Meyer Lemon Quick Bread

One of my favorite quick breads to make is Lemon Bread.
And now, one of my very favorites is Meyer Lemon Bread.
I’ve never really paid much attention to Meyer lemons in the grocery store.
I’ve noticed, they are becoming less rare and more affordable.
And they are tasty. A little sweeter than regular lemons and they have a slightly different taste and its amazing.
Every year we look forward to lemon season.  The fresh harvest right off the trees.
This year I was lucky enough to know someone who has a Meyer Lemon Tree.
This bread is sweet and sour at the same time. Just be warned, the bread goes fast.
lemonquickbread
If you are one of the lucky few to know someone that has a Meyer Lemon tree…………… grab about 5-6 lemons.
(Or as many as you can)
Wash the lemons and grate all the rinds.   If you get extra rind, the more lemony your bread will taste.
I rarely miss much of the rind…………. yellow gold…………(Beverly HillBilly’s song running through my head)
Sweet yet sour, soft and flavorful.
After all the rind has been harvested.  Get out the juicer……… and cut the lemons in half and start collecting the juice.
Meyer Lemon QuickBread
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 to 3 and 1/2 tablespoon of the zest.
4 eggs- large, best if room temperature
2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste- or if using extract- 1 teaspoon
( you will have little black dots if you use the paste)
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk- I used almond milk.
Cream butter with sugar, add the eggs, one at a time and beat between adding the eggs.
Add zest and vanilla.
Add flour, baking powder, salt.
Add milk and lemon juice.
You can make either 6 small loaves or 2 large loaves.
MeyerLemonQuickBread
Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 40 minutes.
While bread is baking, mix lemon juice, lemon rind and powdered sugar together for a glaze.
I used 3 tablespoons juice, 2 tablespoon rind and about 2 cups powdered sugar, if too thin add more sugar, if too thick more juice.
Lemon Quick Bread

I love to make quick breads-  You can make them out of any fruit or vegetable you have handy.
Great for gifts, bake sales, parties or just a quick dessert.

Easy Wonton Soup Recipe

This wonton soup was easy to make and so delicious.  My favorite soup is Won-ton soup and I can never get enough of it.  After doing a little research……. and by research I mean that I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant and ordered the won-ton soup. I wrote down everything I could identify so I could attempt it my self.

easy wonton soup is easy and healthy . It has shrimp and homemade wonton.

This soup is better than my favorite Chinese restaurant soup, why? The ingredients are fresh and crisp and I was able to add more of my favorite ingredients. The aroma in the kitchen as you make it is so delicious your mouth will water.  This soup is so healthy and by adding more or different ingredients you can make it even more so. It turned out so amazing……..if I do say so myself.

I have to admit I was pretty scared to try this.  I’ve never made homemade won-tons before, and I was just a little nervous about it.
I went to the grocery store to decide what I wanted to put in my soup and even though I couldn’t find fresh snow peas it did turn out great.

You will need:

1 package won-ton wrappers- 12 oz.
For the won-ton filling:
2 chicken breasts- about 1 lb.
one bunch of green onions-you’ll only need 2-3 for the filling
4-6 gloves garlic-I will most likely put more in next time- but I am a garlic-oholic.
3 slices of fresh ginger- I peeled the ginger and cut 3 thin slices off of it.  (You really need to like ginger-or add less)
2 stalks of celery
2 mushrooms- any kind will work
1 tbsp of soy sauce

For the broth:
3-4 chicken broth containers(low sodium)- I used 48 oz containers.
1 bunch bok choy-wash and chop(not too small)
3 stalks of celery- sliced thin
3-5 carrots- slice thin disc’s
1 slice of ginger- this is only going into the pot until it boils-then you need to fish it out.
1/2 can of baby sweet corn-found in the oriental section of the grocery store, or you can use the whole can-up to you.
1/2 lb of shelled shrimp
3 mushrooms-sliced- I think this could use a couple more.

Okay………….. get everything out and ready to work on.

Filling:

Get the food processor and add the mushrooms, celery, green onions, garlic and ginger-chop until small but not pureed.  Chunk the chicken up and add to the processor-chop. While its whirling around-add the soy sauce.  Done.

