Tag Archives: lemon

Lemon Cheesecake Pie {Almost No-Bake}

2 Jul

Lemon Cheesecake Pie 2
Ok, so I have to apologize for being so MIA lately around here. I don’t really have a big excuse for it, just a lot of little things. Joel was in NYC last week, Hannah is teething and will only allow me to hold her (every waking minute) and Noah is in the nonstop questions stage. So I’m pretty sure my brain has melted which really makes it impossible to blog. Dramatic much? Seriously though, it’s just been a bit hectic but I promise I’ll be better!
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 4
I made this cheesecake pie about a month ago when some friends were visiting from Seattle. I had been craving cheesecake but wanted to make it a bit summery and bright. I also didn’t want to crank on the oven since it was incredibly hot and humid. And out of these things I came up with the almost no-bake lemon cheesecake pie.

The crust is a combination of graham cracker crumbs, almonds and coconut for a bit of a tropical feel. It’s lightly baked, cooled then topped with a no-bake cheesecake layer. And the grand finale is a thin layer of homemade lemon curd spread on top. It’s a nice combination of rich, creamy, light and zippy.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 1
This pie would be a great end to your 4th of July celebration.

Lemon Cheesecake Pie

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1 stick butter, melted

Cheesecake Layer:
recipe from Martha Stewart

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup lemon curd

1. For the crust: pulse the almonds in a food processor until you get coarse crumbs. Add coconut, graham cracker crumbs and butter and pulse until it just comes together. Press into a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

2. Meanwhile, for the cheesecake layer: beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk, 1/4 cup at a time. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into cooled pie crust and cover with plastic wrap. Let chill in refrigerator for 3 hours.

3. After cheesecake has chilled, gently spread the lemon curd on top. Recover with plastic wrap and refrigerator until ready to serve.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 3

Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette

10 Feb

Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette Since starting this blog, I’ve began making a lot more things from scratch and dressings are one of my favorites. It’s amazing how much healthier and cheaper it is to make your own. And bonus, it’s incredibly easy. Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette

This weekend I tried a new pork chop recipe that incorporated lots of citrus so I wanted to serve a simple salad alongside them to get in our greens for the day. I did a little searching and found this simple, delicious vinaigrette. It’s creamy, zingy and perfect atop some mixed greens sprinkled with toasted pecans. Just throw everything in your blender and let her run for a few seconds. Way better than buying a bottle! Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette

Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette
recipe from The Kiwi Cook

½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Zest + Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Grated ginger (to taste – I used 1/2 teaspoon)
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh herbs (like flat-leaf parsley, basil, lemon basil, chives, etc.)

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until incorporated and creamy.

Lemon Coconut Poke Cake

28 Aug

Remember the lemon curd from Monday? Well, this is the reason behind it, Lemon Coconut Poke Cake.

Not only is this cake super easy to make but it tastes absolutely amazing. The flavor combination of lemon and coconut screams summer and was perfect for the high 90s weather that my mom’s birthday brought.Edited-3

The sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut brought some sweetness to the cake while the lemon curd brought some bright zingy-ness. And who doesn’t love Cool Whip? It’s incredibly moist and almost soggy, but not in a bad way. Like a kicked up tres leches cake, yum! It was just perfect and I foresee it appearing in my future quite often.Edited-1

Lemon Coconut Poke Cake
recipe slightly adapted from Taste and Tell

1 (16.25-oz) white cake mix + required ingredients
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15-oz) cream of coconut (usually found with the drink mixers)
2 cups lemon curd
1 (8-oz) container Cool Whip Lite, thawed
2 cups sweetened coconut

1. Mix and bake white cake according to package directions. Remove cake from oven and poke all over with a wooden skewer.

2. Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut together and pour over warm cake. Allow cake to cool on cooling rack.

3. Spread lemon curd over cooled cake. If you are not serving the cake right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. To serve, spread Cool Whip over the lemon curd and sprinkle with coconut. Enjoy!

