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Lemony Strawberry Jam

Lemony Strawberry Jam

Lemony Strawberry Jam

At the local farmers market in Midland Michigan last weekend, I came across beautiful Michigan strawberries from Hart. I thought I lost my chance to make strawberry jam this year when the 4th of July came and went in a flurry. I found this recipe online. It’s a new style of jam recipe for me. I have always used the Sure-Jell pectin recipe included in their box. This new recipe uses more strawberries, less sugar and no pectin! Lemon juice and lemon rind are the extra sources of pectin. Strawberries contain pectin, but not enough to firm up the jam unless you reduce it to a pulp.

When I made this lemony strawberry jam this weekend, it made 4 8-ounce jars. The Pioneer Woman said her recipe made 6 jars. I am including pics from my cooking experience with this recipe. Also, the link to the recipe is below:

Mashed strawberries with lemon syrup

Mashed strawberries with lemon syrup


Beautiful colorful antioxidants in the lemons and Michigan strawberries


Grate the lemons directly into the cooking pot. I love the Microplane for grating


Grated lemons ready for juicing in my Nigella Lawson citrus juicer


The lemon syrup made of the lemon rind and juice plus sugar


Fresh strawberries soaking in lemon syrup

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Watermelon, Cucumber and Red Onion, Layered and Drizzled with a Lemony Marinade

Watermelon, Cucumber and Red Onion, Layered and Drizzled with a Lemony Marinade

This is a recipe I adapted from Cooking Light July 2013. I had plenty of fresh basil growing, but decided not to add it. I also added more red onion. Everyone loved it! Make sure to prepare just before serving. As the watermelon sits in the marinade, the water is drawn out of the watermelon to make a soggy mess, but still tasty 🙂

Because this sweet salad is mixed with a tart marinade and contains salt, I am reminded of my father’s father when I make this, because he salted his watermelon as he ate it 🙂

In a large serving bowl combine or layer:

6 cups watermelon, cut up in 2 inch pieces

2 cups English cucumber, not peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin

1 or 1 1/2 cups red onion, sliced vertically. Follow the natural pattern of the onion 🙂

In a small bowl whisk together:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

Pour marinade over the salad. Slightly toss with two large spoons at the table at serving time.

Goat Cheese with Lemon and Rosemary

This is an appetizer I have made 50 times and everyone always loves it! You can think of it as a contemporary type of cheeseball! Serve it with a salad and you have lunch!  Thank you to Deb Kammer for the inspiration!

Combine olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Add the chopped rosemary and pepper to the marinade or sprinkle them over the cheese and marinade at the very last

Place the goat cheese on a platter with a little asked edge

Pour the marinade over the goat cheese 

Dip your crusty bread into the marinade and then spread some goat cheese on!

  • On a round glass platter about 11 inches across place:

1-3 ounce  log of goat cheese

  • In a small bowl combine:

 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil 

1 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper or more

 1/4 cup fresh chopped rosemary (try to use the tender new growth). Alternatively, you can add the rosemary after the marinade is poured on the cheese

  • Add more lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper or rosemary to taste.
  • Pour over the cheese
  • Voila! Perfecto!
  • Decorate the platter with lemon slices and a large stem of rosemary if you like. 
  • Serve with

Sliced French bread or a whole grain crusty bread


Have your guests dip one side of the bread in the marinade and then spread on the goat cheese with a small knife. You can easily double the recipe using the same size platter. To make it easier for your guests, dip and spread the cheese for them and place the bruschetta on a platter for them to enjoy!