Did you all have a wonderful 4th of July? Are you now back at work and sad that this week isn't shortened by a day off? Have the 105F days trapped you at home and forced you to finish those projects that have been not-so-patiently waiting your attention? Are you running out of post-its to remind yourself of everything you need to still get done? If so, then I know just how you feel. I'm going to try and pack a lot of stuff into this post, so please bear with me, I'm about to get wordy.
Last Wednesday it was too hot outside to even contemplate venturing out, so when my friend called and asked me if I wanted to come with her to the fair and then chill in her pool, I silently battled with my desire to get out of the house and the very realistic fear of melting and then declined. "I don't want you to come if you're going to complain about the heat the entire time anyways", she said. And I certainly can't blame her. When I get hot I get cranky, whiny, testy, and generally a huge pain to be around. I think I lasted exactly two hours at home after that phone call before I started getting cabin fever. I got a ton of things done and the walls were starting to close in, so I grabbed my bathing suit and a towel and took my friend up on the second part of her offer.
The point of this story is that I have one wall AC unit and when it gets this hot outside there is NO WAY that I'll be even coming close to the oven, let alone turning it on. I'm a bit ashamed, but for the last two weeks I'd been surviving entirely off of leftovers, food my mom sends me home with when I visit, and cereal. But, since I now have some free time that isn't spent putzing around in the kitchen, I finally had time to go through and edit some photos of past projects, not to mention actually finish some of those same projects. And now I am finally ready to share with you this amazing Rhubarb Snack bar recipe that I made a month ago out of a small fortune in farmer's market rhubarb.
I didn't modify this recipe one tiny bit - oh okay, I may have upped the rhubarb and lemon a tiny bit, but my crumb soaked the extra up and didn't get as crispy, so I don't recommend doing that. I think that the woman behind Smitten Kitchen is amazing and none of her recipes have ever let me down. And since I don't think I can add a single thing to her recipe or instructions, even though I did try, I'm just going to give you the link and send you over there.
If you still have rhubarb available by you, please give this recipe a try. The bars came out tender, not too sweet, full of tangy flavor and all in all delicious. I dropped most of them off at my sister's office for the poor stiffs that were working late that day, and saved a few for my friend to snack on at work. And then tried not to devour the few remaining squares in one sitting.
I can't urge you enough to go home and make this. It's delicious. And speaking of delicious! Look at what the amazing lady behind The Lunch Box Project did with my Honey and Peaches Ice Cream recipe from last year:
Isn't it adorable? I met Lisa Orgler at Camp Blogaway a few months back and in addition to being a great cook, she has an entire section of her site dedicated to her foodie illustrations. I think she did a beautiful job. Please go to her site and check out her other drawings, she's fantastic!
Also, look what I've been up to while the oven has been off:
Something about the proximity of my birthday urges me to get as many of the things I'd been procrastinating on crossed off the list as possible. As if I have to answer to someone when I turn one year older to account for my progress over the past year. I started clearing out my house shortly after the new year, but at some point two or three months ago, I'd lost steam. With the birthday quietly looming and the to-do list quietly growing, I'd recently decided to get my butt back into gear and start getting things done. A big part of it was clearing out my giant craft closet and either finishing projects or getting rid of things that will never be used again.
This all resulted in a quilting marathon and since I had a ton of fabric and I've been getting better and faster at it, and thanks to a fantastic post by Make it and Love it a few weeks back I'd decided to add one more project to the list. After reading all the amazing stories about how big of an impact a small thing like a handmade quilt can make in the life of a sick child, I stopped crying, covered my living room with all my fabric, and picked out the most colorful and most fun pieces. I requested the free kit from Quilts for Kids to use as a template and added three more quilts out of my own fabric.
A few days ago everything was assembled, stitched, washed, dried, folded and packed and ready to go. I know this is a baking/cooking blog and not one for crafting, but I can't describe how great it feels to do this and I strongly urge you to ask for a kit and do this too. If you can sew in a straight line, you can do it and the reward in the end is worth all the time and effort invested.