Lemon Curd

26 Aug

Lemon Curd 1
I love lemon desserts. Besides pumpkin, it is my favorite flavor for sweets. I have always wanted to make a homemade lemon curd but I just never have known what to do with it. Well, I found the perfect reason when my mom’s 50 birthday rolled around. We ordered a cake from our favorite bakery for after her birthday dinner but I wanted to make something homemade to surprise her with at work. And it was so delish! Don’t you want to know what it is? No worries, I will be sharing it with you this week.
Lemon Curd 2
I know lemon is a spring or summer flavor and it’s winding down but my mom feels the same way about lemon as I do so I knew it would be perfect. It all starts with this zippy homemade lemon curd. Although it takes a little bit of time to whip up and you have to allow time to cool, it is so much better than the store-bought version (and a lot cheaper too). Plus, I usually have all the ingredients on hand…can’t really beat that.
Lemon Curd 3
Lemon Curd
recipe from Taste and Tell

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4-6 lemons)
zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, cut into small cubes

1. Fill a small pot with about 1 inch of water and place on the stove over medium heat.

2. In a larger glass bowl, (you’ll want it big enough to sit on top of the pot of water on the stove without the bowl touching the water), combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and eggs.  Whisk well.  Place on the pot on the stove, and start whisking.

3. Whisking the whole time, cook until the mixture starts to thicken and will coat the back of a spoon.  This will take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.  Once it has started to thicken, start adding in the butter.  Add the butter, one cube at a time, waiting until one cube is almost melted before adding the next.  Once all the butter has been incorporated, transfer the curd to a jar or container and refrigerate until cool.

*Photos updated 6/6/14

Spring Sangria

24 Apr

Spring Sangria 3
Looking for the perfect cocktail to serve at all your spring and summer barbeques? Well, I’m sharing it with you today! While I can’t report on the full tastiness of this because of that big news I told you on Friday I can say I sampled it before the wine was added and it was so yummy. I can only imagine how much more tasty it was with the Moscato.
Spring Sangria 4
But, don’t worry, I got the full report from the peeps I made it for and I totally trust their opinions! It was light, refreshing, citrusy, bubbly and (a bit to Joel’s disappointment) not very boozy. It’s a wine cocktail for goodness sakes, it’s just supposed to taste good. That’s what I think at least. I personally really don’t like the taste of any kind of alcohol and would almost always opt for a cherry coke over a cocktail. I’m not a big wine fan (and now you are wondering why I’m writing about wine) but if I am going to drink it, I like the fruity, bubbly, juice tasting variety. So, I know I would have liked the spiked version of this.

It was just amazingly refreshing and will be especially perfect once the hot, humid weather strikes! I can’t wait to be able to try the full version of this.
Spring Sangria 2
Spring Sangria
recipe from Eat, Drink, Love

1 (750 mL) fruity white wine (I used Moscato)
3 cups lemon lime soda
2 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
Sliced lemons, limes and oranges
Sugar, optional

1. In a large pitcher, stir together the wine, lemon lime soda, pineapple juice and the orange juice. Then gently stir in the slices of fruit.

2. Place the sangria in the refrigerator for about 2 hours and serve. This is something you don’t want to make ahead of time because of the fruit. If you do need to make this more than two hours in advance, mix all the liquid ingredients together and chill. Then right before serving, add the sliced fruit.

3. If you want to pretty up the rims of your glasses, dip them lightly in water then in a shallow dish filled with sugar. Then fill ‘em up and enjoy!

Spring Sangria 1

Cuban Grilled Salmon

22 Aug

Cuban Grilled Salmon
We are still dreaming of our Florida vacation and that delicious Cuban food we devoured so I wanted to make something reminiscent of our trip. This Cuban-Style Salmon (chicken for me) was just what we needed. The flavors were bright due to the lemon {or lime} and cilantro. Plus, it was super easy to throw together on a busy weeknight.

I served it with brown rice and black beans and it was totally delish!
Cuban Grilled Salmon
Cuban-Style Grilled Salmon
recipe from Food Network

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons or limes
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
4 6-ounce center-cut salmon fillets, skin removed

1. Preheat a grill to medium high. In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, the garlic, shallots, cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and half of the cilantro. Add the salmon and turn to coat. Let marinate 15 minutes at room temperature.

2. Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Grill the salmon, round side down, until marked on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue grilling until marked on the other side and cooked through, 2 to 3 more minutes. Divide the salmon among plates.

