Tag Archives: Recipes

Lemon Sorbet

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Our lemon tree is going crazy right now.  The only problem with lemons is most people don’t want to eat them as is, they need to be made into something.  With a large pile of lemons in the house, and many more to come soon we had to come up with things to make out of lemon.  Lemonade is always a good option, but I wanted to do something different, something I have never tried before.

Since summer is fast approaching and the weather is warming up, I knew I wanted to do something cold.  I was thinking ice cream, but that can be heavy and filling.  I wanted to do a nice light summery recipe.  Finally, I landed on the idea of lemon sorbet.

I had never made sorbet before, but it was incredibly easy.  In fact, it is vastly easier then ice cream, and something I want to make again later in different flavors.

There are many lemon sorbet recipes on the internet.  I saw many that use lemon zest or peal.  I chose to omit that because I didn’t want bits in the sorbet.  I wanted it to be nice and smooth. My sorbet ended up being only three ingredients: water, sugar, and lemon juice.

The longest part of this recipe was juicing the lemons.  I doubled the recipe to have enough for all the family and needed to get 1.5 cups of lemon juice.

juicing lemonslemon juice

After I juiced the lemons, I made a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar into water.

simple syrup

Then I let the simple syrup cool to room temperature before adding my lemon juice.

unfrozen lemon sorbet

I put the lemon mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow it to get cold and make the freezing process faster.  At this point you freeze the sorbet according to your ice cream makers instructions.

I did find that the sorbet didn’t freeze as quickly as ice cream.  I think I had it churning in the maker for 40 minutes, the ice cream is usually done in 25-30 minutes.  I think it might be because the ice cream I make is custard, and is rather dense.  That allows it to conduct the cold much faster.  The sorbet wasn’t much thicker then water when I put it in the ice cream maker.  The sorbet came out of the maker about the texture of a slushy.  I put it into a container and then into the freezer.

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I was afraid the sorbet would be hard like a chunk of ice.  Thankfully, it scooped very easily.

sorbet in bowlsorbet with mint

This lemon sorbet is quite tart.  It made my mouth pucker up a little bit, but it is so good.  It is the perfect mix of sweet and tangy.

The recipe will still work well halved.  I made a sugar free that was half sized.  I will be posting about that one later.

Lemon Sorbet

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups lemon juice

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar, and boil until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer instructions. When the sorbet has frozen (it will still seem quite soft), transfer to a storage container, cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve. The sorbet will solidify in the freezer.

-Joshua

Maple Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Bundt Cake

It is not completely obvious within my blog posts about baking, but a lot of my posts are requests from my kids. Since they eat most of what I bake, I try to make sure it is something they will like. Unless it’s macarons… I don’t really want them to eat all the macarons.

This bundt cake flavor comes courtesy of my son Matthias. I think he was wanting a flavor similar to a maple frosted donut. I certainly did my best to fulfill his request!

I know that bundt cakes LOVE to stick to pans, so I thought I’d also mention my technique for greasing my Nordicware bundt pans. This particular pan is the 10 cup Heritage pan. I also have a smaller 6 cup Heritage pan, but I haven’t used that one yet.

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To grease your bundt cake pan and hopefully end up with a flawless bundt pan flip, here is what you need:

1 Tbsp of very soft butter, but not melted. If your butter is right out of the fridge, you can microwave it for about 15-20 seconds to soften it enough.

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1 pastry brush

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I apologize for my very ugly pastry brush in this pic. It needs to be retired. In fact, we were at a restaurant supply store a few weeks ago and I bought a new nylon pastry brush and a gorgeous stainless steel worktable! By the way, restaurant supply stores are awesome. I could have stayed there all day! I just didn’t have the new brush at this time so had to use the ugly old one. I have tried a silicone brush but it just couldn’t get into all the details of the pan. So I ended up with this.

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Lesson learned: use only a traditional pastry brush or a nylon brush for greasing bundt cake pans.

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Usually, I find greasing pans tedious, but somehow greasing my bundt pans is now fun! I guess it is because I feel like I’m painting. Which is basically what you’re doing! You paint the butter into the pan using the pastry brush, making sure to get into all the little nooks and crannies. I think I may try this method with my plain round cake pans.

