Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lemon-Off Trial #2: Lemon Spagetti with Asparagus

I recently added Eat Live Run to my Google Reader and I think it's safe to say I save almost every other recipe that Jenna posts. (She's also pretty funny, so I highly recommend checking it out.)  A week ago her recipe for Meyer Lemon Spaghetti with Asparagus was sitting in my reader. This is the recipe that made me realize I had to make Lemon the next neighborhood bake/cook-off.  On Saturday I decided I would be testing it out this week to see if it was the one for the competition.  Or really because I am just all about lemon right now.
I really like this recipe. Like, Jenna, I am not a huge fan of asparagus.  My grandma used to have a patch of it growing on the path to her house and she would pick it and try to get us to eat it raw. I think it was the smell that really got to me. Anyway, it is great in this recipe.  The thing that I will probably delete next time is the sun-dried tomatoes. I am not a tomato fan at all.  Actually I would probably include them for flavor again, but not actually eat them, its more the texture that gets me.  The combo of the lemon and red pepper flavors are so excellent together.  For the cook-off I think I need something even more lemony, but this recipe will be frequenting my kitchen from here on out.

  • 8 oz linguine pasta
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (I added a bit more than the original)
  • juice of two large meyer lemons to equal about 1/2 cup 
  • bunch asparagus, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until done. When pasta is done, remove noodles with a slotted spoon, reserving boiling water. 
  2. Blanch asparagus in water for thirty seconds, until bright green. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute for thirty seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the pasta, sundried tomatoes and asparagus to the pan and toss everything together. Pour in the lemon juice along with additional cooking water if the dish seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Prepping for the Lemon-Off: Lemon Cake

In just a few short weeks we will be having a Lemon-Off in Battle Hill.  I absolutely love lemon and have been seeing a bunch of recipes for sweet and savory lemon dishes. My cravings hit a high and I decided it was time for another bake/cook-off.  I was thinking that I may make this cake and, since I had not made it before, figured I should try it out first.  It is delicious and tasty but perhaps not creative enough for our little neighborhood battle.  The lemon flavor was strong, but I would have liked it to be stronger, like it's soaked in lemon juice.  It was really easy to make and I will definitely make it again.
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • 1 cup  milk
  • 1 container (6 ounces)  lemon yogurt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups  sugar
  • 3 large  eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 ounces confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons  lemon juice (from Cake) 
  1. Heat oven to 350°. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line pans with waxed paper (Trace cake pan on waxed paper. Cut out circle; repeat for second pan. Fit waxed paper circles into bottoms of greased pans); spray paper.
  2. Zest lemon peel (about 2 teaspoons). Juice lemon.
  3. In medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, whisk together milk, yogurt and vanilla. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  4. On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture in three additions, alternating with milk mixture. Beat well after each addition. 
  5. Fold in zest. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
  6. Bake layers at 350° for 35 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed lightly. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert cake layers directly onto racks, remove and discard waxed paper and let layers cool completely.

  1. Once layers are cool, beat butter, 1 cup of the confectioners sugar, the reserved lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons) and 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl until smooth. 
  2. Gradually beat in remaining confectioners sugar until good spreading consistency.  
  3. To frost cake, place one layer on a plate or stand. Spread top of layer with 1 cup frosting. Stack second cake layer on first and begin frosting side of cake. Continue around side of cake, then finish top, swirling decoratively. 
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate before slicing and serving. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

I have been a little MIA lately. I have been baking and cooking, but since I had to make a hasty trip back to South Dakota, Grandma and Mom have been doing most of the work this past week or so, or the pizza delivery guy.  Before that, I was making simple things that I have already blogged about like turtle cookies and my zucchini, squash and chicken dinner.  
There have been several batches of turtle cookies. Grandma made another batch this morning and I decided I needed to make something to go with them for our little road trip to the state basketball game tomorrow.  After going though the recipes on my computer  I came across Cranberry Oatmeal Bars on My Recipes an thought they would be semi healthy for the trip. Plus I love anything with cranberry and orange!

  • 4.5  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1  cup  quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 6  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 3  tablespoons  orange juice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/3  cups  dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
  • 3/4  cup  sour cream
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon  grated orange rind
  • 1  large egg white, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. 

  2. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

  3. To prepare filling, combine cranberries, sour cream, granulated sugar, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.