Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Couscous


Hello everyone– This recipe started with a cookbook from the library shelves and a big bundle of cilantro.  I picked up Half Baked Harvest from the new book shelves at the library.  It’s beautiful.  I started to bookmark things I’d like to make and it’s pretty much every recipe!

And then my dear buddy Janet showed up at my door with a huge bouquet of cilantro from her garden and this recipe from the book came to mind.

It’s spicy and so flavorful.  Easy–since Larry is the one who cooks it on the grill!  And the couscous is moist and crunchy and a little sweet from the apricots.  I think you’d really like it…

MOROCCAN SPICED CHICKEN WITH COUSCOUS

Chicken:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. powdered ginger
2 tab. cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Couscous:
14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup couscous
2 tab. olive oil
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped to bits
1/2 cup whole almonds, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnish:
cilantro sprigs
lemon slices

In a zip loc bag, combine the garlic, ginger, 2 tab. chopped cilantro, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon zest and juice.  Squish the bag until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Cut the chicken to skewer size pieces and add to the bag.  Zip it and squish the bag until the chicken is all coated.  Let the chicken marinate in the spices at least an hour up to 10 hours.

Thread the chicken onto 2 or 3 skewers.

Just before you grill the chicken, make the couscous.  Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a sauce pan.  Remove from the heat and add the couscous.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the oil, apricots, almonds and 1/4 cup cilantro.  Cover to keep warm while you grill the chicken.

Grill the chicken 10 to 12 minutes until the outside is charred and the chicken is cooked through.

On a pretty platter spread the couscous and top with the chicken skewers.  Garnish with cilantro pirgs and lemon slices.

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake

Hi all– Recently we had an Sunday afternoon shower for adorable Lisa, who’s getting married in May.  It was a room full of friends, with “aunts-ish” advice for the new bride and and chances to hear all the details for her story and of the wedding ahead…   And there was cake (of course).  Tart lemon, sweet berries and whip cream to tie it all together.  A dear day together.

LEMON BLUEBERRY CAKE
1 lemon
1 lemon cake mix
canola oil
3 eggs
water
2 cups blueberries (about 12 oz.)
1 small lemon instant pudding (3.9 oz. size)
1 cup milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream (16 oz.)
2 tsp. powdered sugar
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding
garnish: lemon slice & mint

Grate the lemon peel off and set aside.  Then juice the lemon that is left and set that aside as well.

Mix up the lemon cake mix using the instructions on the box– my mix used 1/3 cup oil, 3 eggs and for the water.  I filled a one cup measuring up with the lemon juice and added water to make the 1 cup asked for.  Then fold in the grated lemon peel and the blueberries.

Pour the batter into a 9″x 13″ baking dish (or a large 10 to 11″ spring form pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Put it into a 350 oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is golden and firm to the touch.
Take it out of the oven let let the came cool completely.

Then whisk together the lemon pudding mix with just 1 cup of milk for a couple minutes and then spread it over the cake.

With an electric mixer (the whisk attachment works best!), beat together the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix (to stabilize the cream, help it hold up) until it is well set.  Spoon the cream over the lemon pudding layer and set the cake in the fridge for an hour or more to set up.

Garnish with little lemon slices and something green (mint) and cut big beautiful slices!  Enjoy!

Citrus Honey Chicken

Hey friends– It’s a little crazy here– working ahead on a stack of blog posts to send off to you before we leave on a 2 week trip tomorrow!  So I’m typing away, doing last minute laundry and stacking piles of things to drop into the suitcase.  So fun!

And for your busy days, here’s an easy dinner, done in about 30 minutes.  It’s full of citrusy flavor with just hint of sweetness.  A little mixed rice, a bright salad and it’s dinner!

CITRUS HONEY CHICKEN
4 chicken thighs
2 tab. olive oil
salt
freshly ground pepper
2 limes, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
2 tab. honey
1 tab. soy sauce
garnish: more lime & lemon slices, green onion

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides (I like to take the skin off, but skin on is fine too).  Heat the olive oil in a skillet that has a lid.  Cook the chicken meatier side down for 5 minutes in the hot oil until they are golden brown.

