Easy Lemon Salmon

I finally got both my daughters to eat salmon!  Mom victory!!  My oldest (4 year old) has been eating it for a year, and my 2 year old just started eating it a couple of weeks ago and I am so pumped because 1. I hate making them other food when I want salmon, and 2. it’s so good for them!

What got them into it was lemons.  They love “decorating” the uncooked salmon with the lemons I cut because they look like flowers, and then at the dinner table I have more lemons they get to squeeze on it themselves.  Plus, lets not underestimate how cool it is for them when we go to Costco and they can look at the dead packaged fish and then we talk about eating it at home.

Recipe:

I make this salmon once a week at home, and it’s super easy and simple.  I buy the big salmon filets at Costco, and then cut them up into smaller fillets, put them in ziplock baggies, and freeze them for later use.  Then when I know I am going to make salmon, I just defrost them in the fridge the night before.  First thing I do is throw a little olive oil on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Then I place my pre-cut fillets on top and kinda smear the fillets around to make sure they have a small amount of olive oil on them so they don’t stick.  (You can also use olive oil spray).  Then all I do is salt and pepper both sides of the fillets.  (Not too much pepper if you are feeding it to the kids).Next I cut the skin off a lemon, then slice it into the “lemon flower” shape my kids love.Then just place 2 “lemon flowers” on each fillet.   Now bake for about 20 minutes on 350 and thats it! *
*Just don’t eat the cooked lemon that is on the fillets.  Remove them from the fish and just toss them….cooking them makes them taste more bitter and won’t be good.  If you love lemon and want more, just squeeze some fresh juice on top when serving.  Also…it’s very important to use ripe lemons or they will get too bitter and ruin the taste.

Lemon Cookies : {For my sweet Grandma}

IMG_4302My Grandma had a fall recently so she hasn’t been up for going out and getting her sweet treats from the grocery store….which if you know my Gram, is a tragedy because she loves her sweets.  So my mother-in-law brought me this cute tin with this note from her:IMG_4304Since she loves lemon I found a great lemon cookie recipe here.  The recipe originally has a lemon glaze but since she isn’t into cookies with lemon glaze I added more lemon to the actual batter and left out the glaze and it was just as delish and not messy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

IMG_4249Mix together all dry ingredients.IMG_4236With an electric mixer, whip together butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed, until mixture is fluffy. IMG_4270Then mix in egg, then egg yolk until combined, then mix in lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Scoop onto parchment lined cookie sheets and cook for 10 minutes (or until desired crispiness…I love crispy cookies).IMG_4299IMG_4315Once the tin was full, I still had a lot more cookies so I used the extra thank you gift bags left over from Evangeline’s Valentine’s Day Birthday Party.

Thyme for Lemon Chicken

IMG_2238Clearly I love lemons and lemon recipes.  I’m throwin’ it back this Thursday with one of the first recipes I ever came up with years ago.  I was cooking in my now mother-in-laws kitchen for my then boyfriend, and trying to come up with something that would impress him.  I had no idea what thyme was, or what it tasted like….but I cook like my mom…just throw it in!  It wasn’t as “put together” the first few times I made it….but by now I have it down.

Healthier Options:

The combo of the thyme, lemon juice, and olive oil is what really makes this dish….how you cook it is up to you.  When I make it I cook it in olive oil on the pan.  But it can also be baked and drizzled with olive oil instead of dredged in it.

Ingredients : {Makes 4 Servings}

  • 4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Thyme
  • Pepper (8-10 dashes)
  • Salt (4 turns on the grinder)
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 3/4 cup Olive oil

Directions:

IMG_2215Combine 1/2 cup of olive oil with the juice of 2 lemons in a shallow bowl.  In a separate bowl combine breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and thyme.IMG_2220Dredge chicken in olive oil/lemon mixture then dip in the seasoned crumbs.
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Heat the remaining oil on medium-high heat and place chicken in.  (Make sure oil is heated before putting in chicken)
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Cook approx. 5-7 minutes per side on medium-high heat until chicken is fully cooked and crumbs are golden brown (or crispier if you like it like that).  My stove goes from 1-6 and I cooked it on a 4 if that helps haha.  IMG_2231After flipping the chicken squeeze the last of the lemon juice on the breasts (but make sure not to squeeze the juice into the hot oil…bad news…just on the chicken itself.  Make sure to only flip once so you don’t loose the crumbs.IMG_2232Place chicken on paper towel to soak up the excess olive oil.  (And I totally fished out the crispy pieces that fell off the chicken because they are the best part!)IMG_2239

Quick Vanilla Peach Jam : {Shower Favor}

IMG_1690My friend Heather called me a few weeks ago and asked, “Hey friend, do you want to make jam?” Umm YES! I love jam (Apricot and Boysenberry are my fave FYI)…hopefully this doesn’t sound weird but I love it not only because it is delish, but because it is so pretty! Anyway, she wanted to make it as a favor for our friends Karla & Jason’s Baby-Q Shower that she was throwing. What a great idea! Party favors can be so boring…it’s nice to get one you can actually use. (For the record at our wedding we had a boring favor (a C.D.). Yes I got married when they still made C.D.’s). Heather found this recipe on Pinterest for a Peach Freezer Jam.

The Good News: It takes a lot less time to make than normal jam.

The Bad News (Sorta): It stays fresh in the fridge for only about 3 weeks. (But you can keep it in the freezer for a year).

We followed the recipe and only changed it slightly. That’s what I like most about the recipe; You can change it! Add different fruit, different juice flavors, combine fruits, etc. It’s just great to have a jam recipe that doesn’t take long to make! Thanks Recipe Girl!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened white grape
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • One 1.75-ounce package no-sugar-needed fruit pectin (or 3 tablespoons from a jar)
  • 5 to 6 medium peaches, peeled, diced and coarsely pureed in the food processor (3 cups of puree)
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Five 8-ounce freezer-safe glass jelly jars

Directions:

IMG_1467IMG_1463IMG_1468 IMG_1476Put peaches in a pot of boiling water until the skins loosen (about a minute). *NOTE: The longer you leave them in the water the less firm your peaches become and they could break down…..so keep an eye on them.IMG_1477IMG_1479Then transfer peaches to a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds.
IMG_1473IMG_1475Peel skin off the peaches (this is the fun part).
IMG_1484Chop peaches. IMG_1480Puree the peaches roughly. (You don’t want them completely smooth)
IMG_1486IMG_1490Bring grape juice and lemon juice to a boil. Then whisk in the pectin completely and let it boil for 1 minute.
IMG_1491Stir in 3 cups of peach puree, sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. IMG_1495Bring back to a boil and keep at a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.IMG_1498Divide the hot mixture between the jars (ours made more than 5 for some reason and we used tupperware which worked great too), leaving 1/2-inch room at the top of each jar . Place the tops on the jars and let them sit at room temperature until they are completely cooled off (12 to 24 hours). Then refrigerate or freeze!IMG_1504IMG_1911Attach a label or instructions to the jars for a cute favor!