Tag Archives: lemon

Deep Dish Lemon Soufflé Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

26 Jun


One of my dearest friend’s, Ashley, and I made this on my birthday last month. It’s a riff on another friend’s recipe. I am in love with the flavor combo of lemon and blueberry so to me this is pure perfection!

Time: 30 minutes + 90 bake + cool                      Serves: 8-10


  • Crust

  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 30 Canelitas cookies (Mexican cinnamon cookies), processed to crumbs equaling 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 13 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Filling

  • 32 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Blueberry Topping

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest


Here are the Canelita cookies. And me! With my Mexican feast and delicious cocktail. Not a bad way to spend a birthday, not at all.

How to make it

  • Crust

  • Combine cookie crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter (reserve one tbsp)  in a mixing bowl.
  • Spread remaining tbsp of melted butter on bottom and sides of a 6-inch spring-form pan. Sprinkle brown sugar around bottom.
  • Press cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of the spring-form pan. Press down to make an even crust, going up the sides to create a deep-dish effect.
  • Wrap pan in aluminum foil to prevent the water bath from seeping in. Place in refrigerator to firm up while you make the filling.
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  • Filling

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Put a pot of water on to simmer.
  • Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Continue beating, and gradually add 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt and heavy cream until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, with clean dry beaters, combine egg whites, 1/3 tsp salt, and cream of tartar. Begin to beat, gradually adding remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until soft peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Do not over-beat.
  • In three parts, fold egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture.
  • Remove pan from refrigerator. Place pan in a large roasting pan and pour hot water around it, going about 3/4 up the sides.
  • Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, place in refrigerator for at least two hours before you plan to serve.
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  • Topping

  • Combine 1 1/2 cups of blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the berries burst. Remove from heat and stir in remaining berries. Set aside to cool.
  • Once cooled completely, spread over top of cooled cheesecake.


Rosemary Roasted Shrimp with Risotto

1 Oct

A quick, satisfying dish. Add a side of roasted asparagus or a garden salad (or both!) to round out the meal.

Time: 30 minutes            Serves: 2


  • Shrimp

  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled & deveined (I used Jumbo – about 12)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
  • leaves from 1 branch fresh rosemary, torn/chopped
  • Risotto

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (keep more on hand, or some water)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp Aloutte garlic & herb spreadable cheese or similar

How to make it

  • Shrimp

  • Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, seasoning and rosemary in a small non-reactive bowl. Whisk together. Add shrimp and let sit for 15 minutes, tossing 2-3 times.
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up). Place shrimp on sheet.
  • Roast for 4-6 minutes, until pink and just firm.
  • Risotto

  • Bring stock to a boil in a small saucepan, then reduce heat to low & keep warm.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan/skillet over medium heat. Add rice. Stir to coat & toast for 1-3 minutes.
  • Carefully add wine and cook, stirring, until no liquid remains, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Begin adding broth 1/4 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more.
  • This process takes about 20 minutes in total.
  • Add cheese and remove from heat. Mix to incorporate.
  • *Rice should be creamy (not mushy) and slightly firm in the center. If your rice hasn’t become tender enough by this point, add more liquid by 1/4 cup measures using same technique – may use more stock or water. Stir in , mix well and remove from heat.

Rustic Blueberry Lemon Verbena Tart

16 Aug

My friend gave me some lemon verbena out of her garden and I just knew I wanted to bake something with it. Blueberries are in the peak of their season here and taste perfect so I thought why not pair them up to create one of my favorite flavor combos. The tangy honey goat cheese and flaky crisp pastry shell send this over the top.

