Lavender Lemonade

I love lavender.  It’s such a fun, subtle flavor.  So the other day when I read for a recipe that called for lavender simple syrup, my life was changed.  How had I never thought of this?  Off to the kitchen!

Today I’m going to share how to make lavender simple syrup and how to mix the syrup with lemonade to get a delightful summer drink!  For this you will need:

  • Lemons
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Lavender

Lavender Lemonade

Process

Simple Syrup

  1. Measure out one cup of water, one cup of sugar, and one tablespoon of lavender.  Add all ingredients to a saucepan.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring regularly.
  3. Make sure the lavender has been well mixed in and let steep for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain out the lavender.  Your simple syrup is ready!

Lemonade

  1. Juice several lemons.  I just juiced a bag and stored the juice until I was ready for it.
  2. In a glass, mix together a ratio of one part simple syrup, one part lemon juice, and 4 parts water.  For me, I made one glass with 2 oz syrup, 2 oz juice, and 8 oz water.
  3. Stir well, otherwise the parts will layer (see picture).
  4. Add some ice (if that’s your thing) and enjoy!

This process is easy and makes for a great summertime drink!  I hope you enjoy it.  Let me know if you come up with some fun uses for your lavender syrup!

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Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice

Back in my hometown there’s this restaurant that isn’t great, but was always open late, had small-budget friendly prices, and had the best lemon rice soup in town.  (To be fair, I’m not sure anyone else even sold lemon rice soup.)  It wasn’t something I always wanted, but when you wanted it, you wanted it.  I’ve never tried to make lemon rice soup, but when I saw this recipe, I had hoped it would capture a lot of the same flavors.  For this you will need:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Rice
  • Lemons
  • Spices
  • Chicken broth

Check out the full recipe here, or my pin on my Yum board.

Greek Chicken with Lemon RIce

Review

This recipe falls into the “glad I tried it” category.  It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t hard, it just wasn’t me.  The ingredients are easy to procure; the directions easy to follow.  It does take some time for everything to marinade and cook, but that just means planning ahead prior to cooking.  I felt like there was too much liquid in the recipe, so if I were to do this again I would cut that down.  It was almost like I was making lemon rice soup instead of just lemon rice.  But the flavors were bold and exactly what you expect when reading the recipe.  No false advertising here!

This recipe was a great date with someone I had zero chemistry with.  Everything went super well.  Everything tasted just fine.  There were no problems during our time together.  It just wasn’t right.  I’m sorry Greek chicken with lemon rice; it’s not you, it’s me.

Lemon Lava Cake

I’ve made chocolate lava cake before, but, for some reason, that’s a fall/winter dessert in my mind.  Then I saw this lemon lava cake and I thought that felt like a perfect summer dessert.  Plus, the center is made of lemon curd, and I’ve been itching to make some again.  For this recipe you will need:

  • Lemons
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Flour

Get the full recipe here, or check out my pin on my Just Desserts board.

Lemon Lava Cake

Review

Lemon curd isn’t hard to make, but it does take patience.  You have to make sure the temperature isn’t took hot and constantly whisk until the curd starts to thicken.  There is no way to speed up that process.  But it is so worth it.  I loved that this recipe made just a small bit of lemon curd because sometimes there is so much I don’t know what to do with it.  One thing this recipe didn’t mention that I like to do when making lemon curd is to strain it before you put it into the refrigerator to cool.  This helps separate out any bits of egg (usually the whites) that didn’t incorporate properly and, instead, scrambled a bit.

The cake batter was surprisingly sticky.  I expected something a little more liquid than dough.  That just means the batter won’t really spread when you put it in the ramekins.  I used my fingers to spread it out.  I used the method where you spoon some batter, spoon some curd, then cover with more batter.  I don’t have a piping bag, so this next tip is just for the spooning method.  Make sure that you make a seal with the batter to keep the lemon curd in the middle.  If you don’t, some will seep out the edges and will ooze out the sides when you pull it out of the oven.  You need it to be neatly tucked in the middle to get that perfect “lava” effect when you first cut into it.

Overall, this was a fun summer dessert.  The tartness of the curd with the sweetness of the cake was a perfect combination.  You can make the curd ahead of time, and just have to make the batter whenever you’re ready or this treat.  I will absolutely be making this again.  In fact, I already did!

