Spelt Dinner Rolls

Spelt Rolls

Spelt flour is one of my favorites for making yeast breads and rolls. Spelt is a whole grain flour,  with all the fiber and nutrition of whole wheat flour. Spelt has a softer texture than whole wheat flour. It is easy to work with and rises light and tender.

Spelt also doesn’t require as much kneading as other flours.

For this recipe, I just divided the dough into 12 pieces for pretty good sized rolls. You could divide the dough into up to 18 pieces if you prefer smaller dinner rolls. If you have family members who aren’t crazy about the heavier texture of whole wheat you might want to give spelt flour a try.

 

Spelt Dinner Rolls

3 ¼ c. whole spelt flour
1 pkt. Active dry yeast
1 c. water
¼ c. honey
¼ c. oil
1 t. salt
1 egg
Place 2 c. flour, yeast and salt in a medium bowl. Heat together water, honey and oil until warm (120-130 degrees) Add water mixture to spelt mixture and beat on low speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds, or until moistened. Add egg and beat on high 3 minutes. Stir in enough spelt to make a soft dough. Cover bowl with towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Use a rubber scraper to transfer dough onto floured surface. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into dinner roll shapes, using extra flour to prevent sticking. Place on baking sheet and cover with a towel. Allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Cover and let rise until doubled, another hour. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until rolls are light brown on top. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 12 rolls.

Winter/ Spring Cooking Classes

Veggie Pasta Linguine

If you are getting cabin fever- why not come to one of my cooking classes?

For those who have been asking- yes there are several bread baking classes offered. Also classes in making chowders, chocolate,  homemade pasta and much more.

 

Here is the list of my classes for Winter and Spring. I offer classes in Rocky River, Mentor, Mayfield Village (day time classes) and in Concord.

 

Hope to see you there.

 

2018  Schedule

My classes are held in a number of different venues. It is important to register early so you won’t be shut out. Most classes are demonstrations with plenty of food for tasting and recipes to take home. Some are hands-on. Registration fees vary from one location to the next. Food fees are payable to me the night of the class. Unless otherwise noted all evening classes are from 7-9 pm. Please bring containers along so you can take leftovers home with you.

 

Mentor

Mentor classes are held at Wildwood Cultural Center at 7645 Little Mountain Road. Unless otherwise noted all Mentor classes are held on Tuesdays. You can register online at CityofMentor.com/play or by phone at 440 974 5720 from Cleveland call 440 942 8796.

Classes in Mentor sell out quickly. Please be sure to ask to go on the waiting list if the class you want to attend is full. We do get openings and if there are enough people on the waiting list we can always schedule an additional session. Cost to residents is $14, non-resident fee is $17. That does not include the food fee paid to me the night of the class. Unless noted- all evening Mentor classes are on Tuesdays.

 Jan. 23: Cooking With Honey:  Did you know that honey is the only food source that contains everything you need to live? It contains anti oxidants, vitamins and minerals that we need, even water! It also never goes bad. Honey can be used for so much more than just sweetening your tea. Learn how to use honey in savory dishes, baking, beverages and more. Food fee $9.00

Jan. 30: Whole Grain Baking: Whole grain breads and other baked goods don’t have to be heavy or “grainy” in texture. If you know the proper procedure, you can make 100% whole grain bread that has great texture, and that does not resemble and doorstop. Some grains work better than others, and we’ll learn about that in class, too. If you are trying to get away from white flour- this class will teach you about whole grain alternatives. Lots of samples in class- and recipes for home. Food Fee $9.00

Feb. 6: Chowders and Stews: This class is all about the ultimate comfort foods. Learn how to make all kinds of warm, thick and creamy dishes for chilly nights You will get a chance to sample several dishes in class and will have plenty of recipes for home. You will also learn how to thicken chowders and stews without flour or cornstarch. Food Fee $9.00

Feb. 13:For Chocolate Lover’s Only: For many people consuming chocolate is one of life’s great joys. Cooking with chocolate can be enjoyable, too. From the basics of handling and working with chocolate to baked treats this class will give you plenty of ways to indulge. You will get a chance to taste plenty of chocolate treats and will have recipes to take home. Food Fee: $9.00

