Tag Archives: lemon

Raspberry lemonade bundt cake

You know what the best thing about rainy days is? A total excuse to stay inside, vegging on the couch, indulging in terrible Netflix marathons (thank you Bitten). But really, when it’s raining and I found out they turned one of my favorite sci-fi books into a tv series, what more can you expect?! Also, in the world according to me, you need at least one of those days a month. At least. There you go, feel free to quote me the next time someone tries to make you feel guilty about a day spent making BFF with your tv and your couch.

And now here with this post, you all are going to think I am just the laziest. I mean, I made a cake with a cake mix! <gasp> And yes, I do know how easy it is to make a cake from scratch (go on, take a gander at that apple & lime cake I made for you a while back, I’ll wait). But let me paint a picture for you…

A girl with a foodie bent rushes into the grocery store to pick up exactly two items. Just two. And rushes is key. After a long day, she wants nothing more than to get home, get dinner on the table, and get outside. Racing through the store on a mission for corn meal, she lands in the baking aisle. And there, brightly festooned with the word SALE is a lemon cake mix. A brightly yellow cake that screams sunshine and summer and oh, it’s on sale, that means it’s good. And it’s so yellow, you can just imagine the burst of brightness that will dance on your tongue when it hits that first tastebud. Yeah, so that’s what went through my mind, and so promptly without a second thought grabbed the mix. And then like so many impulse buys, returned home, only to look disappointedly at the package, and thought, “huh, what am I going to do with that?”

Well, here’s what you do. You make a cake so delicious and moist and light and sweetly tart that it is like a burst of sunshine and summer in your mouth. So yes, you know what? Sometimes it is ok to make a cake with a mix.


Raspberry lemonade bundt cake from thePenandthePan

Raspberry lemonade bundt cake

Adapted from the Quick Fixes with Cake Mixes cookbook

1 lemon cake mix
4 eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup oil
½ cup sugar
1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese
juice of one lemon
1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour one large or three medium bundt pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, eggs, milk, oil, and sugar on low. Add cream cheese and lemon juice and increase speed to medium, beating 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the berries with flour until well coated. Gently fold berries into mixed batter by hand. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake for 50-55 minutes for a large bundt pan or 40-45 for smaller.

Cool cakes before removing from pan. Turn cakes out onto platter and dust with powdered sugar. Store uneaten (yeah, right!) cake in refrigerator.


Blueberry lemon cream pie

Ooof. We are in the midst of some serious muck here guys. I mean I am up to my ears in mud, some courtesy of Mother Nature and some of my very own creation. After a gorgeous thaw over Easter weekend, we were treated to some hardcore (but gorgeous) snow.


Crazy snow

Said snow melted right quick, helped along by a lot of sunshine and a little rain. And that left us with the biggest mud puddle you ever did have the pleasure of mucking through. It made the yard chores on our list that much more difficult, but a heck of a lot of sloppy fun.

Himself and I managed to make our own little mud pies too. I’ve had my seeds and my garden plan laid out for ages, but with one thing and another only got around to planting now. Sigh. I’m at least three weeks behind where I wanted to be, but at least there was some fun and a lot of cooking crammed into those weeks. But, just look at these. Each of those wee little blocks holds a seed that I’m going to turn into a delicious recipe. No presh, though, right?!


I guarantee there’s no mud in this delicious, fluffy pie I want to share with you. I whipped (literally) this pie up for G’ma’s birthday and it was a huge hit! I can’t wait to test it out with other fruits too! A little orange raspberry just may be in Himself’s future. In fact, I’m not sure who loved this pie more, Himself or G’ma. It makes me pretty sure you’re going to adore it too!


Blueberry lemon cream pie

Blueberry lemon cream pie

Adapted from luckyleaf.com

1 graham cracker crust
1-8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
1-21 oz. can blueberry pie filling
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Lemon zest curls

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth. Mix in pie filling by hand, being careful not to break the berries. Gently fold in whipped topping.

Spoon blueberry mixture into pie crust. Top with lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Greek green beans

Four glorious days off in a row! I love my jobs, but this dose of “idleness” and sunshine is just what I needed.Note the “idleness” in quotes. You know me, days off of work just means that I’ll find a different way to fill that time. Friday was filled with spring cleaning and today is full of cooking and delicious recipe ideas. Then sandwiched in between was a great visit from my brother and an awesome Easter dinner with g’ma and g’pa.

Today is one of those days I yearn for in the middle of a stressful week. It’s gray and a little chill out, but that just means puttering around in the kitchen with a giant mug of tea is the perfect way to spend the day. I get to fill my house with delicious smells (and tastes, of course), all the while not feeling guilty about being indoors. After all, testing recipes and prepping amazing things for this week’s lunch is awfully important too. Well, that and shopping for purses on the interwebs, I mean, this girl’s gotta accessorize too.

These delicious green beans might have been my favorite part of the aforementioned Easter dinner. The crunch of green beans with the fresh herbs and bite of lemon just gets up and yells “SPRING!” to me. Nope, not a subtle flavor here. These beans crawl right up in your face. And the only thing that’s going to make them any tastier is when the beans, mint, and dill are fresh picked from my garden. This is sure to be my (and yours too!) go-to green bean recipe this summer.


