Lemon Archive

Thursday, February 24, 2011

spaghetti with lemon and olive oil

linguine al limone

Look, it wasn’t my finest moment but my Happy Valentine’s Day gift to my husband was an epic meltdown over book deadlines and recipe flops and the near impossibility of getting anything done with a toddler underfoot in a kitchen that doesn’t actually fit the two of us. It wasn’t pretty. We ordered pizza and watched How I Met Your Mother.

Now, just in case that story elicited even a wisp of pity, you should take it back right now because the week, it got better from there. First, I realized that my “hey, let’s not do gifts this year” conversation with my husband may have never left my own head when he busted out tulips and a spa certificate. (Oops. I’m a real catch, aren’t I?) Then my very kind agent and editor talked me off the book ledge, they’re good at things like that though I suppose they have to be, taking on nuts like me. The following night, I made an actual dinner that involved those insane green beans and this little spaghetti dish I’ll get to in a bit because you know, it’s hardly as interesting as what we did the day after that:

so, this happened

Here’s where the story could continue in any of the following ways: How hard it was to be away from our little baby for the weekend (so hard! except for all of that sleep!) How quickly we adjusted to views like this, boats like that, beers like this and sunsets like that.

the viewasailbalashirequisite sunset photo

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

porch swing

porch swings

I know, I know, “Deb, what’s up with putting up a summery cocktail recipe a day after a blissfully long holiday weekend?” Ah, but I think you’re coming at this all wrong; this drink is, in actuality, three days early for next weekend.

bag of lemons
to be squeezed

Or, perhaps, 365 days late for the last time I waxed clumsily poetic about this drink, denied access to it for the duration of a summer pregnancy. It’s nothing short of summer in a glass. It tastes like lemonade. It tastes like iced tea. There are crisp cucumber slices and a splash of 7-Up (for some low-brow fizz, you know?) in a tall glass with ice cubes and if that has not convinced you — and seriously, how did that not convince you? — hopefully its name will.

squeezed and squeezed

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, May 13, 2010

braided lemon bread

baked lemon braided bread

I know this is the kind of stuff that makes people without children roll their eyes, or at least would have made me roll my eyes anytime prior to eight months ago, but seriously, nothing, nothing makes you a more productive person than having a baby. How else will you learn all of the things you can do in the two minutes he is occupied with a toy and may not see his other favorite possession, Mama’s Undivided Attention, sneaking off, stage left? Hit the loo! Get a glass of water! Put hair in ponytail! Balance your checkbook! Solve the Greek financial crisis.

dough, ready for first risedough, rolled outcream cheese fillingwith cream cheese filling

And with a whole day, while the baby “weekends” with his grandparents? One can out-brunch all of their earlier brunch efforts. One can even braid a sweet yeasty bread and discover the directions on the recipe used forget to mention that your [giant, cream cheese and lemon curd-stuffed elegantly woven] soft dough will be impossible to transfer from your work surface to the parchment-lined baking sheet, call in one’s husband to help and together you two can spend the better part of a half hour getting the braid off the counter, mostly intact, without worrying that a little weeble-wobble in the next room is chewing on laptop wires (again). Baby-Free Saturday was wild, people. Please try to contain your envy.

i bought lemon curdhow to set up your braidstart braidingbraiding done

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, January 9, 2010

poppy seed lemon cake

poppy seed lemon cake

A whopping eight years ago, I joined a friend and her family for an afternoon at the then newly-opened Neue Galerie, which seriously, you should check out some time when you’re in my city. (Look at me, playing tourist guide!) The early 20th century German and Austrian art is fantastic but even more wonderful is the Cafe Sabarsky within which models itself after a turn-of-the-century Viennese cafe. But really, I don’t want to talk about the Kadinskys or the Kavalierspitz today, I want to talk about this cake. That I had there that day. That I have not shut up about since.

sevenfivethreeone

I wasn’t even the one who ordered it. Eight years ago, things called “lemon poppy seed cake” were ubiquitous, and largely nothing to write home about. I never understood what the poppy seeds were doing there, all sparse like occasional punctuations, adding… visual interest? It was generally unclear. They were lemon cakes, and not even great ones, with speckles. But this cake. THIS CAKE. (Sorry, it makes me shouty.) First its appearance: Poppy seeds clustered so densely, the cake was nearly black. I’d never seen anything like it — so intriguing, so ominous! And its texture: It managed to be one of the lightest cakes I’d ever eaten, without the blandness that’s all-too-common in angel food, chiffon and other “airy” confections. And the flavor: It tasted like lemon-scented butter, without the acidity typical in lemon cakes. This was about the perfume of the lemon, not the juice. And the poppy seeds! Did you know that poppy seeds actually do have a flavor — a slight nuttiness — should you allow enough of them in that they can actually speak up?

poppy aplentyzest, not juiceegg yolks, whipped ever-so-lightspeckled batter

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, July 2, 2009

watermelon lemonade

watermelon lemonade

As will happen from time to time (coughdaily), last week I got to longing for what I consider one of the greatest Cocktails Out There That Is Not a Manhattan, one that goes by the name Porch Swing as is served at Blue Smoke, a delicious mutt of a barbecue joint (Memphis babybacks, Kansas City spareribs, North Carolina slaw and Texas brisket, anyone?) on East 27th Street. The Porch Swing is a also a delicious mutt, with Pimm’s and Hendrick’s Gin and Lemonade and 7-Up and thin slices of cucumber (recipe over here) and omg is it October when mama can have a proper, strong drink yet?

watermelonwatermelon, read to pureelemonsloads of lemonslemons, drainedsetup

But for once, something phenomenal came out of this backyard longing, and that was (when Googling about for the official Porch Swing recipe), the discovery of something a little more gestationally-appropriate, the Watermelon Lemonade from Bubby’s, a pie and chicken noodle soup-style comfort food restaurant in TriBeCa. What brought these two drinks together was some Mix-Off event, where the Porch Swing won first prize in the boozy category and the watermelon lemonade stole my heart in the safe-for-babies zones. It had to be mine. Heck, it was mine long before I had a sip.

squeezing lemon juice

Continued after the jump »