Then comes the flouring part. I usually just toss a random amount of flour into the pan. Probably close to a tablespoon or two. Shake the pan at an angle over a sink, turning the pan to get the flour all around the pan and onto the butter.

After tapping tapping tapping,  your pan will look like this.

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I think I might be weird because I don’t like it when my pan looks like this after flouring. So I turn it upside-down over my sink and tap the edge of the pan on the wall of the sink. All the excess flour falls right out into the sink and you end up with a clean finish.

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I know this seems like a lot of trouble to go to for greasing and flouring a bundt pan, but this method hasn’t failed me yet.

Now to the actual cake!

I decided on a cinnamon swirl coffee cake with a mascarpone maple frosting. I modified both recipes quite a bit so I will be posting them at the end. The original recipes are from Allrecipes.com and The Local Palate.

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).

First, we begin as most cakes do, with beating the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Then, add the eggs. The texture of the batter might worry you a little at this point. (Why does it look curdled?) But it all smooths out at the end.

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Then, add the flour and raising agents.

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I like the look of this type of cake batter better than the very liquidy type. Maybe I’m just a big fan of pound cake. Spoon half the batter into the bundt pan.

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Sprinkle all the cinnamon mixture over this first layer.

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Spoon the other half of the batter over the cinnamon mixture and swirl a knife through it. I made the mistake of using a spatula. That didn’t work so well. I should have used a knife.

Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Then, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for 40 more minutes.

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When a tester comes out clean, your cake is done.

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Now to the moment of truth! But not for another 10 minutes. I leave the pan on my stovetop or a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes before tipping out the cake. But… you don’t want to wait too long. It seems that bundt cakes come out better if the pan is still warm.

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This cake came out a little rough around the edges but I think that is because I didn’t spread the batter into the pan as well as I should have. I think it looks a lot like a cruller though this way!

I had a whole container of mascarpone cheese in the fridge so I went for a full mascarpone frosting instead of mixing it with cream cheese. My kids now have a name for this frosting: maple donut frosting. I piped the frosting onto the cake using the star tip  of my Wilton Dessert Decorator. Usually, I can’t use this for decorating because the tips are so huge, but it worked well for this cake.

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Note: Apparently, regular Wilton tips can be used with this decorator. I haven’t tried those yet. Will have to see how they work.

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As you can see, I didn’t have much of a swirl…. probably because of my attempt to use a spatula instead of a knife to swirl the batter. This cake was very, very yummy though and certainly didn’t last long! I think it was completely gone the next morning after breakfast!

I wasn’t completely happy with the frosting. It’s a little too shiny (or maybe the word is oily-looking?) for me, but my kids loved it. At least they were happy with it!

-Lynn

Here is the recipe!

Maple Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Maple Mascarpone Frosting

Not everyone will have the maple sugar for the cinnamon mixture, so it can be left out. Also, because of the mascarpone frosting, I would not feel comfortable keeping this cake on the counter for more than a day.

Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract or flavoring
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Swirl Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp maple sugar (optional)

Maple Mascarpone Frosting Ingredients

  • 10 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp maple extract or flavoring
  • 9 ounces powdered sugar, about 2 cups

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. See post above for method if needed.

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture will be very pale. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each one before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract and maple extract or flavoring.

Combine the flour, baking soda,and  baking powder in a medium bowl. Mix the flour mixture into the cake batter alternatively with the 1 cup of sour cream. End with the dry ingredients. Spoon half the batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar with the 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon and 1 Tablespoon maple sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the batter in the bundt pan. Spoon the remaining half of the cake batter over the cinnamon mixture in the pan. Swirl through the batter once or twice with a knife.

Bake in the 400 degree F (205 degree C) oven for 8 minutes. Then, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for 40 minutes more, or until a tester comes out clean.

Let the cake cool on a rack for 10 – 15 minutes before tipping cake out of the pan. Allow to cool completely on the rack before frosting.

