Admit it.  You have more cookbooks than you actually use.  You read them.  You mark recipes.  You intend to go back and make. each. one.  But you don’t.  At least not all of them.  And don’t you just hate that.  Well here is the solution!

Joyce of Kitchen Flavors and Emily of Emily’s Cooking {Makan2} Foray have started Cookbook Countdown to solve that problem.  They started in January but I didn’t find it until late that month so decided to start in February.  And here we are, the first week of February and I am actually following through with my resolve to join and cook from a single underused cookbook each month – which is what Cookbook Countdown is all about.

For February I am using Deb Perelman’s the smitten kitchen cookbook.  You may know of Deb already from her website – Smitten Kitchen.  I have book marked so many of her recipes and not gone back to many.  Having the cookbook in front of me is old school.  And that’s me – Old School!!

To start the month I made her WHOLE LEMON BARS.


I don’t know about you but most of the lemon desserts I make just don’t have enough lemon flavor in them.  This one, however, blew me away with the deep and tart/sweet lemon flavor.  The reason for that?  Instead of just juice and zest Deb includes THE WHOLE LEMON!! Yes, the whole thing!!!

And it works.  Beautifully!  Tartly! Tastefully!

The lemons are sliced.  Extra pith is cut out and the rest of the lemon, sans seeds, is then processed into a puree with the sugar and the rest of the filling ingredients. What a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that when I was dissatisfied with wimpy lemon flavors??  Because I am not as creative as Deb. Which is why I love her cookbook.  So many flavors.  So many ‘out of the box’ {at least to me} flavor/ingredient combos.

Thanks Joyce and Emily for this easy solution to underused cookbooks.

The recipe is on page 217 of the smitten kitchen cookbook.  I also found it ONLINE.

“I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.