Browsing articles tagged with " lemon"

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Parfait

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Parfait
I’m back. Did you miss me? Did you even know I was gone? Okay, so technically I didn’t go anywhere…but it has been quite a while since my last post. I’m making up for it in a big way though. With two recipes in one! A tasty almond coconut granola that you will want to eat by the handful, and a fresh and springy strawberry lemon yogurt parfait.
But before we get lost in a big ole’ serving of granola, yogurt and berries I need to tell you what I’ve been up to that’s caused me to neglect my poor little blog for over two weeks. Since the beginning I have tried to keep this space about food. Sure, sometimes I inject little bits about my life here and there, but in general I figure you don’t want to read about my trip to the eye doctor, or my day at work, or how excited I was when my husband replaced a part of the vacuum cleaner causing it to work like 100 times better. Or maybe you do, I don’t know…but I do know I don’t want to write about those things. I’m here to share with you my love of food, my passion for ingredients and my adventures as I try new recipes and taste new flavors. The funny thing about food and everyday life though is that you can’t have one without the other. Who I am, what I do everyday and where I live are all connected to the foods I cook and eat. Which is why this announcement is about my life, but also about my food journey and where it will take me next.
So here it is -we’re selling our house…and will be living and traveling in our Airstream for the next two to three years. The above photo is where I live now- where I’ve lived, and gardened, and cooked for the past 9 years. Below is our 25’ Airstream where I’m sooo excited to spend the next several years.
I told you this was big! Well, small actually. From a 2,300 sq. ft. home to a roughly 200 sq. ft. metal silver bullet. From a kitchen with big windows, ample counter space and enough cupboards to fit all my cooking utensils and gadgets, to a kitchen where the stove doubles as a cutting board and the only place to store my pots and pans is inside the oven. None of that matters though because what we loose in indoor living space we gain in outside living space. A whole wide world of it- wherever we want to go!

And yes, I will be continuing the blog. In fact, I have a whole new vision for the blog that incorporates my travels, new foods, new inspirations, and new adventures. I will continue updating you here on our travel plans as they progress. We’re also in the middle of renovating the airstream kitchen (as much as you can renovate such a tiny space) and I will share pictures very soon. So as you can see I’ve been busy. Painting, cleaning, mulching- all the things that will make someone want to buy our house. I have managed to find some time for cooking though. And my latest creation is a parfait healthy enough to eat for breakfast and tasty enough to eat for dessert.
This recipe was inspired by a strawberry lemon trifle I made for Easter. No I didn’t take any pictures, in fact I didn’t even write down the recipe. What can I say, I’ve been busy. It was amazing though- fluffy lemon mousse, tender angel food cake and fresh strawberries. Shoot…now I feel bad and I’m gonna have to recreate this recipe just so I can share it with you. How about we wait until it’s actually strawberry season somewhere besides Florida though?  Which doesn’t happen until June up here in the chilly northeast, but I can never wait that long and as soon as these bright red berries appear in the store I have to buy some. I’m always kind of dissapointed though. Have you ever noticed that the bigger the berry the less the flavor? Which is why these early, and well-traveled, berries need to be combined with lots of other flavors… like lemon, and honey, and almonds, and coconut.

I used to make granola once a week. I would make a big batch, store it in a tupperware container and eat it everyday for breakfast. Since January though I’ve been on a smoothie kick and the granola has been forgotten. Until now that is. Feel free to play around with this recipe. Change the nuts, substitute dried fruit for the coconut, add chocolate, whatever you like as long as you stick with the same basic proportions.


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Honey Sweetened Meyer Lemon Tarts

