Showing posts with label Lemon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lemon. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blackberry Lemon Thyme Muffins #MuffinMonday

Blackberry Lemon Thyme Muffins marry a trio of flavors that go so well together in a syrup or in a muffin. First make the syrup then use the leftover blackberry puree to make these fluffy delectable muffins.


Just yesterday, over on the Sunday Supper Movement website, I posted a recipe for blackberry lemon thyme syrup from the new cookbook, Not Your Mama’s Canning Book* by Rebecca Lindamood. I divided the ingredients list by three which made two almost full 8 oz jars of the most delightful ruby syrup, full of flavor and sweetness. But after draining the puree of the syrup, I couldn’t just throw the sweet mashed blackberries away. With Muffin Monday coming up – always the last Monday of the month – I knew just what to do with them!

If you’d like to learn how to can or are already a avid fan of canning, you’ll want to check out my post. Thanks to the Page Street Publishing, Sunday Supper is giving away one copy of Rebecca’s book.

Ingredients
For the blackberry lemon thyme puree and syrup
10 3/4 oz or 300g fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups or 300g granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 sprig fresh thyme

For the muffins
2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or 160g blackberry puree
Optional – 12 fresh blackberries for decoration

Method
Follow these instructions to make the blackberry syrup but with the amounts indicated above. Discard the thyme sprig but save the strained blackberry puree to make these muffins. Trust me. That syrup is worth the time and effort.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Generously grease cups and top of 12-cup muffin pan or line them with paper liners

In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, thyme leaves and salt together. In another bowl, whisk together milk, oil, lemon juice, vanilla and eggs.

Add all the milk mixture to flour mixture.



Gently fold just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Drop dollops of the blackberry puree on the batter then use a spatula to swirl them in, leaving streaks of color.



Divide your batter relatively evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Top each with a blackberry, if desired.



Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden.



Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 before removing muffins from pan.



Enjoy!

Check out all the other muffins we have for you this month!


#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.


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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Apple Bundt #BundtBakers

Light yet full of fruit, this easy peasy lemon squeezy apple Bundt reminds me that bright summer sunshine always fades into sweet cooler autumn. Eventually.


Go ahead, laugh with me. Or at me. I deserve it. I made this cake batter twice in two days because the first time, I completely forgot to add the apples in at the end. Yes, they were all peeled and sliced and chopped and just waiting, ready, but I was so taken by the lovely golden yellow batter that I spooned it right in my prepared baking pan – this Duet Bundt* from Nordic Ware – and popped it in the oven. The timer was 10 minutes down before I realized that the apples and lemon juice were still just sitting there. And I temporarily lost my will to live.

So here’s what I can tell you: If you want a simple vanilla lemon cake that doesn’t need a machine to mix and that would bake up beautifully in a Duet pan, just skip the apple steps.

Today, however, there need to be apples. Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting Bundt Bakers this month and she chose apples as our theme. How could I have forgotten to add the one ingredient I have to use? Yeah, I don’t know either.

Once the apples are added, the batter of this delicious easy peasy lemon squeezy apple Bundt is fluffy from the interaction of the baking soda, sour cream and lemon juice so spoon it carefully into your baking pan. We don’t want to lose any of the air inside.

Ingredients for 5- or 6-cup Bundt
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 apples, depending on size about 170g each (I ended up using 1 1/2 apples)
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon juice
zest 1 lemon
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
3/4 cup or 150g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup or 115g full fat sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: confectioner’s sugar for decoration

Method
Preheat the oven to 325°F or 163°C. Prepare your 5 or 6 cup Bundt pan by greasing it with butter and coating that with flour.

Zest your lemon and then squeeze the juice into a small mixing bowl, being careful to remove all of the seeds.

Cut the apples in half, core and peel them. Slice them as thinly as you can, then give the whole pile of slices a couple of rough chops. The point here is that we don’t mind some larger pieces, but they should all be thin so they cook faster.  Make sense?




Put the cut apples into the lemon juice bowl and stir well. The acid in the lemon juice will help stop the apples from turning brown as you get on with the rest of the recipe.



Measure your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add in the butter, eggs, sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla.


Beat well with a whisk, until the batter is smooth and creamy. Resist the urge to eat it. (It’s so good!)



Fold in the chopped apples along with the lemon juice.



Spoon the batter into your prepared pan.



Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven. Check it occasionally and if the top begins to brown too quickly, you can cover it with some foil.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before attempting to remove the cakes from the pan.


Once completely cool, you can add a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

Enjoy!



Do you love to bake with apples? You are sure to add to your list of favorites when you see what my fellow Bundt Bakers have created this month!


