scatter-brained than usual for the next few weeks. The movers will be coming sooner than I'd like, and I haven't done a thing!

But let's stick with what I can do. I most certainly can tell you how much I loved working with key limes for the first time. And how adorable I think Pat and Gina Neely are on the Food Network. I got a big bag of these tart-sweet little darlings from my grocery store, and used them two different ways. Here's the recipe that was super easy to make, and perfect for bake sales and potlucks.

Key Lime Bars (recipe adapted from Pat and Gina Neely)
12-16 bars

Click here for printable recipe

For cookie crust:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

For lime filling:
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh key lime juice
1 tsp grated key lime zest
Confectioners' sugar for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray bottom and sides of an 8" x 8" pan with non-stick spray.

2. For the crust: combine soft butter and sugar in an electric mixer till light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt, then mix another minute till well-combined. Transfer dough to the prepared pan, and pat out to an even thickness all over the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 15-20 mins till lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool on baking rack.

3. For the topping: whisk together the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Then whisk in the lime juice and zest.

4. Pour the lime topping over the cooled crust, then bake for an additional 20-25 mins, until the filling is set.
5. Allow bars to cool completely. Then cut into squares and dust generously with confectioners' sugar. Luxuriate in the fresh lime fragrance wafting through your house.

Verdict: I've always been curious about key limes. Turns out there isn't a huge taste difference between them and regular limes, at least to my novice palette. Yes, they are a wee bit sweeter, and a whole lot smaller - which just makes them that much harder to zest and juice! But I'm glad I gave in to my once-in-a-blue-moon citrus craving. Crisp on the top and bottom, and oozing in the center, these key lime bars were fresh, tart and puck(er)ing good! (oh har dee har har). I was a good girl this time, and gave most of them away to DH's colleagues, who thought they were "sublime" - their words, I swear!