meyer lemon and lime cookies

After lots of procrastination, I finally finished a stressful project at work at the end of last week. To reward myself, I decided to bake up some cookies. It’s not so much the cookies that are my reward but the baking of them. The simple acts of baking – gathering ingredients, measuring flour and sugar, mixing the dough, and watching it all come together like magic in the oven – are therapeutic for me.

Our markets are always overrun with citrus, so I knew I wanted to make something with lemons. When I stopped in Publix on my way home from work on Friday, I happened upon some Meyer lemons. I’ve never used Meyers in my cooking or baking, so I picked up a couple, along with some regular lemons and some limes. I didn’t necessarily know what I was going to do with them, but I just can’t resist citrus, so the fruit sometimes just ends up displayed in a bowl on my breakfast nook table.

The cookies I made are based on a recipe for Lemon Icebox Cookies from Everyday Food. I made a few changes to the original recipe, partly because I wanted to and partly out of necessity. I used the Meyer lemons for lemon zest and lemon juice, and because I wanted a bit more citrus kick, I added some lime zest and lime juice. The original recipe calls for rolling the dough into a log, freezing it for a couple of hours, then slicing it into 1/4 inch slices. My dough was too sticky to form into the log shape, and I didn’t have the patience to work with it. Instead, I refrigerated the dough overnight (because I got distracted with other things), then made drop cookies.

The cookies turned out great. They had great citrus flavor and I could taste both the lemon and the lime. I could also taste the saltiness from the kosher salt, and it balanced out the citrus flavor nicely. The texture was light and almost like a shortbread – crumbly and sandy. They were a hit with my husband and daughter, too. Both kept trying to sneak extras – always a sure sign of a successful recipe.

Yield: approx 24 cookies

Meyer Lemon and Lime Cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest (I used a Meyer lemon)
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (again, I used Meyer)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large egg yolks


In a food processor, pulse flour, confectioners' sugar, salt, lemon zest, and lime zest until combined. Add butter and process until sandy. Add egg yolks and lemon and lime juices; pulse until dough comes together. Place dough in a bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (roll the dough into balls with your hands if the dough is too firm) onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. (To store, cover and keep at room temperature, up to 5 days.)

in the kitchen with….me!

Several weeks ago, Kim over at The Stir asked me if  I would participate in their In The Kitchen series. Well, of course I jumped at the chance. It was so flattering to be asked. I stressed and agonized over which photos to send in, and I probably drove my husband crazy.

After all of my stressing out about it, I think it turned out quite nice. Best thing? My family thinks I’m famous. I think I’ll play along.

Click on the photo to go to The Stir and check it out for yourself.


Here in Florida, we seem to have had our five minutes of spring and now we’re entering full-fledged summer. For us that means weekend trips to our community pool, using the grill regularly, sitting on the front porch watching the kids play until bedtime, and dinners outside on the back patio.

It also means thunderstorms with lightning. You may not know this, but Florida ranks number one for number of lightning strikes per year, and it ranks in the top ten for number of lightning-strike deaths in the country. And, as some of you who follow me on Twitter know, two weeks ago our house was struck by lightning and we had a bit of damage. Nothing serious, but enough to be quite annoying. When it struck the house, the lightning traveled through the electrical wiring. It blew some fuses (not a big deal),  my husband’s desktop computer (a bigger deal), our outdoor lighting, the internet and cable phone, and our refrigerator (the biggest deal).

I’ve done a lot of whining and complaining about not having a fridge, but truthfully, things could be a lot worse. We have a small fridge in our garage that we bought when I was breastfeeding my daughter over six years ago – mostly to hold the gallons of milk that I was producing. Too much information, right? But seriously, I was  producing like a dairy cow. Buying a spare fridge was a lot more practical than keeping my milk in my neighbors’ refrigerators (which we did for a short time).  I’m very thankful for that back-up fridge. It was a lifesaver for me back then, and it’s been a lifesaver for our family these last two weeks.

On the upside of things, my husband may finally get that Mac I’ve been dreaming about for him (me). Also, we’re getting a new refrigerator next week thanks to that extended warranty we purchased on the old one.

The point of all this? We’ve been trying to prepare meals that don’t leave us with a lot of leftovers and don’t require a lot of storage or purchasing of unusual ingredients. When I saw the cover of Bon Appètit this month, I knew that the cover recipe would be a perfect meal for us. After all, we had most everything already – just needed to purchase the asparagus.

I made just a few changes to the recipe, mostly so that I could use up ingredients we already had. I used orecchiette instead of fettucine and bacon instead of pancetta. I also try to lighten things up when possible, so I used half-and-half instead of cream. I probably needed to add a bit more to make it creamier, but it was perfectly delicious the way it was.

As a bonus – and deserving of a pat on the back, if I do say so myself – was the fact that my daughter loved it. Turns out she thought the asparagus pieces were green beans. Score one for mommy!

Yield: Serves 4.

Orecchiette with Peas, Asparagus, & Bacon


12 ounces orecchiette pasta
3 ounces bacon, chopped
1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
2 cups frozen peas (do not thaw)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
1/3 cup heavy cream (I used half-and-half instead)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste


Cook pasta in pot of salted boiling water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet and sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more pasta cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle bacon, remaining parsley and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.

Only slightly tweaked from this recipe in Bon Appètit, May 2010.