I expected the same this summer, and I waited patiently for the fruit to fade from deep green to sunny yellow. It never did. Last week, I squeezed the fruit and was shocked to realize it was ripe. I picked one, sliced it open and –– lo and behold –– it was a lime! I now have a lime tree.

Strawberry, banana, cherry, grape, lemon, mango –– everyone has a favorite fruit flavor.

For me, it’s lime. I’m crazy about anything lime, whether sweet or savory. I have experienced a lime miracle. Here’s my story.

Three years ago, I purchased a lemon tree. In the summers since, I have kept the tree on my patio, relishing the slow transformation of tiny blossoms to bright yellow lemons.

I expected the same this summer, and I waited patiently for the fruit to fade from deep green to sunny yellow. It never did. Last week, I squeezed the fruit and was shocked to realize it was ripe. I picked one, sliced it open and –– lo and behold –– it was a lime! I now have a lime tree.

Only one thing can explain this. I love limes, and they love me.

Zesty Lime Fish Tacos

1 pound tilapia fillets (about 4) 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes), divided 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1/4 cup all purpose flour 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal 1 (16.3-ounce) can PillsburyGrands! Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits) 6 tablespoons canola oil 1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (from 7-oz can), finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup salsa 1/2 cup sour cream 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Cut each fish fillet lengthwise into four strips. In shallow glass dish, mix 7 tablespoons of the lime juice and garlic. Add fish; turn to coat. Let stand while preparing biscuits.

On work surface, mix flour and cornmeal. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Press both sides of each biscuit into flour mixture, then press or roll into 6- to 7-inch round.

In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add two biscuit rounds; cook about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Place on cookie sheet; keep warm in oven. Cook remaining rounds, adding 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to skillet for each batch. Wipe skillet clean.

Heat same skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish and lime juice mixture, chiles, salt and pepper; cook about 5 minutes, turning fish once, until fish flakes easily with fork.

In small bowl, mix salsa, sour cream and remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice.

Using slotted spoon, remove fish and divide evenly among biscuit rounds. Top each with cabbage and 1 to 2 tablespoons salsa mixture. Fold biscuit rounds in half over filling. Serve with any remaining salsa mixture. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired. Makes 8 tacos.

-- Kellie White of St. Louis, first place in the Dinner Made Easy category of the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off

Lime Ice Cubes

2 medium limes 1 quart cold water 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Cut each lime into 1/4-inch thick slices; cut each slice into 4 wedges. Stir water and lime juice together. Evenly fill each compartment of three ice cube trays with lime juice mixture. Place 1 lime wedge in each ice cube compartment. Freeze. Yield 42 ice cubes. Use in cocktails, spritzers, lemonade or other beverages.

Savvy-Simple Limewhip Angel Food

1 (12-ounce) box angel food cake, prepared 1 cup boiling water 1 (3-ounce) box Jell-O lime gelatin dessert mix 1 cup cold whole milk 1 box (3.4-ounces) Jell-O cheesecake-flavored instant pudding and pie filling 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Place angel food cake on serving platter. Using a wooden or metal skewer to pierce 3-inch-deep holes all over top of cake. Combine 1 cup boiling water and lime gelatin mix in a large bowl; stir until gelatin dissolves. Cool slightly (do not add cold water). Carefully pour 1/4 cup of warm dissolved gelatin over cake, allowing it to sink into holes. Refrigerate cake.

Add milk and instant pudding mix to remaining dissolved gelatin in bowl. Whisk until smooth; whisk in lime juice. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until lime mixture thickens to pudding consistency. Using a large rubber spatula, fold whipped topping into lime mixture. Refrigerate lime whip for 30 minutes. Spread lime whip all over cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with mint leaves.

-- Actress Kristen Davis of “Sex in The City,” for “Semi-Homemade Desserts” from Sandra Lee

Lime Butter Steak Rub

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1 small garlic clove, minced 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice Pinch of salt 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder Ribeyes, or other steak

In a small bowl, combine butter with garlic, lime zest, lime juice and salt. In another small bowl, combine spices. Rub spice mixture over steaks. Cook or grill steaks as desired. Transfer steaks to plates. Top with lime butter.

-- Food & Wine “Reinventing the Classics”

Lime Mousse

1 envelope unflavored gelatin 1/4 cup cold water 3/4 cup fresh lime juice 3/4 cup sugar Pinch of salt 1 generous teaspoon grated lemon rind 2 cups heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In glass bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow to dissolve. Meanwhile, combine lime juice, sugar and salt in small saucepan. Stir in dissolved gelatin and simmer over medium heat for three minutes. Stir in lemon rind and allow to cool and thicken slightly. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into serving bowl or individual cups and refrigerate for several hours until set. Serve toped with berries if desired.

-- Lee Bailey’s “Cooking For Friends”

Lime Cilantro Marinade

1/3 cup olive oil 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 2 cloves garlic, crushed with a garlic press 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine ingredients in medium bowl, whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 1 1/4 cups. Great with chicken, pork, beef and fish.
-- Mary Englebreit’s “Queen of the Kitchen”

Tequila Lime Tart

Crust:

10 ounces vanilla wafers 1/3 cup pine nuts 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

2 large egg whites 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 cup white tequila 1/2 cup fresh lime juice 4 large egg yolks 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened condensed milk Fresh whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine wafers and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse to a fine grind. Reserve 1/4 cup crumbs for garnish. Pour remaining crumbs into a bowl and add melted butter. Mix with wooden spoon and press into bottom of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 8 minutes or until just golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat to soft peaks, about 4 minutes. In another bowl, combine tequila, lime juice, egg yolks, condensed milk and mix thoroughly. Fold in egg whites. Pour mixture into tart shell and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until middle is set. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs and let cool before cutting. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

-- Guy Fieri’s “Food:  Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It"