Lots of Lemons

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lemon dill biscuits


Complaining rarely works this well. After grumbling about my lack of a lemon tree, I opened up emails from three different friends offering me lemons the very next day! Since I have yet to incorporate “no” into my vocabulary, piles of lemons now occupy half of my kitchen countertops.


Although lemon cake is probably the most popular dessert in my family, I wanted to use the lemons in a more savory application too. I nixed the traditional option of a marinade for fish—too many picky eaters—and settled on buttery biscuits instead.   Continue reading for recipe.


February 20, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 14 comments.

Best Meals of 2012

I know, the logical order would have been to start with my favorite meals of the year and finish with desserts… But I love sweets so much that I couldn’t wait to share those with you! I promise I didn’t forget about my top breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes though: here they are!  Continue reading for recipes.

December 31, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 10 comments.

Daddy’s Thanksgiving Tradition

100% whole wheat rolls

Before I was born, Dad began the tradition of baking bred on Thanksgiving morning. He developed his whole wheat rolls recipe while in grad school, but that sweet moist bread quickly became every person’s favorite dish on the holiday table.   Continue reading for recipe.

November 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 6 comments.

Vampires, Beware!

Despite growing up in a town only an hour away from the Gilroy Garlic Festival, I avoided the stuff more than any vampire ever did. I hated the pungent aftertaste that lingered in my mouth for hours, and I all but banned my dad from mincing a clove or adding a pinch of the dried powder to veggie stir-fries or meat marinades.


But my best friend is the polar opposite. If a recipe calls for one clove, he cuts up three. Garlic fries at a ball game? One order before the first pitch and another during the 7th inning stretch. Spaghetti sauce, pizza toppings, sandwich spreads… It appears in nearly everything he eats.


So when he asked for a homemade loaf of bread, I knew what I had to do. I cringed as I finely chopped the garlic, wrinkling m nose as I imagined its scent seeping into my pores and clinging to my hair. A wave of garlic erupted from the fridge every time I opened the door to check on the rising dough, but the huge satisfied smile on his face as he took the first bite made the entire smelly endeavor worthwhile. And—surprise, surprise—I even ate a piece too!   Continue reading for recipe.

July 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. Leave a comment.

Browsing in the Bakery

Last week, I stopped by a different grocery store on the other side of town. I barely shop there, only about twice a year when I need a more exotic or ethnic ingredient Safeway doesn’t carry.


As I wandered around, I found myself drawn to the bakery section. (Surprise, surprise!) I stared impatiently at the five-year-old boy shyly accepting a free cookie from the friendly lady behind the counter, willing him to walk away so I could press my nose against the glass display case and study the cheesecakes, fruit tarts, and chocolate éclairs taunting me from within.


Realizing I’d start drooling unless I turned away, I took a few steps to my right to look at the artisan loaves of bread. One caught my eye. It appeared that the baker tried his had at modern art by haphazardly gluing several mini baguettes together and sticking it on the shelf to sell.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 7 comments.

The Smell of Saying Sorry

Last weekend, I felt selfish. I didn’t outright beg my friend to change his evening plans to eat dinner with me, although the thought crossed my mind. But his college buddies rarely come to town, so I sat (almost) sulking at home while he enjoyed a guys night out.


After about 5 minutes, my childish self-pity dissipated into an urge to bake. Despite hiding my selfish thoughts when we talked on the phone, they still tied my stomach up in knots that only a gentle bread kneading could undo.   Continue reading for recipe.

March 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 2 comments.

Rising and Running

Yesterday, I greeted the morning by lacing up my raspberry red Saucony’s, twisting my hair into a ponytail, and running through the neighborhood for the first time in 3½ months. As the breeze blew across my face and the sun warmed my skin, I smiled at the long-lost but familiar strain in my calves, then laughed aloud at my next thought.


Making bread is a lot like running. You stretch the dough (your muscles) and knead out the knots, let it rise and fill with air (your lungs, as your run), punch it down (the last few strides as you near the end), and bake it in a warm oven (the shower afterwards). Sometimes, you might mix extra goodies into the dough as little surprises (like bits of gravel hidden in the soles of your shoes).   Continue reading for recipe.

February 26, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 15 comments.

It’s That Tuesday Again…

I baked my first King Cake in 8th grade for a Mardi Gras party in my French class. It lacked authenticity since I used a yellow cake mix from a box, but I still enjoyed hiding the plastic baby inside and showering the cake with green, yellow, and purple sugar sprinkles.


Although I downsized last year and celebrated with individual King Cupcakes, my tummy still balked at the idea of more sugar so soon after Valentine’s Day and requires an unfrosted, not-so-sweet dessert. To satisfy it, I searched for another classic Mardi Gras dessert recipe. My bananas sat as green as limes on the countertop, so I crossed “Bananas Foster” off of the list.   Continue reading for recipe.

February 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. Leave a comment.

SWAK — And Baked Goods!

For Christmas, my grandparents sent me a gift card to Williams Sonoma. That afternoon, I scoured the store’s website, as excited as a kid in a candy store as I browsed page after page of rolling pins, cookie cutters, and grill pans. During my search, I discovered two differed sizes of pretty gold loaf pans that, with tax, added up to almost the exact amount on the card.   Continue reading for recipe.

February 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. 7 comments.

Flour Girl

My childhood rice cooker needed a little extra love. While normally sensitive, its personality easily slid to temperamental, and it would click off and refuse to finish the rice until after the dishwasher scrubbed our dinner plates squeaky clean. Unless we forced the lever down with duct tape, the uncooked starch would simply turn the water a milky white, so we retired the rice cooker to a shelf to collect dust.


I still rarely eat rice. I hold no grudges; I just prefer other carbs. So when I discovered my favorite Indian place in town consented to swapping naan for the rice that normally comes with an entrée, I nearly began dancing in my seat! (Anyone who dines with me knows that if they want a piece, they better order their own. I can eat a whole basket by myself!)   Continue reading for recipe.

January 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 4 comments.

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