Meyer Lemon Muffins
Adapted from www.latimes.com
Ceylon cinnamon has light citrus notes that pair perfectly with lemon in baked goods.
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar, plus 2 Tbs., divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 Meyer lemons, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Generously butter muffin pans (for 18 muffins), or use paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Slice 2 of the lemons in 1-inch pieces. Place in a blender and pulse to finely chop. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk and butter, and stir in the chopped lemon to combine.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the lemon mixture. Fold together just until moistened. Fill the prepared muffin cups half-full with batter.
Stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon. Slice the last Meyer lemon into 9 very thin slices, then cut each one in half. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar over each muffin, then top with a slice of lemon.
Bake 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the muffins from the pans, usinga small spatula to loosen them if needed, then cool on a wire rack.
These are delicious served warm. Makes 18 muffins.
Giuliana is a full-sparkling Prosecco! This traditional, yet vibrant wine balances acidity, softness, structure and bubbles, making it a perfect aperitif, dinner pairing, or way to bring festiveness to any occasion. Fresh, fruity, and complex on the palate, followed by a light velvety body. There is persistent perlage that lasts.
Yucatan Lemon Soup
Though traditionally made with limes, Meyer lemons, with their smooth and sweet citrus flavor, work well in this classic Mexican soup.
4 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1 onion, sliced into quarters
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, quartered
8 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
3 Tbs. finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
3 Tbs. Meyer lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. hot sauce, optional
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the broth, onion, jalapenos, garlic, lemon zest, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth, discarding the solids.
Return the broth to the pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the shrimp, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce, if using. Cook about 3 minutes, until the shrimp are firm and pink. Remove from heat, fold in the cilantro and serve. Serves 4.
Rich with vibrant fruit and balanced acidity, this wine shows pretty orange blossom with layers of fresh lemongrass, yellow apple and ananas melon that expand on a clean finish.
Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from www.minimalistbaker.com
These bars taste like classic lemon bars, but have a creamy texture just like cheesecake. Made with cashews and coconut cream, the filling is vegan, and the almond-oat crust is gluten-free.
1 c. raw cashews
1 c. gluten-free oats
1 c. almonds
1/4 tsp. salt, plus a pinch, divided
2 Tbs. coconut sugar
1 Tbs. maple syrup, plus 1/4 cup, divided
4 Tbs. coconut oil, melted, plus 1 more tablespoon as needed
1 c. coconut cream (see note)
2 Tbs. arrowroot or cornstarch
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 heaping Tbs. lemon zest
Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour, then drain thoroughly. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 8”x8” baking dish with parchment paper.
Place the oats, almonds, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the coconut sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have a fine meal. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the tablespoon of maple syrup and the coconut oil. Stir until a loose dough forms. When you squeeze some in your fingers it should hold together and not crumble. If it’s too dry, add up to a tablespoon more of melted coconut oil. Transfer the almond-oat mixture to the prepared baking dish. Spread it out in an even layer, then use a flat-bottomed glass to press the mixture out to form a packed crust. Bake for 15 minutes, then increase the heat to 375˚F and cook an additional 5-7 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven, and decrease heat back to 350˚F.
Place the drained cashews in the bowl of a food processor or in the pitcher of a high-speed blender. Add the coconut cream, arrowroot powder or cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Process until very creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more lemon zest and juice or maple syrup.
Pour the filling into the parbaked crust and smooth into an even layer. Tap the pan gently on the counter to get rid of any bubbles. Bake 20-23 minutes, or until the edges look slightly dry and the center has a little jiggle but is not liquidy. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Makes 9 bars.
Slice into bars to serve. Place powdered sugar (optional) in a fine mesh sifter and tap it lightly over the bars to coat with a light layer of sugar.
Note: Place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. The firm, creamy portion at the top is coconut cream. Scoop that out and leave behind the water.
Faire La Fete Brut:
Light golden in color, with vibrant aromas and flavors of baked apple, white cherry and lemon meringue, Faire la Fête—meaning to create a party— encourages the celebration of lives explored with sense of discovery, simplicity, appreciation and zeal.