BundtBakers

BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.


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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Easy Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto

Loaded with flavor, this creamy pesto made from avocado, basil, thyme, oregano and lemon is meant to be served over pasta. I could just eat it with a spoon!

My friend Kathy Hester of Healthy Slow Cooking has another cookbook on the shelves and I’m delighted to say that I have a copy to give away! This one’s called The Easy Vegan Cookbook (<Amazon affiliate link) and it’s perfect for folks who are short on time but don’t want to skimp on flavor. Typical of Kathy’s books, there aren’t a bunch of weird substitutions for non-vegan ingredients, just great tasting vegetable-centric meals. And who couldn’t use more of those in their diets?

Make sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter the cookbook giveaway!

As I mentioned in my Muffin Monday post earlier this week, my younger daughter has been with us all summer. She’s been a good sport about being flexible about what she’ll eat because she is mostly vegetarian, making the rare exception for a good hamburger once in a while. “All hamburgers are good hamburgers” is another of her axioms. But we have eaten more all veggie meals while she’s been here, especially on days when her father is traveling on business. One of her own specialties is pasta with pesto to which an avocado is added just before serving so I knew that Kathy’s Avocado Lemon Basil Pesto would be a hit.

And how! This stuff is good. So good that I just wanted to eat it with a spoon and forget the pasta. But that wouldn’t be much of a meal so I restrained myself and tossed the noodles in it. Still divine - creamy, luscious, bright and beautifully green. We will definitely be making this one again!

Kathy’s instructions say not to let the specialty basil intimidate you. “If you don’t have lemon basil, you can use regular basil and add lemon zest, extra lemon juice or another lemony herb like lemon verbena or lemon balm.”

I couldn’t find lemon basil. Instead I used lemon thyme, adding a few extra sprigs, but I also added the lemon zest along with a little more lemon juice, as suggested.

Recipe ©Kathy Hester from The Easy Vegan Cookbook, included here by permission from Page Street Publishing.

Ingredients
1 medium-sized ripe avocado
1/2 cup (12g) fresh lemon basil leaves (or substitute regular basil)
1 (2 to 4 in [5 to 10cm]) sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon (3g) fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (59 ml) water plus more if needed
1/2 lb (227 g) cooked whole-wheat angel-hair pasta (I used regular linguine pasta.)

My optional addition: dried red chili flakes



Method
Scoop out the avocado.


Put the avocado flesh, basil, leaves from the thyme and oregano, lemon juice, salt and water in a blender and blend well until the herbs are puréed.

(I used my hand blender instead, pureeing the avocado with the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, thyme and oregano first.)


(Then I added in the basil and pulsed again until smooth.)

(I completely forgot the water but we liked the thickness of the pesto and it coated the pasta beautifully! Just look at that gorgeous color!)

The creamy avocado lemon basil pesto with just a couple of teaspoons missing! Sooooooo good!


If the purée is still too thick, add 2 more tablespoons (30 ml) of water and blend again. Toss with the cooked pasta.

One more tip: This pesto comes together in minutes, so put your pasta in the boiling water while you make it. The pesto will be ready to toss with your piping hot, perfectly cooked pasta. You’ll be out of the kitchen before the pesto has time to get too hot!

If you’d like a sneak peek at some of Kathy’s other recipes, check out the links in this line up from some other participants in the cookbook blog tour. Good stuff! Make sure to scroll to the bottom and leave a comment to enter the cookbook giveaway! I've been wanting to try the Creole Okra Corn Soup but I couldn't get any takers at my house for anything okra. So I'm just going to have to make that when I'm home alone. Not a problem because I am sure I can eat the whole pot.

Many thanks to Page Street Publishing for generously donating one copy of Kathy's wonderful book for this giveaway. Please be aware that they will only ship to US or Canadian addresses. You must be 18 or older to enter.



Please leave a comment and tell me why YOU should be the winner of this great cookbook full of delicious recipes - Are you cooking for yourself or for friends and family? - then click on the rafflecopter for other opportunities to enter. Not leaving a comment will disqualify your other entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received one copy of The Easy Vegan Cookbook for review purposes. No other compensation was received. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cherry Lemon Jam #SundaySupper

Juicy summer cherries and fresh lemon, cooked down with lemon zest and sugar, are the perfect jammy marriage of sweet and sharp, as delicious on a piece of buttered toast as spooned over cold vanilla ice cream or stirred into a pot of natural yogurt. 

