Tag Archives: citrus

toasted marshmallow and coconut lemon bars

toasted marshmallow and coconut lemon bars via Drag it Through the GardenWarning: These toasted marshmallow and coconut lemon bars are super sweet, super sticky, and super yummy. And they are super easy to bake up. In fact, I baked these before class one morning (which is surprising considering it’s pretty hard to get me to do anything beyond what is necessary in the morning) and then proceeded to daydream about them all day until I finally ate one after classes. And they definitely lived up to my expectations.

It has been a while since my last post. Two weeks. Needless to say, I have been swamped.

Can they just give me my degree already? I am so over school right now. Like, seriously over it. I spent between 15 and 20 hours last week working on a lab report. For a one credit hour course. I have a class that has exams pretty much every Friday (10 for the semester). And they are not easy multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank exams. They’re take-two-hours-and-hope-and-pray-you-gave-the-right-answer kind of exams. Oh yeah, and they are only two questions long. Two hours? For two questions?

Unfortunately, I could probably keep complaining for a long time about school right now. And quite honestly, I am tempted to do it. But, I do not want to bore you all to death. Or make you annoyed with my whiny-ness. Good thing I have a lot of Easter candy in my living room so I have something to stress-eat. Maybe I should bake these lemon bars again.

Not a bad idea…

toasted marshmallow and coconut lemon bars

Makes one 8×8” pan

1 19-oz. box lemon bar mix*
3 eggs
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup sweetened coconut
½ 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease an 8x8x2” pan. Press crust (in a bag in the lemon bar box) into the bottom of pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk 1/3 cup water and 3 eggs together until homogeneous. Stir in lemon filling mix until smooth. Pour over hot, baked crust. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle with marshmallows and coconut. Drizzle over sweetened condensed milk. Bake for an additional 14-18 minutes, until lightly golden on top. If the top starts to get too brown, cover with foil to prevent burning. Remove to cool. Chill in refrigerator for a couple hours to slice easier.

*Baking instructions follow Krusteaz lemon bars mix. If using a different brand, eggs, water, and baking time may need to be adjusted.

Source: Adapted from Inside BruCrew Life



lemon poppy seed ginger muffins

lemon poppy seed ginger muffins | dragitthroughthegarden.wordpress.comI love breakfast food. (Muffins do count as breakfast food, right?) Maybe it is the carb-overload that happens in a lot of breakfasts or the combination of sweet and savory foods, but I could eat breakfast for every meal of the day. Seriously.

There’s something refreshing about lemon and ginger together. And as a breakfast food? With poppy seeds? Gotta love it.

I have this problem of not eating breakfast on the weekends until about 11. Which I don’t qualify as breakfast any more. It’s either that I start doing homework really early and just buckle down into it to get done as soon as possible or I go to the grocery store.

As many of you probably know, grocery store on an empty stomach never is a good idea. I should probably note the overflow of food in my cabinets at this point. Oops. But something weird happens when I’m hungry and go to look for something to eat. It’s like 90% of my food vanishes and I feel like I have limited options. There must be some science behind that because it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

lemon poppy seed ginger muffins

Makes 16 Muffins

1 large lemon
About 3 inches ginger root, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup powdered sugar
juice from 1 large lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-cavity muffin tin with 16 liners, if desired, or grease.

Peel off yellow part of lemon (try not to get any white) using a vegetable peeler and chop up a bit. Squeeze lemon juice into a food processor or blender. Add lemon zest ginger, and ¼ cup sugar. Pulse food processor until a fine paste is formed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and remaining ¾ cup of sugar. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and lemon-ginger paste. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture until just combined. Mix in half of the yogurt. Mix in one-third of the flour mixture until just combined. Mix in the remaining yogurt. Mix in the rest of the flour mixture. Mix in the sour cream. Stir in the poppy seeds.

Evenly distribute the batter among the cups. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick comes out with only moist crumbs. Cool on a wire rack.

For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Spoon over the top of each muffin while still warmed. 

Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes

lemon crinkle cookies (aka lemon cool-whip cookies)

lemon crinkle cookies | drag it through the garden

Hands down, lemon crinkle cookies my all-time favorite cookies. And if I ever tell you otherwise, do not believe me. I probably just forgot about these. In three words, these cookies are gooey, lemony (I would be worried if you didn’t guess that one from the title), and incredibly easy (does that count as one word?). Only five ingredients! I think that’s pretty awesome for any cookie.

I used to beg my mom for these cookies all. the. time. Truth is, I still do. I was craving them during most of my stay in Spain. But, I never baked these with her or even glanced at the recipe until a few days before this past Christmas. And I was pretty shocked. You would never know from the taste of these cookies that they only require five ingredients, much less a box of cake mix.

