Lemon Snack Cake

Lemon Snack Cake 05 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Woo hoo!!  The studio smells like fresh new babies again!  🙂  This is Baby Bryce – sweetest little guy who loves to lay on his side.  I think I smelled like new baby all day – sigh.

Bryce Collage copy

The official day of summer is almost here!  Next Monday – but you can make this yummy dessert any day.  The berries in season right now are the perfect compliment to this light and refreshing dessert.

Lemon Snack Cake 03 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

The whole family and guests LOVED this cake.  The kids even asked for second and third helpings – so we know it’s a winner.  I love Bundt cakes and there is a great lemon bundt cake that America’s Test Kitchen makes.  This cake is great if you don’t have a bundt pan or do not need that much cake.  A bundt serves a lot of people.

Lemon Snack Cake

This recipe can also be cut in half if you don’t want a full 9×13 sheet cake.  It was also made in a 7×11″ pan with perfect results.

Lemon Snack Cake 04Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

The taste?  I love LEMON!  This is lemony without being too tart.  The cake texture reminds me of my lemon muffins (which you should also check out!).

Lemon Snack Cake Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

 

 

Lemon Snack Cake
 
:
Serves: 12 large slices; 20 small slices
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (healthier version: use part or all white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk or almond milk
  • ½ cup lemon juice (fresh from about 3-4 lemons or organic bottled lemon juice)
  • ⅔ cup vegetable or canola oil (fewer calories: substitute applesauce)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (I use ½ tsp. vanilla and ½ tsp. Fiori di Sicilia)
  • 1 Tb. lemon zest - zest from 2 of the lemons that you juiced
  • 2 eggs
  • Toppings: chopped strawberries with a little sugar, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, whipped cream, powdered sugar glaze (powdered sugar mixed with a little fresh lemon juice), simple syrup glaze etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Or 325 degrees if using convection oven or Pyrex dish.
  2. Spray your 13x9" pan with baking spray or grease and flour.
  3. In a great big bowl, mix the dry stuff: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix the wet stuff: milk, juice, oil and/or applesauce, lemon zest, vanilla and eggs.
  5. Add the wet to the dry and mix until combined.
  6. Bake 35 minutes for a 9x13" pan. Bake for 25 minutes for a 7x11" pan (recipe cut in half of course).
  7. Cool and serve with toppings.
  8. Powdered Sugar Icing: sift 1 and ⅓ cups of powdered sugar. Mix with about 2 Tb. lemon juice. Spread and let harden about 15 minutes.
  9. Simple Syrup Glaze: Mix ¾ cup sugar, 2 Tb. lemon zest and 6 Tb. lemon juice in a saucepan. Boil and then simmer 5 minutes. With cake still warm, poke with a fork and brush syrup on top.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2015/06/lemon-snack-cake/

Lemon Snack Cake Pinterest Whisk Together

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Bread-3102 on Whisk Together

Exercise:  I like this Upper Body and Cardio workout because you get upper body strength training in while also doing cardio intervals.  The upper body strength training usually doesn’t make you sweat, but alternating like this helps gets your heart going.

If you are stuck in the middle of nowhere and can’t jump and can’t go more than 3 feet in either direction, then this video is for you.  Low Impact Functional Strength workout is 55 minutes of balance, coordination and something different.  Brutal low impact is also great for those that cannot handle high impact workouts that include jumping, but still get a great heart-pumping workout in.  I know it is hard sometimes to work out especially in apartments or when someone lives beneath you.

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Bread-3374 on Whisk Together

Book:  Here are some of  quotes from “Death by Food Pyramid” by Denise Minger.

Why you usually can’t believe someone even with “credentials”:
“One of the more disturbing examples of “credential fraud” is that of Henrietta Goldacre, who received a diploma from the American Association of Nutritional Consultants (AANC) in 2004. Although she might sound plenty qualified to steer you toward a healthier diet, you’d want to think twice before enlisting her services. Not only did Henrietta earn her certification while dead; she was also a cat.”

