When Grandma Gives you Lemons… you Make Really Cool Stuff!

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My grandparents have an amazing lemon tree that has been going strong for years and years. They range in all shapes and sizes and I am so thankful that I don’t have to pay 79 cents per lemon at the local grocery store.

My grandma recently gave me three bags of lemons, more than I knew what to do with them. But alas, this “problem” didn’t last long. Here is what I did with my endless (seemingly) amount of lemons!

Lemons

Lemon Pepper

Basically I took ¾ cup of rainbow peppercorn (waaaay too much!), crunched it up a tad and added it to a small bowl. I then zested and zested…and zested until there was enough lemon mixed among the peppercorn.

Pepper & Zest

I put the mixture on a baking sheet and baked on the lowest setting until the lemon zest was dry.

Pepper & Zest oven

I pulsed the mixture in my Magic Bullet until it was fine.

Magic Bullet

I bought some small jars from World Market for $1.99 and stuck a chalkboard label sticker to them. I used a liquid chalk marker for the writing. The chalk markers are awesome!

Lemon Pepper

Lemonade

As I was zesting lemons for the lemon pepper, I juiced those same lemons to make lemonade.

Zest & Juice

Juice those lemons until you have 1 ½ cups. I took ½ a cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and put it in the microwave until the sugar dissolved. You’ll definitely want to add more sugar if you want a sweeter lemonade. Once that mixture cools, add it to a pitcher with the lemon juice and add water until the pitcher is full. It took me about 5 ½ to 6 cups of water. Add some ice cubes and a lemon slice for garnish and you have a cool refreshing drink on your hands!

Lemonade

Light Lemon Cheesecake

I don’t know where I originally got this recipe, but I have been using it for years and it’s delicious hot out of the oven or cold from the fridge! It’s not overly sweet and tastes great with strawberries or raspberries on top.

Crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tbsp. light margarine or butter, melted

Combine cracker crumbs and margarine/butter and press into bottom of an ungreased 9 inch spring form pan. I don’t use a spring pan anymore unless I’m making a fancy version for an event or guests. I just use a plain ol’ cake pan! I don’t measure out the butter or cracker crumbs either as I just eyeball it as I go along.

IMAG2290 Graham Cracker Crust

Filling:

3 (8 ounce) packages low fat cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

¾ cup egg substitute

1 (8 ounce) carton sugar-free, fat free lemon yogurt

Beat cream cheese, flour and sugar until light and fluffy (I beat for at least 20 minutes). Gradually add lemon juice and egg substitute. Beat well. Fold in yogurt. Pour into crust. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until center is almost set.

IMAG2297 Cook and Uncooked

YUM!

Lemon Cheesecake

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I made these from a recipe I found on Thibeault’s Table. I followed the recipe accordingly except I didn’t bother making the sugar glaze for them. They tasted pretty good albeit missing some poppy seeds as I didn’t have much to add to the recipe!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

Summertime Lemon Wreath

This wreath turned out great, but it was driving me bonkers trying to dry out the slices! I took some lemons and cut them into thin slices. I put them in the oven on racks on the lowest setting. I rotated them, but when they started to brown I took them out and put them in the sun. I even returned them back to a toaster oven trying to get them to dry out. Eventually they did, but it took many hours to do so, at least 6-8 hours.

IMAG2321 IMAG2322 Dry Slices

I took a 17 mm x 63 mm x 298 mm styrofoam wreath and attached the lemon slices with straight pins. It really starts to come together when you have a few attached and start layering them. For the inner circle, I used the tiny slices of lemon and some that I cut in half so they would fit nicely. When I was done, I glue gunned a ribbon loop on the back (but I would suggest doing that first), and three feather butterflies on the front of the wreath.

Summertime Lemon Wreath

Yellow is my new favorite color. 😉

Roll me up, I’ve gone to Heaven!

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I have an unhealthy addiction to fruit rolls. Not the kind in the box, but the old school ones (Jovy) found in the produce section of grocery stores. My Pavlov moment began when I was five years old. Whenever I went to Ralphs with my mom, as a reward for helping bag the groceries, the sweetest grandmother figure cashier would reward me with one of these delicious snacks. I…was… hooked. 24 years later, I find myself starting to drool a little every time I bag my groceries. But they can’t just be any flavors either- only grape, raspberry, apricot, and cherry please!