Tag Archives: lemon

Lemon Blueberry Muffins


“Mom, a muffin is sort of like a little cake, right?” This is what my 6 year old son asked as he took one of these sweet little muffins. Yes, they are very much like a little lemon cake with some blueberries in it and they are fabulous. Also, quite easy to make. Your breakfast table will thank you for it.

I used frozen blueberries here. Dropping them into the dry mixture allows each berry to be coated so they don’t clump together. When I stirred the dry in with the wet ingredients the frozen blueberries created a lovely lavender hue in the batter.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan or use paper liners like I do. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the blueberries. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, oil and lemon zest, then whisk in the lemon juice. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until blended; do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins stand in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

all gone

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Adapted from Food & Wine August 2005


Glazed Lemon Loaf

lemonloafThis lemon loaf lives somewhere between being a bread and a cake-let’s call it a sweet bread. It’s not too sweet but has a lovely glaze that gives it a little kick. As this winter drags on, relentlessly, I need a little kick of lemon to remember what summer tastes like.


  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • Finely shredded zest of 1 large lemon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup 1-percent-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the glaze: 

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 3 1/2 Tbs.)


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt until well mixed. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, canola oil and vanilla until blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, mix until they are just combined, forming a thick, slightly lumpy batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it with the spatula to make it smooth and even on top. The pan will be about half full.

Bake until it is deeply browned with some golden cracks on top and it feels springy to the touch when pressed lightly in the middle, about 40 minutes. For an alternative test, insert a knife into the center: it should come out clean. If after 40 minutes the edges are getting dark but the center is not done, turn the temp down to 325°F and bake for 5-10 more minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and insert a thin knife vertically into the cake in 8 to 10 uniformly spaced places.

To make the glaze, in a small, heavy nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the mixture is bubbling and frothy on the surface, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately pour evenly over the surface of the hot cake.

Let the glazed cake cool completely in the pan on the rack. Run a thin-bladed knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Carefully invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the pan. Turn upright onto a serving plate, slice thinly and serve. Store the cooled cake tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).

Carrot Ginger Soup


Sometime last spring I planted a packet of seeds to grow some rainbow carrots. Most of the seeds sprouted, I got them into the ground in my meager little raised bed and then I kind of ignored them for months. Their greens grew bigger and bigger, my husband implored me to harvest them. I told him it could wait until fall. Finally one day I noticed the top of a big purple carrot poking out of the ground. I got my trowel and dug. Wow! Such beautiful colors. So many carrots. So. Many. Carrots. So many freaky, twisted, mutant looking carrots. So hard to peel. It seems only right that they are paired with another freaky, mutant-looking plant called ginger. Before all the carrots went limp sitting in my produce bin, I put together this lovely carrot ginger soup.

If you are a soup maker, I highly recommend getting a stick blender if you don’t already have one. Its about a million times easier to puree your soups with one. If you put hot soup in a blender to puree, the heat will create a volcano effect. You’ll open up the blender and your nice batch of pureed soup will explode all over your counters, your ceiling and best of all-on you!


  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat 1/2 cup broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ginger, carrots, potato and remaining broth and heat to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. If you have a stick blender, use it to puree the soup in the pan. If you don’t have a stick blender, let the mixture cool then, in batches, carefully puree in a blender. Add water or broth if needed to thin to desired consistency. Reheat soup if necessary. Stir in lemon juice.

Summer Quinoa Salad



Hmmmm…I have some swiss chard, a few stalks of celery, a lemon and half a red onion.  Today was one of those days where I looked in my refrigerator and saw a lot of stray produce that needed some love. Since we will be heading out of town on vacation this Friday, I needed to clean things up in there pronto or be faced with a) plenty of rotting greens upon return or b) throwing stuff out. I hate to throw stuff out. The solution came in the form of a tossed salad of the soon-to-be remains, proof that desperation leads to ingenuity.  I had a veritable kitchen sink of bits and pieces from the bottom drawer that came together to make this nice summer side dish. I served it alongside turkey burgers.

I began thinking about this as a rice salad with herbs and veggies tossed in but when I went to cook some rice, I had only a sad little handful left in the cupboard so I switched the plan to quinoa which cooks faster anyways. I cooked the quinoa, let it cool and tossed in the chopped veggies. I made my own dressing but you might be just as happy with a lemon-y vinaigrette from a bottle.

Summer Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 bunch red Swiss chard
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp honey
  • salt & pepper
  • dash of garlic powder

Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut the leafy greens from the stems of the Swiss chard and chop into 1” slices. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and sauté the greens for about 3 minutes, until they are wilted. Remove and let cool on a plate. Once cool, chop the chard a little finer. Combine the celery, red onion and basil and chard in a medium bowl. Add the cooled quinoa and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, toss and serve.

Deviled Eggs and Disclosure

nursingmotherscookbook_fin4.jpgI feel I owe you full disclosure in the matter of things like this–I am not one of those moms who is so totally together that I’ve got my Easter recipes posted in time for you to plan and prepare to make them for the holiday. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants mom who is showing you, after the fact, what I managed to pull off for the Easter egg hunt potluck brunch.


Oh my! These are delicious. So fresh and light, I had to stop myself from sneaking a few of them before they got to the table. The lemon really brings to life the sense of the new season. I used fresh thyme here because I had some on hand but it was a little tedious separating the leaves from the stems. Dried thyme will work just as well.

You can cook the eggs in advance. The key to easy shell peeling is to start with the eggs and the water at the same temperature. Preferably your eggs should be room temp. but if you have cold eggs straight out of the fridge, make sure the water is equally cold.  Put the eggs in a saucepan,  cover them with 1 inch of water. Slowly bring the water to a boil and simmer them for 12 minutes.  Dump the hot water immediately and rinse with cool water. Peel right away.

Sour Cream, Lemon, and Herb Deviled Eggs

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Chopped fresh parsley or thyme

Shell eggs, then cut in half lengthwise. Transfer yolks to small bowl and mash with fork. Mix in sour cream, mayonnaise, and mustard. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Spoon yolk mixture into whites. Sprinkle generously with chopped parsley or thyme. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover loosely and refrigerate.)