LEMON-STRAWBERRY SORBET CAKE

This is a new take on our favorite Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cake. I used white chocolate rather than dark (quite good), opted for fresh berries instead of frozen, and added frozen berries between the layers. As amazing as ever! And perfect for Fourth Of July 🙂

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (I put cookies in large zip top bag, pound a bit, then “crumb” with a rolling pin)

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 pints lemon sorbet, softened

1 cup frozen mixed berries

2 pints strawberry sorbet, softened

3 cups fresh strawberries, halved

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2-1 oz white chocolate baking squares (I used Baker’s brand)

1) Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter, stir well and press into bottom of 10″ springform pan; freeze 10-15 minutes until just firm

2) Spread softened lemon sorbet over crumb crust; scatter frozen berries on top and lightly press into sorbet; freeze 45 minutes

3) Spread softened strawberry sorbet over lemon sorbet; top with stripes of strawberries and blueberries

4) Melt white chocolate (1 microwave 30-45 seconds, spoon into a sandwich bag, and snip a small hole in a bottom corner of bag); squeeze melted chocolate over berries (a lattice pattern is lovely); freeze a minimum of 1 hour

5) To serve, remove pie from springform pan; allow to sit 5-10 minutes; slice and serve immediately

Servings: 8-12 (if you can contain yourself)

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 07/06/12–the one that disappeared into a black hole (which is the reason WordPress and I met up).

LEMON-COCONUT POUND CAKE

When I came across the Ritz Carlton Cooking School’s recipe for Lemon Pound Cake on Pinterest, I had to repin. After all, lemon and I go back a long ways (coconut too, as you’ll see). When it came time to fire up my KitchenAid mixer, I did so in “edit mode,” tweaking the recipe, though not to the extent I “red-ink” my novels before submitting them to my editor. Though I can’t speak for the original recipe (I’m sure it’s fabulous), the cake that resulted from my “editing” is one I intend to make again. And, no, I will not ruin the lip-smacking experience by calculating calorie and fat content. Try this!

1/8 cup powdered sugar

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp sea salt

5 eggs

5 tbsp lemon juice

zest of one lemon

1-1/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Using butter stick wrappers, butter inside of large Bundt pan or 2 loaf pans; sprinkle powdered sugar over surface, turning and tapping pan(s) to lightly cover surface

3) With electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy; on low speed, mix in baking powder and sea salt; adding one egg at a time, beat in eggs until combined; mix in lemon, lemon zest, and coconut

4) On low speed, beat in flour, one cup at a time, alternating with milk (don’t over mix)

5) Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; let cool in pan 30 minutes; turn out cake onto plate and let cool; serve warm or refrigerate for a deliciously chilled slice

Servings: 12

GLAZED LEMON-RASPBERRY CREPES

Last year I came across a recipe for lemon-filled crepes from Wolfgang Puck, did my usual tweaking to suit my family’s tastes, and landed on this amazing dish. Though it easily qualifies as a dessert, in my opinion, the cottage cheese filling is justification for serving it for dinner–which I did. And not one complaint from my guys. Imagine that 🙂

CREPES & FILLING:

12 store-bought crepes (or you can make your own)

1 egg

4 tbsp sugar

1-3/4 cup reduced-fat small-curd cottage cheese

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon zest

1-1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

GLAZE:

1 egg

2 tbsp sugar

1 cup whipping cream

1 tbs lemon juice

TOPPING:

1 cup assorted berries (I used frozen)

1/2 cup berry preserves thinned with 1/4 cup water

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil a 9×13 baking pan

2) FILLING: To blender, add: egg, sugar,  cottage cheese, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla; blend on medium speed 1 minute or until smooth

3) Divide filling between crepes and roll up; place crepes seam side down in baking pan

4) GLAZE: To blender, add: egg, sugar, whipping cream, lemon juice; blend on medium speed 30 seconds until well combined; pour over crepes

5) TOPPING: Scatter berries over crepes; drizzle thinned preserves over crepes

6) Bake in oven 25-30 minutes; serve and watch ’em lick the plates!