One of my pet peeves is waste. That’s not to say that I don’t throw out my share of things in the refrigerator that somehow manage to work their way to the back, get forgotten, and grow legs on occasion, but it makes me sad when that happens. Especially when it’s something I really love to eat.

Here in Dubai, where temperatures rarely fall below an average low winter temperature of 57°F or 14°C, growing cherries, which require a chill time of 700-800 hours in order to flower and produce fruit, is just not an option. So all of the cherries that appear in our supermarkets are flown in at great expense from countries that enjoy near or freezing temperatures in winter. As you might guess, those costs are passed on to consumers and cherries are crazy expensive to buy here. So one of my favorite summer rituals is buying and eating my not inconsiderable weight in cherries when I am in the States on holiday.

As I packed up to head back to Dubai this summer – and if you follow me on Instagram you know I mean that quite literally – I still had a big bowl of cherries on the kitchen counter. There was just no way I could leave those behind! So I got out the cherry pitter and went to work. Jamming is so much more satisfying than packing suitcases!


Jam making is really easy, with the right tools.
A digital scale and a thermometer are going to simplify the process. One of the secrets to easy fruit jam, that is jam that sets, is to add something acidic, like lemons which have natural pectin, and to cook the fruit with an appropriate amount of sugar until it reaches a temperature of 220°F or 105°C. And since the amount of sugar depends on the weight of your cooked fruit, I’d like to suggest you buy a digital kitchen scale. < Amazon affiliate link to the one I use, but, honestly, any scale which can toggle between metric and imperial measures will do, giving you the freedom to use recipes from all over the world. (You can measure by volume but weighing is a lot less messy.) And if you don’t have one, may I suggest you get a thermometer as well? < Once again, that's an affiliate link to mine - costs about $14 and I use it ALL THE TIME. A thermometer takes the stress and worry of “will it set?” completely out of the jam making equation. Reaching the proper temperature hasn't failed me yet.

Ingredients
A bunch of cherries (mine weighed 2 lbs 5 oz or 1050g unpitted, with stems, 2 lbs 1 1/2 oz or 950g without pits and stems)
2 small lemons (about one per pound or half kilo of other fruit)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
Sugar - an amount equivalent to 3/4 the weight of your cooked cherries and lemons and their juice – this batch was 2 lbs 2 1/2 oz or 978g – so I used 3 1/2 cups or 734g sugar

Method
Sterilize your jars and lids and put them at the ready, metal teaspoon in each, canning funnel perched in one, before you begin. Sterilize your ladle as well. The amounts given above made two pint jars and one half pint.



Pit your cherries and put them in a large non-reactive pot. (If you have a scale, go ahead and weigh the empty pot first and make a note of the weight for later.) Grate in the zest of your two lemons.

Cut the peels and pith (the white stuff) off of your lemons with a sharp knife. Remove all the seeds and chop the flesh into small chunks.

Scrape the chopped lemons and any juice on the cutting board, into the cherry pot.





Add the extra two tablespoons of lemon juice into the pot.

Cook the pitted cherries and lemons, covered, over a medium flame for about 15 or 20 minutes, until they have released some juice and the cherries have softened.

Use a potato masher to mash them lightly, leaving some cherries whole.

Measure your cooked fruit, juices and all, by volume or weight and then do a little math. Add 3/4 that amount of sugar, along with the salt.

My calculation looked like this:
Pot weighs 1300g empty.
With cooked cherries and lemon, it weighs 2278g.  2278-1300 = 978g.
Weight of cooked fruit and juice = 978g x .75 = 734g or about 3 1/2 cups sugar to add

Cook the fruit, sugar and salt over a medium to high heat, uncovered, till the mixture starts to thicken. Stir frequently and set your thermometer in the pot. Cook quickly until the temperature reaches setting point for jam: 220°F or 105°C.



Quickly ladle the hot, sweet jam into your prepared jars and screw the lids on as tightly as you can manage.

Turn the jars upside down and leave to cool. The scalding cooked fruit further sterilizes the jars and as the jam cools, a suction forms and the lids are firmly sealed. The little circles on the lids should pop in and keep the jam safe for consumption for many months. If any of the seals don’t create a sufficient vacuum and the circles don’t pop in, store those jars in the refrigerator.



Enjoy!



This week I am delighted to be hosting Sunday Supper with my friend and fellow blogger, Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks. It’s our goal to encourage everyone to Save Summer Harvest with a number of methods, and in keeping with the mission of Sunday Supper, to enjoy the bounty of summer around your family table for months to come.

Canning
Dehydrating
Fermentation
Freezing
Infusing
Pickling
Preserving in oil or butter
And for even more help and support


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.



