It’s been exciting having this huge yield of lemons from my next door neighbor’s tree. I’ve been getting “Southern Living Magazine” this year thanks to my niece’s magazine drive and have stumbled upon a few yummy recipes.
Lemon curd can be used for lots of things including Lemon-Yogurt Crumb Cake, Lemon Tiramisu, Lemon Souffles, Lemon Bar Cheesecake and even Rosemary Lemon Curd Martinis which I shall try as soon as I lose this hacking cough. Wonder if I can make a Lemon Curd Nyquil Martini?
This is a really quick microwave/cheater method. I’ll tell you how to do it via stove top too though if you really can’t stand the idea of nuking your curd. Haha!! “Nuking your curd!”
2 TBPS lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
1 c lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons)
1/2 c butter, softened
2 c sugar
Beat 1/2 c butter, softened and 2 c sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add 4 eggs, one at a time. Beat until just blended each time. Add lemon juice slowly until just blended.
Now add zest & stir.
If it looks curdled, you
You’re about to microwave this so make sure it’s in a large microwave-safe bowl!
**NOTE: See bottom of post for stove-top method!**
Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes, stirring every minute. That means just set it for 1 min, then open, stir, put back in or 1 min etc. I wrote hash tags on a little paper because I was being talked to and interrupted the whole time.
Now microwave 1 or 2 more minutes on HIGH stirring every 30 seconds. It should be thickening and sticking to the spoon.
Poor into an airtight container. Cover with plastic wrap being sure it touches the surface of the curd to keep it from getting a “skin” on top. Can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
A quick way to make your own lemon curd. A yummy addition to tons of foods!
2 TBPS lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
1 c lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons)
½ c butter, softened
2 c sugar
Beat ½ c butter with 2 cups sugar until well blended.
Add 4 eggs, beating in one at a time until just blended.
Slowly add lemon juice mixing on slow until just blended.
Stir in zest. (It will look curdled – this is OK!)
If microwaving, transfer to microwavable bowl.
Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes, stirring every minute.
Microwave 1-2 minutes more stirring every 30 seconds, until mixture thickens and clings to spoon.
If using stovetop method, cook over medium-low heat in a 4 qt saucepan.
Whisk constantly for 14-16 minutes.
Pour into air tight container. Place plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
Stores for 2 weeks in refrigerator.
Stove top method:
Instead of microwaving, place in a 4 qt saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 14-16 minutes, whisking constantly. Pour into air tight container & cover with plastic wrap (directly touching surface of curd to prevent “skin” from forming.)
This time, before I start squeezing & freezing I remembered a simple carrot salad I’d just read about in La Tartine Gourmande. I noticed the book at the library and quickly photocopied a few recipes from it.
Try this!!! I mean it.
All you need:
The amounts in this recipe serve about 4 people. I would definitely double it next time but I was hand grating…
4 large carrots, peeled
1 TBSP flat leaf parsley, chopped (I used Italian parsley as that’s all I had)
2 TBSP chives, chopped
sea salt & pepper
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
6 TBSP olive oil
Grate the carrots and place in large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the vinaigrette ingredients in the order listed, whisk together and pour over the carrots. Combine well with spoon. Cover & refrigerate. Dress with the fresh herbs just before serving.
Maddie ate 3 bowls in rapid succession and then asked if she could take some to school the next day. There were no leftovers.
Phew! The holidays kicked my butt this year. How did my parents do this? Better yet, WHY did they do it??
Although I try to post only the best of my kitchen attempts, here are some of my absolute favorites from last year. I mean the ones I crave & want to make again & again.
Happy New Year to you!!
1. Gardener’s Pie (vegetarian version of Shepherd’s Pie): This is always a huge hit. I took it to a Christmas pot luck this year and got so many compliments from vegetarian & non vegetarians alike.
2. Best Coffee Cake in the World There are no surprising ingredients in this but it’s simply delicious. Perfect for a special brunch or to warm up a chilly Sunday morning.
3. Kermit Smoothie (green smoothie) Want to sneak a handful of spinach into your family’s gullets? Try this! So yummy, easy & fun.
4. Blueberry Lara Bars. A healthy, yummy & portable snack. Perfect for hiking or just to carry in your purse (or man purse) to keep the munchies at bay.
5. No Knead Bread. If you’ve never made bread before I strongly encourage you try this one! It takes less than 5 minutes to prep and is so rewarding! There’s something wonderful about the smell of bread baking in your home.
6. Glory Bowl. After the holidays many people (ahem, THIS person) feel compelled to eat a little, shall we say, “lighter?” Although this dish contains many light elements the rice & dressing make it so satisfying. I had serious doubts about it when my dear friend Kinga recommended it but now it’s one of my favorites. Try it!! I mean it, really! I wouldn’t put it up here if it weren’t super yummy.