Although I think the government is one big and easy target in addition to a lot of quacks out there, here is another good line:
“Asking the Department of Agriculture to promote healthy eating was like asking Jack Daniels to promote responsible drinking.”

You can also learn about the crazy Minnesota Starvation Study.  It would be totally impossible to do today… legally anyway.  36 men ate their regular number of calories and had 6 months of starvation.  How many calories?  1,570 per day.  Weight loss was expected at 25% reduction in weight.  Ancel Keys headed the project:  the man who brought us “fat is bad”, the Body Mass Index, and popularizing the Mediterranean diet.

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Bread-3114 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  I really, really love fruit if you can’t tell.  This bread is sooo moist it is crazy!  I love the bright flavor of the bursting blueberries and the lemony background notes.  The zucchini keeps the bread super moist and gives the bread pretty specks of green.

Bake these as mini muffins, muffins, mini loaves, loaves or any way you like.  Just watch the crust and it will all be good!  Now I need to go make some more….

These make GREAT gifts.  Bake a bunch of loaves or mini loaves and wrap to hand out.  Or store them in the freezer wrapped twice in plastic wrap and put into a freezer bag for safe keeping.  Just pull it out the morning or night before you need it!

I have made this with half AP and half white whole wheat.  You can use all AP flour of course.

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Bread-3111 on Whisk Together

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Bread
 
:
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or applesauce
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ½ cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat, or all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp. salt (I used kosher)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • zest from 2 lemons or 2 Tb. lemon juice powder
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray with baking spray or grease 6 mini loaf pans, or muffin pans or 2 - 9x5 loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the eggs. Whisk together.
  3. Add the oil, vanilla and sugars. Whisk together. Fold in the zucchini.
  4. In a great big bowl, whisk together the dry stuff: flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff. Stir until barely combined and you still see streaks of flour.
  6. Add the blueberries and fold in gently.
  7. Divide the batter among the sprayed muffin or loaf pans.
  8. Bake mini loaves for 40-45 minutes.
  9. Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes.
  10. Bake mini muffins for 12-15 minutes.
  11. Bake a 9x5 loaf for 1 hour and 10 minutes - making sure to cover with foil about halfway through baking to avoid over-browning the top.
  12. Test with a toothpick - it should be free of liquid and may have a few tiny crumbs. Keep testing as sometimes adding more pans to the oven can affect bake times. The tops should be light golden brown and some of the loaves will have cracked tops with no liquid in the middle.
  13. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. Turn it out onto a wire rack to cool longer.
Notes
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

 

Perfect Lemon Bars

Perfect Lemon Bars-2545 on Whisk Together

This is for those of you who have made the last post’s Strawberry Lemon Pancakes and have leftover lemons!

Summer Book List:  I realized summer starts like next week and have nothing to read!  Here are some of the books I’ve requested from the library to read this summer.

Radium Girls by Amanda Gowin

Radium Girls: Women and Industrial Health Reform, 1910-1935  by Claudia Clark

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine  (YAF)

The Girls Who Went Away:  The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler

Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky

Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lade of DNA by Brenda Maddox  (I always wondered about her when we learned how DNA was discovered in Biology class and she never got the Nobel Prize….)

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (YAF)

I am trying to pick between two book club books:  Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Or pick something new from the list above?  .

Perfect Lemon Bars-2549 on Whisk Together

I learned that Twizzlers are NOT candy and Dairy Queen does NOT sell ice cream.  Crazy.  Hmmm maybe they should make Twizzlers into a Blizzard!  Well anyway… to briefly explain … as you know the FDA has definitions and regulations on our food.  Since Twizzlers contains flour, it cannot be considered technically a candy.  Dairy Queen’s ice cream is not technically ice cream.  I knew this… but didn’t know why.  It is because it only contains 5% butterfat.  In order to be qualified ice cream in the USA, it must have 10% butterfat content.

