Blogger CLUE: Lemon Loaf

blogger CLUE

Easter is coming early this year (March 27th) and the Blogger Clue crew and I have been on the hunt to provide you with some wonderful Springtime dishes.

This month I was assigned the blog Confessions of a Culinary Diva. Christy describes herself as a “food enthusiast, wine aficionado, Food & Cooking Channel fanatic, and cookbook bibliomaniac, who suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust.” On quick look at her blog and you just know her mini-bio is true – there’s wine everywhere! And countless recipes that take you to another place (France mostly).

While on the hunt for Easter foods I was immediately drawn to her Easter Pie and next year I’ll be sure to try it! The only reason I didn’t stop, drop, and cook it was because I didn’t have Arborio rice and I wasn’t about to buy some while I’m trying to rid my pantry (via cooking) of my current stock before the big move.

I thought about what foods I think remind me of Easter. I don’t serve a ham and my family has always done our own thing. Growing up we would always have a dish traditional to my mom’s family. We would have a dish called Swienconka (pronounced shven-shun-ka). Swienconka is Polish and translates to “blessed food.” My mom’s grandfather was a butcher and he would bring home the leftover meats for this dish – veal, smoked butt, two kinds of Polish sausage, and ham. These meats would be cooked and mixed with hard boiled eggs. The mixture would then marinate in vinegar and fresh and jarred horseradish.

I decided to look for brunch ideas! I almost made Onion Biscuits. And I took a peek at what cocktails could fit an Easter morning: Earl Grey Mimosa and this beautiful Sangria would definitely fit the bill.

And then somehow I stumbled upon a Lemon Loaf (which she presented most beautifully) and I was sold! Lemon always reminds me of spring time and Easter. Probably because my grandmother’s annual pound cake has lemon extract in it. This loaf cake reminded me very much of her recipe, and I almost made a cream cheese frosting to pair with it but instead decided tolemon loaf 4  Sew You Think You Can Cook create a simple glaze of powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and a little milk to pour over the top of the loaf. It definitely amped up the lemon flavor!

This cake was a hit. Firecracker saw it on the counter and had to have some. He earned his half a slice, too, by helping clear off space for me to photograph it!

 

Lemon Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 C cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 C sugar
  • zest of 2 extra large lemons
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 5 1/2 tbsp melted butter

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the sifted flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing until combined after each addition.
  4. Whisk the heavy cream into the cake batter. Add the melted butter and stir until combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Option to top with a simple lemon glaze or a cream cheese frosting.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.treats-sf.com/2012/04/twd-lemon-loaf-cake.html*

Lemon Loaf for #BloggerCLUE from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

#MuffinMonday: Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Muffin Monday

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. And I’ve decided to join in the fun! I’ve been a part of this group for a couple of months now but today is the first day I am able to post with the gang. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin!

We went through a spell with Firecracker where the only thing he’d eat was a waffle. I became creative in adding some extra nutrition to the breakfast item through apples, sweet potatoes, and Greek yogurt. The waffle obsession has slowed if not died and I’m happy to report the adventurous eater is slowly reemerging. I’m looking forward to continuing to post with this group once a month as it seems muffins offer another food medium to sneak in some good nutrition.

Today’s muffins are filled with ricotta cheese and lemon. The ricotta cheese provides extra protein and calcium and yields perfectly light and fluffy muffins.

I’ve had this recipe on my radar for 11 months and finally had some leftover ricotta (from Thanksgiving) to make it! (I’ve been using my leftover ricotta for pasta instead.) Tara’s muffins are much prettier than mine because she put coarse sugar over the top.

This recipe makes 1 dozen kid-approved muffins.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 C flour
  • 3/4 C cake flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used Nielsen-Massey)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In an other bowl fold together the egg, ricotta, water, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  5. Divide batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/lemon-ricotta-muffins/*

lemon ricotta muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Bacon Cheddar Corn Muffins from Making Miracles

Banana Cranberry Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Banana Streusel Muffins from All Roads from Lead to the Kitchen

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts

Lemon Ricotta Muffins from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Savory Corn Bread Muffins from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Sticky Toffee Bran Muffins from Food Lust People Love

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

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage

Up until I discovered this pasta recipe, I never knew what to do with leftover ricotta cheese. I actually wasn’t quite sure if I even cared for ricotta outside of ravioli filling and lasagna layers. This quick recipe has changed how I feel about ricotta! I will be more open to other uses of ricotta. I now never worry about if the container I bought is too big because if I can’t find something else to do with it, I can make this pasta. Something I have done four times already (once without the meat, too!)

