Lemon Bars

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Lemon anything in the summertime is just about my favourite thing. It probably has something to do with the bright, vibrant yellow of a lemon looking like the sun and putting a big smile on my face.

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A friend of mine from culinary school sent me a message asking if I had a go-to lemon bar recipe. I didn’t, but I definitely do now.

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These bars are lemony. There is nothing subtle about the lemon with these and that’s just the way I like it. I’ve put some lemon zest in the shortbread and 8 lemons worth of freshly squeezed lemon juice making up the filling.

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Lemons for everyone!

These lemon bars couldn’t be easier to make. A super simple 4-ingredient shortbread base and the filling? The hardest part is juicing the lemons, which isn’t hard at all :)

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Top these babies off with a little powdered sugar when they’re cool and you have just about the most perfect summer treat!

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When life gives you lemons, make lemon bars.

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Lemon Bars: 

Ingredients:

Crust: 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Zest of one lemon

Filling: 

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • Juice of 8-9 lemons (about 1 cup)
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. To make the crust, beat together the butter, sugar, flour and lemon zest. Press into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the sugar and flour. Add eggs and lemon juice, whisking to combine. Pour over baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into desired size.

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Break You Make

Chobani is currently promoting their #BreakYouMake project. They’re challenging everyone to talk about someone in their life (family, friends, coworkers, etc.) in need of a break.

The premise behind this project is that people throughout America work hard and need a break. Their Chobani Flip Greek Yogurt is the perfect way for everyone to get the break they deserve.


My mum is without a doubt one of the hardest workers and most inspirational people I know.

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Almost 15 years ago, my family and I moved from Stevenage, England to Portland, Oregon due to my dad’s job relocating here. My dad moved a couple of weeks before us to get settled in and set things up, so my mum made the trip halfway across the world with three kids aged 10, 8, and 6.

Trying to keep three kids entertained on a 10 1/2 hour flight from London to San Francisco, then a flight up to Portland was no easy task and I don’t envy that she had to do that. Especially with children that weren’t used to flying.

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Once we settled into Portland, she took us to and from school, to all of our soccer, volleyball and tennis games and practices, went to all of our school events, and even helped coach my little sister’s middle school volleyball team.

My mum is a nurse and is currently working as a hospice nurse here in the Portland area. Hospice nurses provide comfort care for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and given six months or less to live. She frequently has a full case-load of 13 patients and it is her responsibility to provide comfort care for them and be someone that they, they’re families, and caregivers can talk to.

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She spends her day driving around Portland, visiting patients at their houses or the care facilities they are living in. Some days she drives up to 80 miles and sees five different people.

When most people get home from work, they can sit down and enjoy the rest of the day. My mum’s work hours are 8-5:30, during which time she is making phone calls, calling in prescriptions, coordinating with doctors, sending faxes/emails, and visiting patients throughout the city.

Most nights though, she isn’t done with work at 5:30. She might be home at that time, but she will likely still have a couple of hours of documentation to do for each patient from that day’s visits. Her daily grind is absolutely insane.

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Despite how hard she works and everything she has to cram into a single day, it’s easy to see how much she loves what she does. She develops relationships with her patients and their families, allowing her to do her job to the best of her abilities.

Because her patients all have terminal illnesses, she deals with death often. I can only imagine the mental and emotional toll it must have on her; I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

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As well as being an incredible hospice nurse, she’s been a great nurse for me too. Over the last 10 years, I’ve had six knee surgeries and she and my dad have been there for each one, taking me to post-op appointments and physical therapy until I was cleared to drive again.

Did I mention she also runs half marathons? She’s incredible.

She has been a constant source of encouragement for me. It was my mum who first suggested I apply to culinary school and it’s definitely not an understatement to say I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.

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So thanks, mum. You’re the best. You deserve a break more than anyone I know.

Earl Grey Scones with Lemon Drizzle

I’m obsessed with tea. I drink so much of it my family calls me a teapot. So it was only a matter of time before I incorporated one of my favourite beverages in with my baking.

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I drink Earl Grey pretty much every night before I go to bed {that makes me sound like a little old lady, doesn’t it?}. It’s a black tea infused with bergamot oil which is an oil found in the rinds of bergamot oranges, giving this tea a subtle citrus flavour.

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We recently had a couple of people from New Zealand stay with us and one of them was just about as obsessed with tea as I am. Kindred spirits!

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These scones are so easy to make and take hardly any time at all. Mix it, knead it a little, cut it up and bake ’em.

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Piece of cake (scone?).

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When you knead the dough it’ll be a little sticky, so make sure you have some flour nearby so the dough doesn’t stick to your countertop or your hands.

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I cut my scones into 12 triangles, but feel free to cut out any shapes you want. I’m partial to circle scones, too.

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The glaze for these little guys is super simple and adds just a little extra citrus flavour to the scones.

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In other news, I have my official culinary school graduation ceremony TOMORROW! And look at this beautiful chef jacket I get. Way better than a cap and gown.

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These scones are delicious by themselves, but I also love them with a cup of tea {duh}. A neutral black tea or Earl Grey are my go-to’s.

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Earl Grey Scones with Lemon Drizzle:
Makes 12 scones

Ingredients:

Scones

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Earl Grey teabags
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk

Lemon Drizzle

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Scant 1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, tea, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cut in the butter until the butter is in pea-size pieces.
  4. Whisk together your egg and milk. Add to the flour mixture and stir to create a dough.
  5. Turn out onto a floured countertop and knead for about 30 seconds. Pat dough into a circle and cut into 12 triangles. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
  6. While scones are cooling, make your lemon glaze by combining the powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  7. Once cool, drizzle lemon glazer over the top.

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