Time: 1 hour             Serves: 8-10


  • Pastry

  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour 
  • 8 tbsp cold butter or Earth Balance, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup very cold water
  • Honey Goat Cheese

  • 2 oz. creamy spreadable goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Blueberry Filling

  • 20 leaves lemon verbena
  • 1/4 cup sugar + more for sprinkling
  • sea salt
  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 3 tbsp AP flour
  • juice from 1/2 large lemon

How to make it

  • Pastry

  • Place flours and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with dough attachment or S-blade.
  • Pulse a few times until butter is about pea sized.
  • Add sour cream and cold water and salt to taste. Process just until dough begins to hold together.
  • Remove from processor bowl and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least one hour.
  • Honey Goat Cheese

  • Mix goat cheese & honey together. Set aside.
  • Blueberry Filling

  • With a mortar and pestle, pulverize lemon verbena into sugar. If you don’t have one, just place sugar in a small mixing bowl, top with lemon verbena leaves and use a wooden spoon to pulverize into the sugar. Mix in AP flour and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Place blueberries in a large mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and gently toss. Add sugar mixture and gently toss to coat.

  • To Assemble

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Remove pastry dough from fridge. Place ball of dough in center of a sheet of parchment paper. Roll out as evenly as possible into a 12-inch round, about 1/4″ thick. Alternately you could split the dough in two and make two smaller, 6-inch rounds. 

  • Spread goat cheese onto dough disk, leaving an edge naked.

  • Top with berries.
  • Carefully fold up edges of pastry, you may pipe or flute the dough if you’d like.

  • Sprinkle with granulated sugar along dough edge.

  • Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Sugar Snap Peas With Lemon, Garlic, & Basil

14 Jun

A fresh, green, quick side dish.

Time: 10 minutes           Serves: 4


  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb sugar snap peas, stems snipped & strings removed if needed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • lemon zest from 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • handful fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste

How to make it

  • Bring 6 cups of water to a brisk boil in a large pot. Add salt & peas and cook about 2 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain peas & shock in salted ice water. Drain again and pat dry (may be set aside for up to an hour). Heat oil over medium heat in medium saute pan. Add zest and garlic, saute until garlic is soft but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add peas, lemon juice, and basil; toss to combine. Cook until just heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Serve immediately.

White Bean and Tuna Salad

13 Jun

Inspired by a recipe I saw on keepitsimplefoods.com, this light lemon-y salad is wonderful warm weather fare.

Time: 5 minutes                 Serves: 2


  • 1 5 oz can white tuna (in water), drained & flaked
  • 1 cup Great Northern or canellini beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups baby romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups pea sprouts, roughly chopped

How to make it

  • Combine tuna, beans, oil, lemon juice, and seasonings in a small bowl. Gently toss to combine.
  • Divide lettuce and sprouts between two bowls. Top with tuna bean mixture.

Moroccan Chicken and Couscous Soup

7 Mar

This recipe is based on one from delish.com with slight variations. This was my first successful soup attempt, almost two years ago, and it’s so delicious!

Time: 30 minutes             Serves: 6-8


  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken (original recipe called for thighs but I was only able to buy breasts)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (fresh ground)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 zucchinis (medium), quartered lengthwise & cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 4 cups chicken stock (canned or homemade)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 can garbanzo beans a.k.a chickpeas, drained

How to make it

  • In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Increase heat to moderately high. Add the chicken, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the sweet potato, zucchini, tomato puree, water and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the couscous to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garbanzo beans, stir and cook for another minute. Remove pot from heat and let soup stand, covered for 2 minutes. Add parsley & serve.

Chicken and Cheese Crepes

3 Mar

Adapted from a Food Network Magazine recipe, this is a lovely dish. Impressive but fairly quick & easy to put together. Easily adjustable to your tastes or what ingredients you have available.

Time: 20 min prep, 15 min cook             Serves: 4


  • 2 1/2 cups shredded chicken*
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus a bit for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and thyme) – divided
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 crepes (I used this recipe)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, plus more for garnish
  • *I cook b/s chicken breasts in the crock pot with some chicken stock and Old Bay Seasoning for 4 hours on high. Then shred chicken & strain stock for later use.

