How to Clean Fresh Artichokes

It might not feel like spring outside, but the season is in full swing in the market! It’s artichoke season, so get those kitchen shears ready, because you’re going to need to make artichokes straight away. Cleaning artichokes feels a little work intensive the first time you make them, but after once you’ll get it and you’ll be craving artichokes regularly!

Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

I’ve always loved a light vinaigrette, especially one that’s a little creamy. And I’ve finally cracked the code – dijon mustard is the secret to this vinaigrette!

Everyone needs a good dressing recipe in their back pocket, and I swear I could put this on everything – from salad to fish to meat to veggies. I’ve made this twice this week already and it’s only Wednesday!

 

Creamy Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: Appx 1/4 c. | Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large garlic clove, zested (or minced if you don’t own a zester)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

3 tbsp dijon mustard (the smooth kind, not grainy)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and shake it like a polaroid picture!

You can adjust the ingredients to your liking. If you want a thinner consistency, add water 1/2 tsp at a time.

Perfect Asparagus Tart Recipe

Warm, cheesy, tangy, flaky…downright dreamy. This asparagus tart recipe is perfect for your spring and Easter gatherings and is irresistible served warm and super tasty at room temperature.

I promise the only regret you’ll have with this recipe is wanting to eat it all! It’s so simple it’s almost a sin to even call this a recipe. You can change up any aspect of the recipe, change the cheeses, use a different veg – it’s all up to you!

The balsamic glaze I added at the end really helped to finish the dish, just add right before serving if you decide to serve this tart at room temperature!

Serve up this Asparagus Tart with an arugula salad, Lamb Lollipops and Lemon Loaf for dessert! Get your Easter table ready here!

Easy Asparagus Tart Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings | Time: ~35 minutes

Ingredients:

Pastry dough, thawed.

1/4 c grated Gruyere cheese

1/4 c whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 tbsp lemon zest (optional!)

salt, pepper to taste (salt might depend on the cheese you choose)

optional: balsamic glaze to finish

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°

Roll thawed pastry dough onto parchment lined baking sheet

Score pastry dough in a rectangle to make the area that will be the “crust,” about 1/2 inch from the edges. Poke the base with a fork generously to prevent the puff pastry from, well, puffing up too much. Bake dough for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim and blanch your asparagus. Drain well.

While pastry and asparagus are cooling, combine cheeses, lemon zest if using, salt and pepper. Mix well. Gently spread cheese mixture evenly on tart, leaving crust without cheese.

Top with blanched asparagus. Bake for 12 minutes or until crust is golden-brown and cheese is melty delicious.

Let cool for a few minutes and cut into slices. You’ll need a very sharp knife or a very sharp serated knife to cut the pastry without the crust falling apart.

 

Note: Frozen pastry dough typically comes with two sheets of dough. This recipe can easily be doubled to utilize both sheets of puff pastry. make sure to separate them from each other if you are going to thaw both sheets of pastry dough.

 

Simple Spring Lemon Loaf

In planning our Easter menu, I’ve tried to keep our recipes light, simple and bright. Know what I mean by “bright”? Those dishes that just feel lively and springy and, well, bright, as soon as you take a bite. Enter, this simple spring lemon loaf recipe!

The key to the super lemon flavor in this dessert is lemon zest, and a lot of it. So you’ll need a zester – I have this one! I love how moist this lemon loaf is, and the trick is the full fat sour cream – it not only gives it zing but also keeps the slices moist, even after a few days.

Another reason I love this recipe? You don’t have to dirty up your stand mixer! Just one bowl and a whisk and you’re all set.

3 Steps to Perfect Candied Lemons

Happy first day of spring! I’m ready for all the cute bunnies, asparagus, artichoke hearts and LEMONS. Lemon everything. It’s like the pumpkin spice of March, April and May.

For Easter, I’m planning to make my lemon loaf, which I thought would be fun to dress up with a few slices of candied lemons. They’re so quick to make – just a few minutes of prep and into the oven for about 45 minutes.

I mean, hey, spring! Amirite?!

All you need is a mandolin to get your thin, even slices of lemon and about 3-4 tablespoons of sugar.

Quick & Easy Oven Candied Lemons

Yield: About 24 slices, depending on size of lemons and thickness of slices.

Time: ~50 minutes

Ingredients:

2-3 lemons, sliced with a mandolin

3-4 tbsp of sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250°.

Line pan with parchment paper.

Thinly slice lemons and arrange on pan.

Generously top each slice with sugar, which will absorb into the lemons.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the lemons are covered with a sugary glaze.
Let cool and enjoy – easy peasy lemon squeezy! xo

 

 

Sunday Funday Menu

So the saying goes, “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.” I love spending our Sunday’s with friends and family. It’s such an enjoyable way to round out the week and get one last recharge in before the chaos of a new week.

Keeping Sunday entertaining easy and simple is so important, not just for you as a hostess but for your guests. You want to make them feel comfortable and like they’re getting their last dose of relaxation in before their week, too. I am loving this menu for a great Sunday lunch.

 

I’m all about casual entertaining (okay, china and a beautifully set table 100% has its place and I’m super into that, too). Keeping things casual sends a signal to your guests that they can just relax, be themselves, be comfortable. A simple menu packs a punch when all the flavors go from one dish to the next – it’s like a good playlist or a great story. Putting together this menu, I thought about each flavor in the dishes working together. I’m not a big fan of say, cheese and crackers for an appetizer and ground beef tacos for the main dish – a little jarring for my taste.

Stay casual by picking a palette – keep the colors in the same family and stack up your dishes and utensils for an easy grab. A stack of dishes to me is a little bit more like, “hey thanks for joining us for our usual dinner.” What’s better than having your friends join you for an every day kind of meal?

I have a sick stash of mason jars around the house and use them for everything – smoothies, flowers, and here, utensils. I always throw utensils in a mason jar. What could be more casual?

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Coookies

 

There’s something about a well-stocked cookie jar full of homemade goodness that makes a house so inviting and warm. Basically, our cookie jar is a way for me to lure my nephews into thinking I’m the coolest aunt. I’m not above bribery, let’s be real.

These cookies are my go-to, especially around the holidays. A chocolate chip cookie is a safe bet for a homemade gift, perfect for a hostess, a neighbor, or a little special extra for a family to enjoy. I promise, they’re quick and easy, soft and chewy, and worth every second of effort.

PS – A cookie jar, full of these, is a perfect gift!