Category Archives: lemon juice

Lemon Milano Cookies

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I grew up in a home where pretty much everything was homemade. Cereal was granola and shredded wheat was a special store bought treat; cakes were baked from scratch and a cookie was fresh baked from the oven. With one exception. Every once in a while Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies would appear in the house and no matter how well the paper bag was hidden, the cookies disappeared in a matter of minutes. Perhaps it was the novelty of a store bought cookie that enticed me but to this day there is something about those soft and tender cookies sandwiched together with a bit of dark chocolate that simply excites me. So naturally it was just a matter of time before I decided to make my own Milano treats.
My cookies combine zesty lemon with rich dark chocolate. The cookie recipe comes from  Dessertnowdinnerlater.com. The cookies are tender and thanks to the use of lemon in three forms–zest, juice and extract–filled with tangy flavor in every bite. It pairs perfectly with the complexity rich dark chocolate. If you prefer you can substitute milk chocolate but the results will be creamy and slightly sweeter.
LEMON MILANO COOKIES

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

Zest of 2 lemons

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1½ teaspoons pure lemon extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup powdered sugar

8 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest using an electric mixer set on medium speed.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, lemon juice and lemon extract mixing thoroughly to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mixing until just incorporated and scraping the bowl as necessary.
  • Place the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl.
  • Scoop 1½ tablespoon sized cookie dough balls and roll them in the powdered sugar.
  • Place the cookies on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake  for 9 to 10 minutes until the cookies are just golden.
  • Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Place the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Stir gently until the chocolate is melted and liquid.
  • Using a narrow spatula or a knife, spread the melted chocolate over the bottom half of a cookie then top with another cookie. Set aside until the chocolate is firm.

Yields: 20 sandwich cookies

 

 

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Lemon Burst Buttermilk Cake

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If you love lemons, and lots of them, then this bright and tangy lemon cake from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen is just the recipe for you. It is so good that it has become my go-to recipe whenever I have an abundance of lemons on hand.

I love this cake because it is so moist. It also contains buttermilk which has become my preferred dairy product for baking.  And because it contains a generous amount of both lemon juice and lemon zest, you are rewarded with a mouthful of lemon flavor with every bite. And by all means don’t skip the lemony glaze; it is the finishing touch for this already delicious cake.

LEMON BURST BUTTERMILK CAKE

For the cake:

3 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

1 cup butter, softened

2 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs

4 large lemons, juiced and zested

¾ cup buttermilk

For the glaze:

1½ cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp heavy cream

1 Tbsp lemon zest from lemons

2 Tbsp lemon juice from lemons

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat 2- 8 x 4½ x 5-inch metal loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  • Using a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla.
  • Beat until creamy then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Reserve 1½ tablespoons of the lemon zest for the glaze then add the rest to the creamed butter and eggs.
  • Mix together ¼ cup fresh lemon juice with ¾ cup buttermilk.
  • Add to the mixing bowl alternately with the sifted dry ingredients. Beat until fully combined and all of the dry ingredients are fully moistened.
  • Divide the batter between the 2 loaf pans, tapping the pans to release air bubbles.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center shows moist crumbs.
  • Cool in the pan then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • To make the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, lemon zest and lemon juice until drizzling consistency. If needed add additional cream 1 tsp at a time to thin.
  • Drizzle the loafs with glaze, slice and serve.

Yields 24 slices

Wine Sautéed Baby Artichokes

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Fresh artichokes are probably one of my favorite vegetables and baby artichokes are even better than the larger version of this funny looking vegetable. Tender and mild with a slightly nutty flavor, you can eat them whole without having to worry the prickly choke in their center. And fresh artichokes are nothing like the canned or pickled ones most people are more familiar with.

There are so many ways you can use fresh baby artichokes but my favorite way is a simple preparation with a few herbs, some lemon juice and a bit of white wine. This recipe is a classic that I adapted from Gourmet Magazine and it really doesn’t get much simpler than this. For the best flavor, choose fresh, firm and brightly colored artichokes. You can use whatever dried herbs you have on hand. The most important thing, however, is to go light on the herbs since you want to be able to enjoy the taste of the artichokes.

WINE SAUTEED BABY ARTICHOKES

8 baby artichokes

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup dry white wine

1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

  • Bend the outer leaves of the artichokes back until they snap off close to the base and remove several more layers of leaves in the same manner until the white inner leaves are reached. Trim the tips and quarter the artichokes.
  • In a small bowl toss the artichokes with the flour and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet set over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking
  • Add the garlic and cook until it has softened.
  • Add the artichokes and sauté them over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the oregano, basil and the lemon juice and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add the wine and the red pepper flake and simmer the mixture, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the artichokes are very tender.
  • Uncover and boil over high heat for 1 minute or until it is thickened slightly.

Serves 4

Grilled Kielbasa & Vegetable Orzo Salad

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Here is a twist on a traditional pasta salad that I’ve adapted from Savory Simple. Grilled vegetables are the featured ingredients of this dish; I’ve used colorful bell peppers, fresh corn, leeks and two types of squash. A light grill gives them a slightly smoking and charred flavor without overpowering the dish. Kielbasa adds protein and additional flavor to the salad. And it is all built upon a bed of orzo. If you prefer you can use another small pasta. With the exception of the yellow and zucchini squash, the vegetables are all grilled whole so allow them to cool slightly before attempting to slice them.

