Lemon Piccata Chicken & Pasta

Hello all–  New version of an old favorite here.  Had it with our new “housemate,” Kendall, a seminary student from Australia who’s staying with us for his last semester.  Larry enjoys talking theology with him and I just like having such a great guy around the house.

This chicken is salty from the parmesan, tart from the bit of lemon and garlic savory.  And the sauce melds just right with a big plate of pasta.  Real comfort food.

LEMON PICCATA CHICKEN & PASTA
8 to 10 oz. pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced horizontally to filet
2 tab. flour
3 tab. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tab. olive oil
2 tab. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz. can chicken broth
1/2  cup whole milk (or half & half)
1/3 cup parmesan
2 tab. capers (drained)
3 tab. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 tab. cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. rosemary, minced and sliced lemon for garnish

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

In a shallow bowl mix together the flour, 3 tab. parmesan cheese, garlic salt and pepper.  Dredge the chicken filets in the flour mixture and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet.  Cook the coated chicken 3 to 4 minutes on each side over medium-high heat, until they are nicely browned and cooked through.  Remove from the pan and cover to keep warm.

Drop the garlic into the same skillet and cook for a minute.  Then add in the chicken broth and milk and bring to a strong simmer.  Add in the parmesan and capers and simmer for 3 minutes or so to thicken.  Stir in the lemon juice.

If you want the sauce to be thicker, shake the cornstarch and water together in a container with a right fitting lid until it’s thoroughly blended and stir it into the simmering sauce for 3 or 4 minutes more until it thickens.

Return the chicken to the sauce in the skillet and simmer a couple minutes to warm the chicken.  Then spread the pasta on a platter, top with the chicken and sauce.  Garnish with the minced rosemary and lemon slices.  Serve it up hot!

Lemon Pudding Cheesecake


Hey there Baking Friends– Ran across this cheese cake recipe (on Pinterest, where else??)  and gave it a try last weekend for a game night with a crowd of friends.  Sally and I made Jeopardy game, complete with buzzers and question boards with facts about all the friends–it was a whole lot of chaotic noisy fun!!

And the cheesecake was even better than I’d hoped.  So light (for cheesecake!) and creamy and with just enough lemon flavor.  The secret ingredient is the lemon pudding mix!!  We ate the last leftover piece last night and I was sad to see it go…

LEMON PUDDING CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1 1/2 cup graham crackers crushed (about 8 crackers)
1/2 cup coconut
4 tab. butter, melted

Filling:
32 oz. cream cheese (4 – 8 oz. packages)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tab. flour
2 tab. milk
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
2 small packages instant lemon pudding (3.4 oz. size)

topping:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tab. powdered sugar
1 tab. instant vanilla pudding (for stabilizer)
garnish– lemon slice, mint leaf

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and melted butter in the bottom of a 9″ or 10″ springform pan.  Press them down to uniformly cover the bottom of the pan and bake at 350 degrees for just 10 minutes.

To make the filling, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s creamy.  Then add in the flour milk, sour cream, eggs and lemon pudding.  Beat on high speed until it’s thoroughly blended.

Spoon the thick batter over the graham cracker crust and set into the 300 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes until the cheesecake is puffy in the middle and just a little wobbly when you shake it.  Open the oven door and turn off he heat and let the cheesecake sit in the cooling oven for an hour.  Then run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan and set it into the fridge at least 4 hours to firm up.

When you’re about ready to serve the cheesecake, beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and instant vanilla pudding with an electric mixer (the whisk attachment works best) until it is very firm.  Spoon it over the top of the cake and garnish with lemon and leaves.  So pretty!

Lemon Cream Poke Cake

Hey there– Last weekend we traveled on up to Ojai to celebrate our Micah’s birthday!!  There was cake (of course) and gifts and a little trumpet concert from Charlotte (new to the school band).  Jodi and I stopped in at the Ben Franklin Dime Store (I didn’t know that’s existed anymore!!) and there was dinner at the cool new place in town.  Such a fine full day –love those 5 to pieces!

So here’s the birthday cake–sweet and tart and creamy—

LEMON CREAM POKE CAKE

Cake:
1 lemon cake mix
canola oil
3 eggs
water

Filling layer:
3.4 oz. box lemon instant pudding mix, divided
1 cup milk
8oz. cream cheese (1 package)
grated rind of 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)

Cream layer:
1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
1 tab. of the lemon instant pudding mix*
1 tab. powdered sugar

Garnish:
lemon slices, mint leaves

Make the cake according to the directions on the package– (mine used 1/2 cup oil, 1 cup water and 3 eggs).  Spoon the batter in to 9″x 13″ baking dish or a 10″ springform pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, until it is firm to the touch.  Cool completely!

To make the filling, take 1 full tablespoon of the lemon instant pudding mix and set it aside for now.  In mixing bowl, stir together the remaining pudding mix and 1 cup of milk.  Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, lemon rind and lemon juice together with an electric mixer for a couple minutes until it resembles a smooth paste.  Add in the pudding & milk mixture and beat until it’s all blended.

With the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes into the cooled cake.  Spoon the filling mixture over the cake pressing in down into the poked holes and covering the top of the cake.