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Combine chicken, ricotta, and 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cup herbs, salt (I used 1 tsp) and pepper (I used 3/4 tsp) in a bowl.
  • Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture into the middle of each crepe, roll up to enclose filling.
  • Place crepes seam side down into a baking dish. Cover with foil an bake until filling is heated through, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add zucchini and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender – about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and wine, simmer for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat and add lemon zest, remaining herbs, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Remove from heat and spoon over top of crepes. Garnish with a bit of herbs, Parmesan and lemon zest.

Tasty Tuna Salad

25 Feb

Perfect for a light lunch.

Time: 5 minutes         Serves: 2


  • 1 can tuna, drained (I used chunk white)
  • 1/4 cup cucumbers chopped fine (peel or de-seed if you like, not necessary)
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 2 romaine lettuce leaves

How to make it

  • Combine all ingredients but lettuce in a small bowl. Arrange lettuce on plate, scoop tuna onto lettuce. Serve with crackers or just wrap the lettuce up and eat it like I did 🙂

Pasta in Lemon Cream Sauce with Salmon

17 Feb

Several weeks ago we went to a local restaurant that we’ve been to many times. They had a dish on special that sounded quite delicious but I was disappointed to find after ordering that it was bland and not very good at all. I was determined to take the ingredients and turn them into what I thought they should be. The results were delicious! This would also be great tossed with crab meat/tuna fish/shrimp.

Time: 25 minutes         Serves: 4


  • 8 oz. short cut pasta (I used rotini)
  • Lemon Cream Sauce

  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (depending on how tart your lemon is and your personal tastes)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or additional stock)
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cornstarch if needed for thickening (I used about 2 tsp)
  • Salmon

  • 4 salmon fillets, 4-6 oz. each
  • sea salt and pepper to taste (freshly ground if possible)
  • olive oil spray
  • Vegetables

  • 1 leek, well cleaned & trimmed – white and light green parts only – cut in half & sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium zucchini. diced (about 3 cups)
  • 4 cups packed baby arugula
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Salt 2-3 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta al dente.
  • Lemon Cream Sauce

  • Heat butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallot and saute, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to let garlic brown too much, turn heat down if needed. Add lemon juice, zest, chicken stock and wine and stir. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until reduced by half, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in cream and cream cheese and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add cornstarch if needed, whisking well to incorporate.
  • Salmon

  • Place salmon fillets on lined baking sheet. Spray generously with olive oil (or brush on if you don’t have spray). Season to taste with salt & pepper. Place in oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
  • Vegetables

  • Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and leeks and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add arugula, salt and pepper and toss just until wilted. Remove from heat.
  • To serve, toss pasta and vegetables with sauce. Divide into portions. Serve each with salmon on top or along side. Enjoy!

Italian Wedding Soup

19 Jan

Hearty and comforting without being heavy, perfect to warm your belly and heart on a cold winter evening. This is my interpretation of an Italian-American classic. It takes some time but is well worth it.

Time: 1 hour+           Serves: 8+


  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 leek, well cleaned & trimmed – white and green parts only – cut in half & sliced
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 average size head broccoli)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound/6 cups packed curly kale, roughly chopped
  • Parmesan rinds if you have them
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 cup small pasta (I used stars but orzo or Acini di pepe work well)
  • 1/2 batch Lemon Herb Turkey Meatballs (mini version)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

How to make it

  • Heat oil in a large stock pot over low-medium heat. Add fennel and saute for 10-12 minutes until beginning to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Add leeks and continue to saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add broccoli, kale and Parmesan rinds (if you have them). Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli starts to turn bright green. Add minced garlic to the pot; season with salt, pepper & red pepper and cook stirring for 2-3 min. Pour in chicken stock to cover and add thyme. Bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes but up to 1 1/2 hours. Remove thyme branches and Parmesan rinds.
  • About ten minutes before ready to serve, brown meatballs in about 1/2 tbsp each canola oil and butter for about 5 minutes. Add to soup pot and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, it should take about 5 minutes.
  • Remove soup from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve with a couple of spoonfuls of pasta and top with parsley and Parmesan.
  • *Note: Serves 8 1 1/2 cup entree portions or 12 1 cup appetizer portions.