Lemons. All day, every day

The Upland Lemon Festival is right around the corner (this weekend!) That means our heads are filled with agendas for pie eating contests and Lemon Idol, and our office is abuzz with all things yellow, tart and tangy.

On that note, inspiration struck in the form of food: breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. If you’re inclined to make a day of it, we have a full menu of lemon-y ideas for you to try. Or if you’re like me, just pick a couple recipes on for size.

Good Morning! Start the day with a cold glass of lemon water. It stimulates the digestive system, revs up your metabolism and gives you a quick cleanse from any toxins built up overnight. The easiest way to prep this beverage is to fill a container with water, throw lemon slices in and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. (I use a gallon-sized container with one sliced lemon to use for the whole week.)

It’s recommended that this ritual only be repeated a few times a week, as too much lemon water can make teeth sensitive. (Photo taken from Eat Yourself Skinny.)

Breakfast: Lemon ricotta pancakes are first in line. Try Bobby Flay’s recipe: easy and quick to make, with delicious results. Just mix all the ingredients together, sprinkle on some powdered sugar and raspberries, take a pic for Instagram and dig in.

Cupcakes and Cashmere

Sticking with the berry theme, Jenny’s Picky Palate Creamy Lemon Blueberry Crepes are equally tasty.

Picky Palate’s Creamy Lemon Blueberry Crepes

Full list of ingredients here.

Photo and recipe from PickyPalate.com

1. Place flour, sugar, milk, egg and vanilla into a blender, blending until well combined, about 20 seconds. Pour crepe batter into a large measuring cup and set aside.

2. Place blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice into a medium bowl, mixing to combine. Transfer to a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Place lemon curd and cream cheese into a small bowl, mixing until smooth and combined.

4. Heat a crepe pan or 12 inch non stick over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of crepe batter into pan swirling all the way around to get a nice circular crepe. Cook for about 1 minute on the first side or until turning golden then flip and cook for another 30 seconds-1 minute. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Continue cooking crepes until all the batter is gone. Makes about 10 crepes.

5. Fill each crepe with a thin layer of lemon curd cream and a spoon of blueberries. Roll crepes and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Now eat!

Makes about 10 crepes

Lunch/Dinner: For an easy fix (and about an hour of your time), opt for Trampling Rose’s lemon chicken:

Trampling Rose photo

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice, (1/3 C)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ⅓ C water
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Toss the chicken with the soy sauce in a medium mixing bowl and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. For the sauce, whisk together the lemon zest and juice with the sugar, water and 2 tsp. cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thickened (about 4 minutes), then keep warm.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Whisk together the egg, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make a batter. Toss the chicken in the batter and fry for three to four minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.
  4. Plate the chicken and spoon the sauce over top. Serve with rice if desired.
    *Recipe from Trampling Rose

Serve with a side of brown rice and a brightly colored garden salad and you have yourself a lemon-y healthy meal. Too boring? Mix the protein in with the carbs with a delicious serving of lemon chicken pasta.

Happy Hour: After all that cooking, relax a bit with a refreshing cocktail. It’s springtime after all. (Granted, there aren’t any actual lemons in the mix… you remedy that with an elegant spiral sliced lemon for garnish 🙂 )

French Frozen Lemonade

  • 1/2 cup Alizé Red Passion Passion liqueur
  • 1/2 cup citrus vodka
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 4 cups of ice
  1. Add ice, Alizé Red Passion liqueur, citrus vodka, water and  frozen lemonade concentrate to a blender.
  2. Blend until slushy and pour into a Champagne flute.

Dessert: One of my personal favorite desserts, lemon bars are perfect for a mid-day snack or a post-dinner treat.

smitten kitchen

While making the dessert can be slightly high-maintenance if you’re pressed for time (in which case we recommend booking it to the closest Ralph’s and getting the easy-bake kind), the delightful contrast between the sweet cookie crust and the tart lemon mixture is well worth the effort.

If you aren’t too lemon-ed out after this post, join us for the Lemon Festival this weekend, where you can drink fresh lemonade, sample a few baked goods and enjoy the rest of the fun we have going on to celebrate the citrus roots of Upland.

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