Serves: 4

LEMON-BLUEBERRY BLINTZE SOUFFLE

Our family enjoys cheese blintzes, but making a dozen or more crepes to stuff with delightful cheese is a bit time-consuming. Enter the Blintze Souffle. It tastes just like beautifully stuffed crepes but–surprise, surprise–is easier to make and serve. Gone. All gone 🙂

Lemon Blueberry Blintze Souffle1

Lemon Blueberry Blintze Souffle2

1-8 oz pkg reduced-fat cream cheese

2 cups small-curd cottage cheese

6 eggs, divided

2/3 cup + 2 tbsp granulated white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup lemonade

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp lemon zest

1 cup water

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 cups frozen (or fresh) blueberries (or other berry/fruit)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil 13×9 baking dish

2) To large mixing bowl, add: cream cheese, cottage cheese, 2 eggs (reserving 4 eggs), 2 tbsp sugar (reserving 2/3 cup), and vanilla extract; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes; set aside

3) To large mixing bowl, add: reserved 4 eggs, sour cream, lemonade, and butter; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes; gradually beat in flour, 1/3 cup reserved sugar (reserving 1/3 cup), baking powder, and lemon zest

4) Pour half the egg-sour cream batter into bottom of prepared baking dish; gently spoon cream cheese mixture over batter; gently pour remaining egg-sour cream batter over cream cheese mixture; bake in oven 45-50 minutes until souffle puffs, is lightly golden, and just firm in the center

5) 10-15 minutes before souffle is ready to come out of the oven, add to a medium-sized saucepan: water, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, blueberries, and lemon juice; cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8-10 minutes until berry mixture thickens; remove from heat

6) Remove souffle from oven, spread berry mixture over top (or you can serve on the side), and enjoy!

Servings: 6-8

LEMON-POPPY SEED SKEWERED SHRIMP WITH PINEAPPLE AND WATERMELON

I knew I’d find a good use for that wedge of watermelon. The next step was to come up with a sauce that wouldn’t clash with my other ingredients. Enter: Lemon poppy Seed Drizzle, a tasty complement to seafood AND pineapple and watermelon. As for the poppy seeds… Yesterday, the flecks were parsley, so I thought I’d mix it up some. Unfortunately, since my guys weren’t talkative during dinner (something to do with eating in front of a movie), the verbal feedback was on the thin side. Appetite-wise, however, they spoke volumes, leaving a poppy seed here and there and skeletal skewers on their otherwise clean plates. This is wonderful summer fare. Yes, I know it’s still spring, but sometimes I’m a bit ahead of my time 🙂

Lemon-Poppy-Seed Skewered Shrimp with Pineapple & Watermelon

LEMON POPPY SEED DRIZZLE:

1 cup water

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

1 tsp poppy seeds

1/4 tsp sea salt

SKEWERED SHRIMP AND FRUIT:

1-1/2 lb large cooked shrimp (tail on, peeled, and deveined–easy!)

1 whole pineapple (skin removed, cut in half vertically, cored, and sliced into 1/2″ thick pieces)

1/4 medium watermelon (rind removed and cut into 1/2″ thick pieces)

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

sea salt to taste

parsley (optional)

8 skewers for grilling shrimp (I used bamboo)

1) In small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together all lemon poppy seed drizzle ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook 2-3 minutes until dressing thickens; remove from heat, pour into small bowl, and refrigerate

2) Heat outdoor grill to medium-high (or grill pan on stovetop)

3) Divide shrimp between skewers, piercing each shrimp near head and again near tail; refrigerate

4) Grill pineapple 2-3 minutes each side (don’t overdo–just soften a bit and put some manly grill marks on them); remove from heat, set aside, and let cool a few minutes

5) Arrange plates: alternate and overlap slices of pineapple and watermelon; place a couple lemon slices in corners of plate

6) Grill skewered shrimp 1-2 minutes each side (since these are already cooked, you’re just heating them a bit and going for more manly grill marks)

7) Place grilled shrimp atop fruit and sprinkle with sea salt to taste; drizzle with lemon poppy seed dressing; pop a jaunty piece of parsley on plate and serve; Enjoy!

