Citrus is a favorite of mine to cook with, to make delicious tart desserts or dinner where lemon is necessary. Especially when you are trying to stay safe and at home, new recipes help to fight that cabin fever we have all be feeling.
Here are a few of those recipes that have helped me and my family enjoy dinners at home when we have started to go stir crazy.
1. Blood Orange and Lemon Bars
I just made these the other day and they are now one of my favorites.
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup or two sticks of softened unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of lemon/orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1/4 and 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of orange/lemon juice (about four oranges/lemons)
- About 2 tablespoons of zest
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
First things first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and take out a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. To make the crust, mix the butter and sugar in a mixer or with an electric handheld mixer until the butter and sugar is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Next mix in the zest and vanilla until well incorporated and lastly add in the flour and salt. The crust should be crumbly, not like a dough. Place the crust into the pan and use your hands to evenly distribute it across the bottom, and press lightly into the sides to make little walls for the filling. Bake the crust in the oven until it’s toasty for about 25 minutes.
For the filling, use a large bowl and whisk together the eggs with the sugar and flour. Once combined add the Lemon and Orange juice, zest, milk, and salt. I used the zest from both the lemons and oranges because that what I had from my trees outside. When the crust is done baking take it out and pour the filling over the crust. Place the pan back into the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the middle feels firm. Once done take the pan out and allow to cool. Takes about 30 minutes too cool on a rack, but then you can cut up the bars and dust them with powdered sugar.
2. Lemon Melt Away Cookies
These cookies are too easy to eat, after making them, a whole pan was gone before they had finished cooling. I can say with certainty that these will be everyones favorites.
- 1 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 lemon , zest of
- 2 1/3 cups flour all purpose
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
First things first, preheat the oven to 350. Get a mixer or your hand mixer and cream the butter and sugar together. Once mixed add in the eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Next you will be adding in all the dry ingredients, so add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Once every thing is mixed together and you have a smooth dough, take out a baking sheet and cover with parchment paper. I have learned that if you use an oil spray like Pam, the cookies will spread more and become thinner. One the parchment is down, take little balls of the dough and place on the sheet and flatten with your hand just slightly so that the cookies do not turn into mounds, but will evenly spread out.
the cookies will bake pretty fast, only taking about 10-12 minutes to bake. They won’t drastically change color, once there is a slight browning at the edges they are done, and the cookies will mostly remain a light color. Once out and cooled, you can glaze the cookies. you can dip them into the glaze and let the excess drip off, or you can give the cookies zebra stripes with the glaze.
3. Baked Lemon Chicken
Baked chicken is so good because you bake fresh veggies and chicken with lemon making it tastes tart and salty, and just really good.
You will need:
- One whole chicken , or you can use chicken breasts or thighs with the skin on.
- Four potatoes, or more
- Half Bag of carrots, precut or whole
- One big onion
- One stalk of celery
- 2 or 3 Lemons , depending on what you like
- One softened stick of butter
- Olive oil
- 2 or 3 Springs of Rosemary
- Salt, Pepper, garlic powder
You are going to want about equal amounts of the veggies, so if you want less potatoes, have less of the carrots and celery as well.
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F. and make sure there is enough space in the middle rack for the pan and the chicken.
First get your baking pan and drizzle oil onto the bottom of the pan for the chicken and veggies and put on the side. Get the chicken washed clean, you don’t want any left over blood or if there are any innards left, they are not going to be used in this recipe. Once washed out, pat the chicken dry and place it breast up with the wings tucked under, there will be little resistance from the chicken when moving the wings.
Next cut up the veggies into bit size pieces. Slice half of the onion to be cooked with the veggies and the rest will go into the chicken. With the other half of the onion and one of the lemons, cut into quarters and put inside of the chicken with the rosemary springs. Fit as much as you can inside the cavity of the chicken and everything that does not fit can be put into the pan with the rest of the veggies. Using your hands, take the soft butter and smush and spread across the chicken, you want to cover every part of the chicken so that the skin is nice and crispy. Once the butter is everywhere, take large pinches of salt and pepper to season the chicken, along with garlic powder. Place the veggies around the chicken in the pan and coat with oil and the same seasoning, and if there were left over pieces that were supposed to go into the chicken just mix them in with the veggies. cut the rest of the lemons and place around the pan with the veggies.
Place the pan into the center of the oven and set timer for 30 minutes. The first half hour is to get the skin crispy. Once the timer goes off stir or move the veggies in the pan around and change the temperature to 350 degrees F. and put the timer on for one more hour. The chickens internal temp should be 160 degrees for it to be done, or another way to check is to cut through the skin and if the liquid coming out is completely clear its ready.