Velvet Chicken with Baby Bok Choy
Adapted from www.eatingwell.com
This interesting recipe uses a Chinese technique to keep the chicken juicy, tender and creamy-white. This could easily be mistaken for a dish from a fancy Chinese restaurant.
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 Tbs. cornstarch, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
2 tsp. dry Sherry or seasoned rice wine, plus 2Tbs., divided
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
3 Tbs. peanut oil, divided
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick, bite-sized pieces
1/3 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
2/3 c. chopped scallions, divided
1 Tbs. finely minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
8 c. trimmed and halved baby bok choy (about 3/4 lb.)
In a medium bowl, stir together the egg white, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of sherry or rice wine, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved and there are no visible clumps. Stir in 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the chicken breast and stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together the broth, soy sauce, white pepper, and last 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of sherry or rice wine.
After the chicken has been marinating for 20 minutes. bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil. Reduce heat to low, then gently set the chicken in the barely simmering water. Carefully stir so that the chicken doesn’t stick together. Cook for about 1 minute, until the chicken is opaque but not cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and set in a colander to drain. Gently shake to remove excess water.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat. You’ll know it’s hot when a bead of water evaporates within 1-2 seconds. Add the last tablespoon of peanut oil. Add 1/3 cup of the scallions, the ginger and crushed red pepper flakes. Use a spatula and stir-fry about 10 seconds, until fragrant. Add the bok choy and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until the bok choy is almost crisp-tender. Add the chicken to the wok. After giving it a stir, add the broth mixture, and continue to stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through and lightly coated in sauce, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serves 4.
Selbach Oster Riesling Kabinett:
This wine has flavors of slate, lime, apple, butter-vanilla, rich, almost chewy earthiness, great depth. Some parcels are prized by locals as the best sites in the entire Bernkastel-Zeltingen ramp-DOKTOR notwithstanding! These wines are full-bodied.
Spicy Peanut Tofu and Bok Choy Rice Bowl
Adapted from www.karalydon.com
An easy peanut sauce turns basic baked tofu and sautéed bok choy mouth wateringly delicious.
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. Sriracha sauce, plus more to taste
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 c. peanut butter, plus 1 Tbs.
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sesame oil
16 oz. firm tofu, pressed, cut into 8 slices
1 large bunch (mature) bok choy, trimmed, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 c. cooked brown rice
1/4 c. crushed peanuts
1/4 c. chopped scallions
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha, brown sugar, peanut butter and salt until combined. Brush both sides of the slices of tofu with peanut sauce (you won’t use all of the sauce). Set the tofu on the prepared baking sheet and bake 35 minutes, flipping over halfway through the cooking time.
In a large wok or sauté pan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Stir in the bok choy and garlic. Add the remaining peanut sauce and toss to coat. sauté 5-8 minutes, or until the greens are wilted and the stalks are crisp tender.
Divide the brown rice among four bowls, then top with bok choy, the baked tofu, and crushed peanuts and chopped scallions. Serves 4.
Evesham Wood Blanc du Puits Sec:
There is a lot going on with the Blanc du Puits Sec this year. Rose, lychee, pear, apricot, peach, brine, mint, a juicy mid-palate finishing crisp and clean. Evesham Wood Blanc du Puits Sec is certified organically grown.
Coconut Bok Choy Smoothie
Adapted from www.goodgirlgonegreen.com
With almost two grams of iron per cup, more than a full day’s dose of vitamin A, plus healthy measures of vitamins C and K, bok choy is a smart choice at any meal, but it’s great to get it in before lunch! Its mild taste blends perfectly with banana, avocado and coconut milk in this date-sweetened smoothie.
1 ripe banana
1 head baby bok choy, trimmed
1 c. coconut milk
1/2 c. ice
2 dates, pitted
Combine all ingredients in a blender pitcher. Blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy. Makes 1 smoothie.