The salad tastes best when eaten at room temperature so if you make it ahead of time—which you can easily do–simply allow it to sit outside of the refrigerator for half an hour before serving. The salad is substantial enough to be a meal unto itself on a hot summer evening or can liven up a buffet table. And since this is barbecue season, why not make a bowl of this salad for your next backyard event?

GRILLED KIELBASA & VEGETABLE ORZO SALAD

1½ cups orzo

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large green pepper

1 large yellow pepper

1 large red pepper

1 leek

1 yellow squash, sliced in half lengthwise

1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise

1 ear fresh corn on the cob

1 link kielbasa, or other Polish sausage

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo according to package instructions and then drain.
  • Place the cooked orzo in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high.
  • Using tongs to carefully place the whole vegetables (only the yellow squash and the zucchini will be cut up) and the kielbasa on the hot grill and then close the lid.
  • Grill for 4 minutes then using tongs, flip the vegetables and the kielbasa and continue cooking for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove everything from the grill and allow to cool for several minutes until it can be handled comfortably.
  • Slice the sausage thinly and add to the orzo.
  • Remove the stem and seeds from the top of the peppers, peel away the skin, then dice the roasted peppers.
  • Scrape the corn kernels off of the ear and add them to the salad.
  • Trim the end off of the leek and thinly slice the white part of the leek and add it to the salad.
  • Cut the yellow squash and zucchini into thin slices and add it to the salad as well.
  • Toss everything together, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve.

Serves 6-8

 

Garlic & Butter Shrimp

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Shrimp is one of my favorite go-to meals. It cooks up fast, is rich yet is mild enough to complement and take on whatever flavor accompanies it. But sometimes simple really is best. Case in point this super easy and equally fast butter drenched shrimp. The shrimp are cooked in a simple sauce of butter and garlic which is ridiculously simple. Add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of red pepper flakes and you are good to go. I like to serve this on top of a bed of egg noodles but rice tastes good too. Enjoy!

GARLIC & BUTTER SHRIMP

1/4 cup unsalted butter

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 pounds peeled shrimp

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Melt 1/4 cup of unsalted butter in a large wok over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced garlic and cook until soft and fragrant but not browned.
  • Add the wine to the butter and garlic mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp to the wok and increase the temperature to medium-high. Stirring occasionally, cook for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp just turn pink.
  • Remove the wok from the heat and add the lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes.
  • Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Serves 4

 

 

Honey Citrus Grilled Shrimp Skewers

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

When paired with steamed rice, these sweet and tangy shrimp skewers make a fast and healthy dinner choice.  Of course you can also serve them as appetizers or as a part of a buffet table.  However you serve them, they are sure to be a crowd pleaser and will be snapped up in no time so go ahead and double the recipe.

HONEY CITRUS GRILLED SHRIMP SKEWERS

1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled (tails left on is optional)

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup fresh orange juice plus zest of 1 orange

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

1/4 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Soak 20 wooden skewers in warm water for 15 minutes.
  • While the skewers soak, combine the honey, juices, zests, ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes in a small bowl.  Whisk well and season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the skewers and place 3 or 4 shrimp onto each stick.
  • Place the shrimp skewers in a single layer a shallow rimmed dish and pour the marinade over the top of them to cover.  Allow them to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Lightly coat a gas grill with cooking spray  or oil and pre-heat to medium-high.
  • Remove the skewers from the marinade and place on the grill over direct heat.
  • Grill for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through, carefully turning the skewers and brushing with more of the marinade.
  • When the shrimp are done, turn off the grill and give them a final brushing of glaze.

Serves:  4 as an entrée or 10-12 as an appetizer

 

Wine Sauteed Baby Artichokes

IMG_4712

Fresh artichokes are probably one of my favorite vegetables and baby artichokes are even better than the larger version of this funny looking vegetable. Tender and mild with a slightly nutty flavor, you can eat them whole without having to worry the prickly choke in their center. And fresh artichokes are nothing like the canned or pickled ones most people are more familiar with.

There are so many ways you can use fresh baby artichokes but my favorite way is a simple preparation with a few herbs, some lemon juice and a bit of white wine. This recipe is a classic that I adapted from Gourmet Magazine and it really doesn’t get much simpler than this. For the best flavor, choose fresh, firm and brightly colored artichokes. You can use whatever dried herbs you have on hand. The most important thing, however, is to go light on the herbs since you want to be able to enjoy the taste of the artichokes.

WINE SAUTEED BABY ARTICHOKES

8 baby artichokes

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup dry white wine

1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

  • Bend the outer leaves of the artichokes back until they snap off close to the base and remove several more layers of leaves in the same manner until the white inner leaves are reached. Trim the tips and quarter the artichokes.
  • In a small bowl toss the artichokes with the flour and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet set over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking
  • Add the garlic and cook until it has softened.
  • Add the artichokes and sauté them over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the oregano, basil and the lemon juice and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add the wine and the red pepper flake and simmer the mixture, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the artichokes are very tender.
  • Uncover and boil over high heat for 1 minute or until it is thickened slightly.

Serves 4

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