Perfect Lemon Bars-2541 Whisk Together

Recipe:  I’ve seen and probably made those Krusteez Lemon Bars several dozen times.  If it’s in a box, it must be terribly hard to make right?  And it must taste better from the box, right?  NOPE.  These bars are easier and tastier.  They have the perfect balance of sweet and tart.  The crust is crispy, but not too crispy.  The lemon filling is soft and sweet.

If you are lucky and here in the spring time, you can visit Sheridan’s Frozen Custard who makes a Lemon Lush Concrete.  They freeze and put these babies into a vanilla custard concrete and mix it all hope.  Oh my lemon heaven!

If you want pretty powdered sugar on them to stay a while, I would recommend the non-melting sugar.  I know King Arthur sells it.  Regular powdered sugar will melt into these bars in about 15 minutes.  Non-melting sugar will stay pretty all day.  There’s the secret!

Perfect Lemon Bars-2557 on Whisk Together

Perfect Lemon Bars
 
:
Ingredients
  • Crust
  • 1 and ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 12 Tb. cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • Filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 and ⅓ cups sugar
  • 3 Tb. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • ⅔ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or good bottled juice (3-4 lemons)
  • ⅓ cup milk (whole or 2% or 1%)
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Take non stick foil or parchment paper and line a 9x13" pan.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients together for the filling: flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the butter. Pulse the food processor until the flour and butter looks like coarse meal. (I have done this without a processor as well by freezing the butter and grating it on a cheese grater.)
  3. Pour the crust into the pan and press down. Make sure you press up the sides at least ½" or so as well.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Pop the whole pan into the fridge for 15-30 minutes while the oven heats up.
  6. Bake crust for 20 minutes - it should be a light golden brown.
  7. For the filling: whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, zest, juice, milk and salt.
  8. Pour filling onto hot crust. Bake another 20 minutes. The entire pan should not jiggle a lot and should feel mostly firm when pressed with your finger. Cool completely. Then cut and serve with sprinkles of powdered sugar.
Notes
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated

 

Strawberry Lemon Pancakes

Lemon Pancakes-2367 w title on Whisk Together

 

I have spent the past few evenings making cookies for “Amerikids” the musical.  It is a play Wentzville Christian Church is performing this Sunday at 6pm.  And…. there are cookies afterwards!  The musical talent is awesome.  Plus, it’s free!

I will take some more detailed photos and explain how to do the cookies step by step in another post.

Amerikids Cookies

 

Recipe:  Strawberry season has hit St. Louis and we have lots of cool pick your own farms nearby like Thies Farm to pick fresh strawberries.  These pancakes are PERFECT for those strawberries!  Or blueberries!  Or just eat them with syrup like my son does.

Lemon Pancakes-2377 on Whisk Together

The pancakes have a few extra steps, but they were still easy and fun to make.  The flavor is lemon heaven; the texture is light and fluffy.

Lemon Pancakes-2380 on Whisk Together

The original recipe uses all-purpose flour and I use white whole wheat flour.  Feel free to use whatever you like.  They will be lighter with the all-purpose flour.  I have also tried doubling this recipe with success.  I like to have leftover pancakes to freeze and eat throughout the week.

Lemon Pancakes-2370 on Whisk Together

Strawberry Lemon Pancakes
 
:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 and ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 1 cooking apple (like Granny Smith), peel and grate
  • 1 lemon, grate entire lemon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup (4.25 ounces) all purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tb. butter, melted
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped (or cherries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • sweetened whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Before you do anything, in a medium bowl, mix the oats and buttermilk together. Set aside.
  2. Grate the apple and lemon.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry stuff: salt, baking soda, baking powder and flour.
  4. Add lemon, apple, egg and butter to the wet oat mixture.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingreidents. Stir until just combined.
  6. If using whole wheat flour, allow the wheat to soak for 5 minutes. If using all purpose, cook immediately.
  7. Pour batter in spoonfuls onto a hot non-stick (or buttered) skillet or griddle (I set my griddle for 350 degrees). Once bubbles form on top, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve with strawberries and whipped cream.
Notes
To measure flour without scale, spoon the flour out of the flour container into the measuring cup.