IMG_2976I chose to use veggie fusilli pasta in an effort to “sneak” veggies into my son’s mouth. (I know it doesn’t yield the best photographs.) He has loved this pasta each and every time. He now doesn’t discriminate against certain colored pasta, but the first time we enjoyed this dish he picked his way around the green spinach noodles. I also added Italian sausage as I knew my husband wouldn’t consider this a real meal. Feel free to omit the sausage (increase the garlic to 1 tbsp and saute very quickly in the oil. Add the entire garlicky oil mix to the ricotta sauce) if you prefer and make this a great side dish.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb fusilli pasta
  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
  2. In a small skillet, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. When the sausage is almost cooked through, add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside, draining any extra fat if needed.
  3. In a bowl whisk together ricotta, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and season to taste with S+P.
  4. In a large bowl toss together pasta, sausage, and ricotta sauce.

*This recipe is adapted from Cooking from the Farmers’ Market*

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

#FoodieExtravaganza: Creative Ice Cream Flavor

foodieextravaganza-300

This month’s #FoodieExtravaganza theme is creative ice cream flavors. The Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. Thanks to Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla for challenging us with this theme.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I’m happy to say this ice cream flavor was a huge hit. That container of homemade ice cream didn’t last very long in the freezer. IMG_3926We even let the little man try it. He wasn’t even flustered by the frozen treat and immediately asked for more. He practically begged at my husband’s knees and when he saw that the bowl was empty a tantrum ensued. Photographic evidence to the right; he can thank me for that later.

Now on to my creative ice cream flavor.

When I made hummus I could only find a large jar of tahini paste and immediate searched the web for other uses for the ingredient and I have used it in dressings and stir fry sauces. I started thinking of ways to use it in sweet dishes. I figured it could probably substitute peanut butter in almost anything. When the #FoodieExtravaganza theme for July was announced I had my answer! Tahini Ice Cream!

I followed a recipe for peanut butter ice cream and simply substituted the tahini paste. (Fun fact: I accomplished my mission and emptied my jar. A feat my husband never thought would happen.) But I wanted to take this ice cream a step further and do not only a play on peanut butter ice cream but a play on PB&J. So I added lemon curd! That decision was probably the best one I could have made. The tahini ice cream had a perfectly smooth texture and a very deep and earthy flavor. It’s not as sweet as peanut butter. It definitely needed that cut of tang from the lemon to brighten and lighten the spoonful of frozen dessert.

I wasn’t sure if I should add the lemon curd into the ice cream while it was churning and further research led me to the idea of layering. I spooned a layer of lemon curd on the bottom of the dish and spread the ice cream over top. Depending on the depth of your dish you may want to add another layer of lemon curd to the batch, finishing the layering with ice cream.

Tahini and Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 C tahini paste
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 1/3 C heavy cream
  • 1 C milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used Nielsen-Massey)
  • lemon curd, as much as desired

Steps:

  1. Using a hand mixer, combine tahini paste and sugar until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream, milk, and vanilla bean paste.
  2. Place ice cream base in ice cream maker and follow the directions for your ice cream maker.
  3. Spread lemon curd on the bottom of a freezer friendly dish. Top with ice cream and freeze until ready to serve. (If desired, create multiple layers of lemon curd and ice cream, ending with ice cream.)

*This recipe is adapted from http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/peanut-butter-ice-cream-for-the-ice-cream-maker/*

Tahini Lemon Curd Ice Cream for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out the rest of these other creative ice cream flavors:

Chocolate Decadence Ice Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Chocolate Malted Whopper Ice Cream by My Daylights
Crushed Pineapple Ice Cream by Food Lust People Love
Custard Cream & Strawberry Swirl No Churn Ice Cream by Baking in Pyjamas
Éma’a (Syrian Ice Cream) by Tara’s Multicultural Table
Fruity Fruit Popsicles by The Freshman Cook
Lemon Basil Ice Cream by Our Good Life
Lemongrass Ginger Coconut Ice Cream by The Joyful Foodie
Maple Bacon Ice Cream by Cooking With Carlee
No-Churn Chopped Macaron Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Rhubarb and Honey
No Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream by Fearlessly Creative Mammas
No Churn Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream by NinjaBaker.com
Oat and Dulce de Leche Swirl Ice Cream by Passion Kneaded
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream by Cherishing a Sweet Life
Rhubarb Ice Cream by From Gate to Plate
Root Beer Barrel Ice Cream by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
The Bees’ Knees Semifreddo by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

#BundtBakers: Lemons

4ae7b-bundtbakerspostThis month #BundtBakers is celebrating the end of spring by baking bundts with lemons as the theme. I really love this theme as my biggest “issue” with dessert is that it can be too rich and heavy, but the use of lemons (and citrus) makes cake feel light and bright. Perfect for the upcoming summer season. A big thank you to Anne of From My Sweet Heart for hosting this month.

