FINALLY! I have been so curious about these Meyer lemons since last winter, but that curiosity came too late as all the stores near me no longer had any in stock. But sure enough while I was home for the holidays I found them at Trader Joe’s. Of course I then returned to Memphis and found them at Fresh Market, but that just means I can make lots of things with them now! Prepare yourself for a lot of Meyer lemon action.
First, what the heck are Meyer lemons? They are a citric fruit native to China, and are thought to be a cross between a common lemon and a mandarin orange. It is still yellow like a lemon, but round like an orange and is also sweeter than a regular lemon. Sounds good to me!
After digging through all of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures‘ Meyer lemon recipes, I decided to start out by making the Meyer lemon curd because I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had any kind of curd. What’s good about this recipe is that you can use regular lemons, but you will have to increase the sugar a bit. Then eat with a spoon, top on pancakes, or even on shortcakes as I will demonstrate for you tomorrow.
One year ago: Peanut Butter Cinnamon Raisin Apple Bars
Two years ago: Strawberry Fig Newtons
MEYER LEMON CURD
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (from about 4 Meyer lemons*)
1 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
* You can make the recipe with regular lemons too, just increase the sugar to 3/4 cup
- In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs together until well combined. Add the butter and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking almost constantly, until the curd has thickened and registers 160 F on an instant read thermometer. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a second heatproof bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and store in the refrigerator. The curd will keep for a week.
Source: Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Don’t get bummed out by another review, because there’s a great recipe along with this wonderfully healthy bread! Food for Life introduces their new Ezekiel 4:9® Sprouted Flax Bread, made with freshly-sprouted, certified organic live grains and sprouted flax seeds throughout. It provides an excellent source of Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids (the “good” fats). And the 6 grains, legumes and seeds combine to create a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids, while decreasing the calories and carbohydrates found in the original grain.
Ezekiel 4:9® Sprouted Flax Bread is 100% flourless and free of conditioners, additives, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. It is also made with filtered water with no added fat and is low-glycemic, diabetic-friendly, pH-balanced and kosher-certified. Each slice of contains 90mg of Omega 3, 5g of protein, 4g of dietary fiber and 18 amino acids from vegetable sources.
The bread itself was quite enjoyable. I especially liked the seeds around the crust as well as within the bread, but I couldn’t just stop there and eat bread just as bread. Continuing with the spirit of November’s “Better Nutrition Month”, I chose to make a healthier bread pudding along with the good-for-you seasonal flavor of pumpkin. The resulting mixture was so good I convinced myself it was healthy enough to each for breakfast instead of dessert. But for once that concept was not much of a stretch. Add maple syrup and pecans on top to seal the deal!
PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING
1-1/4 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1-15 oz. can pumpkin
4-1/2 cups (about 8 oz.) 1/2-inch cubed bread
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add bread, tossing gently to coat. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil; chill 30 minutes or up to 4 hours (I actually let mine sit overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place dish in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan*; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, covered for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve each bread pudding piece warm with about 1 tablespoon syrup and 1 1/2 teaspoons pecans.
*I used a smaller, deeper pan because that’s how I like my bread pudding!
Source: Cooking Light November 2002
Disclosure: I was provided with two loaves of Ezekiel 4:9® Sprouted Flax Bread from Crier Communications. I was not compensated for this post. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you thought the s’mores lava cakes I made earlier this year were something to drool over, wait until you see these – peanut butter stuffed!
These lava cakes have been a staple sinful dessert in my life for several years now, and I have yet to not eat the entire cake by myself. Hence why I state that this dessert could serve 8 people if they are able to resist the glory of what sits on a plate in front of them. But to me, placing two spoons by one of these cakes just means I have a spoon for each hand.
They look so innocent at first. Until you cut into one and it’s true self is revealed. Hello lover!
Oh and of course… GO BUCKS!!! Even though we cannot be BCS ranked this year it doesn’t mean we cannot keep trucking along with a great season – today’s battle is against Purdue, which is my dad’s alma mater. Family feud anyone?
PEANUT BUTTER-CHOCOLATE MOLTEN LAVA CAKE
Serves 8 people with self-control, or 4 fat kids
4 oz. BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used Laughing Cow’s cream cheese spread)
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup thawed whipped topping
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 4 ramekins and place on cookie set; set aside.
- Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in powdered sugar. Blend in whole eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour; set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well blended.
- Pour half the chocolate batter into prepared dishes; cover with layers of cream cheese mixture and remaining chocolate batter.
- Bake 10 minutes or until edge is set but center is still slightly soft. Cool slightly. Gently run a knife around the edges and invert onto a plate. Serve topped with whipped topping.
My favorite way to enjoy Greek yogurt is by adding peanut butter chocolate chip granola to vanilla and/or honey Greek yogurt. So when I saw the 2% vanilla chocolate chunk Chobani Greek yogurt I knew it was destined for greatness. Greatness that involved peanut butter because nothing pairs better with chocolate. If you disagree, share it with me because I’m not completely closed-minded about it haha. But for now, let’s talk about peanut butter and chocolate.
I decided to make mousse out of the vanilla chocolate chunk Greek yogurt. But not any old mousse, peanut butter cup mousse! This was accomplished by adding some peanut butter to the equation and obviously some peanut butter cups. The addition of the Reese’s candy may have ruined any healthier potential this dessert had but I am totally okay with it. However if you would like to cut back, use dark chocolate chips or chunks instead.
Enter my Chobani giveaway to get your hands on all 6 flavors HERE.
One year ago: Homemade Pesto
PEANUT BUTTER CUP MOUSSE PARFAITS
8 oz. 2% Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Chobani Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 tsp honey
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz. lite frozen whipped topping, thawed
12 regular Reese’s cups, quartered (minis would be fun also)
- Into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, add yogurt & 1/4 cup sugar. Mix together with the paddle attachment until creamy. While it’s mixing add in a few tablespoons of honey. Taste and check for sweetness, if you like it sweeter add more.
- Place peanut butter into a microwave proof container and heat it for about 30 seconds until it’s warmed through. Add the peanut butter to the yogurt mixture and mix until combined well. Remove bowl from mixer & with a spatula gently fold the whipped topping into the yogurt mixture.
- Spoon half of the mousse into four 8 oz. jars (or ramekins), top with half of the quartered Reese’s, then repeat the layers. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Source: Adapted from Nutella Mousse.
Disclosure: I was sent six 16 oz. tubs of blended Chobani Greek yogurt. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Did you hear that Alex of Yums and Loves just had a baby girl?! While she and her husband celebrate their new little one she has a few guest posters lined up, including myself. Head on over to her blog today to find out more!
BANANA PEANUT BUTTER BREAD PUDDING
Source: Adapted slightly from The Kitchn.
Back in the fall, Katie made the most yummy two-serving bread pudding, which we devoured while watching a movie (I cannot for the life of me remember which though). When I asked her for the recipe, she said it was from Taste of Home and that she used the pumpkin cinnamon swirl bread which was in stock at the grocery stores at the time. Unfortunately I never got around to scooping up a loaf of that bread for myself, but did finally get around to making this bread pudding. Of course, once I started to make it I realized there were no raisins to be found in the kitchen. Good thing there are several varieties of dried fruit in my pantry! Blueberries seemed like a fair trade and a good match for some cinnamony-ness.
They were quick to make too. I paused the yoga DVD I was doing in my living room to pour the milk mixture over the bread, let it soak for 15 minutes while I did more bendy things, paused again to pop in the oven, and by the time my workout was over I had hot steamy bread pudding begging to be scarfed down – complete with a burned tongue. By the way, I have a serious problem waiting for things to cool down enough to eat; which is where the ice cream comes in handy
Now what to do with the remaining loaf minus two slices? Any suggestions?
CINNAMON-BLUEBERRY BREAD PUDDING
1 cup cubed cinnamon-swirl or cinnamon-raisin bread (approximately two slices)
2/3 cup 2% milk
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup dried blueberries (or favorite dried fruit)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees*. Lightly grease two 7-oz. ramekins and distribute bread cubes between them.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until blended. Stir in dried blueberries. Pour over bread; let stand for 15 minutes or until bread is softened.
- Bake at 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm – with ice cream!
*You could also bake these in a toaster oven since they are small enough to fit.
Source: Adapted slightly from Taste of Home.