7. Red Velvet Cupcakes. Make these for Valentine’s Day! Or use green food coloring and make them for St. Patrick’s Day.
8. Simple Caesar Salad. This is a cheater’s version of caesar salad. Oh garsh sometimes I crave caesar salad so much but don’t want to get involved with raw eggs & anchovies etc. This is a satisfying remedy when you’re short on time. Now that I make this I find most restaurant salads disappointing. Totally reminds me of an ex boyfriend’s mom (who happened to be an excellent cook) answering the waiter’s “How is everything?” with a tragic look followed by her New York accented, “Mine’s bettah.”
9. Chocolate & Butterscotch Chip Cookies. After trying many recipes, I have to say that these are my favorites for both simplicity & results. Because of the cornstarch they end up a bit pale and can trick you into thinking they aren’t done but they are soooooo sooooooo sooooooo (sooooo) good. Every time I make them I have to double the recipe b/c of all the greedy hands snitching them off the cooling racks (G!!!).
10. Vegetable Pot Pie. I just realized I have a few “best _____ in the WORLD” recipes. Do I exaggerate? Or am I just hungry? Anyway, this pot pie was a sleeper hit! I always loved pot pies. From the nastiest to the high end restaurant ones. But I was tired of paying $5.00 for a tiny Amy’s vegetable pot pie, plus I thought I could feed more than 1 person with a lot less packaging. This recipe takes almost 3 hours to make but is TOTALLY worth it! YUM.
11. Broccoli Gribiche. Last year I started making some dishes from Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Every Day” and this was one of the hits. I seriously didn’t make ONE bad dish from that cookbook and still use it every week. This is a surprisingly hearty, satisfying yet tasty meal that can be a main or side. The simple ingredients make it a no-brainer!
12. Moscow Mule. Alcohol is a good way to end a list/night/year so here is a simple, tasty drink that we enjoyed time & again mostly during the summer. Our friend Trish introduced us to them last June when we stayed at her house in Denver. We drank them all summer. Not all day but you know what I mean.
I hope you enjoy these recipes & for all the best to you in 2013!
This year we stayed home for Thanksgiving for the first time since we started dating. That meant we cooked this year. Which meant a lot of planning. One thing I’ve come to realize about myself: I LOVE planning & hate execution!
Here was my menu list:
1. Turkey – G was in charge of deep-frying this since fowl is not my thang these days.
2. Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed potatoes
3. Cranberry Sauce (for looks)
4. Wild Rice & Crimini Mushroom casserole
5. Roasted Brussel Sprouts with a balsamic reduction & cranberries
6. Corn Bread Stuffing
8. Arugula & Mixed Greens Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Mango & a Dijon vinaigrette
9. Cranberry Mojitos
10. Classic Pecan Pie
11. Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Pie
12. Apple Pie Cookies
I started with a simple Homemade Herbed Ranch with crudite appetizer because I didn’t want everyone losing their appetites before dinner. Kids got their own plate.
It looks like it’s about to fall off the counter. It was.
This was the first time I cooked some of these items (including pie crusts which I just started making last week) and not everything came out the way Martha Stewart’s would have (including the pie crusts)! Also, I dropped the Apple Pie Cookies off the menu at the last minute because I ran out of time. I also made a simpler pan-fried brussel sprout dish for the same reason. Cranberries were already representing plenty.
Phew. I’m tired. I will be posting the successful recipes in the coming days.
The highlight of the menu? The Cranberry Mojitos! Yum. So festive, pretty & tasty.
Make these for your holiday parties!
8 oz fresh cranberries (+ extra for garnish)
1 c sugar
1 c water
20 mint leaves
2 TBSP lime juice
4 oz (light colored) rum
4-6 oz sparkling mineral water
First, make the cranberry simple syrup. Pour the cranberries, water & sugar into a saucepan.
Stir gently to combine. Turn heat to medium. When it starts boiling, turn to medium-low for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat & cool. You can even leave it in the fridge overnight. The next day or a few hours later, pour it into a strainer over a large bowl. The strained bright red syrup is what you need! [Btw: I DID save the fruit in my fridge. Will be looking for a baking recipe that can use it as I hate to throw it away after all that went into growing, transporting, storing, boiling & refrigerating it. Please comment if you have any ideas!]
Now assemble your drink. I used the measurements more as a guide than anything else.
Add about 10 mint leaves and 1T lime juice to each glass. With a spoon, mash the mint along the side of the glass. Add ice, 2 oz of syrup and 2 oz of rum.
Fill with sparkling mineral or soda water. Garnish with a few cranberries!