Strawberry Lemon Sorbet

27 Jul

Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
If you are looking for a light, refreshing alternative to ice cream this month I have the recipe for you. When I say light, I don’t necessarily mean healthy, it does have 2 cups of sugar (or more)…it’s just not heavy and custardy like a traditional ice cream.
Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
I love strawberry lemonade so when I was making ice cream for a gathering recently I thought it would be a nice combination. I looked around and found this recipe which uses a whole lemon. I had never heard of using a whole lemon in a recipe until I made Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins and I was amazed by the lemon flavor it imparted in the muffins. For the sorbet though, I think the rind may have made the sorbet just a touch bitter so when I make this again I will add more sugar to balance it out. My strawberries may not have been sweet enough too. I’m not really sure which it was but it just needed a bit more sweetness for me. I think maybe 1/4-1/2 cup more sugar would have done it for me. If you like a really tart lemonade, then it’s probably just perfect the way it’s written.

It was a gorgeous color and really refreshing in the heat. Definitely a delicious treat to cool off with this summer!
Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

1 lemon, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cups sugar (or more if your strawberries aren’t very sweet or you don’t like it super tart)
2 pounds strawberries, hulled
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons

1. Place the chopped lemon and sugar in a food processor, and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Puree the strawberries in a food processor, and add to the lemon mixture, along with the juice of 1 lemon. Taste and add more juice as desired. The lemon flavor should be intense but should not overpower the strawberries. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn until frozen.

Recipe linked to Cast Party Wednesday and Full Plate Thursday.

Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins {Crazy Cooking Challenge}

7 Apr

Whole Lemon Blueberry Muffins
This month’s Crazy Cooking Challenge is blueberry muffins which are pretty much my favorite kind of muffin! This may just be my favorite recipe selection so far from the Challenge. Once I found out what we were making, I quickly went on the hunt for blueberry muffins on all my favorite food blogs. And let me tell you, I found a ton of recipes that I wanted to try. It was pretty difficult to decide which I would prepare.

I finally settled on this recipe because I just couldn’t resist the thought of using a whole lemon in a recipe and I had to give it a try. I found the recipe at Confections of a Foodie Bride who changed up a muffin recipe she found at Smells Like Home. Foodie Bride features all kinds of delicious-ness that I pretty much drool over almost daily.
Whole Lemon Blueberry Muffins
The original recipe at Smells Like Home was a whole lemon poppy seed muffin and Foodie Bride changed it up by adding blueberries and omitting the poppy seeds. Both versions sound amazing but the blueberries totally seemed to put these over the top. I made a few slight changes, the first was that I used a meyer lemon rather than a regular lemon. This added a bit of sweetness to the tartness of the lemon. I also used non-fat yogurt rather than full-fat to make them a bit better for us. I also accidentally only added a teaspoon of baking powder rather than a tablespoon, oops. They still rose nicely but I think they would have puffed more if I had read the recipe more carefully. It doesn’t help when little man is watching Elmo on the laptop while I’m trying to make these with the recipe open in another tab. I was trying to memorize the recipe so that I didn’t have to disturb Elmo…guess that didn’t go well.

These giant muffins were bursting with blueberry, citrus-y, walnut goodness. It was an incredible combination and probably one of the best muffins I have ever made. They were a bit more work than most muffins I’ve made (I usually go for a one bowl, no mixer recipe) but they were totally worth the extra effort. The only thing that would make them better is a crumbly, streusel topping to turn them into a true bakery style muffin. That may just be happening in our home soon. Oh yum!
Whole Lemon Blueberry Muffins

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Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins
recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride and Smells Like Home

1 medium lemon, preferably organic (I used a meyer lemon)
1 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups plain yogurt
1 pint blueberries
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat  the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 12 jumbo muffin cups with butter or cooking spray or line them with muffin wrappers.

2. Wash and dry the lemon, cut it into quarters and remove the seeds.  Process the quartered lemon (skin, pith and all) in a food processor fitted with a metal blade for 1  minute or more, until it is completely ground up.  Scrape the lemon into a medium bowl.  Without washing the food processor, add the walnuts and  pulse 10 to 12 times (the nuts will clean the processor bowl).  Add  the walnuts to the processed lemon and stir to combine.  Set the lemon-nut mixture aside to be used later.

3. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter in a large bowl on medium-high speed about 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl.  Add the eggs all at once and beat on  medium speed about 1 minute.  Add the vanilla and beat on medium for  about 30 seconds, until well incorporated.  In a medium bowl, stir  together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add one-third of the flour mixture to the batter and beat on medium-low speed just until it is incorporated.  Add half of the yogurt and beat on medium  speed until it is just incorporated.  Continue to add the flour mixture and yogurt alternatively, beat just long enough to incorporate.  (End with the dry ingredients).

