Lovin’ Me Some Lemons

LemonMy family loves lemon bread. It’s a go-to snack and sometimes even breakfast at our table, and we like to enjoy it with fresh strawberries and a glass of milk. I have a couple of recipes for lemon bread, but this one is relatively easy to make, and since I have kids who like to assume control of the kitchen (except when what’s taking place in the kitchen is cleaning!), the more simple the recipe, the more likely our success.

What you need:

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is better!)

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup lowfat lemon yogurt

1/3 cup canola oil

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

What you do:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the egg, yogurt, oil and lemon juice. Stir into the dry ingredients until just moistened. Pour into an 8x4x2 inch loaf pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 325 for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Enjoy!  And hey…what’s that?  Leftover lemons?  Guess what you can do with those?

  • Keep them for a day by the sink.  Use them to remove fish, garlic, onion and other strong odors from your hands.
  • Stick them on your elbows while you’re reading to soften your skin (seriously!).
  • Rub lemon rind on chrome faucets to remove mineral deposits.
  • Pour 3-4 teaspoons of lemon juice into your humidifier to deoderize it.
  • Make a paste of lemon flesh and salt to remove stains from marble.

And here you thought I was going to say, “Make lemonade.”  Come on, I can’t always be a foregone conclusion!  😉

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Oh! It’s You, Oatmeal!

Now that I’ve surpassed the age of 40 (please don’t tell my girls – they think I’m 29), I’m quickly learning those few extra calories I grab here and there actually stick…and in places about which I’m not too happy. So I’ve vowed to stop performing the old “pick off their plates” routine I’ve lately perfected (letter “P” anyone?). And it starts with breakfast. Those last bites of their waffles add up, and who knew donut holes can have as many as 70 calories? Yikes! According to my new Lose It app, I have to walk almost a mile to burn that off!

shutterstock_97491371So I’m making a commitment to oatmeal. Every day. First thing. My hope is it will keep me full (because sometimes my schedule demands that lunch runs late) and that I’m doing all sorts of good things for my body when I eat it: fiber, protein, antioxidants, lignans – yay! And what I’ve discovered is that if the plain oatmeal routine gets too boring, I can always doctor it up. Here are some delicious takes on this breakfast staple:

Almond Joy Oatmeal

1 cup dry old fashioned oats, water (as directed), 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, 1 scoop (about 1/4 cup) chocolate protein powder, sugar-free Da Vinnici coconut syrup, sugar-free Da Vinnici chocolate syrup

Apple Walnut Oatmeal

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal (not instant), 1 cup low-fat milk, 2 apples – cored and peeled and diced, 1/2 cup crushed walnuts, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Banana Cream Oatmeal

4 cups water, 2 cups quick-cooking oats, 2 bananas cut into thin coins, 1/2 cup non-fat sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal

1/4 cup steel-cut oats, 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon slivered almonds, 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal

1 and 3/4 cups water, 1 cup quick cooking oats, 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons cherry jam

Now go tackle that drop-off line!

The Only Thing Better than Singing is…a Danish! (not really)

My oldest daughter sings.  In the shower, at singing1the dinner table, in the car, into the karaoke machine…and yes, I do attempt to harness the passion, and so she sings in the school choir too.  Often, the school choir sings at church on Sunday, and following services, we’ll have a small breakfast.  Contributing the standard coffee and donuts to these breakfasts gets a little boring after a few months, and so I do try to mix it up when I can.  However, I knew thinking beyond Dunkin D this morning was going to be a little tough coming off the last of Christmas vacation, so I pulled this together because you can make it ahead and refrigerate.  Thought I’d share in case you’re staring down this week’s calendar and are feeling depressed by the need to once again strap on your uber mommy suit for the PTA coffee, church fundraiser, and mother-in-law “drop in.”  These are an easy cheat (and no one but us will ever know!).

Ingredients:

2 8 oz. cans Pillsbury crescent rolls

2 8 oz. packages Philly cream cheese

1 can (approximately 15 oz.) blueberry pie filling

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

Spread one can of crescent roll dough in a greased, 9×13 inch pan.  Press perforations together to seal.  Combine cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla.  Spread on top of the crescent rolls.  Spoon pie filling over the cheese mixture.  Place the second can of crescent rolls on top of the pie filling.  Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.

And yes – these are delish even when there isn’t a song in the air!

Okay Jamie Oliver, Let Me See What You’ve Got!

So the men in my office who like to cook (a lovely quality) are devoted fans of Jamie Oliver.  I’m not sure if it’s because he’s a dude, or because he owns a pair of David Beckham’s soccer shoes, or because he plays drums in a rock band, or because he is married to a model.  I’m hoping, however, that despite the extra cool points for the soccer shoes and the drumming and the model, they’re also fans because he can actually cook.  And so I’m foregoing my own tried and true pancakes-from-scratch recipe tomorrow morning to give his “Pancakes USA Style” recipe a go.  Care to join me?  Here it is:

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

1/2 cup plain flour

1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

5/8 cup of milk

a pinch of salt

Preparation:

Separate the eggs, whites into one bowl and yolks into another.  Add the flour, milk and baking powder to the yolks and mix to a smooth, thick batter.  Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks.  Fold into the batter, it is now ready to use.

Heat a good, non-stick pan on medium heat.  Pour batter (to your preferred size – big pancakes or small) into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes, until it starts to look golden and firm.  At this point, sprinkle your chosen flavoring (see below for some great suggestions!) onto the uncooked side before loosening with a spatula and flipping the pancake over.  Continue frying until both sides are golden.  Repeat!

Jamie’s suggested flavors:

Fresh corn from the cob

Crispy bacon or pancetta

Blueberries

Bananas

Stewed apples

Grated chocolate (yummmmmm!)

Let me know what you think!  (I’ll report back to the men!)