Lemon-Shortbread Bars


“The secret ingredient is always love.”  Unknown

Lemon Lovers rejoice!  This tart and sweet lemon custard baked on top of a layer of buttery shortbread is a perfect, easy springtime treat. One bite and you’ll be rewarded with a pucker-worthy burst of perfect tart-meets-sweet flavor. The bars can be made with Meyer lemons or regular lemons. Either way, they are delicious and a lovely quarantine pick-me-up.   Continue reading

Mousse au chocolat


“I have met brave women who are exploring the outer edge of human possibility, with no history to guide them, and with a courage to make themselves vulnerable that I find moving beyond words.” Gloria Steinem

On a recent evening I stood on our apartment balcony and banged a spoon against a pot to honor the men and women working the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.  It was a small gesture in an immense debt of gratitude owed to those who risk their lives daily to save our lives.  It brought me to tears.  In these unsettled times, one can feel small and inconsequential in the big picture of life.

Without the ability to control much of our current existence, many of us have found comfort in cooking for our loved ones in lockdown.    Many have told me my little blog provided inspiration in these difficult times.  I thought I would share a recipe that reminds me of friendship and better days ahead.  It is for a simple, classic French chocolate mousse.  Without added sugar, it gets its sweetness from the chocolate you choose to make it with.  Love dark chocolate?  Omit the milk chocolate and use only dark.  It feels celebratory, indulgent even.  More so, it reminds me there are small pleasures to be had in the quotidien social distancing we have been ordered to practice.  I even broke out the white linens and the silver to show my family they are loved.  It is a small gesture but some days, small gestures are all we have.

This simple recipe also brings back wonderful memories.  It was served at an animated luncheon with my French conversation group who I love and miss.   I was scheduled to  host them in my home this month and I look forward to when I will again be able to get together with friends.  The very first blog post I wrote was a feature on a French luncheon with this group in my garden.  (You can revisit it here.)  Food has the power to conjecture strong connections to our past.

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle  the inner spirit.” Albert Schweitzer

I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during the pandemic.  I hope you find small rays of hope in your days.  We will get to the other side of this, together.  And soon, we will be opening our doors to fill our homes with the love and friendship of family and friends.  Continue reading