I’ll never forget my first concert, in fact I remember it distinctly. I was ten years old, and I had brought home a straight A report card, so my mother rewarded me with tickets to see Aerosmith. I proudly donned make-up and my grubbiest, frayed, bell bottom jeans – desperately wanting to look cool, while ecstatically wallowing in preteen heaven! To this day I can’t hear an Aerosmith song without a smile spreading across my lips as I think of mom taking me to Vets Auditorium to see them that evening a million years ago.

Julie & Johnnie Friedman

Julie & Johnnie Friedman

It seems I passed the same kind of sentiments along to my own daughter, because I woke to this email yesterday morning: “I have been listening to a lot Prince lately, and it’s really making me miss you particularly today. I love you so much.” Click here to read about our last Prince concert together.

Mother and daughter bonding over a Prince concert

Mother and daughter bonding

Needless to say, I walked around with a similar smile emblazoned across my lips all day long – what a great way to start my day, thank you Tatjana!  I do wish there were fewer miles in between our smiles, but these memories certainly help bridge them, and so will this recipe inspired by that concert too.

Raspberry Beret Bars

Raspberry Beret Bars

 I’d like to dedicate my newest recipe to Prince for making me feel twenty-one, and inspiring me to get creative at what I do best again after a great concert I went to with my daughter, Tatjana.

Servings: 20
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes


For the Raspberry Puree

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 12 ounces frozen raspberries thawed

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Filling

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups raspberry puree
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted (optional)


Raspberry Beret Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″x13″ baking sheet with butter and flour, shaking off any excess flour.

For the Raspberry Puree

  1. Place the 1/3 cup sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir frequently, until the sugar dissolves into a syrup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. In a blender, add the thawed raspberries with the cooled syrup, and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain the raspberry puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Shortbread Crust

  1. Mix flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar together in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Once it is well blended and lighter in color, add the flour and salt mixture, and continue to mix on low, just long enough to incorporate the ingredients (don’t over beat).
  3. Pull the dough together into a big ball in your hands, and press into the greased and floured baking sheet, pushing it down and into the sides as well as the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until beginning to go golden brown. Remove from oven, leaving the oven on, and cool on a cooling rack.

For the Filling

  1. Whisk the eggs, 2 1/2 cups sugar, and raspberry puree with an electric mixer. Add flour, and mix well. Pour into the cooled crust, and baked in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is set.

Serving Suggestions

I prefer these delicious bars straight-up, but if you are in a really decadent mood, spread melted semi-sweet chocolate over the top of the bars, and let cool and harden before cutting.

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  • April 12, 2013
    9:41 am

    You know what’s funny? I have a Prince playlist on my iPod and I had it playing last night, making my boys laugh as I sang along (and so did they) to KISS, DMSR, Let’s Go Crazy, and of course, I couldn’t resist singing MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD to my oldest son. LOL He looked at me like I’d lost my damn mind.

    • April 12, 2013
      5:05 pm

      Yeah, he had to to save face, but I’ll bet he remembers the moment fondly for years to come.

  • April 12, 2013
    10:41 am

    Thanks to one of your previous blogs where you revealed your great admiration for Prince, a friend and I were inspired to go see him in concert last year..It was AWESOME! Not only do we glean great cooking tips and recipes from you, but perhaps you should consider writing a full on music blog as well! 😉 (because as we all know there are just an infinite number of hours every day! LOL)
    As for Prince, his guitar playing was mesmorizing..it was a fantastic show..have been meaning to thank you for that recommendation for a long time now!
    p.s. as per the raspberry bars…am drooling!

    • April 12, 2013
      4:58 pm

      “the man with more talent per ounce than any other living being”

  • April 12, 2013
    11:00 am

    I love both these mother/daughter pictures!

    • April 12, 2013
      5:04 pm

      The feeling’s mutual! I love getting to know you all in the forum, and then seeing pictures to go with the faces. Your daughter is the spitting image of you Shelly! Such a beauty.

  • April 12, 2013
    11:52 am

    I love this! Friends who have gone to Prince’s concerts have all said it is one hell of a show. He is so far beyond talented, it’s scary and when he speaks, he always seems so shy. Freddie Mercury was apparently very shy as well in interviews but wow… what a performer.

    My favourite concert so far was more of a weekend long concert of alternative bands that played Toronto when I lived there. It was sunny, hot, the community feeling of a concert was in the air along with various other illegal smells. We were young and had no real responsibility and could lived for the moment. My friend had recently convinced me to shave her long, white gold hair and at some point that day, handed me a marker and said to draw something on her head. I ended up doing marker tattoos for what seemed like everyone there.

    The concert I would love to go to sadly won’t happen… Amy Winehouse or the original Smashing Pumpkins lineup. I missed out… although I’d love to see Billy Corgan in concert ANYTIME.

