Meyer Lemon Day

Kaki!

About a month ago, a long-time family friend (she was my fifth grade English teacher, and my Confirmation sponsor, and I’d just helped with her daughter’s wedding; wonderful people) gave me four Meyer lemons from her garden.  Four!  Knowing how pricey they can be, and how slim the likelihood of finding them in a grocery store*, I was seriously pumped.

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I spent quite a bit of time that week researching recipes.  And once I’d picked the menu, I emailed Cooper to let her know that, prior to our Golden Globes viewing, we would be celebrating Meyer Lemon Day.  And there was much rejoicing.

It turned into one of those perfect Sunday afternoons, Kaki; chatting and cooking new things and sipping wine and laughing at adorable baby antics and enjoying some red carpet gowns.  Plus the Meyers lent the whole afternoon such a bright note of, “Spring is on the way!”  Here’s to Meyer Lemon Day!

Meyer Lemon Day 2014 Menu

Flatbread with Meyer Lemon, Goat Cheese, Rosemary, and Olives

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Meyer Lemon Sparkler

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Salmon with Meyer Lemon Salsa

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Whole Meyer Lemon Tart

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I’ll be sharing the individual recipes over the next week.  Stay tuned!

And thanks again, Bridget, for giving me these lovely lemons!

–Caitlin

*And if I have trouble finding them, we know your grocery store chances are rather unfortunate.  Then again, plenty of citrus is grown in South Texas; maybe that goes in your favor?

P.S. Matt got Cooper this ridiculously great camera for Christmas.  We all three took turns playing around with it to take these photos!  Thanks for lending me the great equipment, and your photog skillz, you two. 🙂

Recipe Recap

Kaki, your last post… so many things:

  • It reminded me of the song from My Fair Lady, that starts, “Words, words, words!  I’m so sick of words!”  (Yes, you should watch it, and the Julie Andrews version, naturally.)
  • You made a shaped cake.  You iced it in more than one color.  That is commitment.  I told Cooper I’d make this adorable monkey-shaped cake for her daughter’s first birthday, but I’ve never done this “Make a ridiculously cute cake” thing, so, um, tips would be much appreciated.
  • Yogurt raisins for teeth.  Inspired.
  • I didn’t know you were a Shark Week fan!  I can’t say I am.  Something about, um, fear?  But Rob Lowe’s commercial for it this year was a hoot.

Here’s what I’ve been cooking up these days myself:

Breakfast Pizza

I’m a huge cold-pizza-for-breakfast fan, but sometimes pizza dough is on sale at the store and you have some extra sausage and eggs to use up and breakfast pizza is the most logical use for all of these things.  This recipe, though I only used it as a jumping off point (mostly for temperature and baking times), worked great.

Rosemary Nuts

I bought that huge container of almonds you guys had purchased in San Antonio.  You inspired me.  But then I also had some fresh rosemary and decided to make these nuts.  They were super tasty just out of the oven.  However, once they’d cooled they suffered that all too common fate of nuts: all of the seasonings just fell off.  Sigh.  Do you have any tips for keeping flavorful tastiness on roasted nuts?

Smoky Spicy Sesame Coconut Nuts

These, however, kept their seasoning just great.  Only problem was (as it continues to be) my oven, which didn’t really crisp up the coconut in the baking time indicated.  Should I go longer and cooler next time, or hotter and quicker?  That coconut can burn in an instant.

Nectarine Pistachio Bars

Not that we need further proof that Deb is a genius, but, um, here is further proof.  These were inhaled at book club, even with the substitution of over-ripe nectarines for the suggested apricots.  Kaki, I adore apricots, but have never used fresh, only dried and in jam form.  But I swear there were fresh apricots in my grocery store for a week, tops.  Do they have just a crazy short season?  Well, next year I’ll be prepared.