Mascarpone frosting directions:

Using a stand or hand mixer, combine the 10 ounces mascarpone cheese and 2 ounces butter in a large bowl until blended. Add the 1 teaspoon maple extract or flavoring and beat until combined.

With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the 9 ounces powdered sugar (2 cups) to the mascarpone mixture. Beat until smooth. Store frosting in the fridge until needed.

Decorate the bundt cake with the frosting as desired.

Turkey Sate Eggrolls

Turkey and sate probably don’t seem like they should go together, and at first, when I made these, I wasn’t sure how they would taste. I’m also not a big fan of cabbage! I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked these.

Turkey Sate Eggrolls

Ingredients:

  • 1½ lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 Chinese or Napa cabbage, shredded
  • 4 carrots, julienned
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp sate seasoning
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 package eggroll or lumpia wrappers, 30 pieces
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Peanut dipping sauce

Method:

Heat olive oil in a large wok over medium-high heat.  Add julienned carrots and cook until crisp-tender. Add ground turkey and sate seasoning to wok and cook until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in shredded cabbage and soy sauce, and cook until cabbage is wilted, about 5 minutes.

Drain eggroll filling in a colander and let cool for 1 hour before rolling into eggroll wrappers.

Place ¼ cup of filling in the center of each eggroll wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling and fold sides toward center. Moisten top corner with water and roll up tightly to seal.

To cook the eggrolls, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry eggrolls a few at a time for 3-4 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Do not crowd the skillet. Drain eggrolls on paper towels and serve with peanut dipping sauce.

Recipe from http://www.thegeekhomestead.com

I thought I would switch up my cooking/baking posts with recipes a little bit and put the recipe first. That way it is easier to find.

I wasn’t able to get the best pictures of these, so I apologize in advance for them!

A bag of coleslaw mix can probably used as a substitute for the cabbage and carrots and would also be a faster alternative! I had bought a napa cabbage specifically for this recipe though, so I went ahead and used it.

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I used sate seasoning from Penzey’s Spices. Since I know not everyone will have this in their spice cabinet, I went ahead and found a possible alternative that can be mixed from spices you might have already.

Satay Seasoning spice blend

I usually use Pamana lumpia wrapper if I can get it. It is so much easier to peel than the other brands I’ve tried!

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The eggroll filling before the cabbage is cooked.

I did not use the whole Napa cabbage in this batch. I should have! I ended up with not enough filling and was only able to make 25 eggrolls instead of the 30 I wanted.

After letting the filling sit for about an hour, it was time to roll.

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1/4 cup filling in the center of the wrapper.

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Fold up that bottom corner over the filling

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Fold the right and left corners over the center.

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Moisten the top corner with water and roll it up, tucking the filling in firmly as you go but not so tightly that you break the wrapper.

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Look at that neat little bundle! It will fry up nice and brown now!

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This picture is actually from a previous batch of these eggrolls I made. And surprise! I baked these in the toaster oven for about 15 minutes after spraying their tops with cooking spray. They aren’t quite the same as when you fry them, but they were still nice and crispy.

I don’t have peanut sauce on hand so I had Josh mix up the peanut sauce for me using peanut butter. I didn’t have a chance to make one up myself so I found a recipe that was pretty easy.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

I served these with the peanut dipping sauce and hot brown rice. I know I liked them, but I’m not sure about my kids. They like my plain meat eggrolls better I think!

-Lynn

Going Scone Crazy

This post went through quite a few titles. A Madness of Scones. Game of Scones. A Scone Baking Marathon. None of them really seemed to work, so the title is what it is. Because it was scone crazy!

My goal: Bake 40 scones of 5 different flavors in about 3 hours. Am I mad? Yes, probably so.

Some things I learned:

  1. My baking limit for one day seems to be 3 recipes. If I try to make any more than that, I make mistakes!  Lots of them.
  2. Don’t try to do this sort of thing when your kids are still doing their schoolwork. Next time, pick a school day off.
  3. Don’t skip the glaze! They make scones look pretty.

I have a go-to scone recipe that I’ve been using for a few years. I just tried to modify it slightly for each flavor that I made.

