commemorating year two: meyer lemon curd crepe cake

meyer lemon curd crepe cake

Today is the second anniversary of Daisy’s World. I started this blog two years ago as a way to share little snippets of my life with family and friends and I can’t believe that it has evolved into this highly gratifying artistic endeavor. For me, food blogging has been a self-indulgent hobby that has taken an inordinate amount of my time and attention, but I relish the opportunity to share my creativity and passion with all of you.
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meyer lemon pudding with chantilly cream, raspberries, and pistachios

Meyer Lemon Pudding

Are you looking for a light and refreshing dessert, perhaps for Easter brunch or a springtime garden party? Why not serve this Lemon Pudding in pretty little cups or goblets? Dress them up with some lightly sweetened cream, raspberries, and a sprinkling of pistachios and you’ve got a simple, yet beautiful treat that can be made ahead of time. The bright meyer lemon flavor is just right, slightly tart and not very sweet. I love raspberries and lemon together, not only for their delicious flavors, but also for their striking color combination. It is a pairing that definitely screams spring!

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meyer lemon pudding cakes

lemon pudding cakes

Am I the last dessert-obssessed person to find out about pudding cakes? Better late than never, I suppose. If, like me, you have been living in a cave or under a rock somewhere and have never had these before, trust me. You’ll be a fan. These little beauties are both cake and pudding in one!  Brilliant, right? You can see the two distinct layers – a soufflé-like cake on the bottom and a soft, custard-like pudding on top.

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shrimp and avocado salad with pancetta, lemon, and mache

Shrimp and Avocado Salad

I love lazy mornings like the one I had this morning, with no alarm clocks and no long commutes.  I didn’t have to fuss with my hair, and stayed in my pajamas a little longer.  I slept in, groggily waking up just in time for Chris to hand me my morning latté and to kiss him goodbye, as he scurried off to work.  I spent the early morning wandering about my garden, lamenting my tardiness in planting the zucchini, carrots, and peas, which I promised myself I would do tomorrow.  I halfheartedly leafed through a couple of cookbooks, while watching The Today Show, looking for inspiration for what to make for lunch. I finally got dressed and headed out the door to run some errands. Once I arrived at Whole Foods, I took my time wandering around the pristine aisles, where the produce guy caught me doing a happy dance after spotting some fresh rhubarb, hidden behind some carrots and turnips. Continue reading

pistachio-lemon crinkle cookies

This recipe pairs two of my favorite ingredients, meyer lemons and pistachios, in these soft, chewy cookies. They’re lemony, nutty, and very refreshing. They’re the perfect cookies for Spring.  These Pistachio-Lemon Crinkle Cookies are addictive, with a great combination of tartness from the lemons and the sweetness from the powdered sugar. So quick and easy to make, you’ll be eating delicious cookies in less than an hour. Continue reading

meyer lemon-raspberry mini cakes

I made these meyer lemon-raspberry lemon curd filled mini cakes using my new Wilton dessert shell pan.  It is the perfect pan for these cakes because the “cavity” it creates on top of each mini cake holds more delicious filling than “coring” and filling regular cupcakes would.  Served this way, each bite has the right proportion of filling and cake.  These mini cakes are simple, yet elegant desserts that would be perfect to serve at a bridal or baby shower or afternoon tea. Continue reading

meyer lemons: lemon soufflé with blackberry sauce

Lemon Soufflé with Blackberry Sauce

A soufflé is such a beautiful and sophisticated dish. It is delicate, light, and airy, like a puffy cloud. I must admit, though, that the idea of making a soufflé was very intimidating to me. I tend to focus on the things that could go wrong – it wouldn’t rise, it would fall flat midway through cooking, or it would be lopsided. However, I came across the following tips for making the perfect soufflé and it gave me the push I needed to give it a try.

Tips For Cooking Soufflés (adapted from The City Cook)

  • A soufflé is customarily baked in a tall, round, fluted dish with straight sides to promote rising.
  • Soufflé dishes must be prepared with a coating that helps the batter rise. By coating the inside of a soufflé dish first with butter and then with a dusting of sugar, the batter doesn’t adhere to the side of the dish, thus leaving it free to climb to the top.  Once prepared, place the dishes in the refrigerator until ready to fill.
  • Very fresh egg whites have a high water content so they are prone to graining and do not hold air as well.  It is best to use eggs that are 4 or 5 days old.
  • When whisking the egg whites, it’s essential that there not be a single bit of egg yolk in the whites because it will interfere with getting the necessary volume.  Also, make sure the mixing bowl is meticulously clean, with absolutely no residue to ensure that the egg whites whip properly. Continue reading

meyer lemons: preserved lemons

Preserved lemons are a staple ingredient of North African cuisines, particularly in Moroccan foods, where it is used in tagines, stews, and sauces. In doing some research, I found out that they are also used in some Asian cuisines as well, such as the Khmer dish, ngam nguv, a lemony Cambodian  chicken soup and as the traditional accompaniment to curd rice, which is often served as the last course in South Indian meals.