To make the cream layer, use an electric mixer (whisk attachment works best) to beat the whipping cream, tablespoon of lemon pudding mix and tablespoon of powdered sugar a few minutes until it turns into a stiff whipped cream.

Gently cover the lemon layer with the whipped cream.  Refrigerate an hour to make sure it’s all well set.  Garnish with lemon and something green just for pretty.


This cake is a new favorite– so fresh and lusciously creamy!!

*the tablespoon of pudding mix stabilizes the whipped cream.

 

Showing you my best attempt at getting a photo our our sweet girls!!  (not easy!!)  Love those three!
    

And here’s to another wonderful year ahead Micah and Jodi…

Rosemary Lemon Cake

Hello there–  Love this quirky little cake.  To start with, I pretty much adore anything topped with lemony cream cheese frosting.  Add a tender cake with a whisper of rosemary and hints of lemon peel and it’s pretty luscious.

ROSEMARY LEMON CAKE

Cake:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tab. lemon juice*
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter milk**
1 cup + 2 tab. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tab. rosemary, chopped very fine

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tab. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon peel, grated
garnish: lemon slice, rosemary sprig

To make the cake, beat together the 1/2 cup butter, sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel with an electric mixer until they are all creamed together.  Then beat in the eggs and buttermilk.  Finally beat in the flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary.  Continue to beat the batter with the mixer for 2 minutes.

Scoop all the batter into a 9″ cake pan than has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch.   Let the cake cook completely before you frost it.

To make the frosting, use the electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel.  When it is thoroughly blended and creamy, frost the cooled cake.  Garnish with a twist of lemon and a sprig of rosemary.  So pretty!

*I used 1 large juicy lemon and got enough juice and grated peel for the cake and frosting.
**In place of buttermilk, pour a tablespoon of vinegar into the measuring cup and fill it to make 1/2 cup.

Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Hi there all– Up in San Francisco this week– hanging out with our kids.  Watched Brian play the tuba in the 4th of July parade, sang “Down By the Bay” 27 times with fun grand-girl Mae, sat and talked over coffee with Jessica, saw Ani & Brian’s remodel in process and amazed at baby Lois’ new trick–creeping!

So have nothing new cooked up to show you.  But do have a lovely lemony cake I made a few weeks back.  Sweet summer blueberries and wrapped up in a tender grazed cake.  I think you’d love it!

LEMON BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST CAKE

Streusel:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

Cake:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
2 tab. lemon juice
grated lemon peel from one lemon
1  1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tag. lemon juice

First make the streusel.  Mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour.  Then with a pastry blender (or two forks), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.

To make the cake, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the milk, yogurt, oil, egg, lemon juice and lemon peel.  Next, gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the mixture into a 9″ cake pan (or 10″ tart pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the prepared streusel over the top of the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Let the cake cool for a few minutes and make the glaze.  Whisk together the powdered sugar and the lemon juice.  Drizzle it over the cake.  Enjoy!!

Lemon Honey Salmon

Hey there– We’ve already hit a couple hot days– feels like a little summer preview.  So on a warm evening this week, we had this simple salmon, back doors wide open to catch the breeze.

Love this dish– fast, easy and the sauce–oh the sauce!  It’s tart, garlicky and honey sweet.

LEMON HONEY SALMON
1 tab. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
2 tab. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tab. butter, cut to small pieces
2 tsp. honey
4 six ounce salmon filets
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
garnish:
tab. parsley, minced*
lemon slices

In a small pan heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Put in the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes until it’s fragrant.  Add in the water & lemon juice.  Simmer for 3 or 4 minutes until it is reduced about half the liquid.  Stir in the butter and honey until it’s all blended and set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium high.  Pour in the 2 tab. olive oil.  Liberally salt & pepper the salmon on both sides.  Then cook it 3 minutes on each side until is crisp and golden.

Set the salmon on a pretty plate and pour over the warm sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon slices.  Done!

*I didn’t have any parsley in the fridge, so I used cilantro.

P.S.  Photos are just half a recipe– enough for Larry and me.

Lemon Raspberry Coffee Cake

Hey there–  This coffee cake was inevitable.  Andi from next door dropped by with a big bag of lemons.  There were leftover raspberries moldering in the fridge.  Then I ran across this pretty coffee cake on Pinterest.  It all came together for a tender tart fruity cake warm from the oven.  I think it will show up again soon around here…

LEMON RASPBERRY COFFEE CAKE

Streusel:
1/ 2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

Cake:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
2 tab. lemon juice
1 tab. finely grated lemon peel
1  1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tab. lemon juice

To make the streusel, mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour in a small mixing bowl.  Then cut in the 1/4 cup butter with a pastry blender (or two forks).  Set aside.

For the cake, in a mixing bowl stir together the 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then add the milk, yogurt, oil, egg, lemon juice and grated lemon peel and stir it all until it is blended together.  Then gently fold in the raspberries.

Spoon the batter into a 9″ cake pan (or I used a 10″ tart pan) and then sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

After you pull the cake from the oven, let it cool 10 or 15 minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the top.  Beautiful– and ready to eat!