Greek green beans

Greek green beans

Lightly adapted from Bon Appetit

1 ½ lbs green beans, cleaned and trimmed
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh mint leaves
1 ½ tablespoons chopped, fresh dill
zest and juice of one lemon, less if desired
½ cup feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Place into a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Browned butter, lemon and sage pasta

You guys, I seriously have the best job. Why just yesterday, I was plied with homemade sandwich loaf. Minneapolis was a desert for this delicious treat, and now it’s everywhere. Yayyyy! I know, you’re thinking, “How does homemade sandwich loaf equate to the best job?” Well, speaking from a girl who uses food to show how she cares about someone, it’s pretty awesome to walk into a room and have your favorite treat set aside for you.

But seriously, I have never before been made to feel so welcome at a job. My coworkers are the friendliest. And everyone is so concerned that I have the tools to do my job right. It’s a wonderful feeling!

I’m sure by now, you’re getting a little tired of me waxing melodic about how wonderful my job is, but to be completely honest, I haven’t had much time to do anything but work. Finding the balance in two jobs is taking a bit more time than I expected.

Moving on, Himself and I are not real big fans of Valentine’s Day. The holiday always feels like it’s placing so many expectations on people, so it usually slides under the radar here. That said, I should have shared this pasta recipe with you sooner, because it would have been a perfect V-day meal. So now, you have to promise to keep this in mind for your next date night. It’s a super quick recipe to put together, but will really impress. I mean, really, the “mmmmmm’s” coming from Himself were almost overwhelming. The recipe calls for a pre-made ravioli. Yes, it’s true, I did not make my own ravioli. Instead, you’re going to want to splurge on a really good, pre-made ravioli. Ours was a lamb and zucchini ravioli from the Sunrise Deli. Mmmmmmm. Now lamb ravioli won’t be found everywhere, but chicken or mushroom would work well here too. Just avoid anything acidic, as it will clash with the lemon.

Citrus has been sneaking into my recipes everywhere, I just can’t get enough of it. It’s that time of year, where even in the frozen hinterlands, the citrus is gorgeous and delicious. This recipe uses the juice and zest of lemons in it, but if you start to find yourself with extra peels, Kate at the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking has put together a list of how to use up those peels. So far, I’ve been focusing on filling my freezer with all kinds of delicious packets of citrus zest.

This may be the most scattered, free form blog post of yet, so thanks for sticking through to the end. Now go make that pasta, my friends!


Browned butter sage and lemon pasta

Browned butter, lemon and sage pasta

12 ounces of your favorite pasta – pre-made ravioli works really well
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon sage, finely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Parmesan cheese to garnish

In a large pot, cook pasta per package directions.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook butter over medium-low heat until fragrant and browned, approximately 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a separate saute pan, warm oil. Add garlic and lemon zest, saute until garlic is fragrant and just lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Add sage and cook just 1 minute more. Remove from heat and pour in browned butter and lemon juice.

Drain pasta, reserving ¼ of the pasta water. Toss pasta in sauce, adding pasta water if necessary. You need only add the pasta water if you want to cut the richness of the sauce. Sprinkle pasta with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Lemon, barley, and mushroom soup

It’s been a quiet week here in Jessica-land, though I initially mis-typed and put quite, and that’s pretty apt too! For a little bit, at least, this gal is finding a balance between working both the old job and the new. I’m going to pad that little nest egg to bursting! I can find a lot of ways to spend money on this house of ours. Not that there’s anything that a little updating won’t fix. But guys, it’s pretty exciting to be in a place where we plan to stay for a good long while. In recent years, all my home repairs and improvements had been done with an eye towards what would make the house more appealing to buyers, but now I get to change things just because I want to.

In a totally unrelated matter, I’ve come to think Himself may be a wee bit crazy. He came home last Thursday to tell me that he plans on jumping into a frozen lake. No, all kidding aside, he’s going to do the Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics. And what’s even better, since he’s jumping as a part of the Grand Rapids Masons team, the Minnesota Masonic Charity Services will match the funds he raises. That’s like free money for Special Olympics Minnesota, it can’t get more winning than that, right?! In fact, if you wanted to have your donation matched, you could do it right here. In all actuality, though I still find jumping into a lake certifiably crazy, I’m super proud of him (and I will be taking plenty of video to share with you guys at home!). I also have just the recipe to warm him back up, with a touch of vitamin C to ward off any cold, because I’m awesome like that (though not quite awesome enough to do it with him).

Seriously, this soup is my new go-to replacement for chicken noodle soup. It’s easy, tasty, and comes together super quick. Bonus points, it’s full of vegetable stock, spinach, and lemon and will kick the butt of any cold. Yum!


Lemon mushroom and barley soup

Lemon, mushroom, and barley soup

Inspired by Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any and Every Appetite by Sarah Copeland

4 cups vegetable stock
2 meyer lemons, rinds scrubbed and cut in half (you can substitute ½ regular lemon)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 cup spinach, roughly torn
2 cups cooked barley
Feta cheese to garnish

In a large sauce pan, bring vegetable stock to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and squeeze in lemon juice and throw in lemon. Add olive oil, garlic powder, and salt, and mix. Add mushrooms and torn spinach. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Remove lemon and add barley. Cook just until heated through. Serve soup sprinkled with feta cheese.

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