New York's most famous cupcake shop, Magnolia Bakery, was put on the map partly thanks to a scene in Sex and the City in which Carrie and Miranda enjoy the iconic vanilla cupcakes. Thus, although it's somewhat cliche, I've decided there's no other dessert to serve at any Sex and the City themed soirée than cupcakes. Not just any cupcake, but adorable two-bite mini lemon meringue cupcakes. They're so cute, Charlotte would totally approve. To get the recipe, keep reading.
When I saw OnSugar blogger Faith, Hope & Chocolate's recipe for strawberry lemonade, the first thing that came to mind was: I wonder how that combination would work in a cocktail? Since there's a farmers market downstairs from Sugar headquarters every Thursday, I stopped by to pick up some fresh, plump berries. Then, I went home to experiment. The resulting libation is vibrantly colored and delicious. If you love strawberries you'll definitely be a fan of this easy sipper. I combined vodka with lemon juice, muddled strawberries, and simple syrup. The whole thing is shaken and then strained into a chilled glass. It's a seasonal, slightly girlie drink that's delightfully balanced and ends up somewhere between too sweet and too potent. This strawberry vodka cocktail is just the thing to kick-start your weekend, so cheers! Grab a glass and get the recipe.
This recipe for parmesan chicken is an impressive meal that's easy enough to throw together at the end of the week. You coat pounded chicken cutlets in a cheese and bread crumb mixture, then cook until crispy and delicious. Serve with a green salad dressed with a lemon vinaigrette and you've got a wonderful meal. To make it suitable for entertaining, start with a charcuterie and cheese platter and pour a creamy, full-bodied Chardonnay.
For dessert, serve macerated strawberries with vanilla ice cream. Voila! Instant dinner party. Get the effortless entree recipe and read more
When I'm in a hurry to eat dinner, I always turn to pasta. In the time it takes to boil the pasta, I can make a quick and flavorful sauce. This recipe is one of my go-to favorites for March because it highlights the pure, clean deliciousness of asparagus. There's no cream in the sauce — the smooth richness is from tangy goat cheese. Fresh lemon zest brightens the whole dish, making a bowl of it feel like a breath of warm Spring air. It's super easy and the perfect light meal, so get the recipe and read more
As much as I love gooey, warm, decadent, and rich desserts, sometimes, in the long cold dead of Winter, it's nice to have a cool, refreshing, and bright treat. This lemon mousse is just that — it's tart, yet sweet and incredibly smooth and creamy. It's so good, it's hard not to eat it all in one sitting. The thing to remember about mousse is that it must be made in advance, so start the day before you plan on serving it. This recipe is large enough to feed a crowd and makes use of homemade lemon curd. Sound scrumptious? Wait until you taste a spoonful! Get the method and read more
My Greek feast is taking place on Saturday after a day of wine tasting, but our Dionysus-themed girls weekend begins on Friday night. To kick start the event, I'll greet each girl with a cocktail when she arrives. My sister has purchased golden Greek laurels for everyone to wear in their hair, so my cocktail is inspired by this party gift. It's called a Lemony Laurel and is a sunny, refreshing concoction that combines a lemon and bay leaf syrup with citrus vodka and Galliano. It sounds like a heavenly beverage that would be delicious enough for a goddess to drink! Get the recipe I'll be using when you read more
This dessert isn't necessarily light in the "lite" sense, but with its delicate glaze and perky lemon profile, it's a bright and buoyant counterbalance to all the chocolate holiday confections. With some Meyer lemons from a friend's tree, I made this lemon cornmeal cake as an epilogue to Christmas, and it was unintimidating yet delightfully different.
Remembering another recipe I've been wanting to make for a polenta cake, I decided to take the Mediterranean inspiration and substitute olive oil for the butter, which gave the cake a rich, but exotic flavor. Though I planned to infuse the glaze with rosemary, I ran out of time, but still used a sprig as a festive garnish. Get the recipe when you read more
During December, many people host cookie swaps. Organizing a festive cookie party is a great way to cut back on your holiday baking. Instead of making a million cookies, you and your friends each bake a different cookie. Then you get together and trade cookies; everyone walks away with an assortment of treats. To ensure that you don't end up with 10 dozen chocolate chip cookies, ask your guests what type of cookie they will bring. Throw the party on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon in between lunch and dinner.
Don't worry about serving a bunch of appetizers, but do offer a couple of easy nibbles like mixed nuts, cheese, and homemade savory cookies. Thyme, lemon, and sea-salt shortbread is crisp and buttery, while blue cheese pecan crackers are rich and addictive. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see my suggested sweet cookie recipes, but you can learn the techniques for the salty shortbread and cheesy crackers when you keep reading.
There is one detail of my parents' 1976 wedding that I have always been fascinated by. No, it wasn't the fact that my mom's dress was too big or that my dad was upset when she smashed carrot cake into his face. It is the Champagne fountain that mesmerizes me. A neverending, flowing waterfall of bubbly, fizzy celebratory golden liquid — how wildly glamorous! While I considered renting a fountain for their upcoming anniversary party, I have decided instead to simply serve a Champagne cocktail. As much as I wanted to recreate the moment, the event is a casual barbecue, and a fountain of glistening Champagne just didn't seem to fit. The cocktail is a mixture of sparkling wine, strawberry liqueur, and lemon juice and was originally created in the '70s.
I'll also offer guests a selection of chilled beers, water, and white wine. To check out the recipe, read more
Uncouth as it may sound, whiskey and lemon was the combination that first opened my eyes to the world of alcoholic beverages.
It was freshman year of high school, and the only drink in the world that I hated more than coffee was anything with alcohol in it. Then I developed a nighttime cough that no medicine would cure, and my mother started making me a drink of hot lemon juice, honey, and a splash of whiskey. The whiskey was warming on the way down and had a musky, smoky scent; the lemon left a tart, tongue-puckering finish.
That experience turned out to be just the beginning. Flash forward a decade and a half, and while I now appreciate everything from Campari to absinthe, the combination of whiskey and lemon still holds a special place in my heart. I especially love it in an icy, lemonade-like version for picnics or other Summer outings. See a recipe for warm weather refreshment when you read more.