So, consider these a new staple in my kitchen, even though Momma always makes them best.

lemon crinkle cookies (aka lemon cool-whip cookies)

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 8-oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 18.25-oz box lemon cake mix
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicon baking mats or parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat thawed whipped topping and eggs. Stir in vanilla. Mix in cake mix until just combined. Place powdered sugar in a bowl. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar and roll around until completely coated. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool on baking sheets for about 2 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

(healthy) seared tuna with lemon garlic sauce

healthy seared tuna with lemon garlic sauce | drag it through the garden

It has officially been a week since the start of the New Year. To aid in all the weight loss and healthy eating resolutions, here is a quick and simple entrée that will look as good on your plate as it does on your waistline. One serving of this tuna (about a 4 oz. tuna steak) will run you around 250 calories. According to me, that’s practically nothing.

I hope you all are still sticking strong with your resolutions. I tend to think that week two of pretty much anything is always the hardest. Besides maybe sunbathing on a beach in the Caribbean.

My resolutions? Stop feeling guilty for absolutely everything—that has become a brand new talent of mine in the last couple of years—and stop picking at my split ends. Because that’s gross. And probably really bad for my hair.

I have felt a bit of unnecessary guilt and spied a split end or two in my hair during the past week, but I think I’ve done pretty good evading these bad habits, all things considered.

But, honestly, whether you have a healthy-eating resolution or not, you should try this tuna. I mean, 250 calories? Ten minutes in the kitchen? What do you have to lose?

seared yellowfin tuna with lemon garlic sauce

Makes 4 servings
Total time: 10 minutes

For the tuna:
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 medium yellowfin tuna steaks

Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup white wine

juice of 1 lemon

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season tuna with salt and pepper. Place tuna in heated skillet and let cook for about 8 minutes, until tuna is light pink in the center, turning once (cooking time will depend on the size of your steak).

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add olive oil. Add garlic and stir constantly for about 1 minute, until garlic is golden. Stir in white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and continue cooking for about 3-4 minutes, until sauce is just slightly reduced. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Serve over tuna.

red wine and garlic mushrooms

red wine and garlic mushrooms | drag it through the gardenThis is not the original recipe I had planned to post today, but a friend of mine just reminded me that exactly a year ago today, we left to spend a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. So, in honor of that journey, I decided to switch it up a bit and let you all enjoy a taste of Spain with these red wine and garlic mushrooms.

Versions of these mushrooms make an appearance on many of the menus in tapas bars around Madrid. Red wine and garlic represent two of the three food products that are so prevalent in Spanish life and cooking (the third being olive oil). These mushroom embody that garlicky flare that is common in Spanish food, but they won’t make you break a sweat in the kitchen (and that is always a plus in my book).

I know it sounds like an overused cliché, but I cannot believe how fast time has flown by. It seems like just a month ago that I left for my adventure in Spain and postponed my life here. And although I was freaking out (to put it lightly) the night before I was set to leave, I am so happy that I took a leap of faith and decided to go.

Even though I was happy to come home and resume my life here, there will always be a part of me that longs to go back to my home in Madrid.

Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid, Spain

Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid, Spain

red wine and garlic mushrooms

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup red wine
16 oz. mushrooms (I used cremini, but you can use whatever kind you want)
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once butter is melted and begins to bubble, add in garlic, stirring frequently, until it turns just golden, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in red wine and return mixture simmer.

Add in mushrooms and toss to coat with sauce. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Remove lid, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking on medium-low heat for an additional 5-8 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked through and the bottoms are golden.

Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle parsley over the top.

Source: Slightly adapted from Bev Cooks

lemon meringue pie cupcakes

School is officially in full swing. This week is the first round of exams. That means I’m crunched for time on this post, so my apologies for the brevity.

I made these cupcakes a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post this recipe ever since. But, when you’re finished with homework (like I wish I was now) or you have too much to study for, writing up a recipe is one of the last things on your mind.

These cupcakes? Absolutely delicious. And cute, if I may say so myself. There’s a tiny bit of lemon curd hidden underneath the meringue that will surprise you every time you eat one (my favorite part!). Not to mention the meringue is a nice contrast to normal and everyday cupcake frostings.

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

Makes 15 Cupcakes

4 eggs
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
¼ c. + 2 tbsp. lemon curd, divided
¾ c. + 2/3 c. granulated sugar, divided
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  powdered sugar, for dusting

Separate eggs. Allow egg whites, yolks, and butter to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake tin with 15 paper liners. In a small bowl, stir flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a separate small bowl, whisk together milk and ¼ c. lemon curd.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add ¾ c. granulated sugar and continue beating until combined. Add vanilla extract and egg yolks. Add flour in thirds and milk mixture in halves alternately, so that you start and end with flour additions. Beat only until combined.

