Posts Tagged ‘Lemon’

Weekly Boozer: Hard Lemonade

In Weekly Boozer on September 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Summer and lemonade just go together. Like sprinklers and children, like your couch and the TV, or flowers and bees… these things were just meant to be together. So since the summer heat is still bearing down, what could be better than fresh squeezed lemonade? Adult fresh squeezed lemonade! Hard lemonade, like the kind “Mike” makes. Only way better because it doesn’t have that weird bottled preservative flavor. Sinfully tart and delicious, fresh and aromatic, and delicious. Homemade Hard Lemonade and patios just go together.

Homemade Hard Lemonade

2 cups water
1 cup sugar 
several large strips of lemon zest
2 ounces of vodka
2 ounces of whiskey (*if you are not a whiskey fan – double vodka!)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (5-6 large lemons) 
1 lemon sliced into rings, for serving
ice, for serving

Directions: In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, and strips of zest to a simmer. Cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove strips of zest and discard. It has done its zestly duties.  In a large pitcher, combine the lemon infused simple syrup, vodka, whiskey, lemon juice, and stir.  Fill serving glasses with ice and lemon slices, add the lemony goodness, drink, and enjoy summer.



In Cooking, Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

We have been enjoying the August bounty of the Farmer’s Market. Tomatoes being at the top of the list! I love fresh grown tomatoes; especially straight from the farm, where they remain untainted by waxes.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy a good tomato is Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”). 


  • 6 or 8 ripe Roma tomatoes (or any small sweet tomato will do!)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
  • zest of half lemon, optional if using lemon juice
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar crusty bread
  • melted butter, for toasting bread

Directions: Wash tomatoes; cut them in halves or quarters; remove the seeds and stems from their centers.  Cut them into smaller pieces if desired. Add the tomatoes to a bowl; stir in 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest/vinegar, chopped basil and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside or in refrigerator while you prepare bread – this resting time allows the flavors to bloom.

 Cut the bread on the diagonal, about 1/2 inch slices. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Apply melted butter to both sides, with a pastry brush; add buttered slices to skillet. Cook on each side until brown and toasted. Remove and  rub both sides of the warm bread with the cut garlic; set aside on serving tray. Top warm buttered garlic toast with chilled tomato mixture. Serve with additional small basil leaves, for those like me who enjoy a lil’ extra basil. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

We enjoyed ours with some fresh fruit and good cheese. I love the touch of lemon, instead of the much more common balsamic vinegar. It adds a brightness to the taste and smell of the dish.  Also, I love rubbing the warm toast with the garlic, instead of having minced garlic in the tomato mixture.  It adds amazing flavor and is still aromatic, while allowing you to control the garlic content and focus on the beautiful tomatoes!! Simple. Lovely. Summer.

Food from Foodies

In Baking, Cooking, Personal, Uncategorized on April 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm

My husband is in California this week on business, well they say it’s “business”. I have a hard time believing it since they are at Disney Land… yeah right 😉 I am taking advantage of his absence and not cooking.  Not cooking = no dishes which in turn = vacation for me, at least it certainly feels that way.  It also means I can enjoy those foods my husband hates with no guilt! I am also taking this short cooking break to finish up several craft projects and reacquaint myself with a running routine.  I have grown lax in my workout routine and this seemed like a good time to refocus.  Hello running I missed you – NOT. It’s been a rough week, as of today I have logged 10.6 miles on the treadmill. I hurt in places I was not aware were apart of my body. It’s special and I have yarn burn from crocheting too much – oh yes it’s true.

Anyways, I wanted to take this time to share some recipes we have tried over the last couple of weeks from other food bloggers (click the food titles to go to recipes):

From Katie Goodman @ goodLife {eats}
Lemon Coconut Cupcakes

These were very light with a good balance between the two flavors. We didn’t do the fancy double colored icing (which by the way the icing was the best part – my brother even opted to eat it on brownies!) The cakes were very mild in flavor and good for picky eaters – I prefer more of a lemon punch! The texture though was spot on.  Picture courtesy of goodLife {eats}.

From David Lebovitz
Potato Leek Soup

I am convinced that David Lebovitz can do no wrong.  I even read the ingredient section of his cookbooks, because I love the way he writes.  It’s real and if you read his blog hilarious.  This soup is wonderful, no decadent and the only change that I made was the addition of bacon.  I know it would be wonderful without it, but I love LOVE love the flavor of leeks cooked in bacon grease and then we used the cook bacon to garnish the soup as well.  Picture courtesy of David Lebovitz website.


