a lemon Easter

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we’re not always a traditional family when it comes to holiday celebrations and food, and this year’s lemon recipe Easter theme is proof of it. I’m a huge fan of turkey, and I honestly think I could eat it for weeks, but this time around we’re taking a break from the traditional ham and turkey and opting to for something a little more spring-like. 

Clearly we love lemons, the tartness, the sweetness, the flavours they bring, and why not run with it. From start to finish, we’ll be enjoying lemons in one form or another. Let’s just hope we’re not grimacing at the sourness!

On the menu so far:

Leave a comment below with your favorites! Here’s a round-up on my favorite bookmarked lemon recipes

pasta with meyer lemon zest, ricotta, arugula, and bottarga - Sassy Radish

Sassy Radishes’ pasta with meyer lemon zest, ricotta, arugula, and bottarga

 

 

Lemon Chili Chicken - No Recipes

No Recipes’ Lemon Chili Chicken

 Gluten Free Lemon Snowball Cookies - Taste & Tell

Taste and Tell’s Gluten Free Lemon Snowball Cookies

 

Very Culinary's Spicy Lemon Date Spread

Very Culinary’s Spicy Lemon Date Spread

 

Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Cupcakes - Cooking Classy

Cooking Classy’s Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Cupcakes

 

Broiled Parmesan and Lemon Chicken - Mel's Kitchen

Mel’s Kitchen’s Broiled Parmesan and Lemon Chicken

 

The Girl Who Ate Everything - Lemon Brownie

The Girl Who Ate Everything’s Lemon Brownie


sweet treats: coconut truffle cookies

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coconut truffle cookies

I know, I’ve been away for a while, but I come bearing coconut truffle cookies!

If you follow me on facebook or twitter, you may have seen that the reason I’ve been MIA lately is that I’ve had a bit of a car accident, and as a result I’m dealing with some concussion symptoms, and some intense vertigo. It’s made almost everything unbearable, and this is the first week I’ve managed to get back to more “normal” things. 

When something like this happens you quickly realize things about yourself. a) I’m stubborn, b) I hate (or at least feel bad about) being dependent on other people and c) I’m thankful for the invention of sunglasses! (Man that sun hurts the head.) I was on pretty strict bed rest for a couple of days, and wasn’t allowed to watch TV, no laptop, and technically not even my phone – though I had to text my mom to let her know I was still alive periodically.

Though Kevin promised to make dinner, his “gourmet” scrabbled eggs and toast, I had to get back in the kitchen to at least remain semi-sane. I’ve thought this before, but the feeling of taking my time in the kitchen and embracing the process of cooking brings me such a sense of peace and serenity. And it’s funny because I know some people who just hate the idea of cooking, or want everything done now. If a recipe takes me 2 hours to complete, so be it! I’ll plan for the time it will take, and savour it that much more.

Now, these coconut truffle cookies we’re kinda a creation partly out of necessity. Over christmas, my mom and sister-in-law made several desserts, including Miss in the Kitchen’s Peanut Butter Oreo Cookie Balls (or truffles). I froze about a dozen of them to stop myself from consuming them all at once, and stumbled upon them again in the last couple of weeks. Between that at the extra coconut milk I had in the pantry, surely there was something to be made! And that’s how it happened, like a match made it my tummy… Light and fluffy cookies, and pretty to boot!

I finally got to use my cookie stamp too! The Suck UK Home Made Cookie Stamper is SO cool, but I hadn’t really had a chance to use it until now. I baked the cookies for about 10 minutes, took them out and stamped them before returning them to the oven for their last 2 minutes of baking, and don’t they just look so good?

Enough about this stuff, let’s get to the coconut truffle cookies recipe!

coconut truffle cookies
Yields 25
light, fluffy and not too sweet cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 1 tsp. baking soda
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. 1 cup margarine
  5. 1.5 cups brown sugar
  6. 1 1/3 cup coconut milk
  7. 1.5 tablespoon vanilla extract
  8. 12 truffles, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. (this helps with the fluffy-ness)
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and brown sugar until well combined. Pour in coconut milk and vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the dry ingredients and chopped truffles.
  4. Line cookie sheets and drop cookies by the slightly-heaping tablespoonful, spaced about 2" apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Notes
  1. If you're using a cookie stamp: remove the cookies at the 10 minute mark and stamp them. Put them back in for their last 2-5 minutes (depending on how brown you'd like them)
porch&table http://porchandtable.com/

stunning soups: creamy asparagus soup

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asparagus soup

I’m a big fan or really easy recipes, and this cream-less creamy asparagus soup is as easy as it gets.If you’re looking for something green to go with your St-Patrick’s day meal this would be a good and healthy addition! 

I love the idea of soup, but I generally associate making them as something that is really time consuming and not that satisfying. This recipe is none of that. If you’ve been following along, I posted a stupid easy butternut squash soup recipe a little while ago, and this follows the same idea. 