Feb. 20: Soups of the World: Soup seems to be the universal comfort food. From hearty to light, piping hot to icy cold soup recipes are as different as the places they come from. This class will explore many cultural soup traditions. From Eastern Asia to Eastern Europe, South America to West Africa you will get a chance to sample soup from all over the globe. Recipes will also be provided. Food Fee $9.00

Feb. 27:Focaccia, Bruschetta & Bread Sticks  Simple Italian Breads: Tell your family you’re serving Focaccia Bread or Bruschetta or and they may look at you funny.  But watch their faces change once they take their first bite!  Learn how to prepare Focaccia, a dimpled, Italian flat bread that is a “cousin” to pizza, Bruschetta, a classic Italian appetizer, and Bread Sticks that will compliment any Italian meal. Recipes include Herbed Focaccia and Fennel Breadsticks. There will plenty to taste in class and recipes for home. Food Fee $8.00.

Mar. 6: Cooking With Tortillas: If the only time you eat a tortilla is at a Mexican restaurant be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. The flour and corn tortillas in the dairy counter at your grocery store can be used for everything from appetizers to breakfast, sandwiches to desserts. You’ll learn how to make Mexican and non-Mexican dishes including a baked egg roll! Tortillas are easy to use and can make cooking easier. Recipes to take home and plenty of samples to taste in class. Food Fee $8.00

Mar. 13: Seafood Made Easy: Do you enjoy seafood when dining out but face disappointment when preparing it at home? If you know a few basics cooking seafood need not be difficult. From Salmon Quiche to Creole Jambalaya you will get a chance to taste several seafood dishes and learn how to make it right every time. Recipes will be handed out to take home. Food Fee $10.00.

Mar 20: Onions and Garlic: While these aromatic foods are a staple in most cuisines, some people are hesitant to use them. Both onions and garlic are more than just tasty, they are good for you. In class you will learn how to roast, grill, caramelize and much more. Plenty to taste in class and to recipes to take home, too. Food Fee $8.00

Mar. 27: Marvelous Mushrooms: Mushrooms are available in a wide array these days and are very versatile. If you are unsure how to maximize them in cooking this class is for you. Learn how to cook with all sorts of mushrooms and get a chance to taste several dishes that focus on using them. You will also get recipes for home. Food Fee $8.00.

Apr. 10: Cheesecakes: America’s favorite dessert. At least by some accounts. In class you’ll learn how to make perfect cheesecake every time. There will sample to enjoy in class and plenty of recipes to take home including cheesecake from the Russian Tearoom, Frozen Mocha Cheesecake and even a reduced fat recipe. Food Fee $9.00.

Apr. 17: Sauces for All Occasions: From pasta to meat and vegetable dishes this class will give you plenty of recipes for spicing up your food with sauces. From basics to the exotic you will get a chance to taste several easy to make sauces that are sure to please. If you are looking for ways to make dinner more interesting you might want to check out this class.  Food Fee: $8.00

Apr. 24: Pasta: This dinner time staple is more popular than ever. In class you’ll learn how to make fabulous pasta from scratch. Among the pastas we’ll try are carrot, broccoli, and sesame. whole wheat, sour cream  and many more. There will be some hands-on pasta rolling and some recipes for using store bought pasta, too. There will also be recipes to take home. Food Fee $8.00

 

 

 

 

Fairview Hospital Wellness Center

 

Located at 3035 Wooster Rd., in Rocky River, the Wellness Center is operated by Fairview Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic hospital. Unless otherwise noted classes here are on Mondays. For more information, or to register for classes, visit fairviewhospital.org/wellnesscenter or call 440-356-0670.

Winter 2018

Jan. 22: Cooking With Honey:  Did you know that honey is the only food source that contains everything you need to live? It contains anti oxidants, vitamins and minerals that we need, even water! It also never goes bad. Honey can be used for so much more than just sweetening your tea. Learn how to use honey in savory dishes, baking, beverages and more. Food fee $9.00

Jan. 29: Whole Grain Baking: Whole grain breads and other baked goods don’t have to be heavy or “grainy” in texture. If you know the proper procedure, you can make 100% whole grain bread that has great texture, and that does not resemble and doorstop. Some grains work better than others, and we’ll learn about that in class, too. If you are trying to get away from white flour- this class will teach you about whole grain alternatives. Lots of samples in class- and recipes for home. Food Fee $9.00