 

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Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream

This week has been kind of ridiculous, so I think the best way to close it up is with a sweet something to send you off to your weekend.  Lemon + (other fruit) is a combo I can’t get enough of, so these lemon cupcakes with blackberry buttercream went straight onto my “to bake” list when I saw them.  You will need:

  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Lemon
  • Blackberries
  • Sugar
  • Milk

Check out the full recipe here, or my pin on my Just Desserts board.

 Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Icing

Review

As always, changes were made.  This time I did NOT change out the flour to whole wheat (shocking, I know!), but I did make some other changes.  I use vanilla Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and soy milk instead of regular milk.  I also had a problem with the sugar, which I’ll discuss later.

When I mixed up the cake batter, I was a little worried.  The wet mixture seemed like an odd combination, and when I added it to everything else, I was worried by the somewhat lumpy texture.  However, my fears were unfounded.  This was seriously one of the best cake batters I’ve ever had.  It kept a soft yellow color, and was light and spongy.  I will DEFINITELY be using this batter as a base for other recipes down the road.  The flavor was spot on too.  Just the right amount of lemon!

The buttercream, though.  Hoooooo boy.  And it’s all my fault.  I’m certain that the actual recipe is lovely. This is all on me.  Here’s what happened:

Me (at the grocery store):  Oh look!  Pourable powdered sugar!  So cool!  (I put this in my cart.)

Me (at home, adding sugar to my icing):  Huh, this looks kinda grainy.  Strange.  (Keeps adding and mixing.)

Me (mixing icing):  This really is gritty.  Maybe I should write a letter to the company.

Me (reading the sugar box):  Granulated sugar? Awwwwwww, no!

So, my buttercream turned out, well, not right.  I had already halved the recipe (even though I made a full batch of cupcakes) because I don’t like a ton of icing on my cake.  So, I decided to double the cream cheese in the batter to see if that helped with the overall gritty feel and overly sugary taste.  And, it did, but not as much as I would have liked.  The blackberry puree worked perfectly though!  That flavoring was spot on.  So, my icing wasn’t great, but that was my fault-not the recipe.

Will I make these again?  Absolutely!  I can’t wait to try this batter out with other flavors!

Lemon Ricotta Poppyseed Waffles

Last weekend I was looking for something to make for breakfast that would also use a few of the “leftover” items in my refrigerator.  You know the ones-I needed to buy enough lemons to get half a cup of juice, but bought one too many-items.  So, when I came across this recipe, I knew it would be perfect for taking care of a few of those items.  For this recipe you will need:

  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Lemon
  • Sugar

For the full recipe click here, or check out my pin on my Breakfast board.

lemon poppyseed ricotta waffles

Review

This recipe was simple and easy to follow.  I had no problems with directions or ingredients.  However, simple and easy to follow doesn’t always mean delicious.  These waffles actually didn’t taste any different than my normal recipe.  I was hoping for a stronger lemon flavor than I got, as well as an overall smoother texture.  I was disappointed in the overall (lack of distinct) flavor.

However, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t make this recipe again.  I think it has the potential to work if I kicked up the lemon some more.  I really wanted to get some tang from the lemon.  Conversely, I could make my regular waffle mix, but dollop on some lemon curd.  Actually, that sounds super tasty.  BRB, making lemon curd!

Garbage Disposal Refreshers

Sometimes my sink doesn’t smell totally fresh.  I clean it, but the smell is definitely coming from the disposal.  So, I set off to find a solution.  These refreshers took ingredients I already had in my house, so I decided to try them out, as I wanted a fresher smelling sink stat!  You will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Lemon
  • Dish soap

Check out the how-to here, or my pin on my Clean It Up board.

Garbage Disposal Refreshers

Review

It’s really hard to mess up the steps while making these because there’s just so little to it.  That said, I’m not sure if I messed up or these just don’t do much.  First of all, I needed more dish soap than the directions called for because my “wet sand” would not stay together when I tried to scoop it into balls.  Adding more soap helped, but even when they dried they were fragile and two of them crumbled.

I didn’t have a small scoop like the directions called for, so I used a tablespoon to measure out my mounds.  I had to pack it in there tight to make it stay together, but not too tight or it would stick to my measuring spoon.  I let them dry overnight as directed, and immediately put one into my disposal the next morning.