Get a cutting board and dust with a little flour- very little.  Get a little bowl and put some cold water for dipping fingers into.
Get one wrapper- lay flat- dip fingers in water and dampen all edges- I have to admit- I was not very careful- the whole thing pretty much got damp.  Add 1/2 tsp-ish into the middle, fold in half. Squish the edges together, point the top edge toward you.
homemade chicken wontons, quick, easy and delicious
Roll towards and then fold in half into the middle.
homemade chicken wontons, easy and delicious

Not a very good picture but I had icky fingers and I was only using one hand.
Warning- do not stack on top of each other, they will all stick together.
Meanwhile- open the broth and add to a big pot- start heating on medium high.  Chop the celery, carrots,slice the mushrooms, and 1 glove garlic and slice 1 disc of ginger and add to the broth.

Finish making the won-tons, set aside while you chop all the other ingredients. Clean and prep shrimp.
healthy wonton soup ingredients, fresh, healthy and delicious.

When the broth is boiling- add the won-tons and stir gently.
Then after a couple of minutes(about 4 min.) add the other ingredients to the pot.
simmering wonton soup, healthy, easy and delicous
Bring to boil again and boil for 4-6 minutes- then turn down to simmer for a couple more minutes.

If you look really carefully at the bowl you will see one of the first won-tons I wrapped- they looked like a little envelopes.  Not pretty, but they did stick together.

Easy wor won-ton soup recipe, healthy, fresh and delicious

 

 

Best Sugar Cookies

This is the best sugar cookie recipe, its soft yet crunchy, a perfect cookie for decorating.
I’ve made these cookies every Christmas since 1984 with my kids and then with the grandkids.
I love those community cook books, this one has been adapted from a 4H cookbook.
( The recipe was called “Polly’s Mother’s Christmas Cookies” the recipe was donated by Joice M. Beatty, Napa, Ca.)
Best sugar cookies, homemade cookies with homemade butter-cream frosting. good for holiday baking and gift giving.
You will need:
1 cup butter
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup of milk ( I use half and half)
2 large eggs
optional items to add:
1 tablespoon vanilla paste- for the light colored cookies-if you use the paste and not extract-remember you will see little dark dots in the vanilla cookies and the buttercream.
1/3 cup dark baking chocolate powder- for the chocolate cookies.
I usually make a batch of both and later you will see why I decided to do this.
Best sugar cookies, homemade cookies with homemade butter-cream frosting. good for holiday baking and gift giving.
Now this is a little different so read the recipe carefully.
Mix the softened butter together with the flour and baking powder. ( Weird right?)- add the chocolate to the dry ingredients here.
It will look a little like pie crust- crumbly
Separately, mix the sugar, milk and eggs and vanilla in a bowl.
Add the sugar mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together.
When it basically is one big ball of dough, wrap it in plastic wrap or whatever you choose to use and put into the refrigerator overnight.
This is required for this dough.  The least amount of time it can be in the refrigerator would be somewhere around 6-8 hours.
Best sugar cookies, homemade cookies with homemade butter-cream frosting. good for holiday baking and gift giving.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
This dough gets pretty stiff so while you are gathering the rolling pin, and all the cookie cutters take it out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temp.

Add flour to the cutting board and to the rolling pin and start rolling the dough.  I usually cut the dough into smaller more manageable pieces.
Roll dough to 1/4″ thickness.  If they are thicker they will be softer cookies, and you will need to bake longer.
I put foil on the cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray.
Space the cookies at least 1″ apart, they will puff a little.

Cook for 10-12 minutes.  10 minutes they will be softer, 12 minutes crunchier.  They will not be brown, except maybe a little on the edges if you cook them the full 12 minutes.

If they are brown then the oven is too hot or you cooked them too long.

Here is the reason I make both vanilla and chocolate.
Best sugar cookies, homemade cookies with homemade butter-cream frosting. good for holiday baking and gift giving.
After I’ve cut all the other shapes I roll out into rectangles both the leftover vanilla and chocolate and then place one on top of the other and roll. Cut into slices and flatten to 1/4″.  Bake the same as the other cookies.  These cookies are softer.

For all those that don’t want to make the buttercream frosting and do all the decorating.  This cookies is still perfect if you just add colored sugar or sprinkles before baking.

I have to thank my daughter for taking most of these pictures for me, they turned out awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

This cookie has always been one of the favorite chocolate cookies at every event.
Perfect for any holiday or celebration.
It’s chewy, chocolaty, and melts in your mouth.
chewy chocolate cookies-This cookie has always been one of the favorite chocolate cookies at every event. It's chewy, chocolaty, and melts in your mouth.
You can do so many variations with this cookie.
I have rolled them in a ball and then nuts, or powdered sugar before baking.
I have topped them with walnuts, pecan, almonds, kisses, m&m’s, and sprinkles.
This is a recipe adapted from a community cookbook from 1984 when my daughter was in the Daisy’s.
chewy chocolate cookies-This cookie has always been one of the favorite chocolate cookies at every event. It's chewy, chocolaty, and melts in your mouth.