Feb. 12: Go Green, Cooking with Leafy Green Vegetables:  We know we should eat them but many of us just aren’t sure what to do with leafy green vegetables. This class will give plenty of tasty recipes using all sorts of greens. From delicate salad greens to the hearty winter greens you will learn how to prepare them all. Collards, beet greens, kale, broccoli rabe, spinach, chard, dandelion greens and many more. There will recipes to sample in class and recipes for home. Food Fee: $8.00

Feb. 19: Soups of the World: Soup seems to be the universal comfort food. From hearty to light, piping hot to icy cold soup recipes are as different as the places they come from. This class will explore many cultural soup traditions. From Eastern Asia to Eastern Europe, South America to West Africa you will get a chance to sample soup from all over the globe. Recipes will also be provided. Food Fee $9.00

Feb. 26: Bread Baking: Nothing beats the aroma of fresh baked bread. In this class you’ll learn how to bake a perfect loaf of bread every time. There will be a demonstration of braiding bread and shaping dinner rolls. You’ll also see a loaf of yeast bread that can be made in one hour! Plenty to taste in class and recipes to take home. Food Fee $8.00.

Mar. 5: Vegetarian Cooking: Watching your cholesterol? Looking for an alternative to meat and potatoes? In this class you will learn the basics of eating meatless meals including ‘protein pairing’ and how to make food the family will enjoy, too. Whether you are already a vegetarian or just want a change of pace this class will give you a lot of information and plenty of good food. There will recipes to take home and samples to taste in class. Food Fee $8.00.

Mar. 12: Seafood Made Easy: Do you enjoy seafood when dining out but face disappointment when preparing it at home? If you know a few basics cooking seafood need not be difficult. From Salmon Quiche to Creole Jambalaya you will get a chance to taste several seafood dishes and learn how to make it right every time. Recipes will be handed out to take home. Food Fee $10.00.

Mar. 19: Taste Of Asia: In this class you’ll get an introduction to Asian cooking from appetizers to desserts and everything in between. You’ll get to try several dishes in class and will get recipes to take home. Besides cooking techniques there will be a discussion of various Asian ingredients and where to find them. Food Fee $8.00

Mar. 26: Marvelous Mushrooms: Mushrooms are available in a wide array these days and are very versatile. If you are unsure how to maximize them in cooking this class is for you. Learn how to cook with all sorts of mushrooms and get a chance to taste several dishes that focus on using them. You will also get recipes for home. Food Fee $8.00.

Apr. 9: Fruit for Dinner: Fruit is just not for snacking anymore. If you are looking for tasty ways to zip up your dinner why not try using fruits and fruit sauces? By adding fruit you can make dinner special any night of the week. You will get a chance to taste several foods in class and will receive recipes to take home. Food Fee $8.00.

Apr. 16: Sauces for All Occasions: From pasta to meat and vegetable dishes this class will give you plenty of recipes for spicing up your food with sauces. From basics to the exotic you will get a chance to taste several easy to make sauces that are sure to please. If you are looking for ways to make dinner more interesting you might want to check out this class.  Food Fee: $8.00

Apr. 23: Pasta: This dinner time staple is more popular than ever. In class you’ll learn how to make fabulous pasta from scratch. Among the pastas we’ll try are carrot, broccoli, and sesame. whole wheat, sour cream  and many more. There will be some hands-on pasta rolling and some recipes for using store bought pasta, too. There will also be recipes to take home. Food Fee $8.00

Apr. 30: Cooking With Tortillas: If the only time you eat a tortilla is at a Mexican restaurant be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. The flour and corn tortillas in the dairy counter at your grocery store can be used for everything from appetizers to breakfast, sandwiches to desserts. You’ll learn how to make Mexican and non-Mexican dishes including a baked egg roll! Tortillas are easy to use and can make cooking easier. Recipes to take home and plenty of samples to taste in class. Food Fee $8.00

 

 

 

Mayfield Village Classes – Daytime!!!

Classes are held on various days from 1–3 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, 6622Wilson Mills Road. Deadline to Register: The Monday before the class. Four easy ways to register. 1-440–2332. Call Mayfield Village Senior Services with your registration and MasterCard, Visa, or DiscoverCard payment.

Fax: 440–919–0207. Fax your registration and MasterCard, Visa, or DiscoverCard payment to the Senior Services Office.