And….nothing.  We turned on the water and disposal, and the refresher was so small it seemed to just glide right down.  I know that I didn’t make them too small according to the given directions, but they seemed too small to be useful.  I probably should have used my big ice cream scoop instead.  (I don’t know that balls that size would have stuck together, though.)  Using the tablespoon, I ended up with 13 refreshers, 2 of which crumbled the second I tried to put them in the jar.  (They got dumped into the disposal before the one complete one.)  If I had used the ice cream scoop, I probably would have only gotten about 4 balls.

So, did it work?  I honestly can’t smell a difference, so I’d say no.  However, I am not fully casting the idea to the side.  I think a slightly different ratio plus larger scoops might yield better results.  But as is?  Nope.  Didn’t work for me.  (Later I put some lemon slices down after having used them in my tea and I DID smell a difference for a little bit, so there is some hope.)

Blueberry Lemon Donuts

Last week blueberries were on sale, and I made blueberry streusel.  That didn’t use all my blueberries, so I looked for another blueberry recipe and settled on Blueberry Lemon Donuts.  One of my favorite flavor combinations is blueberry and lemon, so I was excited about this recipe.  Here’s what you will need:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • lemon
  • blueberries

Obviously there is more than just this, so check out the original recipe, or my pin on my Breakfast board.

Blueberry Lemon Donut

Review

First of all, you probably noticed from the pictures, I don’t own a donut pan. I’ve made donuts in my muffin tin before, so I knew that this was an acceptable alternative to the donut pan.  I guess it means that I didn’t really make donuts, but rather used donut dough for muffin purposes.  That said, I don’t think it changed the flavor.  I should also say that I did not use Splenda, as indicated, but just regular sugar.

One thing that I didn’t like about this recipe is that it mentioned honey in the ingredient list, which I measured out, but the recipe didn’t mention it at all. I just assumed that I was to add it when I added all the other ingredients to the flour.  I’m not sure if the honey was not supposed to be added, or was simply forgotten in the directions.  I think the flavors were fine, so I assume the honey is intentional.

I was surprised that the dough was truly a dough and not a batter. This isn’t bad, but I was expecting something that was more pour-able.  The dough was stiff enough that putting the blueberries into the dough resulted in some resistance and some “popped” blueberries.

Overall, the flavors were just fine. I love blueberry and lemon, and both were well represented but my love of this combo might have clouded my overall opinion. I did not make the glaze, and I think that was a good choice. I think that the glaze would have meant too much lemon flavor. I probably won’t make this again, but I’m not sad that I made this either.  We ate all of them within a week, so they couldn’t have been that bad.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Some days I just don’t feel like washing the dishes that go with cooking a meal.  On days like that I love a good crockpot meal or a one pan meal. I usually don’t realize it’s an “ugh! dishes!” sort of day until it’s time to cook, so by then it’s too late for the crockpot. Luckily, I came across this one pan dinner that is simple and has some of my favorite flavors. (Lemon! Garlic!) Here’s what you need:

  • chicken
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • noodles
  • chicken stock
  • parmesan cheese

Check out the original recipe here, or my pin on my Yum! Board.

Lemon Chicken

Review

I’ve made this recipe twice now.  Like I mentioned earlier, I love the flavors, so it can be hard to pass this one up. However, the second time I made this, things didn’t go as well as the first time. One of the steps in the directions is to add the noodles to the pan, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes.  Somehow, my noodles didn’t end up fully cooked.  It’s totally my fault, as I must have not properly arranged the noodles so they could soak up the broth and water, but it was a frustrating outcome. This also meant I had too much liquid left in the pan before the final step. So, if you decide to make this dish, be sure that all of your noodles are properly positioned so they can cook appropriately.

Also, don’t be an idiot, like I was, when removing the covering for the pan. My pan doesn’t have a lid, so I used a cookie sheet to cover it.  No big deal, right?  Except I forgot about how there would be steaming hot water droplets on the underside when I removed the “lid,” and the water definitely came off in a small river running right onto my feet.  Luckily I was wearing socks, so I didn’t get badly burned, but I did get burned.  Learn from my mistakes!

As you can see, I didn’t cut up a lemon to make my dish look pretty.  I also didn’t have any basil on hand as I don’t currently have a garden, and the store was out.  If I can get my hands on some basil, next time I make this I will certainly add it as I think the basil will add some nice flavor.

Overall, I got out of washing a zillion dishes (though I had more than I normally would so I could take that ingredient picture), and I had a delicious final product.  If these flavors appeal to you, give this recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

 

(As a side note, my computer kept trying to correct “crockpot” to” crackpot” and I giggled each time it autocorrected.)