Steak and Sweet Potato Bowls with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce
Adapted from www.iowagirleats.com
Bowls of quinoa aretopped with roasted sweet potatoes, sliced seared steak, avocado and a simple, guacamole-inspired sauce. With lots of bright green and the fresh flavors of arugula, avocado and cilantro, you might be fooled into thinking spring is here. If you’re short on time, you can skip the marinade and just season the steak with some salt and pepper before searing it.
1 1/4 lb. flank steak
1/4 c. tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbs. canola oil, plus more for the pan
2 tsp. honey
4 garlic cloves, crushed, plus 1 clove whole garlic, divided
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 lb. sweet potato, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large avocado, divided
1/4 c. packed fresh cilantro
1 1/2 Tbs. lime juice
2-4 Tbs. water
cooked quinoa, for serving
2 c. baby arugula
If the flank steak is too large to fit in a large cast iron skillet, slice it in half.
Combine the tamari, canola oil, honey, crushed garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, ground ginger in a large plastic storage bag or in a baking dish large enough to fit the steak. Add the steak to the marinade and refrigerate for 1-6 hours.
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then spread them in an even layer. Roast 25-30 minutes, until they are golden-brown and tender, giving them a stir part way through the cooking time.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and when hot, place the steak in the skillet (do this in two batches if you cut your steak in half). Sear the steak for 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting boards and let rest about 10 minutes, then slice into thin strips against the grain.
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine 1/2 the avocado, the cilantro, lime juice, remaining clove of garlic, and some salt and pepper.
Pulse to roughly chop. Add 2 tablespoons of water, then process until smooth, adding up to 2 more tablespoons of water to achieve a creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Slice the remaining half of the avocado. Fill four bowls with quinoa. Top with a handful of arugula, then the sliced steak, roasted sweet potatoes and sliced avocado. Serve with the avocado-cilantro sauce at the table. Serves 4.
Tinto Negro Malbec:
A rich and round textured Malbec with loads of chocolate, dried berry and hints of vanilla character. Full and flavorful.
Sweet Potato Falafel
Adapted from www.carolynspantry.com
These falafel couldn’t be easier to make, and they’re vegan and gluten-free. Serve them with tahini sauce, chopped cucumber, tomato and parsley in a pita for a sandwich, or serve on top a big salad.
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained
1 c. fresh cilantro
juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. turmeric
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 Tbs. olive oil
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Place the sweet potato in a steaming basket and steam over a pot of simmering water until tender. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mashuntil there are no large chunks. Combine the chickpeas, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, olive oil and salt in a food processor. Pulse 3-4 times to lightly chop everything. Add the sweet potato, then pulse again until combined, but not creamy. You still want there to be texture.
Use a large spoon or ice cream scooper to make falafel balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve!
Makes 18-24 falafel.
Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir:
Miles above other Pinots in the same price category, this wine is a particularly wonderful vintage. It is deeply colored with aromas and flavors of strawberries and raspberries joined by anise and clove in mouth filling intensity.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Eggs
This nutritious, filling and Paleo-friendly meal makes a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner. Serve on its own, or roast some cauliflower while the oven’s on to go alongside.
5 sweet potatoes
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbs. olive oil
8 eggs, lightly beaten
3 green onions, sliced
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Wrap the sweet potatoes individually in aluminum foil, then place on a baking sheet. Bake 4-45 minutes, until tender. Unwrap and let cool enough to handle.
Lower the oven to 350˚F.
Dice the sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, garlic salt, and salt and pepper. Toss to combine (it’s okay if the sweet potatoes fall apart). Transfer the mixture to a square baking dish. Pour the beaten eggs over the sweet potatoes and top with the green onions. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the eggs are set. Enjoy warm, cold, or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.
Rosenblum Paso Robles Zinfandel:
With big varietal flavors and bold regional character, Rosenblum Cellars’ Paso Robles Zinfandel opens with a pop, delivering a bright, complex nose of rhubarb, cherry, dried sage and barrel spices. The palate is smooth and long, supporting the luscious fruit with layers of molasses and cinnamon.