Separate batter evenly into cupcake tins. Smooth out the top. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and the top springs back.

Meanwhile, add egg whites and cream of tartar to a separate bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Slowly add in remaining 2/3 c. granulated sugar, about 1 tbsp. at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Place in a pastry bag or re-sealable bag.

Add remaining 2 tbsp. lemon curd in a medium re-sealable bag. Cut off the tip of the bag.

Once cupcakes have are removed from the oven. Evenly pipe the lemon curd onto the cupcakes. Pipe meringue onto the tops of the cupcakes. Bake for 7 more minutes until meringue is browned. Cool in tins over wire racks for 5 minutes.

Remove cupcakes and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, before serving.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications: Cupcakes

heath bar truffles and lime pâte de fruit

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks athttp://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

The beginning of July was the first time I had ever heard of the Daring Bakers. At first, I was convinced there was no way I could participate in many of the challenges (making your own phyllo dough, for example). But, after a night or so thinking about it, I told myself I was not going to get any better at baking or cooking if I didn’t push myself outside of my boundaries. Keep in mind that these are pretty much the same boundaries that I set for myself a few years ago.

This is my first attempt ever at making any type of candy. I have to say, for my first time, I think I did a pretty good job. I was a little concerned about the color of the pâte de fruit, but I think it could be better if perhaps you added blue food color to counteract the gold of the melted sugar (I just used green food color and it turned out that weird olive color). Oh, and expect more truffles to come shortly! I’ll admit these were more of a pain in the butt than I thought they would be, but they were well worth the extra effort!

Heath Bar Truffles

Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes about 45 truffles

For the centers:
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. heavy cream
4 regular-sized Heath bars or similar, roughly chopped

For the coating:
1 lb. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Additional chopped Heath bar, if desired

Line a 9×13” baking sheet with parchment paper or plastic wrap.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, add 12 oz. chopped chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave on high for about 40 seconds. Remove and stir thoroughly. Repeat until all chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream to form a ganache. Stir in Heath bar pieces.

Pour ganache into prepared pan. Do not spread around. Cover and place in refrigerator for 60 to 90 minutes, or until scoop-able.

Dust a sheet pan with cocoa powder. Using a teaspoon, scoop and form balls from chocolate mixture (If necessary, you can scoop teaspoon-fulls onto the sheet pan, place in freezer for about 15 minutes, and roll between your hands to form nicely shaped balls). Place in refrigerator, covered, for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can temper your chocolate (or you can simply skip this part and melt your chocolate like normal. Keep in mind that your chocolate will dull after about a day).

Add about 2/3 of your remaining chocolate into a double boiler set over simmering water. Heat, stirring constantly, until the heat of the chocolate reaches 45 degrees C. Remove bowl from heat and slowly add in remaining chocolate until temperature comes down to 27 degrees C. Stir until additional chocolate is meltedbefore adding more. Place bowl back on double boiler and heat until the temperature is 30 degrees C. For every 15 minutes this chocolate sits out, you should reheat it for about 1 minute.

Once your chocolate centers are hard, use a regular fork or a chocolate dipping fork and dip into tempered chocolate and cover completely. Once coated, let excess drip off and place on a parchment-lined wire rack. If desired, you can sprinkle with additional candy bar pieces at this point. Allow chocolate shell to harden (You can put them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to expedite the process, but no longer). If desired, you can cut off the “feet’ of the truffles (the excess chocolate pooled at the bottom). Store in an airtight container.

Lime Pâte de Fruit

Adapted, slightly, from Marzipan Mom
Makes about 45 confections

2/3 c. plus 2 tsp. lime juice, divided
6 tbsp. smooth applesauce
1 ¾ c. sugar, divided
1 3-oz. envelope liquid pectin (found in canning section)
1/8 tsp. blue or green gel-paste food color, or more if desired

Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap, so that the sides hang over a bit. Spray again with cooking spray. Open the envelope of pectin and stand upright in a glass so you can quickly add it later.

In a medium saucepan, combine 2/3 c. lime juice, applesauce, and 1 ½ cups sugar until the mixture is homogenous. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the temperature of the mixture is 238ªF on a candy thermometer (On candy thermometers, this temperature will be marked as “soft ball”.). Add the pectin and continue stirring and boiling for one minute.

Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining 2 tsp. lime juice. Add food color at this time if desired (You’ll probably want to play around with the amounts and colors. I added green and it turned out olive. I think if you add blue, it will be more of a lime color). Immediately pour into the prepared pan. Lightly dust with granulated sugar. Allow to sit for at least 1 ½ hours, until set.

Once set, pull the confection out of the pan. Cut into 1-inch squares or any desired shape. Roll in remaining ¼ c. sugar. Store at room temperature.