Lemon Pound Cake

Oh hey, lemon again? To be honest, I’m not a fan of lemon flavored things.  Actually, let me correct that; I’m not a fan of overly lemon flavored treats.  I don’t mind mild lemon flavor, but I’m not a fan of the body-distorting-mouth-puckering-in-your-face-lemon flavor. This pound cake takes a ride on the milder side, and is refreshing and perfect for the ongoing gorgeous spring season.

Fun fact- these lemons were actually grown in my mother’s backyard! When she was visiting in December, she filled her luggage with these lemons (her tree only produces harvest in the winter months) to share with us 🙂

 (Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

lemonpoundcakepic

 

Lemon Pound Cake

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons (1 whole lemon) lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and oil and beat on high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time. Add yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined, making sure to scrape the bowl as needed. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 to 60 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, tent with a piece of aluminum foil.

Allow cake to cool for 1 hour, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Make Glaze:

In a bowl, whisk together sugar and 1 tablespoon milk, adding more milk if needed to thin it out. Pour over cake while it is still slightly warm, and cool completely before serving.

Lemon Velvet Trifle

Mis Amores! How I have missed thee!

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve probably gathered that we’ve spent the last several weeks globetrotting. In a span of 4.5 weeks, we visited Madina and Mecca (Alhumdullilah! Praise be to God!), Dubai, and Karachi. Our trip was a whirlwind, and we are blessed to have had the opportunity to partake in it.

We’re home now, and this trip has made me realize that there is no place like it. Although we truly enjoyed ourselves, I really missed home. I missed our friends, our community, our routine, and I missed this little space of mine.

Now that I’m back, I have a fun lineup of recipes to share. I’ve gotten so much inspiration from our trip, and I can’t wait to build upon it! I’m going to get the ball rolling with some fun spring inspired lemony goodness- Lemon Velvet Trifles, recipe courtesy of my genius friend Sarah of Flour and Spice! These trifles are like little cups (ha! Can you believe I came up with that one on my own? 😉 ) of sunshine. They come together super quick and make for a gorgeous presentation. You can use whatever cookies you want for the layers (I used Biscoff because that’s what I had on hand; Sarah recommended gingersnaps), and I’m sure adding a layer of fresh fruit would only intensify its deliciousness.

Go ahead and give these bad boys a shot. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed 🙂

 

lemonvelvettriflespic

 

Lemon Velvet Trifle

Yield: Varies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Few drops yellow food color, optional
  • Crushed cookies or biscuits, as needed

Directions:

In the bowl of a mixer, beat whipping cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat condensed milk on medium high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and food color (if using) and mix until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in whipped cream.

Layer crushed cookies and lemon mixture as desired in serving dish.

Lemon and Garlic Spaghetti with Spinach

I’m always on the lookout for side dishes that would go well with a main meal of some kind of protein (chicken, fish, etc.).  I stumbled upon this recipe decided to give it a shot, alongside some baked chicken.  Boy, did this hit the spot!  Not only is this recipe super easy to throw together and versatile (I used multigrain pasta), but also very simple and light.  My 2½-year-old son even enjoyed it!  Now I get requests from him for “spaggy” (translation:  spaghetti) every day for lunch 🙂

 

LemonandGarlicSpaghettiWithSpinachPic

 

 

Lemon and Garlic Spaghetti

With Spinach

Yield:  4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach

Directions:

Cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions.  Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium low heat.  Add garlic and cook gently, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, spinach, and pasta.  Mix well and cover.  Cook for 10 minutes, thus allowing the flavors to infuse.

Lemon and Chicken Pasta and First Blogiversary!

My blog-baby is one year old!
More importantly, I can’t believe I’ve managed to continue with a single hobby for a whole year! You see, I have the type of personality where I get excited about certain things (for example, quilting and scrapbooking) and I dive into them head first. I become obsessed. Then, I magically lose interest in these particular hobbies as quick as I developed them.
The interesting thing here is that I started this blog on a whim. I had been typing up my recipes in order to organize all of the small handwritten notes I had laying around our home, when one night I randomly decided to start a blog. I figured that I could post my recipes and take pictures as I went along. I thought that maybe my recipes would help someone, like other blogs had helped me. The only thing I had on my mind when I started this blog was the mantra “sharing is caring.” I had set no real goals.
What happened after that first post has changed my life.
A year later, I have gained friends from all over the globe. A year later, I have come to realize that there are people out there who are interested in what I have to say, no matter how mundane it may be. A year later, I have gained a loyal group of readers who always have the sweetest messages and words of encouragement for me. A year later, I have come to find out that people have tried my recipes, with success, and now a little bit of me is in their home. A year later, I am able to look back and say that starting a blog was a wonderfully random and spur of the moment decision, and that it is the most rewarding and fulfilling hobby that I could have ever taken up.
I want to thank each and every one of you, my loyal friends and readers, for always encouraging me with your kind words and messages. If it weren’t for you, this blog would have been an abandoned hobby, just like scrapbooking and quilting 🙂

***

Today, instead of sharing a dessert recipe, I’m going to share a meal with you that embodies the humble intentions of this blog.  It’s a simple and light pasta, nothing fancy.  I strive to share recipes with you that are tested and loved in my home, and made over and over.  This pasta is just that.  It’s something I like to make when I want something light yet filling, and it’s made up of simple ingredients that can be found in our home any day.  I hope that you, my dear readers and friends, have found my recipes to be easy and thorough enough to follow and have success with.

 

LemonChickenPastaPic

Lemon and Chicken Pasta

Yield:  3-4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried penne pasta or ¾ pound egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Dried parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic.  Cook until the chicken is no longer rare, making sure to stir often.  Turn off heat.

Add pasta, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese and stir until everything is incorporated well.

Garnish with dried parsley.

(Adapted from Food Network)