Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Curd

For some reason I am finding it particularly hard to write this post. Perhaps because I feel a disconnect with this recipe since I made it almost two months ago. That’s right – I made this delicious lemon curd for a bridal shower that I attended one day before I went into labor.

Meyer Lemons

Ah yes. Now I remember how delicious it was spread on fresh scones; how surprisingly easy it was to prepare; and how pretty it looked in a Weck jelly jar.

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If you have never made lemon curd before, let me urge you to give it a try. It’s hardly more bother than making a pudding. And it’s amazingly fresh and rich at the same time. If you’re a lemon fan, this is definitely something not to be missed.

Meyer Lemon Curd | from Williams-Sanoma | makes 2 cups | PRINTABLE PAGE

Ingredients:

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar (natural sugar can be used, but the curd won’t be as pretty)
  • 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons
  • 12 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Directions:

1) Have ready a heat proof bowl and a fine-mesh sieve. In another heat-proof bowl (or the top of a double boiler) combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk for another minute.

2) Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Add the butter one piece at a time, whisking until completely melted before adding another.

3) Remove from heat and strain the curd through the sieve into the heat-proof bowl, pressing the curd through the sieve. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Now you’re ready to serve your lemon curd on fresh scones (with butter and Devonshire cream), or however you wish!
Meyer Lemon Curd

Happy Things

Hello all! Can you believe that February is already well on its way? Also, it’s only 10 days until my due date. I’m so ready for this kid to arrive!

Here are some things that have brought me joy over the past few weeks.

{2/52} Splash!

My first attempt at a splash photo. It made a huge mess.

Grapefruit Avocado Salad

Grapefruit + Avocado salad (spring greens, grapefruit, avocado, sea salt + fresh ground pepper, and a grapefruit juice vinaigrette). See the completed salad HERE.

Sam & Amanda

My sister, Amanda, got engaged. I had the fun of taking the engagement photos. See more HERE.

Flowers From Reuben

Reuben surprised me with flowers one evening.

Wintry Walk

On days when the weather will permit, it’s been fun to take leisurely walks through the woods.

Terrain Order

I decided that with part of my birthday money I should make an order from Terrain. I chose the Weck jelly jars and a wooden spoon.

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons. Something new-to-me. So far I’ve made creme brulee with them, but I also want to try my hand at lemon curd.

Honey on Fresh Bread

Honey on fresh baked bread (with butter, of course). Is there anything better?

Hope you all are having a smashing 2013 so far. What has brought you joy lately?

Crunchy Maple Granola + Baby Update

Maple Granola

Hello there! Hope you all had an awesome holiday season. I wish I could say ours was rockin’, but it seems like we’ve been battling one sickness after another.

I was going to make Nutella Stuffed Cookies for ya’ll, but after the indulgence pigging out from the holidays, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Maple Granola

So I went a little healthier route and made granola instead.

{1/52} Granola

For Christmas I received the lovely Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, from which I got this granola. I think I’m going to really enjoy cooking my way through that book.

This granola is bonkers good. The flavors are simply wonderful and it bakes up nice and crunchy. Plus, it super-customizable — always a good thing in my book. You can change up the type of nuts or fruit for a totally different result.

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And now for a bit of a baby/pregnancy update. I’m at 34.5 weeks (the above photo was taken at 33 weeks), or 5.5 weeks from my due date! It kinda scares and excites me to think that we’ll be responsible for the life of a tiny, helpless baby in a little over a month.

For now I’m doing my best to eat right to keep this life inside of me healthy. Onward to this new adventure!

You can read more about my pregnancy on my personal blog.

Maple Granola

Recipe Notes:

  • I think the use of egg white to help bind the granola is brilliant. It didn’t make the granola as “clumpy” as the recipe suggested it would, but it was still quite crunchy.
  • The fruit made the granola get a tad softer. Next time I might leave it out altogether. After all I’m not a huge fan of fruit in my granola.
  • Coarse sea salt makes this granola really lovely. Every once in a while you get a bite with a little salt crystal. Delightful!
  • The original recipe called for olive oil, but I used butter since olive oil can break down with baking. You could also use coconut oil if you prefer.

Crunchy Maple Granola | adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook | makes about 7 cups | PRINTABLE PAGE

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans or nuts of choice
  • 1/4 flax seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit of choice (I used figs and apricots), optional

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 300° F (150° C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, nuts, flax seeds, cinnamon and salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Mix in the maple syrup.

3) Pour the butter/maple syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and toss to coat well. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add to the dry ingredients and toss.

4) Spread the granola out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until the granola is nicely toasted, golden, and feels dry, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

5) Remove from oven and let cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. When completely cool, break up the granola and stir in the fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can also store in the refrigerator of freezer for longer periods of time.

