Friday, March 18, 2011

Lemon Cookies

I love lemons!!  No seriously, I LOVE them!!  As a child I was often found in my Grammy's backyard picking lemons from her tree and peeling them and eating them like an orange.  I love lemon cake, lemonade, lemon tarts, lemon pie, lemon drops, lemon heads, lemon bars and my new recipe for lemon cookies (and those are just the lemon desserts...)
My mother-in-law has a lemon tree so a couple weeks back Casey and the boys picked a bunch of lemons from her tree and I decided to put them to good use!!  This recipe is pretty easy, super yummy and low-cal (for a cookie!)   These cookies are definitely tart, but with just the right amount of sweetness!

Lemon Cookies
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus a little more for dusting
1 egg, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium sized lemon, zest and 3 tablespoons juice
parchment paper
In one bowl mix all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt).  In another bowl (or mixer) zest the lemon over the bowl and then add butter and mix together.  Next add in the sugar and egg yolk and mix for about a minute.  Add to the wet ingredients 1/2 of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Now add in the lemon juice and the vanilla along with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined, your dough will be dense.  Gather your dough and roll it into a log (about 8x2 inches).  Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for about an hour.  While you are waiting for your dough to get ready preheat your oven to 350 and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Also take your egg yolk and add about of tsp of water and mix together.  When the dough is ready slice the dough into 1/4 inch discs and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Brush the tops with your egg wash mixture and dust with sugar.  Put in the oven for 7-9 minutes and you will have about 32 delicious, soft but crisp lemon cookies :)  Try not to eat them all in one sitting!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Miso Pork Chops

Well, we have been busy over here in this chef house!  Casey has been working soooo much and that means I am home with the kids alone...a lot!  I knew when I married a chef that this would be the reality sometimes, but it doesn't make it easy!!  I have been tired and my cooking creativity has been lacking lately (that is why there hasn't been a post in a while :) 
Last week we had our first locally grown, organic food basket delivery.  I have been loving the fresh and delicious produce that was delivered.  Tonight I had some red chard that I needed to use and decided to do an Asian theme for dinner.  I had some pork chops in the freezer so I pulled those out and threw together a yummy miso marinade and made something really yummy!  I served the pork chops with steamed rice and a veggie stir fry which had shallots, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower and red chard!  This dinner was really easy to make and bursting with flavor!  I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did!!

Miso Pork Chops
4 thick sliced pork chops (I buy mine from COSTCO)
2 tablespoons red miso paste (found in the specialty refrigerated section at grocery store or at local Asian market)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 lime, use zest and juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped up super fine
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
fresh ground black pepper
Super easy...are you ready!?!  In a bowl add all ingredients (except the pork) and whisk together to make a marinade/sauce.  Put pork chops in a Ziploc bag and pour in half the mixture.  Seal and put pork in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the meat soak up the flavors.  Cook pork on a hot grill and brush pork with remaining sauce each time you turn the meat.  You want the meat to reach 155 degrees, I recommend pulling it off the heat at 150 degrees and allowing the meat to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.  It will finish cooking and still be plenty tender and juicy!  Enjoy!!