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Monday, June 22, 2015

Cherry Lemon Muffins #MuffinMonday


Chock full of fresh cherries with a hit of tart lemon, these muffins go equally well with a cup of tea or coffee or even a glass of milk, making breakfast or snack time special. 

I started doing Muffin Monday almost three years ago today with this Banana Bacon Peanut Butter Chip Muffin. Until these last few weeks, when I’ve been traveling, I had not missed a single week since then. Even so, this is my 150th Muffin Monday!  Muffins are so easy to bake. They can be relatively healthy, made with less sugar than a cupcake with none of the cloyingly sweet icing that a cupcake requires, the batter filled with a variety of fruit, nuts and other add-ins like chocolate, bacon, jam and cheese. Yes, the flexible muffin can be sweet or savory. If you tell me you can’t bake, I’m going to suggest you start with muffins. One bowl holds your wet ingredients, the other your dry. Mix them together and bake. Nothing is more simple yet creates a fluffy, tender baked good in under 30 minutes.

For the first time in many years, cherries in Houston are on sale for $1.87 a pound which is less than one dollar per kilo. And I just can’t get enough of them! This muffin is a celebration of the seasonal Bing cherries, brightened with fresh lemon juice and zest. I baked them yesterday morning and, after they cooled, popped them in a plastic container to take along to the beach. It was a lovely day, watching my little nieces seine for fish with their father on Galveston Bay, while chatting with my sister, mother and daughter from the high perch of their beautiful front porch, where the wind cooled us off and the sea view went on forever and ever.

Ingredients
2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 115g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small lemon (for zest and 4 teaspoons juice)
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/3 cup or 75ml canola or other light oil
5 2/3 oz or 160g 125g pitted fresh cherries (about 3/4 cup once quartered)

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Butter or grease your muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Grate in the lemon zest and mix.

Juice your lemon. Quarter your cherries and set 12 pieces aside for topping the muffins.



Put the bigger pile of cut cherries in the flour mixture and toss well to cover.



In another smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and lemon juice.



Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through.



Divide the mixture between the muffin cups in pan.  Top with reserved cherry quarters.



Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  Allow them to cool for a few minutes then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.



Enjoy!


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bee's Knees Lemon Honey Bundt #BundtBakers


Based on the Prohibition era cocktail called Bee’s Knees, this lovely buttermilk-pound-cake textured Bundt is flavored with honey and lemon, spiked with gin and finished with a gin honey lemon glaze sprinkled with lemon zest. 

A couple of weeks ago, one of my fellow Bundt Bakers asked for a Pimm’s cake recipe in another Facebook group. I had never heard of such a thing so I did a quick web search and found several. Pimm’s is one of our favorite summer drinks, made with lots of fresh fruit and cucumber so I was most intrigued. Deon’s cake is not on the list list below but you can see his Pimm's Bundt here.  I was inspired to check out some other lemony cocktails to recreate as a Bundt and settled on this one called Bee’s Knees popular during the American Prohibition.

Ingredients
For the cake batter:
1 cup or 226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups or 300g sugar
2 2/3 cups or 335g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest one small lemon
1 cup or 240ml buttermilk
1/4 cup or 60ml gin
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon juice
3 large eggs, at room temperature

For the lemon honey gin glaze:
3/4 cup or 95g confectioners' sugar or as needed to get the consistency you’d like.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons gin
2 teaspoons honey
Pinch salt

To decorate:
Zest one lemon

Method
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Generously grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. Mine is a Nordic Ware Chrysanthemum pan. I’d love to put an affiliate link for that one but it’s been discontinued. Sorry!

In a stand mixer cream your butter combine the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Zest one lemon into the flour and mix.



Zest your second lemon on to a paper towel and set aside.


Measure out your honey, gin and lemon juice and add it to the buttermilk. Mix well.


Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.



In three additions, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and one third of the liquid mixture, beating well in between. Scrape the bowl down before each new addition.



Spoon the batter into your prepared Bundt pan, making sure to fill all the little crevices.



Bake until the center of cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean, around 55 or 65 minutes.



Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


In a small bowl, combine, the lemon juice, gin, honey and pinch of salt. Add in the icing sugar a little at a time, whisking well between additions until all the sugar is dissolved. Keep adding icing sugar and whisking until you reach your desired consistency.


Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Sprinkle with the zest of the second lemon which should have dried out somewhat from sitting on the paper towel.


Enjoy!



If you are a fan of lemon in baked goods, this is the Bundt Baker month for you! Many thanks to our host Anne of From My Sweet Heart!

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.


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