I know I’ve said this before but this cake might be my favorite one. It’s so bright, light, and addicting! The tart lemon glaze I made in lieu of frosting gives it that “one more bite” quality. I decided on a glaze so as to not hide the beautiful design of my awesome star bundt pan! There is one person who wasn’t interested in my cake though – the 11 month old in my house. I thought it’d be a good idea to slowly introduce him to sugar so he doesn’t get sick on his birthday. I’ve given him a couple bites of cookie – which he loved – but this cake didn’t pique his interest at all! We offered it a couple of times and he simply turned his head and pushed the fork away. The kid doesn’t know what he’s missing!

crossfit babyAs much as I would have loved to eat that entire cake by myself I thought it would be smarter to share the love. With people who earned the extra calories! The first Friday of every month my husband’s Crossfit gym invites family members to watch the workout and join in a potluck. We came home with just two pieces of cake left – and had we stayed a little bit longer my plate would’ve been just crumbs.

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Tart Lemon Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C room temperature vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 C vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C cake flour
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C buttermilk
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 C powdered sugar (you could increase this amount depending on juiciness of lemon and desired tartness of glaze)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together shortening, oil, and both extracts. Add in eggs, one at at time. Mix in the lemon zest.
  3. In a large bowl sift together both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Switch stand mixer attachment from the whisk to the paddle. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix until combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until combined. Repeat with another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the buttermilk, and finishing with the last of the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour batter into greased bundt pan. Bake 50 – 55 minute, until a cake tester comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool in the pan.
  6. Make the glaze: Whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar. Pour over cake before serving.

*The cake recipe is adapted from Barry at http://www.rockrecipes.com/lemon-velvet-cake/*

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt with Tart Lemon Glaze for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Bee’s Knees Lemon Honey Bundt from Food Lust People Love

Blueberry-Lemon Breakfast Bundt from Cali’s Cuisine

Bundt Cake de Limón from La Mejor Manera de Hacer

Eggless Lemon Bundt Cake from Seduce Your Tastebuds

Extra Lemon Bundt Cake from Los Chatos Chefs

Lavender Lemon Cake from Magnolia Days

Lemon & Lime Cheese Bundt Cake from Un Mordisco Un Pecado

Lemon Apple Upside Down Bundt Cake from Simply Veggies

Lemon Basil Bundt Cake from Tartacadabra

Lemon Bundt Cake from Recipes, Food and Cooking

Lemon Confetti Bundt Cake from Our Good Life

Lemon Curd Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze from I Love Bundt Cakes

Lemon Honey Bundt Cake from Brunch with Joy

Lemon Marble Bundt Cake from Jenny and Sweets

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake from Liv for Cake

Lemon Poppy Seeds Bundt Cake from La Cocina de Aisha

Lemon Poppyseed Bundt from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Lemon Rhubarb Bundt Cake from From Gate to Plate

Lemon Ricotta and Poppyseed Bundt Cake from Spice Roots

Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake from Love and Confections

Lemon-Cranberry Poppyseed Bundt Cake from Take A Bite Out of Boca

Mini Limoncello Bundts from Living the Gourmet

Pink Lemon Pound Cake from Making Miracles

Pink Lemonade Bundt from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

Rhubarb Pound Cake Bundt with Lemon Glaze from Brooklyn Homemaker

Soft Lemon Rosemary Bread from Passion Kneaded

Spring Strawberry Lemon Bundt Cake from Adventures in All Things Food

Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake from Baking and Creating with Avril

Sweet Lemon Bundt with Blackberry Glaze from From My Sweet Heart

All recipes and photographs can be found on our individual blogs, on our Pinterest board, and the #bundtbakers homepage.

A Spring Time Potluck Party

When we moved to Ohio my neighbor told me about a group of gals who get together once a month for a potluck. As soon as we were settled in I knew I had to go with her to one of these events. And I’m so glad I did – I’ve made many friends through this group and there’s always someone new to meet.

