Lemon bars are not hiking treats

posted on: Monday, March 7, 2011

Hiking treats are little snacks you can stuff in your pocket to bribe your kids to walk faster. A little something or other to energize you to finish the hike. Pretzels dipped in white chocolate, for example, would make perfect hiking treats. On Friday I was going to make pretzels dipped in white chocolate, pack them in the cooler and take them to Yosemite with us.  Instead I made lemon bars.

Hiking on its own is not a treat. If at the end of the hike you feel like it was a treat then you didn't go on a hike, you went on a nature walk. It's different. Hiking is wonderful and beautiful and a lot of work. 

On Saturday we hiked in the snow to see the Giant Sequoias.

It was the first time my cousin Gabriel (our temporary adoptee) saw snow. It was the first time Enzo and Baby Maria played in the snow. Christian and I have played and seen snow plenty, all when we were dating and the first two years of our marriage. It brought back wonderful memories.

I know most are past ready to see all the snow melt and Spring to come. I don't blame you. I remember the craziness it was to live in a place where it snowed from October to March, sometimes even April. However, visiting snow is a whole other experience and seeing it for the first time is magical, especially if you're in a place like Yosemite. 

We kept asking Gabriel if he was having fun. "I feel like this is all fake, it can't be real," was his quick reply. I know the feeling. As someone who grew up in Sao Paulo, a massive concrete jungle, seeing snow for the first time can be overwhelming. Top that with majestic concrete slabs and waterfalls everywhere, you're sure to feel like it's unreal. 

This past weekend was the first time we went to Yosemite in the winter. It took my breath away again. I think it did the same for Gabriel, who had a smile on his face the entire time.

His treat for being a good hiker was playing in the snow. He didn't know what to do with himself.

Enzo asked me if his hiking treat could be snowballs. I figured it was as clean as anything else he's willing to put in his mouth. The truth is he wasn't great at hiking. He kept falling every 3 steps. Walking in snow is hard for a little dude who is used to warm weather and surf. However, his attitude was perfect. Christian walked back to the car with Gabriel and Baby Maria then came back to rescue Enzo on the boogie board. 

He deserved the lift. 

During the hike Christian found some mistletoe on the ground.

That was our little treat for braving the hike with two young kids. Go us!

and Baby maria
well, she walked some and got carried some and even cried some. The usual. However she was able to thaw out her coldy toes inside the car while watching Wonder Pets on my ipod touch, her fave.

Once we were all in the car we busted out the lemon bars.

because lemon bars are perfect post-hiking in the snow treats.

Ina Garten's Lemon Bars


1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crust: cream the butter and sugar. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Gather the dough into a ball then flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides.
  3. Bake the crust until very lightly browned, about 15 minutes. 
  4. Leave the oven on. While the crust is cooling start making the filling.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set.
  6. Let cool to room temperature then cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.
Ina Garten is my go to girl for recipes that always work that's why I went with this recipe. Next time I'm tempted to try David Lebovitz's Whole Lemon Bars (because his recipes always work too). I haven't tried any recipes from the blog give me flour but everything on there looks amazing, and I like that she's a fellow Brazilian, so after I finish the lemon bars that came back with us from the trip, and after I make David Lebovitz's recipe I'll make the lemon bars from give me flour . That's a whole lot of lemon bars. Yes it is. I think it calls for another Yosemite trip.

ps: I put up more pictures of our trip on Facebook. You can see it here
Hope you had a lovely weeken


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