In Person: Register in person from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday at the Senior Services

Office, 6621 Wilson Mills Road, Mayfield Village. (Entrance to the Department is inside the

Community Room.)

Mail: Mail registration form with your check payable to Mayfield Village to MV Senior Services, 6622Wilson Mills Road, Mayfield Village, Ohio, 44143.

 2018 classes

Feb. 7: Seafood Made Easy: Do you enjoy seafood when dining out but face disappointment when preparing it at home? If you know a few basics cooking seafood need not be difficult. From Salmon Quiche to Creole Jambalaya you will get a chance to taste several seafood dishes and learn how to make it right every time. Recipes will be handed out to take home. Food Fee $10.00.

Feb. 21: Sauces for All Occasions: From pasta to meat and vegetable dishes this class will give you plenty of recipes for spicing up your food with sauces. From basics to the exotic you will get a chance to taste several easy to make sauces that are sure to please. If you are looking for ways to make dinner more interesting you might want to check out this class.  Food Fee: $8.00

Mar. 21:  My Mother’s Polish Kitchen: You don’t have to be Polish to love Polish food! This class will be a sharing of recipes and cooking tips from the instructor’s Polish Mother. You’ll get recipes for all the traditional favorites from Kielbasa to Pierogis as well as recipes for soups, salads, main dishes and desserts. There will be several dishes for tasting so come hungry. Food Fee: $9.00 Note: Time for this class only is 2-4 pm.

Apr. 4: Scones and Muffins: The smell of fresh baked scones or muffins is a great way to start any day. In class you’ll learn how to make scones, muffins, quick breads and biscuits. From choosing the right flour to mixing the right way you’ll learn how to make fast and easy home-baked treats. Lots of food to taste in class and recipes for home. Food fee $8.00

Apr. 18: Cheesecakes: America’s favorite dessert. At least by some accounts. In class you’ll learn how to make perfect cheesecake every time. There will sample to enjoy in class and plenty of recipes to take home including cheesecake from the Russian Tearoom, Frozen Mocha Cheesecake and even a reduced fat recipe. Food Fee $9.00.

Concord

Students may enroll in classes directly at the Concord Community Center, at 7671 Auburn Road, Concord Township OH 44077.  They can call to inquire about classes at 440-639-4650.  You can register online- just go to Concordtownship.com. Look under classes in rec. department. They can register in person or send in registration to the above address.  A registration form is available on our website at concordtwp.com, under Current Happenings/Township Newsletter.  Or, in place of a registration form, they can just write a note stating their name, address, phone, the class they are enrolling in, dates, times and payment – and send it in with their check.

 2018

Mar. 28: Morocco and North Africa: Treat yourself to something a little different in this class. You’ll learn how to make rich savory dishes with spices that will be certain to expand your cooking skills. Both the meat-based and vegetarian dishes of this part of the world will delight you with both their flavor and simplicity. There will be several dishes to try in class and many recipes to take home. Food Fee $9.00.

Apr. 11: South America: The foods of Brazil, Argentina and Chile are more popular than even. In class you will learn how to make some of the dishes that is making the world take notice. From soups to salads to tasty main dishes these rich cultures have created a rich cuisine. There will be sampling in class and recipes for home. Food Fee: $9.00.

 

 

 

 

 

University of Mount Union

Winter 2018

Sunday, Feb. 25: Cooking with Maple Syrup:  This natural sweetener provides both sweetness and unique flavor to everything. From desserts to salads to main dishes. Learn how to cook with maple syrup in ways you never thought of before. It’s more than just a topping for pancakes. Plenty to sample in class and recipes for home.  Food Fee $9.00.

 

 Note: The time for this class is from 2-4 pm.

Registration information

The John T. Huston-Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center
of the University of Mount Union
Mailing address – 1972 Clark Ave., Alliance, OH  44601
Location address – 16146 Daniel St. NE, Minerva, OH  44657
330-823-7487

twaddlb@mountunion.edu
For more information about our facility visit www.mountunion.edu/nature-center
Find us on Facebook @ HustonBrumbaughNatureCenter

 

 

Homemade Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

Lemons are in season and it is a perfect time to make lemon curd. Lemon curd is such a versatile dish. It’s a sort of lemon pudding and can be served plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream. It is also great in trifle or served as a topper for any number of cakes and sweet treats. I especially like to make lemon curd to serve with scones. It is also really nice served with berry shortcakes.

