Brunch, Cake, Quick-breads, Sweet

Lemon, Rosemary, and Olive oil cake

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The last social thing I did before the lockdown, was to go out to dinner with some close friends at the Blue Heron.  That night, for dessert we had lemon rosemary shortbread cookies.  The cookie was flakey and buttery, but the lemon and rosemary added a lovely lightness and freshness.  I have used lemon and rosemary to roast a chicken, but I have never tried to incorporate it into something sweet.  I have been thinking about this flavor combination for a couple of weeks and finally, I created this recipe.  The best part is that it is low in the sugar content and is gluten-free, which means, I can have cake for breakfast–right?  Please try this recipe and let me know if you liked it or not.

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Ingredients:

1.5 cups of quick-cooking oats

1.5 cups of almond meal or almond flour

4 springs of rosemary

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp of baking powder

2 tsp of baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup of yogurt

2 tbsp of lemon juice (fresh)

1/3 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of honey

1 tbsp of sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

In a food processor, add the oatmeal and rosemary leaves and pulse (or grind) till it resembles “flour”.

Mix the oatmeal “flour” and rosemary mixture with almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest.

In a glass measuring cup, add eggs, lemons juice, olive oil, and honey.  Whisk till it forms a smooth emulsion, almost like salad dressing.

To the dry ingredients, add in the oil mixture and yogurt and fold gently to combine.

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Coat your baking pan ( I used a mini bundt pan with 6 cavities) with cooking spray.  Take 1 tbsp of sugar and sprinkle it onto the baking dish–this will create a beautiful caramel-colored top to your cakes, which also means that you will be flipping the over the cake once it comes out of your baking dish.

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Divide the batter amongst the 6 cavities of the mini-bundt pan and bake for 20 minutes.  A toothpick should come out clean when you prink the center of the cake, after 20 minutes.

Let the cakes cool completely at room temperature before you invert them out of the pan.

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Cakes are ready to be eaten!  They taste good at room temperature, but even better if you warm them up in the microwave for 30 secs.

For a fancier presentation, you can glaze the cakes with a lemon drizzle.  The recipe for lemon drizzle is below, but I skipped that part since I had every intention of eating the cake for breakfast; lemon drizzle might be a little too sweet for first thing in the morning.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Optional: 1 small drop yellow food coloring

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Fish & Seafood, Lent, Savory

Roasted Salmon

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You either love it or hate it.  I happen to love salmon and my husband is not a big fan.  So on nights when I am cooking for myself, this is a go to favorite.  It is quick and simple, but the most important step is to purchase fresh, sustainably sourced salmon.  Frozen fillets never taste good, especially when the preparation is so simple.  I love to have a fresh garden salad with this roasted salmon.

Ingredients:

2 fillets of salmon (6-8oz)

1/4 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of coarsely crushed black pepper

Zest of one lemon

Olive oil for drizzling.

Method:

Pat the fillets dry and arrange on a tin foil lined baking tray.

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Season fish with salt, pepper and lemon zest.

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Drizzle with olive oil

Bake at 350F for 25-30 mins.

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Now FEAST!

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Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Poultry, Savory

Roasted Split Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

 

IMG_20181001_183729Roast chicken is a classic, but it takes time–more suited for a Sunday night.  It has its benefits too.  Plenty of leftovers for sandwiches and chicken noodle soup.  However, when it is fall and you want a hearty, comforting meal on a weeknight,  turn to this recipe.  The trick is to remember to marinade the night before and take the time to brown the chicken (preferably in a cast iron skillet).  Try it soon !

INGREDIENTS

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 large split chicken breasts

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together all ingredients except chicken.

Put split chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag and add marinade.

Seal bags, removing as much air as possible and massage marinade around chicken to coat evenly. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. convectional or 425 degrees F. conventional.

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet (I use my cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Once heated, put chicken skin side down in the skillet and cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer skillet into the oven.