Roasted Cabbage

I really like this recipe.  It uses up any leftover cabbage one may have laying around, it’s super flavorful, and it’s a vegetable, so, obviously it’s healthy*.  And I used up the last of a vinaigrette I’d mixed up a while ago that was languishing in my fridge for this recipe, so it used both leftover cabbage and leftover vinaigrette.  Make sure to just coat the cabbage in dressing, though; any dressing that pools on the bottom of the cookie sheet will cause the cabbage to braise instead of crisp up and roast.  Then you’ll be trying to gently pour 425* liquid down your sink with the oven door open and cabbage sliding almost off of your cookie sheet one afternoon.  It’s not a cute scene.

Manhattan

I have to look this recipe up every time I make one, but man, this is such a tasty cocktail.  In fact, I may or may not be writing this blog post after having consumed just such a beverage.

 

I’m missing you these days, my dear!  I hope there are fabulous late-summer vegetable dishes in your weekend plans.

–Caitlin

 

*Yes, yes, we all know it’s not actually obvious.  And that vegetables can be cooked in unhealthy ways.  But still, go with  me on this, it’s cabbage with dressing.

P.S.  I finally picked up House of Cards: Season 2.  And have been promptly obsessed all over again.  It has meant I’ve been up very late and been very sleepy at work this week.

Ways to Use Caramelized Onions

Kaki, I really enjoyed making those Oven Caramelized Onions this past week.  So little work to turn something so humble into something so tasty!

So now I need to decide what to do with these babies!  I already made a quick pizza at Cooper’s place the other night; Boboli pizza crust, a little tomato sauce, some fresh mozzarella, some caramelized onions, and some fresh basil.  Delicious.

After a ton of internet searching I came up with the following other options:

  • Pissaladiere – this turns out to be a traditional Italian focaccia recipe with caramelized onions, olives, and anchovies.  Olives aren’t really my thing, but I’d never heard of this dish before, so that was interesting.
  • Poulet Yassa or Poisson Yassa – and this is a traditional Senegalese recipe!  I love food from other cultures.  I don’t know if one could actually make this dish using the already caramelized onions, since the raw onions are a part of the marinade, but even so one could either make a neat take on this dish with them, or maybe I’ll just file this away under “to make later”.
  • in a grilled cheese – we’ve made these before, so we both know they are change-your-life levels of amazing.
  • in a dip – I needed something savory for book club this week.  Done and done.  (See below!)
  • in a cold salad – who just happens to have walnuts and feta and arugula in her kitchen?  This girl.
  • in a warm salad – peaches and green beans and caramelized onions!  Genius.
  • on top of a burger – duh.
  • in pasta – I’m thinking cook spaghetti, and then dress in butter, olive oil, parmesan cheese and caramelized onions.  Maybe add some toasted bread crumbs?  Too much?  I’m leaning towards no.
  • for French Onion Soup – a classic.  Too bad I don’t keep beef broth on hand!
  • added to a stew – how freakin’ good does barley and beans and spinach and caramelized onions sound?!
  • added to beans – yes, this could be quite a nice side dish, indeed.

 

Here’s the dip I ended up making for book club:

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It’s just one 8 oz. container of whipped cream cheese (I like whipped because then it makes stirring it all together so much easier), a couple tablespoons of really finely chopped caramelized onions, and maybe a tablespoon or so of finely chopped fresh parsley.  Really tasty.  And I think I’ll use the leftovers to make a creamy pasta sauce like I’ve done before.

Also, the internet keeps saying I can freeze caramelized onions, and since you only need a little at a time (read: I still have so much of this, and do not want it to spoil), I’ll be doing just that to have some at the ready whenever I want!

Have a lovely Memorial Day, Kaki!

–Caitlin

 

P.S.  I feel like I’ve use a ton of exclamation points in this post!  And I’m not going to edit that number down!  Because I am a rebel, a punctuation rebel, and we all know it.

P.P.S.  Okay, I edited one out.  Even I thought that was overkill.