 

It is easy to make and packed with fresh lemon flavor. Lemon curd is just a few ingredients, cooked over low heat until it thickens up. You can make a batch in under 10 minutes. The longest part of the prep time is just waiting for it to cool down after cooking.

 

 

 

So here is the recipe for the lemon curd. If you never made your own- you might want to give it a try. Certainly worth the effort.

 

Lemon Curd

1/2 c. lemon juice

zest from one good sized lemon- you should have 2-3 teaspoons

1/2 c. sugar

3 eggs

6 T. unsalted butter- cut into little cubes

In medium saucepan combine all ingredients. Whisk the mixture until the eggs are well blended. Cook over medium low heat, whisking often, until the mixture thickens. This will take 5-7 minutes. Whisk more often as mixtures warms and starts to thicken. Better to heat over lower heat and take longer than over too high a heat. You don’t want the eggs to scramble. Once the mixture is thickened , transfer to a bowl or jar. Cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap to keep the surface from developing a skin- like any pudding will do. Chill until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups. Will keep in fridge a week or two.

Sesame Salt

Sesame Salt

Once you taste sesame salt, I think you will love it as much as I do. I use it on all sorts of veggies, meats, pasta, potatoes and more. I love it on popcorn!!!

It is a nice alternative to regular table salt. Sesame salt adds great flavor to all sorts of foods. It is also is lower in sodium than plain salt.

You start by toasting sesame seeds. I just place the sesame seeds in a skillet and toast, on top of the stove, over medium heat, until golden brown. You can also toast them in the oven, but they burn easily. You do want to watch them carefully.

Once the seeds are toasted, you add salt and a few other ingredients (onion, garlic, paprika, pepper). Use whatever salt you like. I use Himalayan pink salt. Feel free to play around with flavors you add your sesame salt. Sometimes, I add a little smoked paprika, which gives the sesame salt a nice, smoky flavor.

I powder the mixture in a spice mill/coffee grinder. You can also use a blender to grind it up.

Sesame salt can be kept on the table in a shaker, just like salt. I use a shaker with slightly larger holes- I have one of those cheese shaker jars that works well.

I often make extra and give some to family and friends as a gift.

 

 

 

Sesame Salt

1 c. sesame seeds

1/4 c. salt – I like pink salt- use the salt you like

1 t. paprika

1 t. onion powder

1/4 t. pepper

1/4 t. garlic powder

 

In a skillet, over medium heat, toast sesame seeds, stirring or tossing to cook evenly until seeds are light brown. Stir in salt and cook 5 minutes more. Cool mixture completely and add remaining ingredients. Process in blender or spice grinder until mixture in powdered. Makes 3/4 c. Excellent with vegetables, stir-fries, salad dressings etc.

Eva’s Kolachy

Eva’s Kolachy

Over the years, I have shared many of my family recipes. This is another family recipe- but not my family. Tia Houpt found this recipe when going  through her Grandmother’s recipe collection. She was kind enough to share the recipe- and gave me permission to share it with you. Her grandmother was Eva Skero- so I have named the kolachy in Eva’s honor.

There is something special in having old family recipes. We find so many recipes online these days, we sometimes forget there was a time when recipes were handwritten. Often, they were stored in a drawer or in a shoe box. There is usually a mix of handwritten recipes and recipes cut out of newspapers and magazines.

Sometimes you just find a list of ingredients. Measurements aren’t always precise. A handful of this a pinch of that. The phrase moderately hot oven doesn’t real help, does it? And what exactly is a number 2 can? Still, there are some real gems in those collections.

This is one of those recipes.

I have made kolachy for years and have used the recipe for the crust that my mom used. I love my mom’s recipe. I love this recipe even more.

I was intrigued that the dough contains both baking powder and yeast. I had to make it, just to see what it was like.

The dough is tender and very easy to work with. It doesn’t get chilled. You just make the dough, then roll it out and make the cookies. I did let my butter soften a little before cutting it into the flour. I could see using cold butter instead.

The dough rolled out beautifully and baked up a perfect golden brown. I had to let them cool a bit before I could taste one. I am not kidding- they were heavenly. Tender and so flaky. Tia and I both see this as a very nice tart dough, too.

So here is Eva’s recipe. I hope you will give it a try. Thanks, Tia, for sharing it.