Serves: 4

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/28/12

LEMON-RASPBERRY SORBET CUPCAKES

When I posted a recipe for Lemon-Berry Sorbet Cake a while back, it struck me it would be fabulous in cupcake form. so, here’s to revisiting our family’s favorite dessert. Portions and preparation times have been altered to make 12 cupcakes. Note: You can use silicone cupcake liners for a somewhat taller cupcake and easy removal, or bypass liners altogether and make directly in cupcake pan for an even prettier presentation.

Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cakes 2Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cakes 320 gingersnap cookies, crumbled (put cookies in large zip top bag, pound a bit, and “crumb” with rolling pin)

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 pint raspberry sorbet

1 pint lemon sorbet

2 cups frozen raspberries (or mixed berries)

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate mini-morsels

mint sprigs, optional (but do consider, ’cause that bit of green is oh-so-pretty!)

1) Remove raspberry sorbet from freezer and set out to thaw while you: combine cookie crumbs and melted butter, stir well, and press into bottoms of a dozen cupcake liners; freeze 10 minutes

2) Remove lemon sorbet from freezer and set out to thaw while you: spread softened raspberry sorbet over cookie crumb crusts; freeze 15 minutes

3) Spread softened lemon sorbet over raspberry sorbet; freeze 5-10 minutes until slightly firm, then gently press frozen raspberries into lemon sorbet

4) Melt chocolate morsels (I microwave 20-30 seconds, spoon into a sandwich bag, and snip a small hole in bottom corner of bag); squeeze melted chocolate over berries (a lattice pattern is lovely); freeze a minimum of one hour

5) To serve, place a sprig of mint atop each cupcake; if you used silicone liners, simply pop out of pan and have at it; if you didn’t use a liner, run a warm knife around sorbet cupcake and gently lift out, careful to keep gingersnap crust intact; place on plate and enjoy immediately

Servings: 12

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/19/12

STEAK-WRAPPED ASPARAGUS WITH CRAB AND LEMON SAUCE

My guys were in need of spoiling, so I served up two of their favorites: steak and crab–oh, and lemon! Though the asparagus was for me, from the cleanliness of my guys’ plates, I believe they enjoyed it as well.

Steak and Asparagus with Crab and Lemon Sauce

juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup white cooking wine

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp butter

12 asparagus spears, tough ends cut away

1 lb top sirloin (though I think flank steak would have been easier to wrap), sliced into twelve 1/4″ thick strips (as long as possible)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

sea salt

ground black pepper

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

16 oz pre-cooked lump crabmeat

1 tbsp parsley, chopped

1) In small saucepan, whisk lemon juice, cooking wine, and cornstarch; add butter and heat over medium-high; stirring continuously, bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce thickens; remove from heat and set aside

2) Bring large saucepan of water to a boil; add asparagus spears and cook 2 minutes; remove asparagus from water and set aside

3) Preheat broiler

4) Meanwhile, mix flour, salt, and pepper in shallow bowl; dredge steak strips in flour and wrap around asparagus spears

5) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and olive oil; place steak-wrapped asparagus spears in skillet and cook 7-8 minutes, gently rolling to cook all sides; remove from skillet and place on baking sheet about 1″ apart; spread crabmeat down center of steak-wrapped asparagus spears and pour lemon sauce over crabmeat; broil in oven on rack 4″ from bottom 4-5 minutes until crabmeat is heated through; remove from oven and sprinkle parsley over top; serve to your spoiled loved ones

Servings: 4