The person who organized this club moved at the end of March and I have since taken over the organization. We always host the event at one of the neighborhood clubhouses so all I have to do is bring the collection of plates, cups, and bowls and make sure the clubhouse is cleaned up when we’re done. But the fun part is getting to be the one to pick the theme for the month’s potluck!

A Spring Time Potluck

For April we did Spring. We had such a vibrant and colorful display of food. Here are just some of the recipes from the night:

  • Mango Black Bean Salad: 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed), 2 mangoes (diced), 1 red bell pepper (diced), 1 bunch scallions (sliced), 1/2 C chopped cilantro, 1 jalapeno (minced), 1/2 C red wine vinegar, zest and juice 1 orange, zest and juice 1 lime.
  • Creamy Cucumber Salad: 1 cucumber (thinly sliced), 1 tsp salt – laid flat and then patted dry after an hour. 1 tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp minced onion, 1 tsp chopped dill, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp sugar – combine and refrigerate for an hour before tossing with prepared cucumber slices.
  • Pineapple Fried Rice: I don’t know if she used my recipe but it was very similar – https://sewyoucancook.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/pineapple-fried-rice/
  • Spinach and Strawberry Salad: 4 C baby spinach, 1 pint strawberries (sliced), 1/2 oz sliced almonds – for the salad. 1/4 C sugar, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 C red wine vinegar, 1/2 C EVOO – for the dressing.
  • Fruit Salsa: 32 oz strawberries (diced), 8 oz raspberries, 3 kiwis (chopped), 1 golden apple (diced), 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp fruit jelly.
  • Lemon Squares: 2 C flour, 1 C butter, 1/2 C powdered sugar – whisked and pressed in 9×13″ pan, 20 minutes @ 325deg. 4 eggs, 4 tbsp flour, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 2 C sugar – place on crust, 20 minutes @ 325deg.
  • Chocolate Cheesecake Filled Peanut Butter Bundt Cakehttps://sewyoucancook.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/bundtbakers-hidden-surprise/

I was caught up in making sure I had everything needed for hosting my first potluck that I forgot my camera! A big thank you to my friend Emily for remembering to take some pictures. So, I’d like to give her a little shout out – Emily is a very talented crafter and has started her own blog, Emmy’s Crafty Corner! Please go check it out, I promise you you’ll find something unique!

Next week we’re throwing a Cinco de Mayo party – and I couldn’t be more excited! Stay tuned next time for a round up of Mexican favorites, even if it’ll be after the holiday.

Citrus Roast Chicken

I hope it feels like spring where you are. Here? Not so much.

Last week my in-laws were here to spend my sister-in-law’s spring break. Ohio isn’t quite the spring break destination that Florida used to be. On Sunday we drove down to Louisville to meet up with the entire family (my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, who live in Nashville, drove up). The weather was a little chilly, but the sun was shining. My mother-in-law and I enjoyed a long walk in a park with my son while the rest of the gang did the Mega Zips zip line tour in the Mega Cavern. They all had a blast.

But then it was back to Ohio, where the snow decided to come back down, the sun stayed behind clouds, and the weather never reached 40. Add coughs and colds all around and it was a fairly gloomy week. But, we were all together and there was a lot of good bonding time with my little man. Stuart and I don’t get to watch very many movies so we enjoyed our lazy couch time catching up on the latest favorites. (FYSA: The Imitation Game was worth all the hype.)

IMG_1957

If there’s one food that can make me forget about the dreary grey outside, it’s citrus. Slicing citrus into rings looks like sunshine in a bowl! And because my parents have lime trees in the backyard, any citrus really makes me think of Florida.

Break away from that candied ham and brighten up your Easter table this Sunday with this citrus roast chicken! Or if you can’t tear yourself from that ham might I suggest it for Mother’s Day?

Citrus Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 cara cara orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tangerine
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  •  1 tsp ground allspice
  • thyme, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Thinly slice all of the citrus 1/8″ thick using a mandolin. Remove seeds. (I only used a couple slices of grapefruit, and half of the remaining fruits.)
  3. Place some citrus slices on the prepared baking sheet. Top with chicken, do not crowd the pan – use two baking sheets if necessary.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, pomegranate molasses, allspice, and S+P. Brush sauce onto the chicken.
  5. Bake 30-35 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Baste with additional sauce halfway through cook time.

*This recipe is adapted from Sue at http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2015/01/roasted-chicken-with-allspice-and-citrus.html*

citrus roast chicken | sew you think you can cook