    The concert dearest to my heart was October 2011. Since she had been 12, my friend Kendra had wanted … well had been dying to see Duran Duran in concert but the fates were never kind. She had married at 18 and moved away with her husband who was in the army so it was either distance or money that played a factor in her getting to see the concert of her dreams. This is an UBER fan here… she knew the birthdays, favourite colours, pet names… you name it but sadly, the one person who deserved to go, didn’t. FINALLY the concert she could get to was announced and I was determined she’d be going big or going home. I asked my husband to get me a membership to the fanclub for my birthday so I could get first dibs on presale tickets. My goal was for her to be front and centre. I worried the entire time (I got the membership in March and the concerts weren’t announced until late summer) I was waiting for the girls to finish swimming lessons when she called YELLING into the phone that the date had been announced. I had no idea who it was LOL Anyway… to see someone that devoted front and slightly off to the left of centre when THE band came on was pure magic. Waiting that long to see a concert, being disappointed that many times… it was worth every penny and every moment of worry of something screwing it up I had.

    That’s the best thing about concerts… lots of magic moments

    These bars are like a concert in your mouth… SOooooo good. The colour is always amazing and they are always on my playlist!

  • April 12, 2013
    5:01 pm

    Wish I could have been there to see Kendra’s face – concerts are alway so much more fun when your with someone enjoying the show that much.

    • April 15, 2013
      10:38 am

      That night will go down as one of the best nights ever. 😀

  • April 13, 2013
    3:17 am

    How beautiful is Tatjana and what a lovely email to wake up to.
    Music is such a powerful medium in so many ways.

  • April 14, 2013
    7:59 am

    I took Kirsten to her first concert when she was 8. We saw Ray Charles at The Hollywood Bowl. I’ve taken her to Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga since, and we always have a great time! I never had that with my parents, they were too old to be into the music I liked, and were still stuck in the 40’s with their swing music. I never had an appreciation for that music until I was in my 30’s. You’re mom was very cool to take you to Aerosmith! Later, did you ever get to meet Steven Tyler? I knew John Kalodner for a short time who happened to be Aerosmith’s AR guy. What a great experience. I should have seen Prince when he played at The Forum for that 25 night stint. I’m sure I would have loved it. I thought of you last week when I heard Rolling Stones tickets were going on sale. Wouldn’t it be fun to see them in Vegas? 🙂

  • April 14, 2013
    10:44 am

    Since David Bowie is de rigeur at the moment (fickle music press but that’s another rant) one of my Top 3 Concerts was seeing him in The Olympia Theatre in Dublin August 8th 1997. The Olympia is a typical stalls, circle & upper circle theatre so the crowd was limited to c. 1240 people. After the first 30 or so seconds of being stunned that I was in the second row and I could have touched his foot had I reached far enough, the rest of the evening panned out to be one of those gigs where I knew all the songs and there were even ones I never thought I’d hear live. At one point I turned to see where my Boyfriend was and out of the corner of my eye, in the one of the side boxes, I spotted a woman; It’s as if time stopped – it was Iman! She was grooving along like then rest of us! I shook my friend’s arm and pointed her out to him and then, like a Mexican Wave, the front section of the crowd were transfixed by her. I can honestly say, hand on heart, she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life (ahem, present blog Hostess excluded of course!). Getting back into the gig, I could feel the hair on my neck stand up – this was one I would remember for the reat of my life.
    When I was 15 my first big mega-gig was Bruce Springsteen in Slane in 1985 – his first Irish show and my sister & I were part of a crowd estimated to be 100,000. We were let go to it alone and it was my first time encountering people from all over the world & they were here, in the tiny village where I attended church, shopped with my grandmother & where my folks first met.
    My 3rd of my top 3 was George Michael in The Point in Dublin in 2006. It was my first time seeing him live and it was probably the most emotional I’ve ever been at a gig: my Father had passed in 2001 and his music had helped my through the despair & the loneliness of losing not only my Dad, but my best buddy, my confidente, my drinking pal on the rare days I played hookey from work. Hearing how he coped in the years after he lost his boyfriend through songs like You Have Been Loved, really helped – as did DD’s Ordinary World (see I got the DD mention in:D)It was like closure – I could breathe again after that gig and as the afore mentioned Ordinary World says “I will learn to survive”.

    Live music, life affirming, heart stopping, hippy shaking chicken soup for the soul!

  • April 14, 2013
    4:08 pm

    I’m taking my daughter to her first concert in two weeks. We’re going to the Radio Disney Music Awards, so it should be a lot of fun with all the young artists 🙂 She is so excited and I know it will be a memory we will have forever.

  • April 16, 2013
    3:30 am

    Hi Jules,

    Can I use fresh raspberries instead of frozen? I bought a huge carton of them, and the kids think that they are too sour.



    • April 16, 2013
      7:27 am

      Remember the recipe calls for sugar – the end result balanced quite well – tart, but not sweet.