Recipe adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour

 

Green Lemonade

Green Lemonade-2358 on Whisk Together

Happy Mother’s Day!

I was just watching Netflix Ted Talks again.  One talk was heralding how great white bread is due to the fact that it represents our industrialization of food.  Without that industrialization, we couldn’t live on 2% of farming familites or feed ourselves pasta from Italy.  Louise Fresco points not to the American family that lives within driving distance of a local Farmer’s market, but the millions of southeast Asians without access and those who would not thrive without access to a supermarket that carries Wonderbread.  It was an interesting take on what we normally hear in America on how everything needs to go back to small farms and local markets.

Green Lemonade-2457 on Whisk Together

RECIPE: We have been trying to perfect green smoothies for about 4 years now…. I may like them and then the kids do not.  This Green Smoothie here was the last success – and quite a few years back!  Now a Vitamix blender does help mix it up so there are no flecks, but I have made this in a regular blender as well and it works great.  The regular blenders sometimes take a little starting and stopping to get the spinach to pull down into the blended mixture.
Or this could work in a Magic Bullet!

Green Lemonade-2464 on Whisk Together

In regards to ingredients, I always make it with several core ingredients listed below.  The 1 cup of fruit changes depending on what I have left in the fridge or what is going to be too ripe in the fruit basket.  It doesn’t matter if I use a pear, pineapple, grapes or kiwi – the kids LOVE this smoothie.

Green Lemonade-2454 on Whisk Together

 

Blending Tips:  Always add liquid first.  Add the soft ingredients, then the spinach and ice always last.  The weight of the ice will push the rest of the ingredients down towards the blades.

Lemon Tip:  We love lemon with spinach.  It really masks the bitter flavor of spinach and kale in smoothies.  We have had to increase the amount of lemon from 1/2″ square of lemon peel to 1″ square of lemon peel.  The Vitamix blender blends it to a pulp and a regular blender may need lemon zest.  Feel free to add or subtract the amount of lemon zest to your tastes.

Green Lemonade-2365 on Whisk Together

Green Lemonade
 
:
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 banana, sliced in half
  • ½ apple, sliced into quarters
  • 1 cup fruit, diced (pear, pineapple, grapes, etc.)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. of lemon zest or 1" square of lemon peel
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • ½-1 cup ice
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender in order listed. Blend and serve.

 

 

Greek Yogurt Lemon Mousse

Yogurt Lemon Mousse-2217 on Whisk Together

 

Book: No time to read!  I am working in the sound booth for “Meet Me in St. Louis” at Wentzville Christian Church.  Come see us!  It is May 1st at 7pm and May 2nd at 2pm and 7pm.  How much does it cost?  It’s free!  But really good.  It isn’t one of those free musicals in someone’s basement – these are professionals playing!

Yogurt Lemon Mousse-2210 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  I am trying more healthy option recipes in preparation for the presentation on making foods healthier.  This was one of those happy finds because I had everything already in the pantry.  I made it before breakfast and it was ready for lunch as a mid day treat.  I may even try reducing the sugar even more…. or you could always the sugar if you wish with Splenda or whatever sugar substitute you normally use.

Yogurt Lemon Mousse-2225 on Whisk Together

Everybody ate this one.  It was great with strawberries, but would be just as great with blueberries, blackberries or raspberries which are going to be in season next month here in the Midwest.  This would be GREAT for a dinner party or something you needed to prep ahead of time and needs no prep time before except to pull it out of the fridge.  Make it as small or large as you like.  We used some 8 oz. ramekins I have, but you can use whatever bowl size you like.  The larger the bowl, the longer it will take to set of course.