When you think of fancy schmancy desserts, crème brulee is usually on the list. Yet it is actually easier to make than (at least I) expected. I have used this recipe many times and it always gets rave reviews. Decadent and rich, just like it should be! And perfect to finish off that light alfredo dish you just ate for dinner, right? At least that’s what I did… O:-)
I put a little too much sugar on top of this one pictured so the topping isn’t nearly as pretty as it should be, but you better believe it didn’t change how much I enjoyed eating it! My favorite part is cracking the sugar layer with the side of my spoon. Makes me feel like I’m literally digging into my dessert – corny?
(Please note that I am now linking back to posts each day from a year ago – show the oldies some love!)
One year ago: Big, Fat Chewy Multichip Cookies
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
4 Tbsp white sugar
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line the bottom of a large baking pan with a damp kitchen cloth.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. While water is boiling, combine cream, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally 4 to 5 minutes, until steam rises. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Pour hot cream into yolks, a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all cream is incorporated. Pour mixture into four 6 oz. ramekins.
- Place ramekins on towel in baking dish, and place dish on oven rack. Pour boiling water into dish to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover whole pan loosely with foil.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until custard is just set. Chill ramekins in refrigerator 4 to 6 hours.
- Before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over each custard. Use a kitchen torch* or oven broiler to brown top, 2 to 3 minutes.
*If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you don’t NEED one but they are definitely fun to play with. I found mine a few years ago in the hardware section at Walmart.
Source: All Recipes
One of my favorite restaurants in Memphis is Casa Grill. It’s the best Mediterranean food I’ve ever had and have yet to order something that I haven’t liked. Half the time I let the owner, Aimer, order for me. Places like that make me never want to make gyros or hummus myself, how could it possibly compare? So instead I make variations.
The mousse they serve there is insanely good. I didn’t even like chocolate mousse until I had theirs. When it comes to chocolate, I’ve always needed nuts, or something to break up the solid chocolate flavor. Do not even think of giving me a slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting unless there is vanilla ice cream to “make the medicine go down” so-to-say. Plain chocolate ice cream is out of the question. And a solid chocolate bar? There better be peanut butter hidden in the middle or nuts in it before appealing to me. (This is where you say I am a strange female.) But the Casa Grill chocolate mousse? Sharing doesn’t work well with me.
Instead of trying to recreate that wonderful little bowl of goodness, I decided to mix it up with another popular dessert – baklava. You make the mousse separately, spoon it into little phyllo cups, and top it off with baklava-styled nuts and a dollop of honey. The results are obnoxiously scrumptious.
I worried that they would become soggy the longer they sat, with the flaky cups absorbing the moisture from the mousse, but I was pleasantly surprised that after two days in the fridge they maintained their crispiness! I originally had this as a “serve immediately” recipe, but I take it back. Although I doubt you will have to worry about storing them past the second day because they should magically disappear before that problem arises.
BAKLAVA MOUSSE CUPS
Makes 30 mini cups
CHOCOLATE CARAMEL MOUSSE
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1-1/2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
2-1/2 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature (or unsalted plus 1/4 tsp salt)
7 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 eggs, separated
NUT TOPPING & CUPS
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 pkgs frozen pre-baked mini phyllo cups
- Make the mousse: Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Do not stir. Cook over medium-high heat to a dark caramel, swirling as it begins to brown to distribute the sugar. While the sugar and water are going at it, heat up the cream in a saucepan or microwave just until warm.
- Take off the heat and deglaze and add your room temperature butter. Add your warmed cream and whisk vigorously. Add the chocolate, wait for a minute or two for it to melt and mix until smooth then wait a few more minutes to cool. Add a little bit of warm chocolate to the egg yolks and stir it around a bit to bring the eggs to a warmer temperature and then added them to the chocolate mixture. Mix in the egg yolks.
- Whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks and then fold into the chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours.
- Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir walnuts, sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt with fork until mixture is well mixed and crumbly.
- Sprinkle nut mixture evenly over parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 1o to 15 minutes or until caramelized. Allow to cool before crumbling any nuts which may have stuck together.
- Assemble: Spoon 1 tablespoon chilled mousse into each phyllo cup. Top with nuts and a dollop of honey. Serve immediately or store in fridge for up to 2 days.