While they are cooking stir together the lemon juice, lime juice, honey and soy sauce.

When he chicken is browned turn it browned side up in the skillet and pour over the lemon/lime mixture.  Cover the chicken and let it simmer on low for 15 to 18 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (about 180 degrees with a meat thermometer).  It’s good to spoon the juice over the chicken a couple times while it’s cooking!

When the chicken is ready, put the pieces on a pretty platter and drizzle the pan juices over the top.  Garnish with lime and lemon slices and green onion.  So inviting!

Blueberry Filled Lemon Cake

 

Hello all–  Made this little cake to take along to our Sunday morning group that meets before church.  We’ve been together every week since we were newly weds– 43 years!  And let me tell you, these are my people.

We’ve celebrated babies, and kid’s wedding, then grand-kids together.  We’ve held each other up through cancer and divorce, job loss and problems with our children.  There were camping trips and banana-gram nights, movies and late nights talks over the dinner table together.  When one family lost their family business we chipped in to get their daughter through her last semester of college.  And now we are walking with dear friends through brain cancer and hospice.  There’s more, but I’ll stop– can’t count all the hugs and prayers or the laughter and sorrows shared.

I just wanted to say all this because I’m hoping you have “your people” too.  People who know you deeply and share your faith, who bring meals when you’re down and walk with you in joy and difficult days.  God has them for you– he can help you find them.

 

BLUEBERRY FILLED LEMON CAKE
2 medium lemons, peel grated & juice squeezed
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups fresh blueberries

glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

 

Grate the zest off of the two lemons.  Then cut them in half and squeeze out all the juice.  Set both the zest and juice aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until well blended.  Then stir in the sour cream, oil and vanilla.  Next , mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.  And finally, stir in all the lemon zest, 1/4 cup of the lemon juice and the blueberries.  Just stir enough until it’s all thoroughly combined.

Spoon the mixture into a 9″ springform pan (or cake pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Then pop it into a 375 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes until it’s cooked through and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

While the cake is still hot, mix together 1/4 cup of the remaining lemon juice with 1/4 cup sugar.  Stir until the sugar all dissolves.  Then dribble the sugar over the top of the cake and let it sit for 30 minutes to cool before you serve it up.

 

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello there– How’s everything with you??  I’m in the kitchen watching over a pot of pork ragu simmering on the stove and listening to the soundtrack of Godspell (old favorite) –and writing to you!  I call that a good morning.

Wanted to send off this cupcake recipe.  I know there’s a debate about using/absolutely not using cake mixes.  I rather like them– and the tender moist cake they produce.  This recipe adds lemon zest and juice and tops it off with tangy lemony cream cheese frosting.  They’re pretty perfect (even for a cake mix!)

LEMON CUPCAKES WITH LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Cupcakes:
1 lemon
1 lemon cake mix
canola oil
water
3 eggs

Frosting:
1 lemon
8 oz. cream cheese, room tempertature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 box powdered sugar (3  3/4 cups)

To make the cupcakes, grate the peel off of the lemon.  Then cut it in half and juice it.  Set the grated peel and juice aside.

Read the ingredients for the cupcakes on the box of your cake mix– mine used 1 cup water, 3 eggs and 1/3 cup vegetable oil.  In place of the full cup of water, pour the lemon juice into your measuring cup and then fill with with water to measure 1 cup.

With an electric mixer beat together the cake mix, eggs, water-juice, grated lemon peel and oil for 2 minutes until it’s a smooth fluffy batter.

Spoon the batter into muffin pans the have been lined with cupcake wrappers (or sprayed with cooking spray).  Should make about 24 cupcakes.  Bake them at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are slightly browned and firm to the touch.  Let them cool before you frost them.

To make the frosting, grate the peel of the second lemon and extract the juice.  Then with your mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, lemon peel and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.

Frost the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!!

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!