Yogurt Lemon Mousse-2215 on Whisk Together2

 

You can and should use fresh lemon juice.  Pictured above is the lemon juice I used.  It is the only lemon juice in a bottle that I have found that doesn’t contain preservatives.  It is from Costco … but it doesn’t use lemon oil to give it flavor, just lemons.  The stuff at Aldi and ReaLemon all have preservatives and lemon oil in their ingredients.  Or use fresh stuff of course!

Greek Yogurt Lemon Mousse
 
:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed or bottled (without preservatives)
  • .25 oz. (1 packet) powdered unsweetened gelatin (Knox is a popular brand)
  • ⅔ cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • 2 cups nonfat or low fat Greek yogurt
  • berries, optional
Instructions
  1. Have ready your 4 ramekins, 4 small bowls or 4 short glasses for the mousse.
  2. Off the heat, pour the lemon juice into a medium sized pot or sauce pan. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the lemon juice. Wait about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle sugar into the lemon juice and whisk together.
  4. Turn the burner onto medium heat. Continue to whisk the mixture together often until the sugar dissolves and the juice is mostly clear. This will take about 5 minutes.
  5. Take the pot off the stove. Whisk in the Greek yogurt. Now divide the mousse between the bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can make this the night before a party.
  6. Add berries and eat!
Notes
Recipe adapted from Sprinklebakes.com

 

 

Lemon Berry Twist Bread & We’re Moved!

Whew!  So I finally have a kitchen again that has more than 2 drawers, but with that comes LOTS of moving and unpacking.  Bonus – I didn’t have to exercise because I was moving furniture!  I love practical and functional in one 🙂  So here are the rooms I have done so far in the house.  This is basically the back on the house where we eat, drink and play, so it was put together first.

Here is the Family Room:

Family Room on Whisk Together

Here is the breakfast room/kitchen area which is behind the couch in the family room:

Breakfast Room 2 on Whisk Together

 

Here is the sideboard in the breakfast room.  I love this painting!

Breakfast Room on Whisk Together

 

I managed to finish a craft before we moved.  I can’t wait to get some more tiles and make more for birthdays and holidays!

20140909_205138_resized

Recipe: This bread originally has cinnamon in it with the berries.  I don’t care for cinnamon and berries… so I used lemon zest instead.  It was delightful to make… I love the smell of yeast breads.  A dusting of powdered sugar on top would make it very pretty!

Berry Twist Bread_3 on Whisk Together

Berry Twist Bread

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 T sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 2 and 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Filling:
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups fresh berries
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. For the dough: In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and milk. Add yolk and butter. Sit 5 minutes. If it has bubbles on top, you know your yeast is alive!
  2. In a great big bowl, mix dry stuff: flour and salt. Add wet stuff to dry stuff. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes. Or mix in a mixer with the bread attachments for 5 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Grease a large bowl with oil or cooking spray and let the dough rise about an hour. While waiting...
  4. For the filling: mix together the butter, sugar and zest.
  5. Take a little oil and wipe a cast iron 10" skillet or baking dish equivalent in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Roll out the dough to a 18x12" rectangle. Spread the butter/zest except for the top 1". Scatter berries on top.
  8. Roll very carefully into a long log. Seal the edges by pinching the dough together. Cut the log in half with a serrated knife and twist the two pieces. Be careful. Yes, some berries will fall out. Just put the back in later. Take the two ends and pinch them together to form a circle.
  9. With a large scraper, spatula or just both hands, carefully lift and put the bread into the skillet.
  10. Beat the 1 egg and brush on top of the bread. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Cool and serve.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/10/04/lemon-berry-twist-bread-were-moved/

Berry Twist Bread_2 on Whisk Together

Lemon Berry Twist

Dough:
2 and 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 T sugar
3/4 cup warm milk
1 egg yolk
2 T melted butter
2 and 1/4 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Filling:
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)  Or thaw and drain some frozen ones.
1 egg

