Lemon Yogurt Cookies…Turned Muffin Tops

While I have some great bakers in my life, I’m not one of them. I prefer cooking more, just because baking is such a science—it requires a lot patience and precision. A slight misstep in measurements, ingredients, temperature, or technique can completely change the outcome, which is what happened to me today!

I was randomly in a baking mood, so I decided to bake lemon yogurt cookies based on this recipe from Welcome Company. I’m not sure if it’s because I halved the recipe, if I under- or over-mixed the ingredients (after my electric hand mixer went berserk and I had to do it by hand), or something else, but my cookies ended up as muffin tops! 😮

Fortunately, they’re still delicious and perfectly lemony. And to be fair, I recently gushed about the abundance of muffin tops sold in coffee shops in Boston. So when life hands you lemons… make lemon yogurt muffin tops! 😉

Lemon Yogurt Muffin Tops

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ¼ tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) of butter
  • ½ cup of lemon yogurt
  • 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice

Note: The measurements are based on what I did, so if you want to play it safe, I’d go with the recipe mentioned earlier!

Directions

  1. In one bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  2. In another large bowl, cream/beat the sugar, butter, and lemon zest until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add and beat in the eggs, one at the time. Finally, mix in the yogurt and lemon juice.
  3. The flour mixture can then be gradually added and incorporated into the wet mixture.
  4. Scoop spoonfuls of the mixture 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet/tray (I used parchment paper, but you can use a silicone baking mat or grease the pan).
  5. Bake at 350ºF for 15 to 20 minutes or until just a light golden brown around edges.

*The original recipe involved smaller-sized cookies (teaspoonfuls of the mixture), so the baking time was shorter (~10 to 12 min.)

Easy Meal: Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Over the weekend, I was reading this Buzzfeed article, which sparked a craving for stuffed veggies. We had a lot of ingredients kicking around that were perfect for quinoa-stuffed bell peppers, so I decided to do it!

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 small cocktail tomatoes, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Before Baking

Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package (we actually use the quick-cooking setting on our Zojirushi rice cooker)
  2. Sautée onions and celery until soft, season with salt and pepper, and mix them in with the quinoa and tomatoes
  3. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds
  4. Spoon veggie-quinoa mixture into the bell peppers and top with cheese
  5. Bake in an oven-safe dish or tray for 15 minutes at 350°F

You can swap in whatever veggies you like (if I had corn or jalepeños, I would have used them), and I added cheese throughout :). The peppers can also be baked for another 5 to 10 minutes longer if you want them to be softer.

We had our stuffed bell peppers with butter-lemon pan-fried fish—Matt got the perfect fry with our new fish spatula—and steamed asparagus, which is a perfect way to cap off a Monday night! Stuffed Peppers with Pan-Fried Fish

Next on my stuffed veggie making wishlist: this falafel-stuffed eggplant recipe!

Where We Ate: Bestellen

wpid-img_20140406_204138.jpgLast Saturday, I celebrated my big 3-0, so it was a good of an excuse as any to eat, drink, and be merry! When my original plans to have a Spanish tapas dinner at Patria fell through, Matt came to the rescue. We had heard about Bestellen from various lists and articles, so he decided to give them a call, which ended up being a great idea! 💡

It was a family-style dinner, catered to our price point, which is pretty cool. My one pet peeve was that they repeatedly told Matt that they’d call to give us a menu the week leading up to my birthday, but they never did. I’m game with a surprise chef’s menu, and I understand that it’s based on what’s fresh that day, but my whole thing is that you shouldn’t say you’re going to do something (multiple times) if you’re really not going to! Overall, though, everything was delicious.

What We Ate

Disclaimer: I really don’t remember the menu all that well, so the descriptions below are horrible!

To Start: Arancini, Salad (not pictured), and Braised Short-Rib Pappardelle

I wish I had photos of the salad… all of these items were an amazing start to the meal!

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Mains: Brioche Buns, Porchetta (with Crackling), Kale, and Potato Salad

This was so good, but also really filling. We had a LOT of pork leftover that we all took home!

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Dessert: Carrot Cake

This photo doesn’t do it justice… this carrot cake was SO yummy!

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All in all, it was a great time with good food and even better company! I would definitely go back and try Bestellen again!

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