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Hello there–  There are a few reasons I love this chicken:
#1. It’s delectable.
#2. It’s pretty on your plate with steamed broccoli and a chunk of crusty bread.
#3. I can put it on the table in about 30 minutes.
#4. Luckily, I had all the ingredients in the kitchen (no trip to the market)
#5. I get to pass the recipe on to you…

LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN
2 medium chicken breasts
2 tab. olive oil
garlic salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
dash of red pepper
2 tab. lemon juice (1 small lemon)
1/3 cup red onion, chopped fine
lemon slices for garnish

Filet the chicken breasts slicing them horizontally to make 4 flat servings.  Liberally sprinkle both sides with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and then drop in the chicken.  Cook on high heat just 2 or 3 minutes on each side until the chicken is well browned.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.

In a container with a tight fitting lid,  shake together the chicken broth, garlic, red pepper, lemon juice and cornstarch until it is well blended.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In the skillet, saute the red onion a couple minutes until it turns tender (add a splash of oil if the pan seems dry).  Then pour in the chicken broth mixture and stir 3 or 4 minutes until it thickens.

Nestle the chicken back into the sauce (or put them both in a baking dish if your skillet is not oven proof)– and cook the chicken 15 to 20  minutes, until the chicken is tender,  in a 350 degree oven.

While that’s cooking, slice your remaining lemon and brown it in the pan juices in the skillet for a couple minutes.

When the chicken comes out of the oven, serve it up on a platter, grind on a bit more black pepper and add the lemon slices as garnish.  Serve any extra sauce on the side.   Delish!

Lemon Crumble Breakfast Cake

Hi all– It was a perfect match.  I saw this Lemon Crumble Breakfast Cake on Pinterest and the next week got a big bag of lemons from a friend who was smart enough to plant a row of citrus trees in her yard.

And you don’t have to serve this for breakfast. you know.  We had it with a group of friends who came in last Wednesday night for our weekly time to pass around hugs and laugh and talk and pray together.  It’s fresh and bright– just a nice little piece of cake on a plate to go with your mug of tea.

LEMON CRUMBLE BREAKFAST CAKE

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup (4 oz.) butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tab. lemon juice

Cake:
3/4 cup sugar
grated rind of 2 lemons
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cps flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
garnish: powdered sugar

In a small mixing bowl, make the streusel by mixing together the 1/3 cup sugar sugar and melted butter with a fork. Then stir in the 3/4 cup flour flour, lemon rind and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Set it aside.

For the cake, stir together the 3/4 cup sugar, grated rind of 2 lemons, oil, egg vanilla and buttermilk.  Then mix in the 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt.

Scoop the thick batter into a 8″ or 9″ spring form pan (or deep cake pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  With your fingers, crumble the streusel into little bits over the cake batter.

Pop it into the oven for 45 to 50 minutes until a thin knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

When you’re ready to serve the cake dust the top with powdered sugar through a sieve.  Enjoy!

*In place of buttermilk, you can use a tablespoon of cider vinegar and milk to make 1/2 cup.

recipe adapted from Pinterest

Lemon Rolls

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Hello all– Got this recipe from my sis (the REAL baker in the family) years ago.  In fact, when her son was still a school boy he made the rolls with cinnamon (instead of lemon) and won a blue ribbon at the Orange County Fair!  (Shout out to Matt!)

So if you want some tender, bright, prize winning rolls on your table, give these a try!

LEMON ROLLS

Sweet Dough:
1 package dry yeast (1 tab.)
1 cup milk (120-130 degrees)*
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil
1 egg, room temperature
3 1/2 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)

Filling:
6 tab. butter, melted
1 cup sugar
4 tab. grated lemon peel (from 2 lemons)

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tab. grated lemon peel (from 1 lemon)
2 tab. lemon juice

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Warm the milk to 120-130 degrees.  Mix it with the yeast in a large glass mixing bowl.  Stir in the 1/2 cup sugar, salt, oil and egg.  Then stir in the flour.  When it’s mostly mixed, knead the dough with your hands for 4 or 5 minutes.  If it gets sticky, sprinkle on a little more flour and keep kneading…

Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and set it in a warm place** for 75 minutes until the dough is doubled in size.

While it’s rising, mix together the filling–melted butter, 1 cup sugar and 4 tab. grated lemon peel.

With a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a counter that is sprinkled with flour.  Roll until it’s about 10″ by 30″.  Spread the lemon/sugar filling to cover the dough from edge to edge.

