Easy Lemon Yogurt Cake

As soon as there is the tiniest hint of Spring in the air, all I want is lemon.

Lemon with shrimp, lemon with pasta, and especially lemon desserts.

I guess after a winter of heavy and rich soups and stews, my taste buds are craving something as bright and zingy as the beautiful sunshine streaming through the windows.

This is a fantastically light and fluffy cake. And the best part? I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 ½ Cups  Flour
  • ½ Cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ Cup Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2  Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • Lemon zest (as much or as little as you want)
  • ¼ Cup Lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8 inch round cake pan.

In a large bowl, which yogurt, sugar and eggs.

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until you have a well combined batter

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Add lemon juice, oil and lemon zest

It’s going to look like it wants to separate

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but keep whisking until well combined

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Add flour, salt and baking powder to the wet ingredients

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And whisk (carefully so you don’t have flour all over your kitchen) until you have a smooth batter.

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Pour into your greased cake pan.

 

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And bake for about 30 minutes. Until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

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After the cake cools, remove from cake pan and dust with powdered sugar. If you want to get fancy, you can cut a shape out of parchment paper and use it as a template for the powdered sugar.

Aww

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Slice and serve with some whipped cream.

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Lemony, light and oh so delicious.

And kind of healthy!

No butter and not a lot of sugar. Plus Greek yogurt. Which is so good for you.

Win!

Lemon Chess Pie

Bright Sunshiney days make me think one thing: beach.

But, since we can’t get to the beach yet, sunshine’s got me thinking about bright bursts of citrusy flavor.

In the form of a lemon chess pie.

Chess pies are super Southern and consist of eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla. It’s a great recipe to know because you usually have the ingredients on hand and can whip this up if guests unexpectedly will be arriving soon.

This recipe comes from Southern Living. Instead of using vanilla, I used some lemon juice to give the pie a more summery twist.

Start with a pie crust. You can use store bought or homemade.

This little beauty was made by my husband. Following my grandmother’s recipe.

I love that. Him reading the recipe written in her handwriting.

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So, once you have your pie crust baked and cooled, it’s time for the filling.

You will need:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350.

Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a big bowl

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And the whites in a not as big bowl

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Using an electric hand mixer, beat the whites into stiff peaks. See how there’s a little point of egg white standing up on the mixer? That’s a stiff peak.

 

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Leave those whites for a minute and turn to the yolks. Add the melted butter, sugar and lemon juice and stir.

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Now, gently tip the whites into the yolk mixture and fold them in.

 

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You’ll get this beautiful, pale, buttery yellow.

 

 

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When fully combined, pour the mix into the crust.

 

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Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until set.

 

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Let cool in the fridge, and then pile high with whipped cream.

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When you slice it, I love the contrast of the lemony yellow against the glistening white whipped cream.

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Served icy cold, this pie is like a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day: refreshing, tart and sweet and so satisfying.

Lemony Shrimp and Cannelini Beans with Couscous

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It’s Tasty Tuesday over at the Craft Dictator, so if you’re stumped what to make for dinner, I suggest you head on over there for some tasty inspiration.

So over in the city, we’re in the polar vortex. Sounds all si-fiey, but I promise you this is real.

It is absolutely frigid out in New York, and, actually, across the country.

When it’s this cold, you probably want to go the warming comfort food route – lasagna, chili, and chicken cacciatore come to mind.

But sometimes I just want to take my mind off the cold and make a bright summery dish to ease away those winter blues.

Nothing like some shrimp and a bright citrusy burst of lemon to bring you thoughts of beaches and crashing waves as you cozy up at home while the wind blows outside the windows.

So tonight, I am defying the polar vortex and making a lemony shrimp and cannelini bean dish.

I’m serving over couscous, but this can easily be tossed over pasta. Use what you have on hand and what you like.

For this dish you will need

  • One pound of shrimp peeled and de-veined
  • one can of cannelini beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • juice from one lemon
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • black pepper
  • couscous

Start by heating butter, olive oil and garlic in a large skillet. Also, prepare your couscous or pasta according to directions.

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When the garlic starts to brown, toss in the spinach and stir.

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When the spinach wilts, add the scallions and let them warm through.

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The add the shrimp and season with black pepper.

 

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When the shrimp are cooked through on both sides, add the cannelini beans and the lemon juice.

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Stir and cook for an additional three minutes or so. You don’t want to overcook the shrimp but you want the beans to warm up.

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Serve up in bowls over couscous or pasta.

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Can you hear the waves lapping the sand?

Lemon Garlic Basil Pasta

It sounds fancier than it is.

Last night we were both supposed to not be home. But we both ended up at home. For dinner.

And I really had no plan for feeding both of us.

So I opened a cabinet.

And then another cabinet.

And then I rummaged around the fridge.

And I came up with angel hair pasta, olive oil, garlic, a lemon and some basil leaves.

If you have pasta and some olive oil, you can always make a meal.

So here we go, pasta sauce on the fly.

Pour some olive oil into a pan and add two cloves of garlic chopped. Remember, the oil is going to be the sauce, so don’t skimp out here.

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When the garlic starts to brown a bit, add in the juice of one lemon and tear a few basil leaves into the sauce. Give a few grinds to the pepper mill. If you want to add a touch of richness, add in a tablespoon of butter.

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Toss some angel hair pasta in the sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

 

 

 

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A few key ingredients and you won’t panic when you need to whip up a  last minute dish.