Lime Meltaways

I’ve been listening to a lot of hip hop recently…more specifically a lot of Outkast. It’s just so good, I can’t stop and I have no intention on doing so either, so let’ embrace it together.

I’ve never claimed to be perfect on here, and I never will, because I am so far from. But we’re all a little flawed, right? That’s what makes us who we are. How did I get the way that I am? By dancing around the kitchen to hip hop/rap from 1996 and misreading recipes because I’m too busy jamming.

I’m not complaining though. I’d much rather be a good baker in general and just have a tendency to get a little distracted then be super focused on my recipe and still turn out hockey pucks of dirt. Am I right?

So about once a month I mess up pretty badly in the kitchen, and my first shot at this one was my free pass for the month. I may have put in a whole extra stick of butter into the recipe…whoops!

But rest assured, when you actually make the recipe with the proper ingredients it is not only incredibly easy to make, but they are light and simply addictive.

They’re called meltaways because they do pretty much melt away in your mouth. Writing that reminded me of when I teach the little munchkins about bean clams…”Why do you think they’re called bean clams?” “Because they’re shaped like a bean!” “Yeah! See guys, science is easy!”….yeah that happens.

The lime pefectly blends into the slightly sweet buttery cookie. You wont be screaming, oh woah did you taste that lime! But you will be saying, oh my these are lovely.

They’re not like most cookies, where you feel like you ate a meal after three or four cookies (everyone eats 3-4 cookies when they eat cookies right…?). I could eat 10 of these cookies and would be ready for just about 10 more.

The’re the perfect little cookie to share with friends over lunch on the beach…which is exactly what I did with them! Don’t forget to put sunscreen on so your face isn’t red the next day. Don’t be like me. Having a face that looks like you’re always blushing is not cute, it’s awkward.


Pistachio Walnut Bars with a Citrus Glaze {And My Obsession With Cookbooks}

It’s hard to believe that before my sister-in-law came into the family, I didn’t own any of my own cookbooks. I pretty much just went off the internet and printed out recipes. I know the internet now has pretty much every recipe that is printed in books, but there is something really comforting about holding a cookbook in your arms and looking at all of the post-it notes of opportunity in sticking out at you.

About three years ago, my brother and sister-in-law gave me my first cookbook – Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. To this day, it still is one of my favorite cookbooks because it gives you a huge variety of desserts, breads, pastries, and even some savory baked items. Over the following year I received a few more from them, The Sono Baking Company Cookbook, Desserts By The Yard, and The Craft of Baking. Each one filled with amazing recipes so different than the book before it. I don’t think either of us realized what that one Martha Stewart cookbook would kickstart for me.

I have a routine when I get a new cookbook. I see it at some cooking store/bookstore and instantly am sucked into it’s cover. I flip through the pages to see if there are pictures, because for me if there are not pictures it gives me a bad first impression. (Except for cookbooks like Betty Crocker’s Joy of Cooking & The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. It is just common knowledge that these are going to be awesome recipes, no picture necessary to entice the tastebuds.)

Once the cookbook has passed my picture approval stage, then I find at least 5-10 recipes in it that I know I’m going to make. When you first look at a cookbook, you’re not going to love every recipe. But as I have learned over time, those recipes that at first glance sounded bizarre or too difficult, will soon sound delicious and attainable. I’m not inclined to buy a cookbook that is full of basic recipes, a little challenge is good in the kitchen.

Then I take my new beautiful cookbook home with me and whip out the stack of Post-it notes. I go through each page, look at the picture (if available) and read through the ingredients & instructions. Sometimes I will make a note on the Post-it of an idea that I want to add on to the recipe. After about an hour or more of serious scanning, the cookbook is covered with little yellow (or pink) Post-its bursting out of it, begging for me to open to their page and start cooking.

Now I am going to let you in on my secret. Technically, I only own 8 or 9 cookbooks but recently I have discovered this amazing new way of getting cookbooks for free. Let me introduce you to the Public Library of Los Angeles County (& the Santa Monica Library). Seriously, I know this is weirding you out right now, and it did for me at first too, but the library is overflowing with every cookbook imaginable. These are just some of the ones I checked out today:

And my routine is the same, I go through and post it note them, and then probably a second round too. For library books I will either scan the recipes I want, or type them up. If the book turns out to be really good, I will go out and buy it, but usually I am only copying down a handful of recipes. This way I get to try out a ton of new books, without spending all of my money on cookbooks (although I would have a wall of them if that was an option).

This recipe today is coming from a new cookbook I picked up recently from of all places, Costco! Normally the book is about $35 and I got it for $18! I read about it online and put it on my list of books I wanted to pick up from the library. Then when I was making the trip to Costco for bulk amounts of sugar (yeah), I saw this cookbook sitting there and couldn’t resist.

The collection of recipes is so perfect for the kind of baker I am, it only made sense for me to own it. It is called Home Baked Comfort and has featured recipes from Huckleberry in Santa Monica (I have a post coming about them soon!), the amazing blog Smitten Kitchen, the famous Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, and more! Don’t get me started on the beautiful food photography in this book.

The first recipe I tried from this book was the Pistachio-Almond Bars with a Citrus Glaze. I altered it to fit my kitchen, which was not stocked with almonds but with walnuts instead. Also, I personally am not a big fan of orange flavors in desserts so instead of lemon & orange glaze, I did a lemon & lime glaze.

I know it’s a pain, but you need to get the food processor & your mixer out for this recipe.

The nuts, sugar, and rinds will all come together into a sand like texture. To this you will add the flour, baking powder, and salt.

There is no saying this nicely, the batter looks baby food. Trust me though, a little green in your life isn’t bad.

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. It was probably my fault for making these during lunch time.

I brought these little bars to a few people, and everyone had positive feedback. They are so moist but with a crunch from the nuts, and a little bite from the citrus in the glaze. The thing with these is that they really are not that sweet, but its the citrus that gets your taste buds craving more.

Can’t wait to share more of these recipes with you!