Watermelon Granita

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When I was little, I was obsessed with the color pink. All of my clothes were pink, my bedroom was pink, my cousin Kari and I even talked about how we would one day live in an entirely pink house. Needless to say, this hasn't happened (yet), particularly given that my current roommate probably wouldn't be too pleased. But I can post recipes in my favorite hue, and given the last couple of posts, there seems to be a trend. _MG_6393

 

_MG_6387It hasn't been particularly hot in NYC yet, but this granita is still super refreshing. It's a great way to use up the other half of that watermelon that you bought but didn't get a chance to eat – plus, you could add tequila or rum and make it into an adult slushie (which obviously, we did). _MG_6406

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Watermelon Granita (adapted from Food & Wine)

1/3 cup sugar 5-6 cups 1-inch watermelon cubes, seeds removed 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/3 cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Transfer the syrup to a blender or food processor, add half of the watermelon cubes and lemon juice and pulse until smooth. Add the remaining watermelon cubes and blend until smooth.
Pass the puree through a coarse strainer, pressing down on the solids. Transfer to a 1-lb. loaf pan  and freeze, stirring every 30 minutes with a fork, until all the liquid has frozen completely, about 3 hours. Will keep, covered, in the freezer for up to a week.

 

Happy Halloween!

_MG_5280For someone who wanted to be an actress for most of their life, I was never very good at Halloween (how things change, eh? Though I work down the street from Times Square, so that still counts, right?) Somehow, September would always fly by and then it would be October 30th and I never have a good costume and would just end up being a cowgirl or Carmen Sandiego or something. But this year, we decided to have a little pre-Halloween party, so I decided it was time to come up with a decent costume for once. (Spoiler: it was Medusa. Inexpensive and a little scary = my kind of costume)_MG_5261  

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I also surprised myself and ended up getting kind of into the Halloween theme, which ended up being pretty fun -- and I think between the dark n' stormy punch, ghost cake pops, and Sriracha deviled eggs, it was pretty successful. I also made cupcakes with my favorite cake recipe, but used this frosting technique to make spiderwebs. Just in case you were looking for a last-minute Halloween snack (and don't have enough candy) all of these are relatively quick to make._MG_5262

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunburst Lemon Bars

_MG_3777My mother brings these lemon bars to almost every party that I can remember, and they are inevitably a hit. They are certainly the best lemon bars I have ever had, and I have started to continue her tradition by bringing them to a holiday party in December. I think my favorite part is the tart lemon glaze, which gives them a really lovely brightness. I'm pretty sure these are originally from a copy of Sunset magazine circa 1991, but I can't be sure. In any case, they are classic. Be sure to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice for the best results._MG_3785 IMG_3792

 

 

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_MG_3796Sunburst Lemon Bars

For crust:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter

For lemon custard:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 cup lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons lemon zest

For glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, powdered sugar, and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Press evenly into a 13x9 roasting pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

Meanwhile, blend eggs, sugar, flour, and baking powder in a medium bowl, then add lemon juice and zest. Mix until just combined, then pour over warm crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes.

For glaze, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and drizzle over cooled bars. Cut into squares and serve. These will keep overnight in the refrigerator.