When Life Gives You Lemons…Forget the Lemonade, Make Lemon Bars!

As a lover of all things having to do with baking, I tend to relate a lot of life to food. I also love to experiment with recipes and am known to be the, “Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor,” of recipes. One of my dearest friends accuses me of slaughtering recipes regularly 🙂

The thing is, I figure if it tasted so well when she made it I could probably add a little of this and a little of that and it would turn out even richer/healthier/fluffier, etc. The thing is, it never turns out like hers because I have a very hard time following some recipes. Experimenting in the kitchen is just something I find hard to resist. Sometimes recipes just really need more chocolate chips. Other times, there simply must be a way to swap out the butter for coconut oil. Whatever random thing I think of is usually how that recipe is affected. It’s always a surprise!

Sometimes it works out just like I thought it would. And the others, well, I’m sure you’ve experienced an epic Pinterest fail or two. We’ll just categorize my “others” right there with the “Pinterest Fails”…so close.

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Now for the lemony part of today.

Lemon bars are one of my all-time favorite things to make…AND EAT! They are that perfect combination of addicting, melt in your mouth sweetness with a touch of tart that makes you want to eat another one. And I usually do, just so there’s no secrets here.

So when life gives you lemons, make some lemon bars. You will be happy you did.

Maybe only an optimist would come up with thinking of a sour fruit and ending up with a sweet, tasty treat in the end. And leave it to me to be the one to add the powdered sugar on top of the optimism.

Earlier this week I was transported back to my grandma’s kitchen when a sweet friend was telling me about her 7 Days 7 Smiles photo she sent. (If you haven’t done the challenge yet, you definitely should. We’ve been having an absolute blast with the 7 Days 7 Smiles challenge. Lots of smiles going on this week for sure!) She was telling me about how excited she was about getting to enjoy homemade chicken and dumplings with her family. And I must say, which I did in my reply, homemade chicken and dumplings is definitely a sure fire way into a southern girl’s heart! All sorts of memories of my grandma’s kitchen, and days spent helping her in the kitchen started to bubble up. And I may have shed a tear or two in my reminiscing. She was, and will forever be, one of my favorite people in my life.

Powdered sugar…powdered sugar…no tears…Yes, moving on to the aforementioned lemon bars.

My grandmother had a lot of cookbooks from church and community gatherings. In her kitchen she had cookbooks up on a shelf above her desk. My favorite one was actually my mom’s from when she was little. It was a very small children’s cookbook. My favorite recipe to make was called Magic Bars. Sadly, that cookbook is long gone. I’ve looked for recipes to mimic that one, but none I’ve found so far are the same.

To this day, my mom and I both still use one of the cookbooks my grandmother kept on her shelf when we want to get some of those “back in the good old days” recipes.

And that’s right where I went to get this recipe for you. Straight to my favorite cookbook. Is it possible you’ll find the same thing online? Sure, everything is everywhere these days. But this one is copied straight from my well-loved cookbook for you (Recipes Bearing Interest, 1985).

lemon bars recipe.jpg

Note: I would probably substitute butter for the margarine these days, but that’s just me making a “minor adjustment” 😉


Make yourself a batch next time life gives you lemons, or next time you go to the store. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! And don’t have just one…we only live once…Smile 🙂

Have a powdered sugar kind of day!

You got this!


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P.S. Like the lemon analogy? Love the lemon bars? Find a picture of a lemon and put a smiley face on it. Hang it somewhere where you’ll see it often. Watch to see if it makes you smile. Post your lemon pics, or lemon bar pics, in the comments below, or on the MyQ2Life.com Facebook page. I’d love to see what all you creative peeps come up with.


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