Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Lemon Lady's Favorite Lemon Bars...


Photo courtesy: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/

Ahh...what memories. Back when I was single and fancy free, before trading cookbooks for Dr. Seuss books, I lived and breathed from one dinner party to the next. Baking trays and trays of scrumptious desserts. A tried and true recipe from Cook's Illustrated still tops my list as an all-time favorite. Give it a try. Find a neighbor with a lemon tree. Glean a few for the food pantry. Make friends and bake yummy lemon bars!

From Cook’s Illustrated, May/June ’98.
The crust:
1 ¾ cups flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for decoration
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ tsp. salt
12 tbl. unsalted butter at very cool room temp., cut into 1-inch pieces

Lemon filling:
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tbl. flour
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest from 1 large lemon
2/3 cup juice from 3 large lemons, strained
1/3 cup whole milk
1/8 tsp. salt

For the crust: Lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and line with one sheet of parchment paper. Dot paper with butter and then lay a second sheet crosswise over the first.

Pulse flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor to blend. Add butter and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second bursts. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and press firmly with fingers into even, ¼-inch layer over entire pan bottom and about ½ inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake crust until golden brown about 20 minutes.

For the filling: While crust is baking, whisk eggs, sugar and flour in a medium bowl then stir in lemon juice, zest, mile and salt to blend well.

To finish the bars: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir filling mixture to reblend; pour into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to near room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Holding edges of parchment paper, lift whole cake out of pan and transfer to cutting board, fold paper down sides and cut into serving-size squares or bars, wiping knife clean between cuts. Sieve more powdered sugar over bars, if desired.

P.S.
To find a food bank or local food pantry, zip code search, nationwide, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Children's Theatre Companies and Performances Contra Costa County, Alameda County, Solano County, and Silicon Valley...

Mt. Diablo Unified School District
Most schools have Drama departments with at least one performance each year; tickets for sale to the public. Phone individual school to check on performance dates.

Del Valle Theatre
Lesher Center for the Arts
Walnut Creek, CA

http://www.lesherartscenter.org/on-stage.html

Bay Area Children's Theatre
San Ramon, CA
Berkeley, CA
http://www.bactheatre.org

Berkeley Playhouse
Berkeley, CA
http://berkeleyplayhouse.org

California Theatre Company
Sunnyvale, CA
Livermore, CA
San Ramon, CA
http://www.ctcinc.org/plays_and_tickets.html

Byron School District
https://www.facebook.com/VolunteerParentsoftheArtsClub
Excelsier Middle School
Byron, CA
http://www.edline.net/pages/excelsior_ms

Diablo Valley College
Pleasant Hill, CA
http://www.dvc.edu/events/drama/index.html

Civic Arts Youth Theatre Company
Walnut Creek, CA
http://www.youththeatrecompany.org

Pacifica Spindrift Players
Pacifica, CA
http://www.pacificaspindriftplayers.org/Season/index.html

Town Hall Theatre
Lafayette, CA
http://www.townhalltheatre.com/tickets/single-tickets

Firehouse Arts Center
Pleasanton, CA
http://www.firehousearts.org

Village Theatre
Local Elementary Schools perform here.
Danville, CA
http://www.villagetheatreshows.com

Orinda Intermediate School
Orinda, CA
Seasonal Musicals / Drama Productions
http://ois-orinda-ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x...

Defying Gravity Foundation
Diablo View Middle School, Clayton, CA
Pine Hollow Middle School, Concord, CA
http://www.defyinggravityfoundation.org
Upcoming Events: http://www.defyinggravityfoundation.org/#!the-club

Walnut Acres Elementary
Walnut Creek, CA
Walnut Acres Children's Theatre
http://walnutacres-elementary.org

Peter Pan Foundation
Various Venues from Pleasant Hill, CA to Lafayatte, CA
http://www.peterpanfoundation.org/UpcomingShows/

Actors Theatre For Children
Santa Rosa, CA
http://www.actorstheaterforchildren.com/events.shtml

City of Santa Clara
Roberta Jones Junior Theatre
Santa Clara, CA
http://santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=2535

Playful People Productions
San Jose, CA
http://playfulpeople.net