Roast until chicken is browned, meat is cooked through and juices run clear (an instant reading thermometer when inserted in the meat should read 165 degrees F.) about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow sitting 15 minutes to “rest” (this allows the juices to settle in the meat so they don’t run out when chicken is cut).

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Classics, Dinner, Fish & Seafood, Lent

Cracker Crusted Cod

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I was recently chatting with my best friend and fellow-food blogger (An Artsy Appetite) about baking, food, school and just life in general—when I realized that I have had no time to post a single recipe on my own blog!  Well, a lot of things have been happening.  Primarily, both my husband and I are trying to finish up grad school.  As a result, it has been a lot of slow-cooker soups and stews.  I decided to cook a proper meal (not heat up leftovers from the freezer) and have a nice fish dinner (fish Fridays during Lent).  This recipe is from Epicurious and is a classic New England favorite much like my New England Baked Scallops  and Parker House Scrod.  I hope it makes it to your dinner table too!

INGREDIENTS

    • 4 tablespoons (divided) butter
    • 1/2 package – 1/2 sleeve buttery round crackers (e. g. Ritz), crushed
    • 1 pound thick-cut cod loin
    • 1/4 cup dry white wine
    • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

PREPARATION

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    • Place 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl; melt in microwave on high, about 30 seconds. Stir buttery round crackers into melted butter.
    • Place remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a 9×9-inch baking dish. Melt in the preheated oven, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove dish from oven.
    • Coat both sides of cod in melted butter in the baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
    • Bake cod in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
    • Remove from oven; top with lemon juice, wine, and cracker mixture. Place back in oven and bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 more minutes.

I served it with oven roasted fingerling potatoes and sautéed green beans.

 

Fish & Seafood, Lent, Quick Dinner

Oven-Poached Swai with Lemon Caper Sauce

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Swai Fillets
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 quarter onion sliced
  • ½ cup chicken stock

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • Frozen artichokes, thawed (however much you like)
  • 1 tablespoons capers (optional)
  •  fresh lemon juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil one baking dishes large enough to accommodate the fish fillets in one layer. Lay the fish in the dish and season with salt and pepper.

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  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small or medium skillet and add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the stock to the pan, bring to a boil, and add the thawed artichokes. Add lemon zest and juice and remove from heat. Pour over the fish.

 

  1. Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or 5 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness, until the fish is opaque and pulls apart easily with a fork.

 

  1. Remove from oven, garnish with capers and parsley, serve.

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Note: if using dried parsley add it to the pan while the fish bakes.  I also like to use some red pepper flakes.

Breakfast, Brunch

Blueberry-Almond Oatmeal Muffins

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I like some variation in the morning.  Normally it is oatmeal with honey, almond milk and black pepper–yes, black pepper–try it, it tastes great! But I digress.  This is about fresh blueberries in your oatmeal muffin.  Good Morning never tasted so good.  I have tried several oatmeal muffin recipes and I have settled on this one–moist, yet a little crumbly for the almond meal.  I hope you like it, as much I did.

Yields about 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of almond meal

0.5 cups of quick cooking oatmeal

0.25 cups of AP flour

1 tbsp of baking soda

1tbsp of baking powder

2 eggs

0.5 cups of oil

0.5 cups of almond milk

0.5 water

0.25 cups of honey

zest of 1 lemon or 1tsp of lemon extract (optional)

1 pint of blueberries

sliced almonds for topping the muffins

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl

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Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowls or large measuring cup

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Slowly incorporate wet into dry.  The batter will be runny

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Fold in the blueberries

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Portion into a lined muffin pan.  There might be some extra batter, I put it in a ramekin and bake it off.  (serve this one with vanilla ice cream for a late night treat).

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Garnish the tops with sliced almonds.

Bake for 30-35 mins, till a toothpick comes out clean.

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Dessert

Lemon Blueberry Tart

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This past week I gave my Practice talk to my lab members, and the best way to bribe scientists is with food ! So I made this tart and while the lemon curd may sound daunting, it was super easy and almost fool proof ! Try this for your next spring lunch, picnic, or if there are any other PhD students suffering during quals–make this tart to lighten up your day and indulge in something sweet !

Almond Crust:

Ingredients :

  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor till everything comes together.

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  1. Place the ball of almond flour dough on the bottom of a nine-inch pie pan.
  2. Use your fingers to press the dough evenly out the sides.
  3. Pinch the edges for a decorative look.

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  1. Bake alone for eight to 10 minutes

Lemon Curd

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml)freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • grated zest of one lemon, preferably unsprayed
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g)  butter, salted or unsalted, cut into bits
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C.)

1. In a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan, heat the lemon juice, zest, sugar, and butter. Have a mesh strainer nearby.

2. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and the yolks.

3. When the butter is melted, whisk some of the warm lemon mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly, to warm them. Scrape the warmed eggs back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and almost begins to bubble around the edges.

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4. Pour the lemon curd though a strainer directly into the pre-baked tart shell, scraping with a rubber spatula to press it through.

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5. Smooth the top of the tart and pop it in the oven for five minutes, just to set the curd.

6. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and serving.

7. Garnish with fresh or frozen blueberries.

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Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Fish & Seafood

Lemon-Dill Salmon

Of all the fish recipes this is my favorite.  I love salmon and nothing like lemon and dill on it.  It is my go to celebration dinner when I am cooking for myself.  This is what you will need.

Ingredients:

Salmon fillets, trimmed and patted dry

Fresh lemon zest ( use as much as you like, I love lots of zest)

A dash of fresh or dried dill, again season according to liking

Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Preheat broiler on high.

Season the fillets with salt and pepper, on both sides, liberally.

Sprinkle the lemon zest and dill on the top and place on a baking sheet.

Broil for about 10 mins till the fillet is cooked through.

Serve warm with green beans, sautéed spinach or roasted fingerling potatoes.

enjoy !

Classics, Dinner, Fish & Seafood

Tarragon Tilapia in Lemon-Caper White Wine sauce

A light delicious fish entrée, simple enough for a quick-lunch yet elegant enough to be the star of a dinner party.  Serve it family style with a side of rice or plate it up with a fresh salad–this is a sure shot hit !

Ingredients:

1 lb of Tilapia

1 medium-sized lemon

1 Tbsp of drained capers

1/2 Tbsp of Tarragon

Salt and Pepper to taste

A splash of good white wine, use what you would drink-ALWAYS

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a baking pan ( use one where the fillets will fit nicely) with cooking spray arrange the fillets.

Season liberally with sal and pepper.  Add lemon zest, tarragon and sprinkle the capers.

Arrange a few lemon slices over the fish and add a splash of white wine, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, DO NOT submerge the fillets  in it.

Bake for about 15 min till the fish is cooked through and then broil for a the last 2 min to give the fillets a light golden brown crust.

Serve warm with your choice of side.

Cookies, Treats

Lemon Pistachio Cookies

Take two for Pistachios.  Buttery and Lemony, these cookies are perfect with a glass Iced tea ! Welcome Summer !

Ingredients

2 cups of flour

1 tsp salt

1tsp baking soda

2 sticks of butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

Zest of one medium lemon

1/2 cup ground pistachio nuts

1 Tbsp of lemon juice

Process:

Preheat oven to 375F

Mix dry ingredients along with lemon zest in a large bowl.

Cream together butter, sugar and lemon juice in another bowl.

Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter.

Add the th beaten egg and mix to incorporate.

Fold in the ground nuts.

Use a cookie scoop and place dough on cookie sheets 3 inches apart.  The cookies will spread out while baking.

Bake for 12mins till golden brown.

Cool on wire rack completely before storing, they will be very soft when they first come out of the oven, but they become crisp after they cool.  I realized that if you let the cookies sit for just a minute on the pan before you try to handle them, they retain their shape and will not crack on you.