Watermelon Lime Bars

I can’t think of a way to start this post that doesn’t sound flippant or trivial and yet I can not begin to fill this place with food again until I’ve acknowledged the heartache and the pain that has flooded  our world due to the events last week. Sitting in the reality of those events, food and what I contribute to this world with the table as my medium felt too small, too easy.

I had intended to share this recipe last week but instead I shared the image below on Instagram and Facebook with the following text because that is what my heart needed to say.

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I’m suppose to be sharing a recipe today. Talking about our food and showing pretty pictures of it all. But today I just can’t. I’ll return to the food because it’s part of the beauty of life and I want to foster beauty and remind people that in spite of all the hate and ugliness in this world there is also always beauty. But today I can’t. Today I need to do more and not ignore what is happening in our world right now.

The boys are downstairs. There’s clapping, constant whistling cheers and joy. They are playing a video game. Upstairs I’m scraping off last night’s pasta from our plates, scrubbing red sauce off the stove, waiting for my coffee to bubble up and wondering what the hell do I say to my children about the devastation that has happened in the last few days.

Families have been broken. Friends have lost friends. Beds will be empty tonight where a warm body should lay. Children won’t get the snuggles they so desperately want. Two women are suddenly without their partners. A future they knew that included a teammate has been violently taken from them A dad was killed, his son weeps. My boys are downstairs getting riled up about a missed home run by some pixelated ball player.

I want to protect, to shield them from the gross realities of this world. I wonder if they are too young to know how broken this world is? I want them to stay that way. Wouldn’t it be nice for them if their hardest part of the day was that their brother didn’t give up his turn at the game when he was suppose to?


I want to raise children who are sickened by a world who sees people as a color. I want our family to collectively stand for love and to be a loud, clear voice that advocates for that. How do I teach them to not see color, sexual orientation, religion, level of education, gender, age, etc. as a way to define, rate, and judge people when the world teaches them otherwise?

We can do better, we can do more. We get to show them how to love. We get to teach them to fight hate with love. That’s our job and some days it’s just really damn hard but NOTHING compared to what some people’s realities are today.



Watermelon Lime Bars

So today I return to food and while it still feels small it’s always where my heart turns when it doesn’t know what else to do. Friday, when sitting with all the emotions of hopelessness, complete heartache and that ripping feeling you get when you don’t know what to do and you fear you’re not doing enough, I started cooking. I made homemade pizza with ricotta and big spoonfuls of truffle cream I brought back from Italy. There was homemade pasta with chanterelles and cherry tomatoes, farro with zucchini, chicken stuffed with fennel, sausage and peaches and slices of sweet nectarines in a chilled, spiced red wine. We gathered around the table with family and our community. We laughed, told stories of our travels and with each bite, each toast, each laugh we began to fill the air with hope. It doesn’t take away with the scary realities of this world but it’s a reminder that even in the midst of darkness there also is beauty.

The recipe today is one that I’ve been keeping for years. It’s an adaptation from a recipe I discovered on Epicurious then throughout many cooking classes I taught, long hot summer days and now sharing it with Electrolux it became my own. It’s a stunning layered dessert with icy watermelon sorbet forming the base and a creamy, tart lime semifreddo capping it off. The name, appearance and taste impresses beyond the complexity of the recipe. The hardest part is waiting for the layers to set so plan accordingly.

Check out the recipe on the Electrolux site and while you’re there poke around at some of the other great recipes. Watermelon is delightful when used in savory recipes too – like this salad with avocados and jalapeños which makes a perfect partner with grilled chicken.  And Sara’s recipe for Watermelon salsa to serve with roasted halibut. 

Just a couple other things to note:

I recently did an interview and shared a few of my favorite recipes with a German Magazine. You can read that on their website, Zeit. If you do read it let me know if they’re making of fun of me because I can understand a word of German. Just kidding, I know they aren’t but seriously, it’s a bit strange to not know what is being said. I suppose I could use Google translator.

Also, I’m partnering with the Salish Lodge here in Washington to put on a super lovely and romantic Date Night. Find out more and book your tickets on their site. There’s not many available so book quickly!

And finally, be kind to yourselves and others today. Let’s fill our tables with good food to share with our people because even though it feels like a too simple task it’s one of the biggest and best things we can do.

Watermelon Lime Bars

18 Responses to “Watermelon Lime Bars”

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Thank you, Stacy. It feels like such a difficult task much of the time, and it is. But I know that if I can raise loving and thoughtful children then I’m contributing much to the world.