From Danelle @ Let’s Dish
Queso Blanco

Sometimes there is nothing more comforting that chips and queso.  This is no exception.  I love making my own cheese sauces and queso.  Weird I know, but there is something about creamy cheese that is just good.  I don’t know how I ended up on this site, but it is chalk-full of yummy yummy eats – you should check it out. Picture courtesy of Let’s Dish

From Mowie Kay @ Mowielicious
Japanese Soft Cheesecakes

Mowie Kay takes amazing photographs and since we eat with our eyes first, his site will make you Hungry.  Reading this blog inspires me to work on my food photography, which is coming along slowly… In addition there are so many amazing recipes.  We tried these Japanese Cheesecake recipe, but instead of making the frosting with cherry blossom and raspberry sugar – we substituted in real strawberries.  (though I look forward to trying it his way as well…) The cakes were light as cotton.  The flavor was also incredibly light with only a hint of sweetness. This of course works out since we topped it with plenty homemade strawberry buttercream frosting- delish. Picture courtesy of mowielicious.

From P-Dub aka Pioneer Woman
Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Like hundreds of thousand of other folks – I adore this woman.  She is fun, creative, generous to a fault and a  darned good cook.  We try out lots of her recipes and I guess I enjoy so many of them because they remind me of my grandmother’s kitchen.  After reading this we tried it on the same theory as PW; that if ham cooked in Dr. Pepper is good, then why not other meat.  It’s true and surprisingly not real sweet. I rubbed my pork butt with salt and cumin – that is the only addition we made. Picture courtesy of Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Happy cooking to you and no dishes this week to me – Hooray!


In Baking, Uncategorized on March 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Zeppole are Italian style donuts made with ricotta.  I decided to make these today and forgo my weekly boozer in honor of St. Joseph’s Day.  It seemed appropriate, since this holiday is so often overlooked for St. Patrick‘s which is so highly based on drinking.  This is one of the traditional foods served on this holiday – hope you enjoy!


  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying, or less depending on pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp butavan (butter-vanilla baking emulsion)
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1/2 of juice from lemon
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar/confectioners’ sugar for dusting

DirectionsHeat oil in a dutch oven (or other vessel) to 375 degrees F.

In a medium pan, whisk eggs, ricotta cheese, vanilla, zest and lemon juice.  Into mixture combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Mix gently over low heat until combined. Batter will be sticky.

Drop by tablespoons into the hot oil a few at a time. Zeppole will turn over by themselves. Fry until golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain in a paper sack and dust with cinnamon sugar or confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

These are light, the citrus gives a freshness to the donuts without being the dominant flavor.  I had some leftover lemon buttercream icing from making lemon-coconut cupcakes – it was a delicious compliment.  Any frosting would be great as a filling or topping for these, but they are just as good on their own. Happy feasting!

Weekly Boozer: Irish Fail

In Uncategorized, Weekly Boozer on March 12, 2011 at 10:45 am

I really REALLY wanted to do a green cocktail.  It was my bright idea… since St. Patrick’s Day is next week and well not everyone is a fan of the green beer.  Personally I love beer, but fun green cocktail… how could you go wrong?  Well I started with what is green? Well Green Creme de Menthe (CDM) was the first thing that came to mind.  I should have dug deeper. Creme de Menthe is just apparently not my thing. I should have done melon… or used green dye.  In fact, take last week’s post and add green dye – ta da amazing!

I tried three cocktail recipes: 1) with one jigger gin, 1 jigger heavy cream (two things I love) and then one pony CDM; 2) Irish Pride: 3 ounces Amaretto, 2 ounces Lemon Juice (two things I love) and then 3 ounces of CDM; and since neither of those was consumable I went simple with 3) 1 part CDM to 3 parts Club Soda or otherwise known as a Cold Shower.  There are no words for #1…. it was just wrong.  #2 was well like super-powered mouthwash… my life will never be the same. Also pretty sure I’d rather drink actual mouthwash.  #3 sounded good! Refreshing and light.  Good plan too, take out the complexity and get a good cocktail – HORRID.  So I have decided either there is no good CDM cocktail, or I don’t know what I am doing wrong, or (and this is the most logical) I just don’t like this stuff.  They were all pretty… does that count? Yeah I didn’t think so either.

Mind that I don’t have any experience with this liqueur and I am blindly pulling recipes that sound palatable from the web.  So if you do like or love this stuff and you know a great way to use it, please PLEASE fill me in because while I bought a small bottle, I still have an abundance of this stuff and I hate to be wasteful.

