Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

Ok, I know I’m confusing you here.  I was all pumpkin and butternut squash and blah blah blah, and now I’m giving you lemon poppy seed.

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But just stay with me here, people, there’s a super good reason for it.

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I’m giving you lemons because, well, sometimes life does that (yes, I literally had a bunch of lemons begging to be used). And when life give you lemons, people, you make lemon poppy seed scones.

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And these scones with knock your socks off. They were so good by themselves that I didn’t even want to frost and/or glaze them, which is super impressive because I want to frost and/or glaze everything, ever. These just melt in your mouth all on their own,  without the frosting assist. Like magic.

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I know we’re all up in fall’s business here in New England, but any time of year is a good time for lemon poppy seed scones. Especially when life gives you lemons.

Recipe

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 15 minutes | Total time: about 40 minutes with cooling

Yield: about 8 large scones

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter unsalted, diced
  • 1 egg
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 º F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder and lemon zest. Cut in the cold butter  using a pastry cutter or two forks until the mixture looks like corn meal, or the butter is the size of peas. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg, lemon juice and heavy cream. Slowly pour the wet ingredients in to the dry and mix until the mixture just barely comes together.

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and roll out in to large disk, about 1 inch thick. Cutting across the diameter, cut the dough in to 8 triangles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are just barely golden. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve slightly warm. PS- these are amazzzzinnnnggggg when topped with blueberry jam. You heard it here first.

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Cucumber Melon Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Um, has anyone else noticed how ridiculously hot it’s been lately?

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Like stupid hot. Like I-don’t-even-want-to-leave-the-comfort-of-air-conditioning-and-sit-on-the-pourch-and-drink-a-cold-beer-hot. And believe me, that’s saying something.

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When it’s that hot out, there are very few things that appeal to me to eat (again, that’s also saying something). I only want something cold, refreshing and only made out of fruits and vegetables. This salad was the absolutely perfect solution.

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The cucumber and melon both have a high water content and subtle flavors, making them prefect when the heat index is threatening dehydration. This light vinaigrette brightens up the melon and cucumber just enough without overpowering it. The red onion adds a hint of kick that I just could not get enough of. The salad tasted wonderful the second I made it, and fantastic the next night as leftovers.

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This is seriously the perfect summer dish, especially when the thermostat is hovering around 100º F. I know it will be appearing again and again in my kitchen. I highly suggest you try it in yours! Enjoy!

Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

  • 2 cups cucumbers, seeds removed, cubed
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup goat cheese crumbles

Combine the cucumber, cantaloupe and onion in a large bowl. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the melon and cucumber and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle on goat cheese and serve.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes

Oh, hello. I made you dinner.

Half of you out there are just like “Yessssssss”. The other half are like “What the heck, Jamie? Where’s my dessert?”. To the latter half,  don’t worry, dessert is coming. To the former, you’re welcome :).

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Honestly, I find making dinner really hard sometimes. I find photographing dinner even harder (see above and below, my apologies). Everyone I know works super late and/or crazy hours so the light is never right when we sit down. And I have a really hard time making guests or family wait to eat while I weirdly take pictures of their food. And I can’t make these dinners for myself. I just can’t. Nevertheless, I made you dinner and I’m so glad I did because making dinner, despite all of my complaints, is just so awesome. There’s nothing better than a home cooked, healthy meal with fun people. Not one thing.

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This Lemon Rosemary Chicken is really a classic to me. Baked chicken with bright, summer flavors over fresh arugula, served with lovely, sweet tomatoes is a hearty meal that satisfies your guests and reminds them of sitting down to dinner with their family growing up. Better yet, you basically throw the chicken in the oven and forget about it, so you can enjoy the group and not hover over the stove. Even the tomatoes take like, two seconds and require very little attention. So little attention is paid to the actual making of the dinner that I found time to take pictures before eating. Perfect.

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This is a great dinner to make if you’re throwing a small get together. You get a flavorful, beautiful dish and still get to enjoy the party. And take pictures, if you’re weird like me ;).

Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Bake time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes

Chicken

  • 2 ½ lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning
  • ½ dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 large bag arugula, for serving

Tomatoes

  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken

Preheat the oven 450 º F. Arrange the chicken in a 9 x13 baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, grill seasoning and salt. Pour over the chicken and evenly coat. You can even let the chicken marinate in the fridge for a few hours for a little added flavor if you have time! Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and add the white wine or chicken broth. Place the chicken back in the over and let roast for 5 more minutes. Serve warm, room temp or chilled over a bed of arugula.

For the tomatoes, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add all ingredients and stir until combined. Sauté about 10 – 15 minutes until tomatoes are slightly browned and the skins are bursting. Best served immediately, but also delicious as leftovers (this is a fact).

 

Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

So I had one of those weekends.

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You know, where everything seems to just flow?  Everything was easy, fun. It felt like summer. Life was good.

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Life was also good because I made these sweet rolls. Sweet as in they have sugar in them, but also sweet as in awesome. Because that’s what they were. Totally. Freaking. Awesome.

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These rolls rocked the blueberry/lemon combo, which I’m seriously loving right now.  The fresh blueberries in the filling get super sweet during the baking process and just melt in your mouth, and the lemon zest adds a little punch that’s soooo gooooood.

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And if you’re thinking that the lemon cream cheese glaze on top is too much and are considering leaving it out, whatever you do, don’t. I could have eaten the glaze by itself with a spoon, but putting the it on top of these things was maybe the smartest decision I’ve ever made. The extra lemon-ness took these things to a whole different level. A whole better level.

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This recipe takes a little bit of time, but, hey, all good things are worth waiting for. Let’s just call this a labor of love, shall we? Also, you can definitely make the rolls the night before, let them rise while you sleep and just pop them in the oven when you wake up in the morning and have yourself an awesome breakfast in no time.

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Totally. Freaking. Awesome

Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 25-30 minutes | Total Time: about 4 hours (mostly downtime)

Yield: 8-10 rolls

Dough:

  • 1 eggs
  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour (an additional ¼ cup may be necessary)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1  (¼ oz) packet instant dry yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup light canned coconut milk (buttermilk, cows milk, almond milk, etc may also be used)

Filling

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • ¾ cup blueberry preserves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries

Glaze

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Juice of ½ a large lemon

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or by hand) mix together all ingredients except the milk. Bring the mild to temperature by heating it in the microwave. The temperature will depend on what brand of yeast you’re using, but it’s usually between 100° F and 130 ° F… Just look on the yeast packet to determine the correct temp! If it doesn’t specify, I would err on the cooler side, around 110 ° F so as to avoid overheating the milk and killing the yeast.

Pour the milk over the ingredients in the stand mixer and mix on low speed for 7-10 minutes (10 minutes if by hand). Dough should be formed and come away from the side of the bowl easily. If it is super sticky, add extra flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough becomes less sticky.

After kneading the dough, turn it out onto a large greased bowl, cover with saran wrap and place in a warm space until the dough has doubled in size, about 90 minutes to two hours. Punch the dough down, roll out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for about 3 minutes.

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, approximately 12×18 inches. Spread the two tablespoons of butter evenly over the dough. In a small bowl, mix the blueberry preserves and lemon zest. Pour the mixture over the buttered dough and spread evenly. Sprinkle the fresh blueberries over the preserves.

Butter and flour a 9-inch pie dish and set aside.

Gently roll the dough up lengthwise. Cut the rolled dough into approximately 2 inch wide pieces, discarding the very ends of the roll (I ended up with nine rolls). Carefully place the rolls into the pie dish.

At this point you can either:

1)    Let the rolls rise in a warm space until doubled in size, about 60-75 minutes.

2)    Cover with a damp cloth, then saran wrap, and let the rolls rise overnight.

Regardless of which option you choose, in the last minutes of rising preheat your oven to 350 ° F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops of the rolls are just the slightest hint of golden brown.

In the last minutes of baking, make the glaze. Simply combine all ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle (or, if you’re like me, pour excessively) the glaze over the rolls. It will smell like blueberry-lemon-weekend joy in your kitchen.

The rolls are best served immediately, but can be stored and heated up in the microwave for 24-48 hours (possibly longer but I honest can’t tell you because these disappeared within a matter of hours!). Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks.