• Bug,  domesticity,  Lemon Week,  Stealthy Spy Cooking

    Lemon Week: The End

    Lemon Week: The END

    So um. I guess this is the end of Lemon Week. I was calling it citrus week earlier because I had tangelos too but we just ate those plain or gave them away. So there’s nothing all that exciting to report on the tangelo front. I still have a freezer full of lemon juice and zest so I guess I could continue with lemon week but it’s not the same as when you have a bowl of fresh ones on your counter threatening to mold if you don’t use them up.

    As you can see I did not complete my mission successfully. When I looked at the fruit bowl this morning it was a sad sight. This week was fun though. My mom still has a tree full of lemons so maybe I’ll try it again next time I visit her.

    I cook with lemon juice all the time just to “brighten” things up but this week was extra fun because it forced me to try new recipes and you all know how I am about recipes. They are a challenge! I actually had fun though and discovered some new things I like.

    Lemon Honey Oregano Chicken

    I made this Oregano-Lemon Chicken dish which I admit I was so not excited about. I did not expect it to taste good at all. It was way too easy to make and felt like I was just dumping some chicken in a pan, dumping some lemon juice with oregano in it and calling it a day. I was actually pleasantly surprised when 45 minutes later the chicken tasted pretty good.

    It was a late night cooking so I took no photos of the completed dish. The light is horrible in my kitchen once the sun goes down. Also, it was the day before I needed to go grocery shopping so I was out of everything and just served it with boring old white rice and a side of butternut squash (TWO starches, as my mom would say disapprovingly). It wasn’t exactly photogenic.


    However! Today I chopped it up and put it in a pita sandwich with sprouts, grape tomatoes, cucumbers and some plain yogurt and it was delicious!

    sprouts, grape tomatoes, plain yogurt, lemon chicken and cucumbers!

    I say anything that tastes good the next day cold is a winner!


    Even Bug liked it!

  • crazy stuff,  domesticity,  fighting the fat gene,  I'm an idiot,  Lemon Week,  raving lunatic rant,  spilling my guts,  Stealthy Spy Cooking

    Citrus Week Day Two: Lemon Bars!


    Good thing I’m the boss here at Lemon Week SAJ because anybody else would be FIRED! So it’s day two…sort of. I didn’t say I’d do all the days in a row! Whatever, right? Just write something already.


    So far we’ve made lemon scones, lemonade, a vodka drink for me (that I called SAJ-quil because I was fighting an irritating cold that I am now over) and Lemon Bars!

    I love LOVE lemon bars. It’s really bad. I inherited this love of lemon and sugar and butter from my mom and now just like my mom, I find myself battling extra pounds on my body that make me less lithe than I’d like to be. Dumb genetics! I shouldn’t have made the lemon bars because it is next to impossible for me to walk by the refrigerator door without hearing those little bars screaming for me.

    Shut up! Lemon bars, shut up!!!!! (I can hear them all the way from my seat at the table.) I am so taking them to a friend’s house and leaving them there. Ack.

    Weight schmeight. (My attitude becomes me, I know.) In my book, you can’t have a lemon week without lemon bars so here I am introducing them to Bug just like my mom introduced them to me. Hopefully, Bug takes after her dad and doesn’t inherit my thunder thighs or my incredible lack of willpower.

    mixer girl waiting for the crust to be ready

    Bug loves to cook with me in the kitchen, the poor kid. She also has to put up with my harebrained method of recipe-reading that involves frantic number-checking and re-checking and then weeping and wailing because I cannot read a recipe from top to bottom in order without skimming or leaving out major parts.

    I’ve always thought I was retarded because I cannot keep numbers in my head longer than a butterfly sneeze. I’ll read 1 1/2 cups and then by the time I walk from the cookbook back to my mixing bowl, I’ve forgotten whether it was 1/2 or 1 1/2. I know most of you will laugh at me but this is a serious problem for me when it comes to baking. In fact, this is why I don’t bake usually. It’s way too much work for me. You should see me racing back and forth across my kitchen trying to put together a list of three ingredients. It’s insane. And then sometimes I mix up teaspoons with tablespoons and you can see why things don’t always come out right.

    I’ve self-diagnosed myself with dyscalculia, which is sort of like dyslexia but with numbers instead of letters. I’ve always hated math ever since I was forced to play “math baseball” in second grade. I remember I practically peed myself in fear as I stood at the blackboard staring at the squiggles while the class shouted at me to add or subtract. I’ve managed through the years, figuring out ways of counting on my fingers secretly or making up complicated dot patterns. But recently with motherhood it’s gotten worse. Sometimes when I’m at the bank, I have to write my account number three times before I get it right. It can be pretty embarrassing.

    Anyway, this is not a moan-fest about how much I hate math. I just wanted to include that so you can see why baking is extra fun for me. I can design notecards and web banners and even packaging while using a ruler and fractions and picas just fine but for some reason when I’m in the kitchen, I get struck with major anxiety about reading numbers or just plain reading. It’s weird.

    shortbread crust! sugaring the top

    I mostly wrote all those words about math anxiety and dyscalculia so that you don’t laugh when I tell you that I misread the lemon bar recipe (thanks Calee for the link!) and somehow couldn’t figure out how to make the shortbread crust that goes under the lemon bars. I thought it wasn’t included in the recipe so I found another recipe online and used that. But it wasn’t enough so I had to make two batches. Amazingly, it all turned out fine. I don’t know how but it did. I guess shortbread crusts are indestructible.

    But because of my crazy-making recipe reading, Bug had to wait quite a bit between the crust-making and the lemon-bar-mix—making which is fine. Patience is a virtue right?

    lemon bar!

    The lemon bars were divine.

    me and my chins love lemon bars

    Me and my many chins enjoyed them mightily.