1 cup butter, and 1/4 cup shortening (you can use all butter, but I like the texture this way)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, large
2 tsp vanilla paste (you can use a nut flavoring if you want- I have used almond and walnut extract)
2 cups flour
3/4 cup of special dark baking chocolate( I use Hershey’s)
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
optional:  1 cup chopped nuts, dark chocolate pieces, or wherever your imagination takes you.

Cream softened butter, shortening and sugar.  Just until mixed.
Add eggs, and vanilla, beat
Combine all dry ingredients in separate bowl.
Then mix dry ingredient into wet ingredients.
If adding nuts or chocolates do it after everything is mixed together.
chewy chocolate cookies-This cookie has always been one of the favorite chocolate cookies at every event. It's chewy, chocolaty, and melts in your mouth.
Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet, or roll into a ball.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes- they will look a little puffy and under cooked- but take them  out anyway.
Let them cool on cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before taking off sheet to cool the rest of the way on a rack.

Ginger Molasses Holiday Cookies

These cookies are spicy, sweet, crunchy and full of ginger and molasses.
Kids like these cookies but adults love, love, love them.
I break these cookies into pieces while drinking a cup of coffee.
These are always the first cookies gone off the Holiday Cookie platter.

ginger molasses cookies-These cookies are spicy, sweet, crunchy and full of ginger and molasses. Kids like these cookies but adults love, love, love them.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

ginger molasses cookies-These cookies are spicy, sweet, crunchy and full of ginger and molasses. Kids like these cookies but adults love, love, love them.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 and 3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger(dry)
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
In a bowl, add about 1/2 cup sugar and a little of all the spices used above- this will be for rolling the dough in before baking.
Candied Ginger

ginger molasses cookies-These cookies are spicy, sweet, crunchy and full of ginger and molasses. Kids like these cookies but adults love, love, love them.

In the mixing bowl add butter and shortening- these should be soft.
Add the sugar and cream together.
Add the egg, beat.
Add the molasses, beat.
Dump the flour, baking soda and all the spices in and blend until all flour is incorporated.
(If I don’t have one of the spices I just add more of each of the others.  I feel that you can never have too much cinnamon or nutmeg.)
You can bake now or refrigerate until you want to bake for the next day or so.
Scoop 1 tbsp. of dough and roll into a ball- roll in a mixture of sugar and some more of the spices used in the recipe.
Place balls on foil lined cookie sheet that you have sprayed with non stick spray.
Squish the cookies down with the bottom of a cup or glass until they are about 1/4 inch thick.
We always seem to have candied ginger in the house because a little goes a long way.  That said, I am totally addicted to the candied ginger on top of these cookies.
Chop a bunch of  the candied ginger and sprinkle on top of the cookies. The cookies will spread so be generous with the ginger.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, leave on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Make a cup of coffee – sit and enjoy.

Quick Easy Fudge

This fudge takes all of 10 minutes to get mixed and in the frig.  Quick easy fudge, this fudge take so little time and effort to make and tastes so smooth and creamy.
You can adjust to suit your tastes or the season for giving as gifts.

fudge-Quick easy fudge, this fudge take so little time and effort to make and tastes so smooth and creamy. You can adjust to suit your tastes or the season for giving as gifts.

You can add nuts or not, you can add vanilla, peppermint, rum flavorings or not.
You will need:
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
7oz. marshmallow cream
3 cups chocolate chips.  I use 2cups milk chocolate and 1 cup of semi sweet.  Any mixture works.  You can even use bitter chocolate if that is your favorite.
1-2 tsp of vanilla paste- you can use extract if that’s what you have. (you can also substitute peppermint, rum or other  flavoring- less amount if using peppermint or it will taste like toothpaste)
Optional items: any type of nut, or mini marshmallows, broken candy canes, chopped candy bars or candy.

fudge-product-2

Start with a heavy bottom sauce pan.  Add milk, marshmallow cream and chips………. melt and mix together over low heat.  When all is mixed and melted add flavoring.