Anyways things don’t always go as planned, recipes fail, drink green beer it’s full of vitamins*… keeping it real in the Emerald Owl Kitchen.


*Okay well maybe no vitamins, but at least it tastes good! P.S. my Dad says keep it real for the holiday and just drink good Irish Whiskey…

Salt Preserved Lemons

In Cooking, Uncategorized on February 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I have wanted to try this for awhile.  I love lemons! As a child we used to peel them and eat them with salt.  So as you can imagine preserving them in salt seemed like a natural progression.  Plus, recently I have discovered several recipes calling for these jewels and well I have never seen them for sale at the market – gotta get them somewhere.

Salt Preserved Lemons

5-7 Lemons, Large (preferably organic)
1 lb of sea salt (what it’s a big jar?!) * See One Week Update below
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
2-3 Large Sprigs of Thyme
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 small bay leafs
2 small dried chilies

Please note: all the seasonings, minus the salt, are optional.  After reading tons of recipes I discovered the Moroccan style is to preserve with herbs and seasoning to intensify flavor – yeah okay sign me up for that!  I added things I love, please feel free to add or omit and make it your own!

Directions: Sterilize your airtight container; place a couple Tbsps of salt at the bottom of the container.  Combine first four spices and grind in a mortar & pestle, spice grinder, beat with a mallet – anything to crush up the seeds so they will release more flavor.  Stir into a cup of sea salt.  Wash lemons thoroughly; dry and quarter 1/3 to 1/2 way through the lemon.  Stuff the cut of the lemons with the salt and a section of your thyme sprigs; close and squeeze into the jar.  As you assemble and fill the jar add salt to fill the space and place your remaining larger spices (cinnamon; bay leaf and chilies).  Make sure the lemons are covered and there is still air space at the top before sealing.

Now the waiting game; but, the work isn’t over! Place this beautiful jar in a warm place and shake eat day to distribute the salt and the juice.  Let ripen for 30 days before consumption.  Once ready to use rinse the lemons, as needed.  No need to refrigerate upon opening and lemons should keep up to a year.

I intend to take pictures – oh say weekly and then in a month I will use them in a recipe.   That of course will be the great unveiling of my months hard work of shaking! P.S. I have no idea if these lemons will be any good, but my hands smell great! :p

One Week UPDATE:

Okay let me start by admitting that I was way over zealous with the salt… what?? I love salt.  Salt is delicious.  The salt and I go way back… anyways, moving forward.  Adding too much salt for the first phase was a surprise blessing, which I discovered in my transplant project.

I removed the lemons, and whole seasoning to a bowl, placed a strainer over the bowl and dumped the contents – so the juice rendered could also be transplanted.  In addition, I decided to add four small lemons I had in my pantry, since the large lemons had slumped and revealed more room in the jar.  I prepared the new small lemons in the same fashion as above, arranged all the lemons in the jar; added the juice; and filled the jar about 7/8 with water.  This leaves room for the new lemons to render their juice.  Continue to shake daily; t-minus 3 weeks to the testing day! 

Blessing: Upon extracting the salt I tasted it! Oh my…. OH MY this salt is insanely flavorful.  So waste not – want not.  I am drying the salt and blamo! I will have amazing salt rub for barbecue, steaks, potatoes… something good is going to come of this I can feel it!!

Lemon Oven Fries

In Cooking, Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Eating french fries for me is a comfort food thing, but if you looked at the stats fast food frenchies are bad, bad, bad!  If you make fries in the oven they are mucho healthier and well as for these fries tastier!

Lemon Oven Fries: makes two servings – need more just double or triple the recipe…

  • 1 Russet potatoes, large (369g)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  lemons, zested
  • 1/2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Peel potato (or leave skin if you like…) and cut into thick slices (lengthwise) cut again into thick fries, about 3/8-inch squared. If you are prepping ahead you can put them into a bowl with cold water; this will help keep the fries crisp and white. Just before cooking, drain water and place on paper towel, pat dry completely. In a big bowl combine potatoes, olive oil, coarse salt, and black pepper; toss well and lay out in a single  layer on nonstick baking sheets. Bake until light brown, about 25 to 40 minutes (based on thickness), turn frequently until golden brown (I turn about every 12-15 minutes).

Remove from oven. Add lemon zest, parsley, more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy as is or with your favorite french fry condiment 🙂

With using large potatoes and only a Tbsp of olive oil per potato this fry recipe runs around 205 calories and 7g of fat per serving (the above pic is a serving or half a potato).  Totally worth it for me!! These calculations are based on information retrieved from http://nutritiondata.self.com/