Roll the dough starting to roll on the long side.  Cut the rolled dough into 12 rolls (to make them larger) or 18 rolls (for smaller rolls) and lay them into a 9″x 13″ baking dish*** that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Cover the rolls again with the towel and let them rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.

Then pop the rolls in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

While they are baking, mix up the glaze, powdered sugar, 2 tab. grated lemon peel and lemon juice.  Drizzle the glaze over the rolls warm from the oven.  Delicious hot from the oven with a mug of tea.

*My microwave warms the milk to about this temperature in 1 minute– it should feel just about as warm as you’d want for a baby’s bath.
**For rising the dough, I turn the oven on for just 3 minutes until it gets to about 130 degrees and turn it off.  Then set the covered dough in there to rise.
***I used two round smaller tart dishes instead of a 9″x 13″ pan–prettier for serving.

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P.S.  These are really at their peak the moment they come out of the oven.  And as much as I am against microwaving any kind of bread (heaven forbid!)– These can use 8 seconds in the microwave, if they are day old, to make them tender and hot for breakfast the next morning.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

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Hi all– It’s pretty quiet around here.  Christmas tree down–check.  Clutter picked up and stashed–check.  Gifts all stowed in cupboards and closets–check.  Kids all gone & settled back in their own homes–check.  Sort of missing the hub-bub of ten people filling up our little house.

Here’s one Christmas week leftover still waiting to be shared.  Citrusy, sweet muffins were our quick breakfast one morning– sort of add a little sunshine on a gray sky day.  Add a mug of tea.  Perfect.

LEMON BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1/2 cup milk
grate peel from 1 large lemon
1 cup blueberries (6 oz. pack)
a little extra sugar

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First take the lemon and grate off all the peel. Set aside.  Then juice the lemon and strain out the seeds.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Next mix in the eggs, oil, lemon juice and milk.  Last, fold in the lemon peel and blueberries.

Spoon the batter into a muffin tin lined with paper liners (makes about 10).  Dust the tops with a slight sprinkle of sugar.

Bake them up at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes, until they are slightly browned on top and firm to the touch.  Delicious warm with a big mug of tea.

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Swedish Lemon Hearts

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Hello Cookie Makers– Got this recipe from my friend Sue, who actually learned to make these from her Swedish grandmother.  We’ve both been making them since our kids were small– almost 40 years!  It’s a Christmas favorite.

They are thin and crisp and citrusy and sweet.  And so pretty, they belong on a Christmas table.

SWEDISH LEMON HEARTS
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 lemon
maraschino cherries
sprinkling of sugar

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With a fine grater, grate the peel off of the lemon.  Then juice the rest and strain the seeds from the juice.

With an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and lemon juice until it’s blended and smooth.  Then beat in the flour (it will be dry, may take a few minutes).    Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.

Roll out the dough thinly with a rolling pin an a floured counter.  Also sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough–it may be a little sticky.  Cut out your hearts and place them 1″ apart on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle a sugar very lightly and cut up the cherries and put a small bit of cherry at the cleft of each cookie.

Bake them up at 350 degrees for 8 or 9 minutes, just until they start to brown at the edges.  Merry Christmas!

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Lemon Zucchini Bread

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Hello cooking buddies–  It’s been a quiet week for me here.  Staying with my dear Mom as she recovers from a couple hospital stays last week.  Mostly I’ve been sitting and working on some unnamed Christmas gifts (just in case any of the recipients are reading… I mean you Laurel!)  We watch old movies and eat soup.  A unique and actually sweet time with Mom.

So all I have to share with you is a luscious lemony loaf of bread I made a few weeks ago for friends.  It’s tender and tart and looks a little bit like sunshine on the plate.  If you’re looking for something sweet to give away this Christmas, you might just like this pretty bread.

LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD

Bread:
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
2 tab. lemon juice*
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tab. lemon zest (peel)*
2 cups grated zucchini (2 smallish zucchini)
1 tsp. vanilla

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tab. lemon juice*
2 tab.grated lemon peel*

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To start out, grate 2 smallish zucchini with a box grater (largest holes) to produce 2 cups of grated zucchini.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl stir together the canola oil, yogurt, lemon juice, eggs and sugar until blended and smooth.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.  And finally fold in the zucchini and vanilla.