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meyer lemons: pasta with lemon, olive oil, and goat cheese

The meyer lemon is a key ingredient in this easy, yet delicious pasta dish. In less than 30 minutes and with only a few ingredients, you can make this totally satisfying meal.  It is another versatile dish that can be served simply as is with a side salad or a piece of bread, or dressed up with some chicken breast, grilled shrimp or salmon.  Lemon thyme, parsley, or basil would also make great additions to this pasta, not only for added flavor, but for color, as well.  The meyer lemon, less acidic and sweeter than regular lemons, shines through and brightens the flavor of this no-cook sauce and the goat cheese adds a tanginess as well as creaminess.  This recipe is a good one for me to have in my repertoire of quick and easy meals since it’s a good one to make especially after a long day at work and what feels like an even longer commute home.  It really can’t get any easier that this to prepare a home-cooked meal.

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meyer lemons: mini-lemon and vanilla cream parfaits

Mini Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Cream Parfaits

Starting today, and throughout the coming week, I will be featuring my organic, home-grown meyer lemons in various recipes. I’ve just harvested about 20 lemons today and there are probably another twenty ripe ones on my little tree that I will juice and freeze to use in the next couple of months.

When I think of lemons, the first thing that comes to mind is lemon curd. I love slathering it on a scone or using it as a tart filling, but most of all, I love eating it straight out of its container, a spoonful at a time.  This particular recipe, from Spago Restaurant’s pastry chef, Sherry Yard, has been my go-to recipe for lemon curd for a while now.  It is from her first book, The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts.  This lemon curd is a beautiful pale yellow in color with flecks of zest and has just the right amount of tartness.  It is the featured component of these Mini-Lemon and Vanilla Cream Parfaits, which also have layers of buttery graham crackers and vanilla bean whipped cream. Continue reading

“cold oven” lemon sour cream pound cake with raspberry sauce

Life gave me lemons this week…..so I made pound cake!

I harvested 6 meyer lemons this morning from my trusty little tree and there are still about 25 more that will be ready to pick by early next week.  My tree was a little lazy this fall, since I usually harvest around early November, right in time for Thanksgiving.  Nevertheless, I guess I’ll be making more lemon treats this holiday season.  I recently made my first chiffon cake and now I have just made my first pound cake.  Honestly, I don’t know how I got through culinary school without baking either one of these cakes. Continue reading

meyer lemon-mascarpone bars


I am huge fan of the Meyer lemon. I prefer to use it whenever possible instead of the regular lemon because it is slightly sweeter, without the acidic flavor. I have a prolific dwarf Meyer lemon tree in a container in my garden that produces about 60-70 lemons twice a year. I share some with friends, but I juice most of them and store the juice in 1- or 2-cup portions in freezer bags.  Depending on the amount a recipe calls for, I defrost a smaller or bigger bag.  I am spoiled having Meyer lemon juice all year long, since I can make these anytime the mood strikes me. Continue reading

homemade ice cream

Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil Ice Cream

Our current obsession is homemade ice cream – Chris, with making it, and me, with eating it.  Since January, he’s made sure our freezer is stocked with his delicious creations such as Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil (pictured above), Salted Caramel, and Pistachio ice creams.  There were a couple that did not make the cut -  Hazelnut Mascarpone and the Salted Almond – but I applaud his efforts and encourage his pursuit of inventive and out-of-the-ordinary flavors.  My current favorite is the beautiful pale green Pistachio, with little flecks of the nuts left in.  Yummy!  The cost for a quart is about $5, a little more expensive than the store-bought kind, but it’s totally made with a special ingredient – love!

Bring on the long hot days of summer!  I’ve got my spoon.

my edible garden

As you can probably guess, I’m obsessed with gardening at the moment.  I’ve been enjoying my flower garden for the last month so now I turned my attention to my edible garden.   I like the convenience of growing and cooking with fresh herbs.  They grow with little care and attention.  However, I’ve neglected them for the last year and I needed a herb garden makeover.  The rosemary, oregano, and lemon thyme were repotted to plastic containers and moved to the corner alongside my beloved meyer lemon tree.  The pineapple sage was saved from the chopping block and repotted since I couldn’t part with the sweet scent of its leaves.  Plus during the summer, it has lots of little red flowers.   I added a small cilantro plant and some chives.  This year, I am also trying my hand at growing jalapeño peppers and two varieties of tomatoes – Sweet 100s and Yellow Pears.  If everything goes well, I should be able to start harvesting tomatoes in late July through the fall.
Could this be the beginning of my own locavore movement?  At least, I have the makings of some fresh organic salsa with the jalapeños, cilantro, and tomatoes.

Meyer Lemon

I’ve had this meyer lemon tree for about 5 years.  The first couple of years, it produced about 10-15 lemons total.  Once I started to apply some citrus food, it was happy and started to produce more and more fruit.  I’ve harvested about 75 lemons from each of the past few growing seasons.  I juice the lemons and store them in one-cup increments in a ziploc bag in the freezer.  It’s never been easier to make lemon curd and lemon bars.

Jalapeño Peppers

I planted a six-pack flat of jalapeño peppers I bought at Lowe’s for $1.98.  I wasn’t sure how this endeavor would turn out as the tall, gangly seedlings were barely able to stand on its own.  Now, four weeks later, I can see some buds forming.  I hope it develops into actual edible peppers.

Tomato

It looks a little silly to put a big huge cage over two little itty bitty tomato plants, but hopefully they’ll just shoot up and bear little clusters of edible fruit in a couple of months.  It’s so exciting to grow my own tomatoes instead of buying mealy tasteless ones from the grocery store.  I read online that growing basil next to tomatoes makes it taste better, although it was unclear if the article was referring to the tomatoes or the basil.  I think I need to make another trip to Lowe’s for basil.

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