4. Gently stir in the lemon-nut mixture. Toss the blueberries with a bit of flour (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom). Mix the blueberries into the batter gently. Spoon the batter into the muffin pans, filling each cup just to the top.  Sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (or 18 to 25 minutes for standard-size  muffin tins), until they are slightly browned and a toothpick inserted in to the middle of a muffin comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool in their pans about 5 minutes.  Remove the muffins from the pans.

Recipe linked to Mangia Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Cast Party Wednesday, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday and These Chicks Cooked.

Homemade Gumdrops

10 Feb

Yep, you heard me right. Homemade gumdrops. And it’s all thanks to Bakerella….she is a genius…go check out the site if you have never been, you will be amazed.

I have had this recipe bookmarked for awhile now and have just been waiting for the perfect time to give them a try. And what better time than Valentine’s Day? Those bright, sparkly cubes are just so cute packaged up and would be the perfect gift for kids and adults alike.

These little gems involved quite a process to make and took about 3 full days to complete from start to finish but they turned out so darn cute and tasty. After reading what Bakerella had to say about these, I decided to spray disposable foil mini loaf pans with non-stick spray. I sliced each loaf 3 times vertically then cut the foil pan and peeled it off.

From there, I placed the gumdrop strips on a sugared cutting board and finished cutting them into cubes.

I decided to go with orange, lemon, raspberry and peppermint extracts to flavor my gumdrops and the orange was definitely my favorite. When making them, I wasn’t too sure how the peppermint would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised. It was nice and minty but not overpowering as I suspected it would be.

They were softer and chewier than store-bought gumdrops. To be honest, I just thought these would be fun to make and I didn’t have too high of hopes for actually enjoying them but they were pretty darn delicious.

As you can see, I didn’t really measure them to exactly 3/4-inches. I just cut them to approximately the same size then rolled them in sugar. After they dried for 2 days, I wrapped them up in clear cellophane bags and tied them up with a tag and sparkly ribbon.

Homemade Gumdrops
recipe from Bakerella

4 Tbsp gelatin (that’s about 6 envelopes)
1 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups boiling water
4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp flavored extract
1-2 drops food coloring (I used four colors)
extra sugar for coating

1. In a large pot, soften gelatin in cold water for five minutes.

2. Stir in boiling water until gelatin dissolves.

3. Stir in sugar.

4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 25 minutes. Stir constantly.

5. Pour mixture into 4 – 3X5 pans.

6. Add 1/4 tsp extract and 1-2 drops food color to each pan.

7. Stir until thoroughly combined.

8. Cover pan and chill overnight in the fridge.

9. Cut gelatin mixture into 3/4 inch cubes using a knife dipped in hot water.

10. The gelatin may pull, but continue cutting.

11. Separate cubes and roll in sugar until coated on all sides.

12. Place gumdrops on wax paper and leave at room temperature for two days to crystallize.

Store in an airtight container. Makes about 8 dozen 3/4 inch gumdrops.

Recipe linked to These Chicks Cooked, Mangia Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Full Plate Thursday.

Brined and Roasted Turkey {My 1st Turkey}

22 Nov

I have never, ever made a turkey. I have never eaten a brined turkey but I know about all the hype. So I thought for my first turkey, I would go all out and hope for the best. And it turns out it was pretty simple. The hardest thing was rinsing the turkey and getting all the inards out. I absolutely hate touching raw meat so I may have been a little prissy about the whole process. I’m glad the family was downstairs watching a football game so that they didn’t have to witness my ridiculousness. I may have let out a squeal-y “ewwww” as I stuck my hand in the darned bird.

But oh man was it worth the 30 seconds of disgust. I don’t mean to brag but this was probably the juiciest and tastiest roasted turkey I have ever had. Brining really does make all the difference. Any turkey cooked in my home will always be brined…no question.

Because I’ve never made a turkey before, Joel has never had to carve one so he got a little lesson from his dad.

This turkey seemed like a lot of work…more work than I had time for so I skipped the homemade turkey stock and simply basted the turkey with chicken stock. I also just made a simple pan gravy with the drippings and a cornstarch slurry. If you want to be a total allstar, you can click the source below to get the details.

Brined and Roasted Turkey
recipe from Emeril Lagasse

1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
Brine, recipe follows
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
1 large orange, cut into 8ths
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting

1. Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water. Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.   Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with the butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.

3. Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock.

4. Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary

To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.

Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.


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