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100th Post! and a New Feature!

100th post collage

Today What to do with Lemons celebrates our 100th post! We have made so many things! I can hardly believe it!

A little over a year ago, Katie and I made the decision to start this blog. We put our heads together across the many miles that separate us, did a little soul searching and a lot of research, and in September 2014, What to do with Lemons was born! We had no idea what we were doing… Honestly, we still don’t, but we have learned so much over the past year!

craft collage

Needless to say we love making stuff. And we will keep on making stuff and posting it here. I hope we’ve reached at least a few fellow crafters or bakers or makers out there, and I hope we find a few more in the next 100! Let’s be friends!

craft and baking blog

Today we are sending out love to all our friends and family who have supported us this past year by sharing our posts and tasting our recipes.

And on that note – we are also introducing a NEW PAGE to our site! We’re calling it “Spread the Love” and you’ll find it under the Features tab. If you enjoy reading our blog, visit this page to find links to some other amazing little blogs that WE find inspiring! Spread some love around the internet, then go MAKE something!

Your Favorite Posts: Spring 2015

A few months ago we started a seasonal post series to recap our most popular posts throughout each season. We started out with the top 5 posts of Winter 2015. I can hardly believe a whole season has flown by since then, but guess what! It’s already time to share the top 5 posts of Spring!

#5) Upcycling Old Greeting Cards

DIY greeting card bookmarks
Waste not, want not. In April we shared a cute way to recycle all those greeting cards you’ve been stashing away, by crafting personalized gift tags and bookmarks!

#4) Pan Seared Citrus Scallops with Mango Quinoa

Citrus Scallops Lime Cilantro
No surprise that Katie’s incredible scallop recipe made the favorites list! My boyfriend and I copied her recipe and absolutely loved it! Who knew that mango and quinoa would play SO well together? Yum.

#3) DIY Running Stitch Throw Pillow

DIY running stitch pillow

I’ve been all about tassels this season, and I shared a fun DIY for a hand-stitched throw pillow to liven up your living space. It sits on my favorite pink chair and I’m still loving it! Glad many of you did too!

#2) Lighter Brunch Quiche

Healthy Breakfast Quiche
Using an easy Wholly Wholesome pre-made pie crust, Katie showed a great way to opt for a lighter morning meal with this killer mushroom and veggie quiche!

#1) Earth Day Project: Seed Bombs for Bumblebees

earth day seed balls
I was SO happy to see that our most viewed post this Spring was the project we shared for Earth Day: seed bombs to support bumblebees and other pollinators. Bee conservation is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart, so I was thrilled to do my part to support! I hope you’ll toss some in your neck of the woods.

To all of you reading, we LOVE you! Tell us your favorite posts, make suggestions, or just say hi!

Etsy Gift Guide for Mother’s Day

Handmade for mothers day etsy picks

Mother’s Day is coming up fast (May 10th for you slackers who forgot)!

Since What to do with Lemons is all about homemade love, we would like to encourage you to buy handmade this year for the special lady in your life. Of course Katie and I are fans of the online makers’ marketplace, Etsy, so we created a little Mother’s Day Etsy gift guide to show you some of our favorite things from a few awesome sellers. See something you like? Check out the links below.

(one) – Sweet custom embroidery from KimArt
(two) – Adorable hand-painted jewelry from Lula Pearl
(three) – Customized stamped metal accessories from Fired Up Ladies Hammered
(four) – Beautiful serving ware from Fringe and Fettle Ceramics (my fave!)
(five) – Indulgent hand-poured soy candles from Pommes Frites
(six) – The classiest felt messenger bag from Popeq

Or maybe you would like to get creative and make something special for Mom with your own capable hands… Check out our archived projects and recipes for some last minute inspiration! Perhaps these or these?

Top 5 Posts: Winter


What to do with Lemons is a fledgling blog. Katie and I are still VERY new to this amazing community and we are constantly learning. It’s exciting! As we head into our third full season of blogging, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the past season and see which posts readers have liked the most! We plan to do this at the end of each season so that we can continue to grow and evolve our little corner of the internet and hopefully share more things that you will love!

So, without further ado, our Top 5 Posts of Winter 2015:

#5) Double Take: Easy Game Day Appetizers

Superbowl Snack Ideas
In our “Double Take” features, Katie and I each test out the same idea separately, then come together to create our post and see how differently (or similarly!) we each interpreted it. In January, we each set out to make an easy appetizer for Superbowl Sunday! Katie made a Chicken Vodka-Parm Dip and I made a baked pepperoni roll. Both turned out to be great crowd pleasers! Yum.

