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Lemony Recipes for Spring

By Brenda Hyde

This time of year I always want to serve lighter fresh dishes, but the garden isn't ready yet! Though lemons are available year round, these lemon recipes call out "Spring is Here"!

Lemon Herbal Iced Tea

2 lemons
4 cups boiling water
6 ginger or peppermint tea bags
ice cubes
Honey or sugar to taste

With vegetable peeler, peel each lemon in a continuous spiral-carefully removing only the top layer-not the bitter white of the lemon. In large pitcher, pour boiling water over the tea bags and lemon peel. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and chill with peel still steeping in a covered container. To serve, remove peel and pour over ice cubes in tall glasses. Sweeten to taste with honey. Makes 4 (8 ounce) servings.

Notes: You can loose tea also- I always have dried mint on hand-use about 6 teaspoons and enclose in a tea ball or strainer. Use the remainder of the lemon in one of the recipes below!

Herbed Lemon Chicken and Rice

3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice-about 8 large lemons
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper -- to taste
1 cup mixed chopped herbs-dill, parsley, oregano, marjoram
1 3/4 cups canned chicken broth

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Put chicken pieces and garlic in a shallow glass dish and pour lemon juice over. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, turning chicken pieces occasionally. When ready to cook, drain the chicken, reserving lemon juice and garlic. In a large resealable plastic bag, shake flour and paprika to combine. Add a chicken piece and shake to coat evenly. Repeat until all chicken pieces are dredged in flour mixture. In a large nonstick skillet, brown chicken pieces in oil over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and keep warm.

Place rice in a crockpot and top with onion and chicken. In a small saucepan, whisk together reserved lemon juice and garlic, salt, pepper, herbs, and broth. Bring to a full boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour over chicken. Do not stir. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 2 1/4 to 3 hours.

Lemon Fluff

1 cup flour
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large tub frozen whipped topping (16 oz.)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon rind-outer layer only
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 8 ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
2 small boxes instant lemon pudding mix
3 3/4 cups milk

Mix together flour, sugar, and butter. Press into a lightly greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Blend together the sugar, cream cheese and 2 cups of whipped topping. Spread onto cooled crust. Mix together the pudding and milk. Pour over the cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining cool topping. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1 package lemon cake mix with pudding
1 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
6 egg whites
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon skim milk

Mix together and pour in 10-inch tube or 12 cup fluted Bundt pan. Bake 350 degrees for 35 - 45 min. When cool, mix the ingredients for the glaze in the order listed. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of glazed cake.

Lemon Pound Cake

3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
4 eggs
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and sour cream, beat well. Add dry ingredients and beat well. Blend in lemon, almond andvanilla extracts into mixture. Place mixture in a well greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours. Cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving. 

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer, wife and mom to three kids living in the Midwest United States. For more family friendly recipes and cooking tips visit Brenda at

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