Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Lemon Cookies with Lemon Glaze

We are officially on spring break. We have had a whirlwind of activities since the last time I wrote here. Hiking, Boy Scouts, art shows, spring concerts, piano competitions, and then finally, the reprieve that comes with spring break. It came on so quickly that it took a full weekend before it really sunk in that spring break was here. For the first time in years, we aren't traveling. It's a much needed staycation for us. Spring cleaning the house, yard work, reading, and trying new recipes. Oh yes, and catching up with blog writing.

So let's play a game of "Would you Rather?"

Would you rather have a cookie that's crisp or a cookie that's chewy?

Would you rather have a chocolate chip cookie or fresh lemon cookie?

Would you rather have thick sugar icing or a light sugary glaze?

This cookie is my answer to all of those questions. A chewy lemon cookie with a perfect crispy edge, lightly coated with a sugary, lemon glaze. Mmmmmm. This, in fact, is not a new recipe for us. I've made it twice before. Each time, I've made more than the time before, but it still wasn't enough. We devoured all of them by the end of the day. They are so, so, so yummy. Original Recipe found here. 


Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temp
Juice of one lemon 
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 flour

Glaze:
Powdered sugar
Lemon juice

To get started: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, F. 








Step Four: Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until combined. Sorry, no picture for this one. 

Step Five: Drop by teaspoons onto baking sheet, and bake 10-12 minutes. (Mine all took 12 minutes, even though they were on the smaller side.)

Step Six: While cookies are baking, whip up your glaze. There is no perfect formula for this. Start with about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and add lemon juice until it reaches your desired consistency. The original recipe showed a thicker glaze, but I like mine really liquidy. When it dries, it adds the perfect extra crunch to the top of the cookie. 


Place cookies on cooling rack, and then drizzle the glaze over top.


And ta-da! Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Asparagus Greek Chopped Salad

Spring! Just when I think it's right around the corner, we get 3 inches of snow, and then windchill temperatures below zero, and then, just... ugh. It's not spring yet.

However.

I came down the stairs this morning at my normal time, just before 6 am, and low and behold, it was light outside. The sun is back! Spring! And then when I walked outside just an hour later, there were 2 birds perched just outside the house. AND, the trees were budding. Somehow, someway, spring found us. Even in the negative temperatures. Even in the snow.



Once March hits, I'm on the lookout for spring recipes. I don't care if it's officially spring or not. We are eating spring food. I found this recipe a few weeks ago (click here for original recipe), and could not wait to try it. We love asparagus and we love Greek salads. Of course we would love them both tossed together. This salad is way too easy, and while I'm sure it is meant as a refreshing side dish to a much meatier main course, Jeremy and I devoured the whole thing for supper. I mean like 3 bowls each of these refreshing veggies. Yum. No main dish needed.

Here's what you need.

Ingredients:
2 lbs. asparagus, rinse, and trimmed (woody part snapped off)
1 yellow pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 red onion, diced (I used slightly less than this because I don't like things to onion-y)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (more or less)
1 cup Kalamata olives (less if you want)
Feta cheese (optional)
Sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper

Step One: Prepare the asparagus (snap woody ends off). Drizzle with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil and then bake at 425 degrees, F. for 12-15 minutes. 





While the asparagus cooks away, chop up your other ingredients: cucumber, tomato, pepper, red onions, and olives (I just threw the olives in whole).


When the asparagus comes out, let it cool, then chop that into about 1 inch pieces.


Mix it all together. 


I did not follow the original recipe for the dressing (I left out the garlic). I just drizzled olive oil and lemon juice over the top and then seasoned with salt and pepper. It is the easiest, simplest, tastiest way to dress up some fresh vegetables.


Top with feta cheese (if you wish).

And that's a wrap!

Tis the season for asparagus recipes. Here are a couple I've posted before.

Chicken and Asparagus Chowder
Roasted Asparagus with Garlic

Thursday, February 28, 2019

February Round Up

Chapter 2 of 12 is complete! 

February flew by! I mean, yes I know it's the shortest month, but I still can't believe that we are just a minute away from March. It's been busy for sure, but I loved looking back on this month's adventures.

Hikes

Old man winter just won't move out. Ugh. It's cold. It's damp. It's muddy. At times, it's also been frigid, windy, and overcast for days. 

But somehow, we managed to get outside, if only for a weekend. 

Day one hike. Eli and I did a short hike together. One mile through inches deep mud. 


Lex joined us on a hike the next day, again just a short ways. We walked a path by the river and through a tree lined portal into the woods. A total of 2 miles of muddy hiking in the matter of 2 days. You can read about that hike here. 

Recipes

When we get really busy, I rely on a pretty simple menu (tacos, grilled cheese, pasta, etc.), but I did manage to make some yummy new (and old dishes) this month.

Let's start with this amazing chicken pot that is literally making my mouth water, even as I write this. It was so, so, so yummy. I cannot wait to make this again! I wrote about that recipe here.


I also made this amazing flat bread. I first made it for Jeremy's birthday with one of his favorite soups, Vegetable Bisque. The flatbread was so yummy, that I made it again just a week later with my very favorite vegetable soup.


Then there was this little project. Sometime in January, I asked the boys what they wanted for their Valentines box. Eli wanted to use Lex's Monster Book of Monsters box from last year. Easy enough. But Lex wanted a Yoda box. Also easy enough. Or so I thought. I planned to paint a box green and put googly eyes and Yoda ears on it (I mean of course I mean that I was going to have Lex do that - I wasn't going to do it for him... of course). 

But then Jeremy got a hold of it. What started out as a basic outline of Yoda, with paper bag ears turned into a 2 week nightly project. For Jeremy. Not Lex. Jeremy. Not that he didn't try to get Lex involved, but once the standard was set, it just kept getting more elaborate. Lex did 2 things. He made that sign and he helped paint. I also contributed. The burlap was all my idea and the cotton hair... all me. Eli was very hands on too. But truth be told, we had so much family fun with this, even just sitting around looking at how incredibly awesome it was, and encouraging Jeremy to keep going. I wish I had taken step by step pictures of the wire framing and paper mache process, but that's okay. I absolutely love this Yoda and love that we all contributed. My office is moving to a new building next year, and I've already decided that Yoda might be going with me to live there. 

Valentine's Day also came and went. I managed to pull off Valentine pancakes and strawberries for breakfast and heart shaped ham and cheese for school lunches. I went to the Candy Factory and loaded up on all our sweet favorites the day before. Black licorice anyone? I cannot get enough. 


And finally, a review of our Sunday Selfies! 

Whew! That went fast. Here's to March and more snow in the forecast. And here's also to March going out like a lamb.