Meyer Lemon Tarts
I wish I had a scratch and sniff computer…actually I wish you had a scratch and sniff computer. That way you could be as enchanted by the floral aroma of these wonderful little Meyer lemons as I am. These lemons are so fragrant that even before I zested the peels, sliced them open and squeezed out the juice a honey tinged, fresh lemon scent was wafting around my kitchen. I first used Meyer lemons about a month ago when I made Carrot Muffins with Meyer Lemon Glaze. They were good…in fact they were eat two in a row good. The moist carrot muffins studded with lemon zest and drizzled with a thin honey lemon glaze were perfect for my first experiment with these special, slightly sweet lemons. This time though when I brought home a bag filled with the egg yolk colored little cuties I knew I wanted to make something that really let the lemon flavor shine. I wanted a bust of pure lemon flavor in every bite. I wanted to make a recipe that used LOTS of lemon juice…
and lots of lemon zest. So naturally I turned to lemon curd. Curd is all over the Internet these days (could someone please  come up with a better name for it than curd) – lemon curd, blood orange curd, grapefruit curd, key lime curd- you name the citrus and someone has made a curd out of it.
For a long time lemon meringue pie was one of my favorite desserts which means that I’ve made quite a bit of lemon curd in my life time. Never with Meyer lemons though. And never with honey! I spotted this recipe over on the Cookie + Kate blog where she made both a blood orange and a Meyer lemon curd sweetened with honey instead of white sugar. Since I loved the honey and lemon glaze that I made for  my carrot muffins I was eager to try it. It was totally the right choice. The honey adds just a touch of sweet to the floral-scented Meyer lemons and the result is a slightly sweet yet wonderfully tangy smooth curd. The other tip that I picked up from Kate was how to make lemon curd with no straining and no risk of cooked egg bites tarnishing the final product. Basically the idea is to cream the butter and honey like you would if making a cake, then incorporate the eggs and juice before cooking. It worked really well and will defiantly be the method I turn to from now on when making any kind of curd.
For the tart crust I decided on a sweet buttery shortbread type with lots of ground almonds. I love the nutty flavor that the almonds lend to the dough and they also provide a bit of crispy texture that compliments the silky smooth curd perfectly. 
I made mini tarts and blind baked them filled with pie weights. If you don’t have pie weights you can use dried beans but be sure not to skip this step altogether. If you try to bake the tart crust without weights the dough will bubble up in the middle leaving no room for the delicious lemon curd. Believe me, I’m telling you this from experience.
Here they are fresh out of the oven. Almost good enough to eat even with out the lemon curd.
And here they are filled with sweet and tangy lemon curd and topped with fresh whipped cream.Meyer Lemon Tarts

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Carrot Muffins with Meyer Lemon Glaze

Carrot Muffin

Sometimes I’m late to the party. No, not fashionably late. You know, the kind of late where you show up two hours after the party begins just so you can make a grand entrance. That’s not me. First off I’m not at all fashionable, and second I find the idea of making a grand entrance kind of terrifying. I’m also not the party started 30 minutes ago and I’m still in the shower kind of late. In fact, I’m a bit of stickler for timeliness and become riddled with anxiety anytime I’m running behind. I’m still late for the party though. I’m late for the party because I just discovered my love for kale this winter. Because I waited so long to make a recipe using blood oranges that now they’re out of season, and because this week I used Meyer lemons for the first time EVER. Yup that’s right, the party I’m late for is the food trend party and I’m pretty sure the party van just left without me. Meyer lemon I’ve been seeing these sunny yellow lemons all over the Internet for the past month. Meyer lemon cake, Meyer lemon donuts, Meyer lemon ice cream, Meyer lemon martinis…I could go on and on. I began to wonder what was so special about these smooth skinned, egg yolk colored lemons. According to a fascinating story on NPRMeyer lemons have a sweeter, less acidic flavor then regular lemons (which makes them perfect for desserts but not so perfect for when you want acidity like in sauces and soups). They also are known for their soft, thin skin and high volume of juice. The season for Meyer lemons begins in November and extends into March. Since their thin skin makes them difficult to ship they can be hard to find if you live far from areas where they are grown. Here in northern New England we’re about as far away from a citrus growing climate as you can get. Luckily though, my local grocery store pretty much rocks when it comes to stocking hard to find items and earlier this week I spotted these beauties in the citrus section. It was sign for sure. I was like my personal invitation to attend the exclusive food trend party. This time I would not be late.Carrot MuffinThe only thing left to decide- what to make for this fabulous party. I wanted something that would compliment the sweetness of the lemon without over whelming it. I also wanted something healthy that I wouldn’t feel bad about eating after the pig out I had on Valentine’s Day treats. So I chose…carrots. I warned you I wasn’t very fashionable. While everyone else is making the equivalent of an evening gown with their Meyer Lemons I went with my old reliable overalls. But they’re soo comfy. Seriously though- carrot muffins made with wheat germ and brown rice syrup may not sound very sexy, but when you bite down into that moist muffin studded with bits of carrots and dripping with sweet lemon syrup you will thank me for choosing comfort over style.   I incorporated Meyer lemon in this muffin two ways. First I added some of the fragrant zest to the muffin batter. Second, I made a simple glaze to drizzle over the top of the muffins. It includes just two ingredients- lemon juice and honey. This is a fairly thin glaze that you pour over the still warm muffins. The glaze soaks down into the muffin and gives it an extra kick of lemony sweetness.
Looks like I made it to the party just in time. Carrot Muffins

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