On an almost weekly basis, or when I meet new people, as a redhead, I generally do get asked or told “You must have some irish in you.” And I do. Somewhere down the line on my maternal grandmother’s side (and I suppose also on my maternal grandfather’s side) we came to Canada from Ireland. In fact, my mother’s maiden name is Riel, which at one point was actually “de L’Ireland” which is of Ireland. Overtime that last name, “de l’Ireland” morphed into the more commonly known Riel. It’s interesting how last names can change, and it likely has something to do with misspelling or not being able to read someone’s writing on the passenger lists, and at the border, you became someone else. See Mom, I do listen to the genealogy research you find!

My goal is to one day go to Ireland, and see where my family came from, oh and to be among redheads! Up until recently, I was pretty sure we were a diminishing kind, but it looks like a lot of babies are being born with red hair.Fewf!

Alright, Alright, enough about that. Let’s talk about this asparagus soup. 

asparagus soup in pot

I’ve found myself using this new method to make soups, and so far it hasn’t failed me. I like it because it really doesn’t distract from the flavour of the main ingredients. 

From the moment the ingredients begin to boil the house began to smell delicious. I must warn you though, once everything was blended and cooled, that delicious smell became a little less-delicious smelling, but don’t fear, it was delicious!

Onto the creamy asparagus soup recipe 

creamy asparagus soup
Yields 8
Incredibly easy creamy asparagus soup, without the cream!
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Total Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 bunches of asparagus, approx. 2 lbs
  2. 1 onion roughly sliced
  3. 4 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth, onion and asparagus to a boil
  2. Reduce the temperature to medium and continue to cook the ingredients on a low boil for about 15 minutes, or until the asparagus and onion are tender.
  3. Let cool slightly, and blend in a blender until smooth texture.
porch&table http://porchandtable.com/

oatmeal bread

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oatmeal bread - porch&table

There’s nothing quite like the smell of warm bread baking, and oatmeal bread makes you feel like it might be a little healthier for you too. 

As I think I may have said before, I grew up in a family where food was the centre of conversation, indulgence, and collaboration. I remember being no taller than the countertop, standing on my tippy toes next to my dad as he loaded in the chocolate chips to the bread machine. Chocolate chip bread is a pretty obvious kind of bread when you’re 6 years old, and my dad obliged. This concoction wasn’t so successful if I remember correctly – all the chocolate chips fell to the bottom of the bread, but boy oh boy that end piece was DELICIOUS!

Now living on my own (well with Kevin), I’m generally the one coming up with the kinds of breads to make, but I’m not the only one inhaling it as it’s still warm and fresh out of the bread machine. A bread machine was one of those tools I had to have in my kitchen. When you think about it, what do we spend on a loaf a bread, 3 to 5 dollars? I can make a loaf of oatmeal bread for a fraction of that! 

Bread machines (or even loaf pans) are great if you make the time. And let’s get real here for a second, it really doesn’t take that much time to throw flour, yeast and your other fixings in a bowl. Granted, if you’re making bread in a loaf pan it can be a little more time consuming, and that’s why I love my bread machine. 

My mom can vouch for this, I pretty much hate toast. I would much rather skip breakfast than just have toast… I find it’s so.. blah! This perspective does a complete 360 when you’ve made your own bread… It doesn’t have that store bought taste (which is sometimes good!) If there’s fresh oatmeal bread (or any kinda bread really), I almost exclusively have toast for breakfast!

One thing we discovered about making bread in the bread machine (haven’t really investigated in loaf pans), multi-grain bread flour, though delicious, crumbles a lot more when you’re cutting into it. I think it would make great pull apart bread, but for my every day bread I tend to use plain old bread flour.

While we’re on the topic of flour, let’s talk about bread flour. Yes, there is a difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour. Bread flour is made up of more protein than all-purpose, and this is important in the “gluten development” which really just means chewy and elastic-y texture.

If you’re thinking about making this recipe, but don’t have a bread machine, don’t fret. Here’s a good link on how to knead dough for beginners (with visuals!)

Now, enough about that! Onto the Oatmeal Bread recipe!

oatmeal bread
this recipe can be made in the bread machine (my preferred method) or in a standard loaf pan. See directions on how to adapt!
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for a medium loaf in bread machine or standard loaf pan
  1. 1 cup buttermilk
  2. 1.5 tablespoons butter or margarine
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  4. 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  5. 3 cups bread flour
  6. 1 cup oatmeal (quick or regular)
  7. 2 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast
Bread machine
  1. Add the ingredients to the bread machine pan with paddle in the order listed above. Set your bread machine to the White Bread Cycle and go!
Loaf pan
  1. Dissolve the yeast in a 1/4 cup of warm to hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Let stand for 6 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, oatmeal and salt.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the flour and mix well.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, dump the mixture and begin to knead dough. Dough should be slightly sticky, but not wet. Dough is well kneaded when it holds it shape if poked or dropped.
  5. Cover the dough for 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  7. Place the expanded dough into two greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pans, or form it onto a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Notes
  1. Salt can be cut back a little, but is needed to help the bread rise, so don't cut it out entirely!
  2. If the dough doesn't seem to be losing its stickiness, sprinkle more flour over the top and work it into the dough.
  3. You can lightly dust your hands with flour to keep the dough from sticking too much.
porch&table http://porchandtable.com/