 

Have ready a 8×8 square pan, I usually line with wax paper.
When its all mixed pour into the prepared pan.
Put in refrigerator to harden.

fudge-Quick easy fudge, this fudge take so little time and effort to make and tastes so smooth and creamy. You can adjust to suit your tastes or the season for giving as gifts.

 

quickfudge-Quick easy fudge, this fudge take so little time and effort to make and tastes so smooth and creamy. You can adjust to suit your tastes or the season for giving as gifts.

Teacake Holiday Cookies

These cookies are quick, easy and are eggless.  You can add almonds, walnuts, pistachio’s or any other nut you prefer.  I personally like them with walnuts.
You can call them Swedish/Russian teacakes, snowballs, Mexican wedding cake cookies they are all pretty similar.
I have been using this recipe since 1982ish.  Its from a community cookbook in the Bay area.

These cookies are quick, easy and are eggless.  You can add almonds, walnuts, pistachio's or any other nut you prefer.  I personally like them with walnuts. You can call them Swedish/Russian teacakes, snowballs, Mexican wedding cake cookies they are all pretty similar.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream together:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla paste ( or vanilla extract)

Add:
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
After everything is mixed well.

Add:
1 cup of whichever nut you decided to use.
You can refrigerate at this point or start rolling  dough into 1 inch balls.

These cookies are quick, easy and are eggless.  You can add almonds, walnuts, pistachio's or any other nut you prefer.  I personally like them with walnuts. You can call them Swedish/Russian teacakes, snowballs, Mexican wedding cake cookies they are all pretty similar.

 

Bake in preheated oven about 15 minutes.  They should not be brown all over just around the bottom edge of the cookie that is against the pan.
Pour powdered sugar into a medium bowl, while the cookies are still hot roll in sugar and set aside to cool.
After they cool, reroll in sugar again.

 

This recipe makes 40 -1 inch cookies.

 

Creamy Mushroom and Roasted Garlic risotto

Creamy warm risotto, loaded with roasted garlic and sliced mushrooms. This risotto is hearty, it can be a side dish or a main dish.

Warm and Satisfying

Creamy warm risotto, loaded with roasted garlic and sliced mushrooms.
This risotto is hearty, it can be a side dish or a main dish.

Ingredients:
roast a bunch of garlic-I will usually roast 20-30 cloves of garlic at a time and use a bit at a time. My bit is most likely more than most normal people.
You can use freshly grated garlic if you don’t have time to roast any before you start cooking.
2 tblsp olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 and 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms-what ever type you prefer- I use crimini mushrooms-they seem meatier to me.
1 cup risotto
4 cups of warm broth-any kind you like- on this recipe I use whatever was already open and in the refrigerator.
( if you don’t quite have 4 cups of broth you can add water to equal the 4 cups.)
2 tblsp butter ( do not use margarine)
1/2 -3/4 cup shaved parmesan- and more for the top.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Start with a deep fry pan, heat the olive oil on a slightly higher than medium heat. (my electric is at 6ish)
2. Add the celery and mushrooms and saute for about 6-7 minutes. (I add a little salt and pepper now-but not too much)
3. Add the risotto and stir together to make sure the olive oil coats the risotto, add the garlic now.
4. The risotto will begin to cook and you can smell a slightly nutty aroma.
5. While that is cooking, heat the broth to more than warm but not quite hot. ( I use a microwave to do this as it takes all of 3 minutes)
6. So now its time to start adding the warm broth to the risotto, (look at the clock- it will be just about 18 minutes from the time you start to add the liquid) add about 1/2 cup at a time. Stir it, let it bubble, stir, add more liquid, stir, bubble, stir, add, ya get the picture.

Creamy warm risotto, loaded with roasted garlic and sliced mushrooms. This risotto is hearty, it can be a side dish or a main dish.

7. Let the liquid absorb between adding and the stirring.
8. The risotto will begin to swell, at about 16 minutes in I will pull a piece out and check the tenderness.
(I add a little more salt and pepper now…)

Creamy warm risotto, loaded with roasted garlic and sliced mushrooms. This risotto is hearty, it can be a side dish or a main dish.

9. If its almost tender, let the rest of the broth be absorbed, but don’t let it get dry.
10. This is about the time to add the butter.

Creamy warm risotto, loaded with roasted garlic and sliced mushrooms. This risotto is hearty, it can be a side dish or a main dish.

11. Keep stirring gently. After the butter is melted and incorporated it will look begin to be thicker and creamier.
12. Add the Parmesan….

