June 12, 2020 at 12:17 p.m.

Bring sunshine into your cooking

Bring sunshine into your cooking
Bring sunshine into your cooking

I am going to talk about another citrus fruit that brings sunshine and a refreshing aroma into our kitchens…lemons.  I have a book called “Kitchen Wisdom” that has a ton of information from A to Z about fruits, veggies, eggs, cheese, etc.  

I will start with info and go to recipes.

Because lemons have probably been sprayed, it’s safe to scrub them very well with a brush, using hot soapy water. Rinse and dry before using. Don’t strain lemon juice to use in bread, cake or cookies. Just remove the seeds otherwise you’re throwing out the bulk of the lemon flavor.

Canned or bottled lemon juice never tastes as good as freshly squeezed. To get the most juice from lemons have them at room temperature and warm them in very hot water for a few minutes,  put them in the micro for about 10 to 15 seconds or roll around on your counter  or a hard surface with the palm of your hand.  The heavier the lemons are, the juicier and meatier they are.  Six average size lemons will give you a little more than a cup of juice.

I like this one…to prevent a lemon wedge from squirting in the wrong direction, as in squeezing it on fish or in a glass of water, prick the flesh with a fork, then aim and squeeze. You may get a seed or two but save them, take them home in your napkin, and in the spring plant them and in a few or more years you will have a lemon tree full of lemons to make lemonade for the whole neighborhood! Just a little chuckle for you.

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LEMON BROCCOLI CHICKEN
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
 Salt and pepper to taste
1 t. oil
1 can cream of broccoli soup, undiluted
1/4 c. milk
Juice of 1 lemon

 Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet;  brown chicken on both sides.  Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken; bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center of breasts.  Makes 4 servings. Note: Serve with fresh or frozen broccoli, wild, brown or white rice, canned or homemade cranberry sauce and a side of fresh fruit. M-m-m-!

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SOUR CREAM PIE
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
1 c. milk, warmed a bit
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 c. each, butter and fresh lemon juice
1 t. grated lemon peel
1 – 9-inch pastry shell, baked

Meringue:
3 egg whites
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cream of tartar
6 T. sugar

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Blend a small amount into egg yolks; mix well. Return all to pan; mix well. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.  Add butter, lemon juice and peel; mix well. Set aside.
For meringue, beat egg whites until foamy. Add vanilla and cream of tartar. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form; set aside. Fold sour cream into the lemon mixture; turn into pastry shell. Cover with meringue, sealing to edge of pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, garnish with a bit of grated lemon peel if you wish.  Makes 6 – 8 servings.

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This dessert is so-o-o good. It’s a bit putzy but absolutely worth the time involved!

LUSCIOUS LEMON DESSERT
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
2 T. sugar
3/4 c. flour
1 c. powdered sugar
1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. whipped topping                           
3 c. cold milk
3 small pkgs. Instant lemon pudding mix
Chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Combine butter, sugar and flour, cutting in butter until crumbly; press into bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely.  In a bowl, using a beater, combine powdered sugar and cream cheese until creamy. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over crust.  In a large bowl, combine milk and pudding mix as directed on pkg. Gently spread over creamed mixture.  Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Refrigerate leftovers, if there are any!  Makes 12 – 15 servings. Note: You can substitute chocolate pudding mix if you prefer.

Thought for the Day: Government can’t give us anything without depriving us of something else. 

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