Optional: powdered sugar

For the dough: In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and milk. Add yolk and butter. Sit 5 minutes. If it has bubbles on top, you know your yeast is alive!
In a great big bowl, mix dry stuff: flour and salt. Add wet stuff to dry stuff. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes. Or mix in a mixer with the bread attachments for 5 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Grease a large bowl with oil or cooking spray and let the dough rise about an hour. While waiting…
For the filling: mix together the butter, sugar and zest.
Take a little oil and wipe a cast iron 10″ skillet or baking dish equivalent in size.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out the dough to a 18×12″ rectangle. Spread the butter/zest except for the top 1″. Scatter berries on top.
Roll very carefully into a long log. Seal the edges by pinching the dough together. Cut the log in half with a serrated knife and twist the two pieces. Be careful. Yes, some berries will fall out. Just put the back in later. Take the two ends and pinch them together to form a circle.
With a large scraper, spatula or just both hands, carefully lift and put the bread into the skillet.
Beat the 1 egg and brush on top of the bread. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Cool and serve.  Or, top with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Lime Cupcakes and International Freezer Meal Plan

Lime Cupcakes_6 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  Here is a list of books I’ve read so far this summer.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger: Ever wonder why certain youtube videos go viral?  Or why some companies make the choices they do?  This book explains a lot and explains how things that are contagious belong to one or more categories:  social currency, triggers, emotion, practicality, public and stories.  I would recommend reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point first.
Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs: I’ve loved reading AJ Jacobs since his first book about reading the entire encyclopedia.  Nothing new for me in this book, but some great stories.  I would recommend it for anyone who does not enjoy non-fiction exercise or nutrition books, but wants to learn more.

The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs:  This is his most popular and best rated book on Amazon.  I can see why – he goes through a year trying to live his life exactly by the bible.  That includes all those rules from the Old Testament that we just glance over and never really quote.  I mean who puts “Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. If you touch her during that time, you will be defiled until evening” from Leviticus on their Facebook page or frame it in their hallway?

Superfreakonomics by Steven Levitt: Fun read for the inner economist in all of us.

The Bigs by Ben Carpenter:  Every person under the age of 25 should read this book!  It should be mandatory for every senior in high school – a wealth of knowledge of getting through the working world, the differences between the school world and the working world – and some great stories to boot.

Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo:  Great for anyone in public speaking or will ever need to make a presentation.

The Apple Experience by Carmine Gallo:  He refers to the Apple company so much that I just had to read this one next.  It outlines how Apple turned their corporation around and got a huge customer following/base.

Before Happiness by Shawn Achor:  This book was written after The Happiness Advantage but should really be read first.  He takes what he learned from outside the classroom and uses that to finding the keys to success, finding happiness and making lasting positive change.

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor:  7 ways to fuel performance and success at work or school.  I think Before Happiness was better, but this has its merits.

…Well, that’s all I can remember so far!  🙂

 wildtree-everyday-freezer-meal-workshop_11-on-whisk-together

*****************International Freezer Meal Plan***************

I have been requested you contact myself, or another Wildtree representative, for information on purchasing the bundles with their recipes, meals, shopping list and labels.  Thank you!

Lime Cupcakes_19 at Whisk Together

Recipe:  As you know I’m a sucker for citrus.  We made lime sherbet this summer and for white bear’s 8th birthday, the kids and I made lime cupcakes.  White bear is 8 years old because my 7 year old son figures that is about how old he must be since I received him at a baby shower before he was born.  Per his calculations, and the desire for a new lego set, he created a birthday for his stuffed animal on August 1st.  So, every year we celebrate his stuffed animal’s birthday with a toy and some cake.  Granted, my son’s real birthday is Christmas Eve and kinda gets mixed in with the Christmas week, we can’t really have a party that week because everyone is busy, etc. etc.  So, hey, why not?

Feel free to make these into lemon-lime or lemon cupcakes just by mixing up the zest.  They are whatever you want them to be – but in the end they will be delicious!  The texture reminds me more of a muffin than a cupcake perhaps.  I still really liked them and ate too many.  They whip up in a jiffy and have a great flavor for any time of year.  Something light.