 

Eva’s Kolachy

 

Dough:

 

3 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

½ t. salt

1 c. butter*

3 eggs

2 pkts. Yeast

½ c. warm milk

Filling:

Assorted pie fillings, jams, sweetened cream cheese or ricotta cheese You will need about three cups of filling.

 

In mixing bowl, combine flour with baking powder and salt. Cut  butter into flour until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Set aside.  Place eggs in a small bowl and beat until smooth. In small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add to egg mixture and stir to combine. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. If mixture is sticky add a small amount of flour. Roll dough out on floured board. Thinner the better, as this dough will puff some when baked. Cut into squares- or whatever shape you like. I did 2-inch squares. Place a spoonful of filling into center of each cookie. Fold up two of the corners and press firmly to seal. Fold over and press seam again. These like to pop open when baking, so the second fold over and pressing helps them to stay closed. Some people like to add a bit of egg wash or milk to the tops to help them seal better. I just squeeze together and fold twice.  Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet, about an inch apart. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cook on a rack. Dust cooled cookies with powdered sugar or with a powdered sugar glaze. Makes about 5-6 dozen.

*The original recipe called for shortening. Tia and  I both decided butter was better!! That is the only change we made to Eva’s original recipe.

Cooled and dusted with powdered sugar

 

This post is dedicated to Eva Skero and all the home cooks out there who lovingly kept their recipes for us to find.

Curry Pea Soup

Curry Pea Soup

Not all homemade soup takes hours to make. This soup is  fast and easy to make- and full of flavor. Unlike a lot of pea soups- this one is made with fresh peas- not dried split peas. Technically, frozen peas.   It cuts down on cooking time and gives a very different taste to the soup.

I made this soup on a snowy evening, but I could see eating it in warmer weather, too. With some fresh mint. it would make a lovely Spring soup.

While peas were the center of the soup, taste wise – I added extra veggies for more depth of flavor.

The curry powder added lots of flavor, too.Curry powder is a mix of different spices. Some can be quite spicy, others are milder. I make my own.

I added the peas near the end of cooking time to preserve as much of their natural color as possible.

 

Once the veggies were tender, I pureed the soup. It ended up the most beautiful shade of green.

 

Curry Pea Soup

 

3 T. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 c. cauliflower

6-8 c. stock- I used chicken, but vegetable stock would work, too.

1 lb. peas- I used frozen- you could use fresh shelled peas, if you have them

2 T. curry powder

2 T. fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Hot sauce to taste

 

Heat oil in soup pot. Add onion, and cook over medium heat, until tender. Add the celery and cauliflower and cook a few minutes longer. Add 6 cups of the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add the peas and seasonings and continue cooking 5-10 minutes more. Puree soup, adding more stock if it is too thick. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 6.

Lemons in the Snow

Lemons in the Snow Cookies

The funny name for these cookies is really easy to explain. The cookies are flavored with both lemon juice and lemon zest in the dough. When nearly cooled, they are rolled in powdered sugar. They end up looking like little snowballs.

Yummy, lemon flavored snowballs.

The dough also contains finely ground almonds, for extra texture. They are a delicate, cake like cookie, with a slightly crisp outside. You could also add a little grated lemon peel to the powdered sugar, before rolling the cookies in it, for a more intense lemon flavor.

 

Lemons in the Snow Cookies

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel -or more if you like
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
confectioners’ sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and egg until well blended. Add lemon juice and peel. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Add almonds. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned (cookies will not brown on top). Remove immediately to wire racks; cool for 5 minutes, then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Makes 36.

 

Homemade Lemon Liqueur

Lemon Peels in Vodka

I make homemade liqueurs throughout the year, using seasonal fruits. Winter is great for citrus, so it is lemon liqueur time!!! All you need to get started is a jar, some vodka and lemons. Since you are using the peels, best to use organic lemons, if you can find them.

Use a vegetable peeler to get just the yellow part of the lemon peel. A little of the white is OK, but too much will make your liqueur bitter. Combine the peels with the vodka in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Now it’s just a waiting game.

Once the peels have steeped long enough to flavor the vodka, just sweeten, if you like, and let the liqueur mature a little longer. Well worth the wait. You can use the same recipe to make lime liqueur, too. You can also use half lemon and half lime peels in the same batch for lemon/lime liqueur. You can also add other flavors, like mint, to your mixture.