The flavors:

  1. Cardamom-ginger with milk chocolate chips
  2. Cranberry-orange with white chocolate chips
  3. Lemon poppyseed
  4. Coconut-almond with dark chocolate chips
  5. Maple cream

The basic recipe:

Scones

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt, sugar. Using pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat pieces with flour. Mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make well in center and pour in heavy cream. Fold everything together; do not overwork.

Press dough out on lightly floured surface into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Cut circle into 8 wedges. Place scones on ungreased cookie cheet and brush with heavy cream. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Continue reading

My Mom’s Easy Eggrolls

Hooray!  I am finally posting my mom’s eggrolls recipe! I also finally figured out how to post recipes properly so that they can be easily printed.

Here is a link to the recipe shortcode you can use: How to post recipes with a print link. 

When I have a chance, I will look into how to turn the print link into a print button, but in the meantime, this works for me!

My Mom's Easy Eggrolls

  • Servings: 30 eggrolls
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground pork, ground beef, or a mixture of both
  • 1/2 package frozen mixed veggies (12 – 16 oz package)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 package of eggroll wrappers (30 wrappers)
  • water (for wrapping)

Directions:

Saute garlic and onions until onions become transparent. Add ground meat to garlic and onion mixture. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Add the frozen mixed vegetables to the meat mixture. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Add soy sauce and pepper to filling. Simmer on low for another 10 minutes.

Place in colander to drain and cool. The mixture has to be nearly cooled down or wrapping it will be difficult.

When cooled, add beaten egg and mix thoroughly.

Separate eggroll wrappers from each other. Place 1 Tablespoon of mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges with the water and roll. Freeze after wrapping in ziploc bags.

Do not thaw the eggrolls before cooking or else they will fall apart in the pan.

Cook frozen eggrolls in oil over medium heat until golden brown on one side. Flip eggrolls to cook the other side. Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

Some quick notes:

I posted a few weeks ago about my eggroll-making method. You can read it here. Here are a few hints though to make the recipe above even easier.

  1. Use garlic powder or dried minced garlic and dried chopped onion in place of the fresh garlic and onion.
  2. Instead of using the whole wrapper, cut or slice each wrapper in half across the diagonal (so you end up with two triangle-shaped wrappers instead of a square wrapper) and use a smaller portion of filling, about 1-2 teaspoons. These roll up smaller and are better for kids to eat. I think they are a bit crispier too! Sometime soon, I will post my mom’s recipe for tofu vegetable eggrolls. Those use the whole wrapper because vegetables take up a lot of space!
  3. I do not add an egg anymore to the filling before wrapping. I can’t remember why the egg is added but it might be to bind the filling together a little bit.
  4. When cooking frozen eggrolls, sprinkle flour into the oil in your pan. This will keep it from splattering as much while cooking.
  5. Here are a few of the products that I use for the eggrolls:

I have to confess that this wrapper drives me nuts. I will have a major tantrum while separating these.

I have to confess that this wrapper drives me nuts. I will have a major tantrum while separating these. If I have to use this wrapper, I buy them from the military commissary.


My all-time favorite eggroll wrapper. It is SO easy to work with!  I have found that I can work a lot faster when I use this brand. I also don't tear as many wrappers during separating.

This eggroll wrapper is a little bit harder for me to get ahold of. It’s only at the Asian market. I can roll eggrolls so much faster though when I use these.


This sweet and sour sauce is easier to find than most. I buy it at our local chain grocery store.

This sweet and sour sauce is easier to find than most. I buy it at our local chain grocery store.


We like this sweet chili sauce too for dipping our eggrolls.

We like this sweet chili sauce too for dipping our eggrolls.


Josh and I are a bit addicted to this spicy vinegar. I want to try making our own sometime! This is good with these eggrolls, but it is amazing with vegetable lumpia!

Josh and I are a bit addicted to this spicy vinegar. I want to try making our own sometime! This is good with these eggrolls, but it is amazing with vegetable lumpia!


I might be posting again later today. I am taking three of my kids to the library and I am borrowing a copy of a cookbook from the Great British Bakeoff!  I can’t wait to look through it!

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