    • Jessica

      I am an Australian living in Germany with my german husband and three kids. I have read your blog for a while now. I read the article for you, it’s all good! They really just list and detail your recipes. Well done.

  1. Taste of France

    Watermelon is always a good idea, in whatever form. Pure summer.
    I read an interesting piece that compares male privilege and white privilege. As a white female, it resonated–though I already knew that when I have been pulled over, I have never gotten a ticket because I could talk my way out of it. Whereas other people get shot. (That was in the U.S.; in France they take your picture and mail you a ticket, they don’t pull you over.)
    White privilege:
    Another piece on why the police fail to see ordinary citizens as ordinary citizens:
    Let me be clear: Micah Johnson was 100% wrong. But nobody blamed all white people after a white guy massacred 9 people at a Charleston Bible study meeting (and he was arrested later without a shot fired). So we shouldn’t blame all blacks for Micah Johnson’s crime.
    Black Lives Matter has a point. Too many police see threats from skin color. Too many see weapons that are in reality phones, or nothing at all. Too many shoot to stop somebody from running, which is no threat at all. It’s not to say all cops are bad. They aren’t. But too many have no training or bad training and don’t treat normal people like normal people. That has to stop.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. I’ll go back and read through those articles. It is a serious issue that we all need to educate ourselves on. I feel so helpless yet eager to help. I think education and attempting to understand that place in which they come from is a good beginning.

  2. Nancy

    I want to start this comment by saying thank you. Thank you for your wonderful blog, inspiring images and recipes, and thank you for speaking about all that is happening in your country.
    I am a proud Canadian, and as we your neighbours watch all that is happening in your country it is hard to remain silent. It is sad to see our friends, such a great country is falling. Your political race at the moment is a constant source of humour for us. Sadly it is not funny, and truth is many of us worry about the fact you are stuck between a Rock and a hard place. You have not good choices in a time when your country needs a strong moral leader. The enemy we fear and stand together against is not threatening your beautiful USA as much as your current civil war is. A war that is being fought every day in the streets of your country.

    Today on social media I heard a mother talking about the death of a little girl who was killed by a stray built while studying in her bedroom. A girls who’s sad death has not made the headlines. An innocent child who’s death seems to have lost in the shuffle of political statents.

    This amazing strong black American women spoke of being a proud black mother and women. She spoke about the violence between her own people. She spoke about the violence on the streets with your current gun laws. She agreed there were many issues of police violence against blacks, but was rightfully outraged at the loss of sight, people are killing people everywhere. The police issue is real but not the major issue. The real problem of guns and violence is still not being handled. The loss of the innocent police officers was not an act of sanity, but rather an insane response to the disease that is killing all Americans and the spirit of a once proud country. As a mother I am so glad you wrote the blog as you did. Recognizing the fragile nature of all that is going on in your once proud country. My heart goes out to you and all in the USA ~ my neighbours. You need to continue to speak the words you did today and hope that your little world of foodies will do the same. It is time to get the guns. How that is done and how many generation that will take we will never know but this is one Canadian praying for a start to saving all that you once were. Blessings to all in the USA

  3. sara forte

    you are such a great parents to those kids and such a gracious voice in this community. Love reading your words especially when it’s hard to find out what to say. Wish we could be sharing summer meals together and enjoying ice cream treats!

  4. Andrew

    I think I was 9 when I saw 9/11 unfold on the morning news before I was about to get picked up to go to school. It made me feel genuinely scared for the first time, a little bit confused, and somewhat disillusioned. But it also made me a more aware, empathetic, and hopefully more connected kid. Thank you for this post.

  5. Ela

    Not to worry – I just checked the article at Zeit. They don’t write much about you, it’s mostly recipes. Very delicious recipes!Thanks for sharing them with us!

  6. Sara

    Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes…
    “How you love right where you are is how you change the whole wide world.” ann voskamp

  7. Faraz yusuf

    Your writing is inspired and your images absolutely compelling. I loved reading this and it made me feel optimistic again. Thank you.

  8. Kate

    Thank you for such a beautiful post Ashley. It is such a difficult time to explain to our kids who expect us to have all the answers. I was heartbroken by the reality last week that while walking to the park I took the toy gun my husband was carrying for my son because I didn’t want anyone to possibly mistake it for a real one being carried by a brown man. Was I overreacting? Maybe. But better to be safe, right? I love this recipe. It reminds me of all the goodness of summer.


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