Honey Roasted Pears

Honey Roasted Pears

I must admit that November is not my favorite month. In Norther Minnesota, most of the colorful leaves are long gone and everything seems brown, grey and cold. I long for the lakes to freeze over so we can go skating and for snow so we can ski.

Honey Roasted Pears

But this is the month to catch your breath before winter settles in. A time to dig out your extra warm coats, boots and sweaters in preparation for the freezing-cold days ahead.

It’s also a time to enjoy warm tea on grey days and hot, filling desserts on chilly evenings.

Honey Roasted Pears

These roasted pears are the perfect little treat for an otherwise gloomy evening. They cook up without fuss and are fantastic with a scoop of good-quality vanilla ice cream. You really must serve them with ice cream.

HONEY ROASTED PEARS | adapted from Sprouted Kitchen | Printable Page | makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe pears
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • good quality vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450° F (230° C). Slice the pears in half lengthwise and cut out the centers.

2. In a small cast iron skilled place the butter, honey, vanilla and salt. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Add the pears to the pan, cut side down. Continue to simmer for 2 more minutes. Turn the peaches over and transfer to the oven. Bake for 12 minutes or until the pears are nice and soft and the sauce has caramelized.

4. Serve hot or warm with vanilla ice cream and the caramel sauce. Enjoy!

Honey Roasted Pears

Strawberry Galette + The Winner

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If I were to choose my bane in baking, it would be pie crust. No matter what I do, it seems, my crusts inevitably turn out tough or crumbly, even if I use all white flour.

Grandma K. agrees with me. Pies are evil.

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This recipe may of have changed my mind. Slightly. It was the first pie crust that I was sort of proud of. There was no toughness in sight, it was flaky not crumbly and had lovely flavor. I’m still mighty leery of pies, but I just might have the courage make another using this crust recipe.

Recipe notes:

  • The original recipe called for a basil cream sauce, but it sounded a bit strange to me so I left it out.
  • Reuben, who does not like overly sweet desserts, thought this was bit tart. Perhaps another time I would increase the sweetness slightly.
  • With the leftover dough and strawberries, I made little hand pies.

Strawberry Galette | adapted from Martha Stewart | makes 8-10 servings | printable page

For The Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water

For The Galette

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Make the dough: (I mixed the dough by hand using a pastry cutter) Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add ice water, and pulse until just combined (dough will still be crumbly). Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out a 10-inch round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the galette: Cut strawberries lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Reserve end pieces for another use. Toss slices with 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch, and immediately arrange them in concentric circles on dough. Start 1 inch from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Whisk together yolk and water. Brush dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Dot berries with butter. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm with basil cream and fried basil.

Now For the Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of Pioneer Woman’s Cooking Essentials is…

Commenter #77, Nikki Sportsman, who said: “on toast, with jam.”

That’s one of my favorites, too!

Congratulations, Nikki! I will contact you soon.

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Thank you to all who entered the giveaway! Have a lovely day.

Pear, Dark Chocolate and Munster Panini

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Don’t you love those times when you get inspired to cook something totally delicious, find you have everything you need, and then just cook it? That’s how this sandwich was for me.

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Sitting in the fridge was a beautiful, organic red d’anjou pear that, I admit, I had let go a bit past its prime. I was in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich, but with a bit of sophistication. Seeing several recipes online that paired (NPI) dark chocolate and pears in panini form, I decided to give it a try.

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Here are my ingredients assembled: good butter, Munster cheese, crusty bread (this recipe), sliced pears and chopped dark chocolate.

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It was absolutely amazing. The melty, mild cheese with soft pears and chocolate was just wonderful.

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I don’t have a “recipe” for ya’ll today, just a method. You can easily substitute ingredients (different kinds of pears, cheese and chocolate).  Use whatever you have on hand!

Pear, Dark Chocolate and Munster Panini | Printable Page

Recipe by Erica Lea | Cooking for Seven

Ingredients:

  • Crusty bread
  • Good butter
  • Dark chocolate (I used bittersweet)
  • Ripe pears, thinly sliced
  • Mild, soft cheese (I used Munster)

Directions:

1) Butter two slices of bread on only one side. Place the pears, cheese and chocolate on one slice and place the second slice on top. Repeat with however many sandwiches are desired.

2) In a cast-iron skillet, melt some butter over medium heat. Add the sandwich(es) and place something heavy on top (I used a heavy bowl + a pot) to weigh it down. You could also use a panini grill if you have one.

3). Cook until browned on one side (a few minutes), flip, and cook until browned on the second side and the cheese and chocolate are melty. Enjoy!