 

 

Homemade Lemon Liqueur

8 lemons
3 c. vodka
1 c. sugar syrup

Peel lemons using a vegetable peeler. Use only the yellow part of the peel. If you get larger pieces of the white pith, scrape off and discard. Place peels in jar with the vodka. Cover and place in a cupboard.
Steep peels 2-3 weeks. Strain and filter and add sugar syrup. Mature 1-2 weeks.

Note: you can also make lime liqueur with the peels of 8 limes, or use 4 lemons and 4 limes for a lemon-lime liqueur.

Variation: You can also use rum as the base for a great daiquiri!

Note: To make citrus flavors without the peels substitute 2 t. pure extracts for the fruit and add sugar syrup right away. Just steep a few days to mature a little.

Also, lemon or lime are terrific unsweetened, to add to other cocktails. You can make some without the added simple syrup.

Sugar Syrup: For the sugar syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water. Boil, then cool down before adding to your liqueur. Makes 1 cup.

 

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

I wasn’t sure what to call this dessert. It started out as one thing, but sort of ended up somewhere else. I finally decided to just call it a tart. I’ll explain.

I was leaning towards making a cheesecake. I needed to make dessert for a dinner. Everybody loves cheesecake, right?  I already had cookie crumbs, I could use for the crust. Then, I discovered I only had one box of cream cheese. Not enough for a cheesecake.

While searching my fridge for cream cheese, I found a couple of lemons.

I suppose I could have made a lemon pie, but I decided to just make something up with what I had, including the cream cheese. What I ended up with is a sweet/tart lemon dessert. Really nice, actually.

Before I get to the actual recipe, let me talk about the lemons, and including fresh lemon juice in recipe directions.

Recipes will often list the “juice of a lemon” in the ingredients. There is about the same amount of lemon juice in all lemons, so that a little difference, one way or the other, is no big deal. The amount is anywhere from 2-3 tablespoons of juice in a lemon. You might get 4 tablespoons, if the lemon is really big. I have used that phrase in recipes myself.

Sometimes, however, you have to recognize when you have lemons that aren’t “average”.

The two lemons I had on hand were big, really big. When I juiced them, I ended up with 2/3 of a cup of lemon juice. So, in this recipe I used the actual measurement of the juice, rather than saying, “the juice of 2 lemons.” Three or four average sized lemons should give you 2/3 cup of juice.

So here is the recipe for my lemon tart, the happy end result of using what I had, and making it work.

 

Lemon Tart

Crust:

1½ c. crushed vanilla cookies

4 T. melted butter

Filling:

1 (8oz.) container cream cheese, softened

½ c. sugar

2/3 c. lemon juice

Zest of two lemons

3 eggs

¼ c. cornstarch

 

Combine crust ingredients in medium bowl. Press crumb mixture into a 9 –inch springform or tart pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. While the crust is baking, make the filling. In mixing bowl combine the cream cheese with the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the lemon juice and zest and beat well. Add the eggs and cornstarch and beat until smooth. Pour filling over the baked crust and return to oven. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden on top. Center will be soft, but firms as the tart cools. Cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve. You can dust with powdered sugar, if you like.

 

Citrus and Honey Dressing

Citrus and Honey Dressing on Fresh Greens

Even in cold weather, I often crave a fresh green salad. This dressing is perfect for one of my winter salads. Winter is citrus season, so lemons and oranges are abundant. The taste of the citrus in this recipe, really brightens up the greens. The honey adds just the right balance of sweetness.

I have basil under grow lights- so I have the fresh basil, too. If you can’t find fresh basil at the store- dried can be used.

The recipe is useful as more than just a salad dressing. You can use it as a glaze on meats, or even as a dipping sauce. The combination of juices, zest, honey and fresh basil works on fruit salads, too.

I prefer homemade dressings for my salads. They are easy to make, and I get to control what goes in them. This one is great to have on hand in the fridge. Just shake it up and it’s ready to serve.

 

 

Citrus Honey Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 t. lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 T. chopped fresh basil- 2 t. dried basil could be used
1 T. white wine vinegar

In a jar with a lid, mix the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, honey, basil, and vinegar. Seal and shake well. Chill 2 hours in the refrigerator. Strain basil before serving. Use on green salad or with chicken, fruit or seafood salads. Can also be brushed on chicken, meat or seafood as a glaze.

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