Cozy Lemon Tea Cure All


The first cold of the season has hit the Cunningham’s. It sucks. But this tea helps.

Juice of one small lemon
2 tablespoons honey
Dash of bitters
8 oz. boiling water

Mix and get snug under your favorite blanket. Add Scandal or something equally mindlessly amazing to distract from your misery.



Cucumber Mint Kale Shake


Good news! I’m going on a solo vacation this weekend! No kids, no husband, just me celebrating one of my favorite people in the world and her upcoming marriage with a group of kickass women. Bad news! It’s a river trip, and I’ve been eating mostly leftover s’more fixings from our camping trip last week. In a very last ditch effort to fit into a swim suit, I tried replacing my midmorning pastry with a kale shake this week.

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 12 oz coconut water
  • 2 stalks kale, destemmed
  • juice from 3 limes
  • 5 mint leaves
  • Pinch of cayenne

Blend all ingredients up in a blender, nothing fancy is necessary. Strain, and reserve the foamy, pulpy mixture and serve it cold over pasta. (It tastes kind of like a pesto, and went really well over a beet and goat cheese ravioli from Costco.) Serve the green juice over ice, and try not to think about croissants. I mean, enjoy!



We had our first family camping trip last weekend, and it was surprisingly fun. I left feeling secure in my survival skills. In the event of a zombie attack (assuming we have a carload of groceries, a tent, beer, ice, a wagon, and a group of good, nonzombie friends) I was feeling pretty optimistic about our odds. Then, somewhere in the 30 miles between camp and the house, we caught a stomach bug. My confidence in survival plummeted. How were we going to make it without soup? In particular, I was convinced ramen soup was the only thing I could eat.

Unfortunately, none of the super cheap ramen packets are vegetarian, and I haven’t found an instant vegetarian brand that I’d consider comfort food. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make a healthy broth. And it’s very yummy even once no longer infected, so make a big batch.

  • 2 packages instant ramen noodles, discard the packets.
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup yellow onion
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • fresh herbs, basil, cilantro, rosemary, oregano

Saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and carrot. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until carrots begin to get tender, about 3 minutes on medium heat. Add vegetable broth and soy sauce. Bring to simmer. Add ramen and cook for 4 minutes. Add fresh herbs and serve immediately.


Blueberry Lemon Muffins


These muffins are like fluffy sweettarts, minus the radical dye. I baked these for a group of kiddos, whose little sticky fingers probably wouldn’t do so welll with a lemon glaze, but that would be a really nice finish.

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate bowl:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Fold in zest from one lemon and about1 and 1/2 cups blueberries with a wooden spoon. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.


Lemon Meringue Nests


I wanted lemon meringue pie. But I did not want to bake it in my unairconditioned kitchen on hot summer day. These little nests bake at a low 200 F, and are a light, lemony treat. Adapted from Alaska from Scratch, using Ina Garten’s lemon curd. Although not nearly as good as pie (nothing is as good as pie), they are pretty and a fun (albeit sticky) alternative to cookies.

Meringue Nests

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add sugar. Fold in vanilla and lemon zest. Put into a piping bag fitted with the star tip. On baking sheets lined with parchment, pipe a circle about the size of a silver dollar, starting from the outside, going in, being sure not to leave any holes for the filling to escape through once baked. Pipe another circle on the outer edge to create the nest. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes at 200F, until shiny. Check often to be sure they are not over baked, unless you prefer crispy meringue. If you want a puffy, marshmallow texture, be sure to take them out as soon the outside crisps.

Let cool on wire racks. Once completely cool, fill with lemon curd, about 1/2 tsp per nest. Overflowing nests get very sticky.

Lemon Curd

  • 3 lemons
  • 1/4 lbs. butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.

Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. (Note – Ina says the lemon curd will thicken in about 10 minutes of constant stirring. I don’t think we work on time-space continuum. It took a solid 20 minutes to thicken, and this was after I turned up the heat to medium.) The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer.


Bourbon Sour


This icy, frothy drink is just perfect.

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 7 ice cubes

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker (or two cups stacked on top of each other if you’ve lost your’s in a move recently…) and shake 70 times, until the egg white gets very frothy.

Strain into a pretty glass with an ice cube and go sit on the patio and watch the sunset.


Six Minute Stir Fry


My sister taught me this life hack, and I am very grateful! Costco carries these great Yakisoba noodles, which heat up in 3 minutes and have surprisingly crisp vegetables and good flavor. The only trouble is that there’s not enough protein for a fulfilling meal. But add a little soy-egg and peanuts – and pesto – the perfect pool night meal.

  • 2 packages Yakisoba noodles (or whatever frozen stir fry you prefer.)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • dash of Sriracha sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts

Microwave the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, soy sauce, and Sriracha. Cook over medium-high heat. Once the eggs are almost done, add the peanuts. Add the noodles, and cook together for about one minute, just to combine everything.