Spoon the batter into a standard loaf pan (9″x 5″) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes until a small knife inserted comes out clean.

Let the bread rest a few minutes while you stir up the glaze.  Whisk together the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  If you like it thinner, stir in the 2nd tablespoon of lemon juice.  Drizzle over the cake.  And sprinkle the lemon peel on top.  Enjoy!

*One large lemon or two smaller lemons should be enough.

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Lemon Rosemary Baked Chicken

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Hey there– Dinner time.  When our kids were growing up, it was everyone in their place, sitting around the table, talking through the day–the one time in the day we were all together.  Now it’s just Larry and me.  Sometimes we just grab a plate and sit in the kitchen, sometimes pull up to the coffee table and watch tv.  But it’s still a time to connect.

And the best connects are with friends who come in and sit down to the table with us.  Last week it was with Esther, an amazing young woman we’ve gotten to know.  Heard her heartwarming story of an encounter with a young shepherd boy on her trip to India for a cousin’s wedding.  Talked about her future plans…  It was more about the conversation than the food.

But- we did eat!  And dinner was centered around this Lemon Rosemary Chicken.  Easy to pop in the oven so you have time to pull up a salad and a pot of rice. It’s savory and fresh tasting.  I think you’ll like it– and I hope it comes with good talk around your table…

LEMON ROSEMARY BAKED CHICKEN
6 chicken thighs
2 tab. live oil
2 lemons
3 tab. honey
2 tab. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs of rosemary
6 sprigs of thyme (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
garnish:  a little more rosemary/thyme

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Brown the chicken thighs in the skillet, cooking on medium high heat for 3 minutes on each side.

Cut one lemon in half and juice half of one lemon.  Slice the remain 1 1/2 lemons into thin slices.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, olive oil and garlic.

Then spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  On the bottom of the dish lay out half of the lemon slices. Top them with the browned chicken thighs and spoon the pan juices over the chicken and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Then layer on top the remaining lemon slices and the rosemary and thyme sprigs.  Finally spoon the honey/lemon juice mixture over the top of the chicken.

Pop the baking dish into a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Then lay the chicken out on a serving dish, top with the juices from the baking dish and the lemons, plus a couple fresh sprigs of rosemary.

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Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken

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Hey there– Sunday lunch.  More often than not, it’s cobbled together quickly after church or grabbing something out with friends.  But last week it was a real sit down meal– this creamy lemon parmesan chicken.  My Grandma Rose, of Sunday chicken dinner fame, would have been proud.

The sauce is bright from the lemon and salty from the parmesan– just right over the mound of pasta on the side.  The chicken, hot and tender.  We’ll be having this again for Sunday lunch…

CREAMY LEMON PAREMSAN CHICKEN

Chicken:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tab. flour
3 tab. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Sauce:
2 tab. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup whole milk (or half & half)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp. cornstarch (optional)
4 tab. lemon juice

Garnish: thyme leaves*  & lemon slices

Cut the chicken breasts horizontally to have 2 thin fillets.  The mix together the flour, 3 tab. parmesan, salt and pepper in a flat dish.  Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet.  Dredge the chicken on both sides in the flour mixture and set it into the hot oil.  Cook on both sides about 3 or 4 minutes until it’s nicely browned and the chicken is cooked through.  Set onto a warm plate.

In the same pan add the garlic to the chicken drippings.  (Add another tablespoon of oil, if the pan is dry).  Cook for a minute and then add in the chicken stock and milk.  Bring that to a low simmer for 2 minutes.  Then stir in the parmesan.

In a small container with a tight fitting led shake together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water.  Shake it until the cornstarch and water are thoroughly blended and then stir it into the simmering sauce until it thickens.  Finally, stir in the lemon juice.

Set the chick onto a platter with rice or pasta or a whole grain.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with thyme leaves and lemon slices.  Hope you enjoy it!!

*The recipe I worked from called for Italian parsley as a garnish, but I have thyme in the side yard and like it with lemon.  You could use any favorite herb…

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