The Triumphant Return: Lemon Lovin’

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Oh haaaaaaaaay blog!

I’m back!! After a looooooong bloggy break, I am back for good. I really wish I had been able to keep up the blog during school but man, second year LIfe Sci at Queen’s is out to get ya. But no matter, I’m here now baby. Just to bring you up to speed on my life, here’s some new things to the world of the chocochilichica

1. I MOVED! hooray! into a lil 2 bedroom with my world traveller bff (who actually isn’t here til september, so it’s my not-actually-a-bachelorette pad for now).

2. I finished second year. No small feat friends

3. I’m living in Kingston for the summer. Toronto, I’ll miss you, but Kingston is pretty cute.

4. I’m writing the MCAT this summer. This is a big reason why I’m not going home to Toronto, its  easier to go to and from my prep course in ktown, and I can focus more in my own place. Here’s to a summer of studying!

5. Along with many other small summer goals to keep me sane, I’m gonna try being a (mostly) vegan! I’ll post a detailed explanation of my decision to switch to plant based foods soon, but its for health reasons. I find the connection between animal protein and disease to be really interesting, and I thought I’d give it a go while I can spend more time in the kitchen.

ANYWAYS

The past couple weeks have been pretty hectic. I was here, then I was in Toronto, then I was moving then I was back in Toronto, then I came here for good on Friday. I can attest that the 401 is quite scenic right now.

Move in day was PANDEMONIUM. It was just me and my mama moving all my stuff, and people, I have a lot of stuff. My mom has seriously impressive biceps (she’s a landscaper), so we managed to get it done! THANKS MOM U RULE.

However, by then end of it I had developed the attitude of a 4 year old and almost had a tantrum when my mom suggested we ‘unpack a bit’. I never said I was perfect.

So, I’ve been spending my time here so far unpacking. And you can bet the first thing I did was unpack my beautiful shiny new kitchen and fill it with delicious vegany foods.

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{The oven preheats to a broil in 6 min. I have no words….}

While cruising the local metro (and getting ripped off at the checkout….:|), I stumbled upon something magnificient.

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{“A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange”}

MEYER LEMONS!!!!!!!!!

I have read about these little golden nuggets of pure lemon goodness for forever! As the bag states, they are a ‘culinary favorite’. They also smell amazing. A bit sweeter then a regular lemon, and very perfume-y.

Once I brought my bag of fancy lemons home, I cut one open and took a little nibble. Hey, it’s half lemon half orange right? Not super sour, but also not the kind of citrus fruit you’re gonna wanna eat raw. I proceeded to lurk around foodgawker for meyer lemon inspiration, and came up with a few ideas for using up the bag.

What to do with the large bag of lemons you just bought

by dachocochilichica

1. Hate to state the obvious but: MAKE LEMONADE. Here’s a foolproof recipe that makes awesome lemonade. Add a sprig of mint in there to make all your friends think you fancy. At the very least make some flavoured water.

Meyer Lemonade finished

2. Infuse some olive oil. I bought a little oil sprayer (I was really sick of buying PAM) that had a filter thingy so you can infuse the oil. I threw a chunk of lemon, 2 cloves of garlic and some black pepper into my sprayer and its soooo good. Great for misting sweet potato friends or just drizzling on salads (Update: I originally wrote sweet potato friends, and thought it was so hilarious that I decided to leave it. I mean fries. But really, they could also be my friends.)

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{check this lil guy out: you pump the top part to build the pressure to spray the oil. I like my olive oil misters the way I like my men: eco friendly and cute}

3. Make yourself some baked goods. The options are endless!!! I’m envisioning lemon pancakes, lemon oatmeal in the morning with cranberries, some orange-lemon muffins for a double citrus flavor punch. If you find yourself with an overwhelming number of lemons (it happens), head on over to foodgawker (or even google) and just search lemon. Let the creativity build from there!!!

I started with some muffins because I just got a new muffin pan! Value village is where it’s at guys, that bad boy was only 4 bucks. And it has already brought me a night’s worth of entertainment.

Here’s the recipe for my fellow lemon lovers

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

These make a really refreshing, not too sweet muffin. I had some of this cornmeal mix lying around the casa, and simply replaced half the recommended amount of water with lemon juice and added in some lemon zest to increase that citrus flava. The directions below sort of follow the directions on the back of the package. Feel free to sub your favourite berry for the blueberries, blackberries or cranberries would be good too!

Ingredients

-Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal mix. I’m sure this is easy to replicate if you do a little bit of research!

-Zest of one lemon

-1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

-1 egg OR 1 tbsp flax seed soaked in 3 tbsp of water (aka a flax egg/how vegans bake)

-3/4 cup of water

-1/4 cup light tasting oil of choice (I used coconut cause I like the way it tastes in baked goods)

-1 cup thawed blueberries

-pinch of sea salt

Note: I added vanilla and cinnamon to the mix, as I am of the opinion that they make all baked goods better. But honestly, save your vanilla cause all you can taste is the lemon!

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Its lemon time!! Grate one whole lemon to get the zest, then just quarter and squeeze to get the juice. Repeat with more lemons (but dont add any more zest) until you get 1/2 a cup of juice. Prepare to grate your finger, then squeeze lemon juice directly into the open wound. Extra fun if you have sensitive skin.

Side note: I realized after I had juiced all my lemons that I was throwing away precious lemon flavor in the zest of the other 2 lemons I used. So I grated the little juiceless quarters (and some more of my fingers) to add zest to my oats in the morning. If you think this is something you’d enjoy, please grate them before you quarter and juice the lemons, so that at least one of us does it properly.

3. Mix all wet ingredients together . Note: if you’re using coconut oil, it has a pretty low melting point so it might solidify into chunks if you melt it then add it to cold liquids. I recommend adding all the other liquid ingredients, then moving on to step fourbefore adding the oil so that the ingredients have time to warm up to room temp. Cooking is science!!

3. Add the cornmeal mix to the wet ingredients, and stir it up.

4. Add mixture to muffin pan (after eating a few spoonfuls of batter and declaring to no one that its the most amazing lemon flavour you’ve ever tasted) and pop it in the oven for about 35 min. Remove when a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean (check about half way through baking time, some oven temps vary)

5. Devour, then maybe share some.

Congrats for making to the end of this epic post! Didja miss me?!


Hoping to save enough moneys to make it to Osheaga this year…where I’ll get to see these guys live!

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