Lemon Crinkle Cookies

This recipe was adapted from LDS Magazine.  I, of course, wanted it to be more lemony as I was baking them for one of my best friends who adores lemon and is off with her family for a 2-month summer escapade.  The cookies themselves are very lovely, go brilliantly with a nice cup of English Breakfast tea, and according to my 4 year old son are tied with chocolate chip cookies as his favourite (this is no small feat).

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Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:
½ c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. baking soda
1½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear off parchment paper the right size for your cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping spoon of dough into a ball (about an inch in diameter) and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte (not melty or shiny). Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Cranberry Streusel Coffee Cake

This cake is a tasty balance of sweet streusel and sour fruit.  It makes quite a large treat and so is typically only served around here when company is expected.  My 4-year-old was severely disappointed (read: threw a not-so-charming tantrum) upon discovering that there were no chocolate chips involved, but I think this recipe is perfect nevertheless.

Streusel

¾ c. lightly packed brown sugar

            ½ c. unbleached flour

            1 tsp. cinnamon

            ¼ c. butter

Cake

½ c. soft butter

            1 c. granulated sugar

            2 eggs

            1 tsp. vanilla

            2 c. flour

            1 tsp. baking powder

            1 tsp. baking soda

            ½ tsp. salt

            1 c. sour cream

            4 c. fresh cranberries (allow to thaw if using frozen)

Cream soft butter and granulated sugar.  Beat in eggs followed by vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.

Make streusel by cutting the ingredients together (or using fingers to blend the ingredients).

Spread half of batter in a greased and floured 10” springform pan by dropping dessert spoons of batter evenly across the bottom and joining them with a spoon or spatula to make a continuous surface.  Sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture, then half of the cranberries.  Spread the remaining batter, using the spoon drop technique, then finish with remaining cranberries and then streusel.

Bake at 350F for 1 hour.

Salt Spring Island Cheese

So this is a cheat post…but a good one nonetheless.  As some of you will know, I consider Saltspring Island, BC home even though I don’t currently live there.  Now there are a million wonderful things about this bizarre little gulf island, but one of my favourites is the goat cheese from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company.

Having recently accepted that I am lactose-intollerant (I discovered this quite a while prior to admission), my love of chèvre has become a need.  I should mention that I am fortunate that goat milk works for me, as it doesn’t for everyone.

Salt Spring Island Cheese Company makes a wide variety of goat’s milk products from feta to ice cream (the vanilla and chocolate are my personal picks), and carry all sorts of lovely olives and preserves.  If you ever get the chance, it’s a wonderful place to visit as they have the farm set up so that you can see the animals, watch the process, and indulge in goat cheese heaven on their beautiful patio outside the shop.  If you can’t make it to Saltspring, your loss! But you can still buy many of their products at local grocers across the country.

The photo below is of their relatively new product “Ruckles” pictured with Lesley Stowe’s Original Raincoast Crisps.

So, as there is no recipe needed to enjoy this post, I hope you get the chance to try the cheese for yourself!

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Joanne’s Simple Artichoke Dip

This dip is simple and divine…but (warning) not particularly healthy.  It got passed onto me by my mum who got it from one of her best friends, Joanne.  Of course it pairs perfectly with crackers or tortilla chips and is always a party hit!

Many thanks to the brilliant Peter of Joshua Lawrence Photography for the camera tutorial.  Hopefully my pictures will now better reflect the appetizing recipes I post.

12 oz. marinated artichoke hearts

1 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. grated parmesan

3 cloves garlic

Pepper to taste

Chop the artichoke hearts and finely chop the garlic.  Mix all ingredients together and bake in a shallow pan at 350F for 20 minutes.  Broil for another 2 minutes to get a nice brown colour on top.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This glorious little recipe came from my Omi.  I never liked zucchini as a kid (I’m still not a big fan), but these chocolate muffins don’t taste like zucchini at all and so when I discovered that I could say I ate something green after chowing down on a warm chocolate muffin, these became one of my breakfast favourites.  They are best warm in my opinion, do well in the freezer and can be reheated easily in the microwave.

1/4 c. salted butter

1 1/4 c. white sugar

1/2 c. vegetable/canola oil

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. buttermilk

2 1/2 c. flour

4 tbsp. cacao (cocoa if you please)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. grated zucchini

1/2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Cream butter and sugar, add oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Combine flour, cacao, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Add to wet ingredients.  Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.  Pour into lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Makes ~2 dozen.

Thai Beef Salad

This is a recipe that my talented mother came up with. It’s tasty, fresh, fun, and I love it.  She came over to help (read: make it for me) tonight to share with you all.

Thai Beef Salad

1 pound beef tenderloin tail, sliced in half lengthwise (tonight we used NY strip)

1/2 c. soy sauce

1 tsp. sesame oil

4 tsp. sugar

3 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce

1/4 c. lime juice

2 tbsp. fish sauce

3/4 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. sliced green onions

1/4 c. chopped cilantro

2 tbsp. chopped peanuts

fresh baby greens, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers (red, yellow, and/or orange), shaved carrot, and sliced cucumber (really you can make the salad how ever you so choose but this is what mama suggests)

Place tenderloin in a shallow dish. Combine 1/4 c. soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 tbsp of the hot sauce.  Pour over steak and marinate for at least 1 hour turning several times.

In blender, combine remaining soy sauce, sugar, hot sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, green onion and cilantro and blend until cilantro is finely chopped.

Grill steak over hot coals, turning once until done as desired.  Let stand 5 minutes (hint: always do this to help the steak retain its juices). Slice steak thinly on diagonal and place on salad.  Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

Serves 4