Lime Cupcakes_4 at Whisk Together

Lime Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar (5.25 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (6.25 ounces) cake flour or AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • For the Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 teaspoons water
  • grated lime

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line muffin pan with liners.
  3. In a great big bowl: mix oil, sugar, salt and lime zest. On medium high, mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Add lime juice. Add eggs. Mix another 2 minutes on medium high.
  5. In a not so big bowl: mix flour and baking powder.
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk in 3 increments. Always start and finish with flour and mix on low. So, add 1/3 the flour, then half the milk. Add another 1/3 the flour and the rest of the milk. Add the rest of the flour.
  7. Divide batter among the muffin pan. I like to use a large cookie scoop. Bake 16-20 minutes.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes on rack. Remove from pan and cool completely.
  9. For Glaze:
  10. Mix it all up!! Add a little water if it is too thick. Using a spoon, gently pour the glaze onto the cupcake. Or, dip the cupcake into the glaze. Sprinkle with lime zest for garnish to make it pretty!
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/09/08/lime-cupcakes-and-international-freezer-meal-plan/

Lime Cupcakes
yield 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar (5.25 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 eggs, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups (6.25 ounces) cake flour or AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk, room temperature

Glaze:
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons lime zest
1 and 1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 teaspoons water
grated lime

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Line muffin pan with liners.
3.  In a great big bowl:  mix oil, sugar, salt and lime zest.  On medium high, mix for 2 minutes.
4.  Add lime juice.  Add eggs.  Mix another 2 minutes on medium high.
5.  In a not so big bowl:  mix flour and baking powder.
6.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk in 3 increments.  Always start and finish with flour and mix on low.  So, add 1/3 the flour, then half the milk.  Add another 1/3 the flour and the rest of the milk.  Add the rest of the flour.
7.  Divide batter among the muffin pan.  I like to use a large cookie scoop.  Bake 16-20 minutes.
8.  Cool for 10 minutes on rack.  Remove from pan and cool completely.

For Glaze:
1.  Mix it all up!!  Add a little water if it is too thick.  Using a spoon, gently pour the glaze onto the cupcake.  Or, dip the cupcake into the glaze.  Sprinkle with lime zest for garnish to make it pretty!

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Lemon Ricotta Cookies on Whisk Together

Recipe:  I wanted a lemony cookies for my birthday and found this recipe on the Food Network with 894 five star reviews.  Since I had leftover ricotta cheese from my Caprese Lasagna, I wanted to use up the rest before it went bad.  These cookies were kid approved!  Maddox loved putting the lemon icing on them.  They were very cake-like instead of cookie-like.  A nice addition to a baby shower or spring party.

This recipe also works if you cut it in half.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies_1 on Whisk Together

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
makes 44 cookies

Cookies:
2 and 1/2 cups (12.5 oz) AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, soft (4 oz./ 8 Tb.)
2 cups (14 oz) sugar
2 eggs
1 – 15 oz. ricotta cheese
3 Tb. lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Glaze:
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tb. lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees or hold off if you store the dough in the fridge.

2.  Cookie Method!  In 1 medium bowl mix up the dry stuff:  flour, baking powder and salt.

3.  In 1 large bowl:  beat the butter and sugar together on medium until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).  Add your eggs one at a time.  Add the cheese, juice and zest.  Slowly, add your dry mix.

4.  Drop cookies onto cookie sheets (silicone or parchment lined is easiest) in 2 Tablespoonfuls.  Bake about 15 minutes – just until the edges get barely brown.

5.  Cool cookies on a cooling rack while you make the glaze.

6.  In a bowl, mix your powdered sugar, juice and zest.  Dip the cookies in the glaze or use a spoon to drizzle and the back of the spoon to spread it.  Dry for about 15 minutes.

Recipe from Giada de Laurentis on Food Network

Lemon Cookies_2 on Whisk Together

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