Lemon Bars

I did my first triathlon when I was 14.  It was a very short race – .25 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 2.5 mile run – and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I did the swim in a swimsuit and then threw on soccer shorts for the bike and run (which I ended up walking).  I didn’t feel any desire to do another one for quite a few years.

Then in college, I joined the triathlon club because I was rapidly packing on the pounds and getting really out of shape.  I fell in love with the sport and raced a bunch of tris between 2004 and 2008, including a 70.3 (Half Vineman).

I was ecstatic to finish (but my sister was not enthused about my sweaty arm around her).  It took me about 6.5 hours and it was incredibly hard (admittedly I was a little under-trained).

After we went to Asia, I pretty much abandoned triathlon.  Then the other day, I decided (kind of out of the blue) that it was time to register for this…

…my second half Ironman!  I haven’t been on my bike or in a pool since I was pregnant (I just rode on my trainer, and did a couple easy swims), and since Ellie is now almost one, I’m completely out of swimming and biking shape.  But I have 270 days to get ready, and I am STOKED.

My goal for the fall is to swim and bike at least once per week while training for CIM, and then in December I’ll ramp up my swim and bike training so I don’t die.  JUST LOOK at this bike course. Ouch.

– – – – – – – – – –

There were a couple things that were pretty new and exciting when I moved to California ten (seriously?!) years ago.
1. Hard alcohol in the grocery stores. Oregon has state-run liquor stores so it was really weird at first to just be able to roll into Albertson’s for vodka.
2. PALM TREES. They’ll never replace my beloved Douglas Fir, but I absolutely loved (and still do) seeing palm trees everywhere.
3. Fruit trees. People have avocado trees, lemon trees, and orange trees in their yards. Awesome.

We have a lemon tree in our front yard now, and I LOVE it.  I get a couple fresh lemons off the tree almost every day, which means I have all sorts of ideas for things to do with them.  Lemon bars are pretty basic, but they are so good.  I combined elements of Ina Garten’s and the Gourmet Cookbook’s recipes, but scaled them down because a 13 x 9 pan is a LOT of lemon.

Lemon Bars


  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • Filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons (about 1 Tbsp)
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8" square pan.
  2. To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times.
  3. Add the butter and pulse until the dough begins to come together and looks like tiny pellets.
  4. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. While the crust is baking, make the filling.
  6. Whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour together until smooth. Pour over the crust, then bake until set in the middle, about 30 minutes.
  7. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Keep in the refrigerator.


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4 comments to Lemon Bars

  • yay for 70.3! I’m planning on doing Vineman 70.3 2013. Must. swim. so. much. more. The bike course for Wildflower looks awesome. 1500 feet of climbing in 4 miles in the last third of the course? craziness! Happy training :)

  • So exciting! I did Wildflower Olympic this year and trained with a bunch of people who did the 70.3. I don’t think I’ll do the 70.3 there maybe ever — but that’s more because I’m not much of a camper. The crowd support on that course is awesome. I’m hoping to do a 70.3 in 2013, so I’m looking forward to following your training!

  • We have a lemon tree on our deck – but I think we probably need to water it if we want it to grow anything.

  • Lemons are good for….LIMONCELLO!!!

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