Like most people, every now and then I get a craving for something slightly outside of my regular food rotation and I need to have it now. When I was pregnant with my daughter, those cravings involved milk (not something I typically love) and veggie subs (so random). This past weekend, I was sitting in my kitchen and looked over on the counter to see a whole bag of fresh lemons that I had picked up at Costco on a whim. I was suddenly struck by the feeling that I needed to have some lemon bread as soon as possible. As I dug out my go to recipe for quick breads, I realized that there was one big hurdle to my lemon bread dreams: I was out of butter. Now, as a food blogger and home cook, that was a major oops. And since my husband was out running errands and I was home with the kids, my choices were to either take the kids to Target for butter or get creative and make something up. Since I’d rather suffer the consequences of an unfulfilled dessert craving than brave the craziness that is Target on a Sunday afternoon, I opened up my fridge and got to work. The result of that kitchen experimentation was this Easy Glazed Lemon Bread. …
Muffins. Oh, how I love you. And oh how very picky I am about muffins. Why? Well, if I’m going to eat cake for breakfast (because, let’s face it, they really are just unfrosted cupcakes that we all pretend are not desserts), I want them to be juuuuuust right. Not too sweet, definitely not too dry, and studded with the sweetest bits of tart fruit. After a long search, I’ve finally found a recipe for the best Lemon Blueberry Muffins and I’m going to share it with you today. You’re welcome.
I’ve long been a fan of America’s Test Kitchen and a few years ago was given a copy of their Family Cookbook (I use this edition; here is a link to the newest one). Like just about everything ATK does, this cookbook is filled with great, near foolproof recipes for just about anything you could want. One of my favorite finds in that book is the recipe for “Big Beautiful Muffins.” You guys, you have to have make these muffins. They are super easy to make and (scout’s honor!) turn out perfectly every time. I love to make a double batch and freeze them for later – 20 seconds in a microwave and they make a perfectly fresh on-the-go breakfast!…
Ya’ll, the heat is ON. Minneapolis is under a “heat dome” right now and with heat indices over 100 degrees, the last thing I want to be doing is cooking: enter the smoothie. A 3 minute meal that satisfies toddlers, hungry husbands, and pregnant women in one fell swoop. This Simple Summer Green Smoothie is exactly what is sounds like: Easy, green, and full of summery flavor. …
The winter months are not known for their abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. After the heavy meals of the holiday season, the arrival of the mid-winter citrus crop is always a welcome addition to my kitchen. A few weeks ago I bought a giant bag of fresh limes at Costco, and while a few wound up in gin and tonics, I was left with pounds of limes and a little inspiration. Enter: Lime Curd with a Hint of Vanilla. It’s an easy, creamy, bright and versatile treat that can be added to baked goods like tarts, cupcakes or scones, or simply eaten with a spoon (my preferred method!).
Lime curd is a careful meld of butter, sugar, citrus juice, and eggs. Gently heating the eggs in the presence of sugar allows them to stay creamy and light and keeps them from scrambling. If you’re into the science of cooking, check out this article in the LA Times (from 1998!). The beauty of a citrus curd is that its proportions are forgiving. I prefer a soft, slightly more tart version so I use whole eggs, less sugar, and a moderate amount of butter. If you want a sweeter and firmer version (for use in bars or pies, for example) you can simply increase the sugar and switch to egg yolks. The key to the recipe is really to take it low and slow and be sure to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble. Let it cool and then just try to keep from eating it all at once. It’s delicious on scones and really fantastic mixed into some vanilla Siggi’s yogurt in the morning. The curd will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week and freezes beautifully.
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup lime juice (approximately 2 large or 3-4 small limes)
- zest of 1 lime
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste
- Melt the butter in a non-reactive sauce pain over low heat.
- While the butter is melting, pulse together the sugar and lime zest in a food processor until combined.
- Add the lime juice, sugar and zest, to the pan with the butter and whisk until the sugar dissolves.
- Gently beat the eggs in a small bowl.
- Working one tablespoon at a time, add some of the lime juice mixture to the beaten eggs. Be sure to keep whisking so as not to scramble the eggs!
- Add the egg/juice mixture back to the sauce pain.
- over continued gentle heat, whisk the mixture constantly until a smooth curd begins to form, somewhere just below a simmer (and around 160-175 degrees).
- Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in the vanilla bean paste to taste.