#4) Soft Pretzel Twists with Spicy Cheddar Cheese Sauce

pretzel twists and cheese sauce
Another delicious appetizer, in February I tried my hand at making this ballpark classic, and it turned out great! I actually get cravings for these all the time now…

#3) Perfect Fudge Brownies

Heart Brownies for Valentine's
Katie was actually a bit famous for these babies back in college, so it took a bit of convincing to get her to share her recipe online! This time she cut them into perfect little hearts for Valentine’s Day. <3

#2) DIY Constellation Tights

hand-painted star tights
This project was a little collaboration with our good friend Ashley of AU Gold Standard. I had a lot of fun making AND wearing these, so I was so happy to see that our readers liked them too!  Of course they feature my own astrological sign, Pisces!  What’s your sign?! *wink wink*

#1) Washable Pet Travel Mats

flannel pet travel mats
And finally, our most viewed post of this Winter was the easy-sew Washable Pet Travel Mats! If you can’t already tell, I LOVE my cats! I often make special projects just for them. These soft flannel mats are great for pets and hold up really well through wear-and-tear and frequent washings. I love anything that makes my fur babies happy, and I’m so glad to see that we have many animal-loving readers out there too!

We love to hear your feedback, so tell us if you have any favorites too! I hope you’ll keep coming back to visit and help us towards our top five posts of Spring 2015! And don’t forget, if you have an Instagram, let’s be friends! You can find us at @whattodowithlemons

Classic Gooey Lemon Squares

     Lemon Squares for Easter Spring is here, and here at WTDWLemons we are excited.  This week, I’m sharing an appropriately lemony inspired recipe that will brighten up your palet and have you smiling for spring.  (Insert something whitty about lemons and the blog title, here.)

What to do with Lemon Juice

I’ve been making these bars for years, and I have no idea where I got the recipe from.  It’s possible I made it up, it’s possible that I did not.  I do know that the extra lemon juice and vanilla were personalizations, but as for the rest of the recipe…we can all just thank the dessert gods for this one.

Classic Lemon Bar Recipe

In any case, these squares are classic, and a necessity to any springtime celebration.  In the words of my Dad, these bars don’t stand a chance when it’s time for dessert.  Make these, eat them all, make them again, and maybe share.

 

Ingredients:

For the base:

-1 cup flour

-¼ cup powdered sugar

-½ cup (one stick) butter

-1t vanilla extract

For the lemon custard:

-1 cup sugar

-4 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

-2 eggs

-½ t baking powder

-¼ t salt

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.  To make this recipe, we will start with the base.  Cream together the flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until well blended.  Gradually add in the flour until you have a sticky, cookie-like batter.  Using a greased spoon or floured hands, gently press the batter into the lined pan until you have a thin, even layer.  Bake for 10-12 minutes – don’t worry about underbaking here, as we will be adding the lemony goodness and baking again!  Warning: This is not the easiest thing to do.  The base layer for these bars is thin by design, so there isn’t much batter to go spread around.  If you’d like a thicker base, simply double the ingredients and follow the same instructions.  In any case, it will be hard to spread – keep some extra flour on the side to coat your hands while working.

Cutting Lemon squares

After the base has cooked and while it is cooling, we’ll make the lemon layer.  Add all of the custard ingredients to a bowl, and mix until frothy and light in color and texture.  I used my stand mixer for both portions of this recipe, but a hand mixer will do just fine.  Pour the lemon mixture over the slightly cooled base, and bake the squares for another 18-22 minutes.  I’m a chronic underbaker by choice, and opt for colser to the 18 minute mark.  You’ll notice that the top layer will puff up a bit and brown in the oven – don’t panic! The brown color is coming from the caramelization of the sugar and lemon juice, and the poof will de-poof.

Classic Lemon Square Recipe

Allow the bars to fully cool; before cutting – I even throw mine in the fridge for an hour or two.  They are sticky, but it is so worth it.

Best Lemon Bar Recipe

Happy Halloween! Plus Party Playlist

Halloween Party Decor

Happy Halloween from What to do with Lemons!

It’s our favorite day of the year, so you know we’re excited! We are also pretty busy, so today, instead of a regular post, we put together a list of songs to get your Halloween off to a fun and festive start! You can add these to your party playlist to supplement the classics like Thriller and The Monster Mash. We promise it will set the best Halloween vibe. Happy Haunting, witches!

1) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll
2) Gnarles Barkley – The Boogie Monster
3) The Squirrel Nut Zippers – Hell
4) Kanye West – Monster
5) Shakira – She Wolf
6) Danny Elfman – Kidnap the Sandy Claws
7) Muse – Supermassive Black Hole
8) Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
9) Queens of the Stone Age – Burn the Witch
10) Bastille – Bad Blood
11) The Cranberries – Zombie
12) Fleetwood Mac – Black Magic Woman
13) Roky Erickson – Night of the Vampire
14) KC and the Sunshine Band – I’m your Boogie Man
15) Big Data – Dangerous

Let us know what you think, and tell us what songs are your Halloween favorites!