Creamy warm risotto, loaded with roasted garlic and sliced mushrooms. This risotto is hearty, it can be a side dish or a main dish.

You can turn off the burner and stir in the cheese.  Let sit for a couple minutes and its ready.

Creamy warm risotto, loaded with roasted garlic and sliced mushrooms. This risotto is hearty, it can be a side dish or a main dish.

Serves about 4-6 people

Time: 5 minute to prep.  25 minutes to cook

Total time: 30 minutes

 

 

Easy Holiday Carmel Corn

 

This is my all time favorite caramel popcorn. I use air popped corn which makes it lighter and fluffier.
You can add anything that you want to it. I have used peanuts, coconut, pretzels, walnuts, etc.

This is my all time favorite caramel popcorn. I use air popped corn which makes it lighter and fluffier. You can add anything that you want to it. I have used peanuts, coconut, pretzels, walnuts, etc.
If you want to add chocolate pieces, add after the baking period.

This is my all time favorite caramel popcorn. I use air popped corn which makes it lighter and fluffier. You can add anything that you want to it. I have used peanuts, coconut, pretzels, walnuts, etc.
Ingredients:
1 cup butter -I use unsalted
2 cups brown sugar -I use dark brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup -white
1 teaspoon salt-I don’t usually add the salt if I’m adding pretzels or salted nuts.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or to taste
5 quarts popped popcorn
Nuts, or add in’s like: pretzels, etc.
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2.  Pop the popcorn into a very large baking pan. (if using an air popper)
3.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat(#6 on my electric stove), melt butter.
4.  Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.
This is my all time favorite caramel popcorn. I use air popped corn which makes it lighter and fluffier. You can add anything that you want to it. I have used peanuts, coconut, pretzels, walnuts, etc.
5.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, boil without stirring 4 minutes.
6.  Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla bean paste.
7.  Pour over popcorn, stir to coat all the popcorn.
8.  Bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for about an hour.
9.  Remove from oven and let cool completely  in pan before breaking into pieces.

This is my all time favorite caramel popcorn. I use air popped corn which makes it lighter and fluffier. You can add anything that you want to it. I have used peanuts, coconut, pretzels, walnuts, etc.

This is my all time favorite caramel popcorn. I use air popped corn which makes it lighter and fluffier. You can add anything that you want to it. I have used peanuts, coconut, pretzels, walnuts, etc.

 

This is Carmel Popcorn with Pretzels and Peanuts- the pretzels are so good in this.  Salty sweet with a lot of crunch.

cpop-pretzelpeanut

 

Holiday Braided Egg Bread

This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
It make wonderful French toast the next morning as well.
Its easy and fun to make.
Time: about 1 hour, plus 2 1/2 hours’ rising
Yield: 3 medium loaves or 2 lg loaves

2 packages active dry yeast
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for greasing the bowl- you can use same amount of any oil you have on hand
5 large eggs-(room temp is best but cold works too)
1 teaspoon salt
6 and 1/2 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour-part of the flour will be used on the board while kneading the bread.Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.


 

1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 and 3/4 cups lukewarm water.(115-120)
2.  Pour melted butter into yeast mixture, then beat in 5 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt.
3. Gradually add flour- I usually start by adding 6 cups (1/2 cup at a time).
4. When dough holds together(it will start pulling away from the side of the bowl), it is ready for kneading.
This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
5. Turn dough onto a floured surface (put about 1 c of flour on board) and knead until smooth.(I use a simple push and pull technique)
6. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a big bowl, put to dough in swirl it around to coat bottom then flip over.
7. Cover with plastic wrap, or clean towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.
(Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off.)
8. Punch down dough. Roll the dough out onto the work surface.
9.  If making two large loaves then cut dough in half and push second half out of the way.
(If I am giving the bread away or adding it to a gift basket I will usually make 4-6 small loaves.)
10.  Take the dough and cut it into 3 pieces. This is a simple braid, same as you would a little girls hair. Tuck the ends underneath on both ends of the braids and place on greased sheet or put into a greased loaf pan.
This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
11. Beat a egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour. (If your house is warm, rising may take less time)
12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.
This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
13. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you tap the top with fingernail and it sounds almost hollow it’s done) Cool loaves on a rack.
Egg Braid Bread=This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
 
Note: Any of the risings can be done in the fridge for a few hours. When you’re ready to  work with it again, bring it back to room temperature before moving onto the next step.