Coconut Lime Bars and Sliding Doors

Coconut Lime Bars | Home is Where The Cookies Are

Have you heard of “sliding door moments“?

It’s when you are faced with a choice and you can either open the door to connect with those around you, or you can close it and disengage from those around you.

They happen several times a day.

Connect/disconnect, that’s the choice.

Connecting keeps us together. Keeps us whole. Keeps us feeling like we belong.

Disconnecting leaves us floundering. Dangling. Feeling lost and alone.

I read about it in Daring Greatly, and ever since, I keep hearing a little voice in my head reminding me: “Sliding door moment. Sliding door moment. Sliding door moment. . . .”

I don’t need to connect with my laptop.

On the scale of important people in my life, my dirty kitchen floor ranks nonexistent, and I don’t need any bonding time with my Swiffer.

I don’t care about the emotions of my unfolded laundry.

I don’t give a rip if my dishes feel loved or not.

I don’t care how that unfinished novel feels either, and the TV sure as heck does not need my attention.

But you know who does?


Living human beings.

And I’ll start with the little nest of busy, breathing peeps right under my roof.

When I’m scrambling to get dinner on the table, or unload the dishes, or check my emails and some little voice asks me to play a game, or listen to a song, or check out the latest drawing, or a bigger voice wants to tell me about a funny thing from school or a frustrating teacher or a mishap with a friend, or that big manly voice asks me how the kiddos were today, I’m going to slide that door open and invite them in.

Probably for a glass of milk and a cookie.

I’m going to choose to take the time to wrap them up in a cozy I-care-about-you-and-you-have-my-full-attention blanket.

When I have a minute and all is quiet, I will make a choice – will I call someone I love and connect during that moment, or will I use it for something else?

The “something else’s” are not wrong – we all know they are necessary and must be done, just maybe not on the precise timetable we’ve mentally set up for ourselves.

In order to keep ourselves sane, of course we need personal time, good books, funny movies, beer and nachos, etc. – but my goal now is to be more conscious of the choices I make, the timing of them, and whether or not my actions are balanced – whether my scale tips in favor of love – because that’s how I want it to lean.

In one of his books, Joel Osteen wrote about how he tries to leave each person with whom he comes into contact throughout his day feeling as though they blessed him with their time together.

When I go to the super market and the checker asks how I am, I’m going to look her in the eye and smile. I’ll respond and return the question. We’ll have a whole conversation if she wants to.

The secretary at school? The student office aide? Yup. Them too.

The mail man? Mmm hmm.

The quiet, mysterious neighbor? Sure, if she’s up for it.

The high-school kid going door to door to raise money for his sports team? Him too.

I will try, I will try, I will try.

It’s the best I can do.

And as my family and I are standing there at our sliding door – hopefully pulling it open wider and wider, I hope we see all of you, across the way, sliding your doors open too.

We can holler greetings to each other, whisper secrets, toss each other life-lines, fill out little retro pull-tab notes that ask each other to “check yes or no” – will you go to the {life} dance with me??

And then, we’ll invite you over the threshold for cookies and milk.

Probably even, for Coconut Lime Bars. . . .

Coconut Lime Bars; cookie bars with coconut, lime, macadamia, and a buttery cookie base

Coconut Lime Bars

Yield: 24 bars

These bars are rich and sturdy. They travel well and make for great gifts. You can bake them fresh, then store them for up to a week. That means they travel well through the mail too!


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 package (7oz.) sweetened shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 9 inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch over hang on two sides. In a large bowl, whisk butter, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Add 1 egg; whisk until smooth. Stir in 1 cup flour, salt, nuts and lime zest. Spread batter in pan and bake until top is set and very lightly golden, 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs and vanilla. Reserve 1/2 cup coconut; stir remaining coconut and 1 cup flour into egg mixture. Gently spread over base; top with reserved coconut. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Using parchment, life cake from pan and cut into 24 bars. Store in an air tight container, up to 1 week.


from Tracy at Shutterbean who adapted the recipe slightly from Everyday Food Magazine.

12 thoughts on “Coconut Lime Bars and Sliding Doors

  1. This is such a pretty post….I agree with the sliding door moments for sure, but I do feel very connected to the housework because my favorite time I get it done is when I am on the phone with my old friends catching up and chit chatting about our lives. xoxo

    • I know this about you! (and love it!) I am only half as good at focusing on housework while I gab. It’s a talent I must work to develop!! 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for this reminder. I love the metaphor of a sliding door. Your post really resonated with me. Especially the part about leaving people as if they blessed me with our time together. I think that is the greatest gift you can give people. Your attention and your presence. I like squares recipes too, btw. Ha ha ha!!

    • Thanks! Funny how we are introverts, huh? I never would have guessed it about you – but I’m the same. It takes some bravery to start conversations with strangers!!

      • I realized this some time ago–my writing voice isn’t even anywhere near my real personality! I’m totally reserved until you get to know me. I feel a bit like a fraud! Although to be fair, I’m not nearly as shy as I once was.

  3. What a great reminder post…a definite must-read for many of us. Thank you for reminding me to get up, look around and embrace those around us. Oh yea…and I think I’ll make them some of these Coconut Lime Bars while I”m at it so that we can share them together! Love it!

  4. First things First! Great thinking. The cookies and milk and my full attention are the most important things I can give another person.

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