recipe box : petite lemon cookies

Lemon

i haven't always been a fan of lemony desserts.

lemon cookies, squares, tarts and cakes definitely did not make an appearance in my filipino mom's kitchen growing up. in fact the only real memories i have were seeing rows and rows of plated lemon meringue pie at the dessert bar in casino buffets. when you're a kid in vegas everything at a dessert bar is spectacular but i always ended up with something chocolaty or creating a very overloaded ice cream sundae making sure to use ALL available toppings, including the whipped cream! you can't forget the whipped cream.

in recent years though, i have come to truly enjoy lemon baked goods. i'm delightfully surprised that i grew into this newly acquired taste but it has a lot to do with how lucky i have been to have tasted properly prepared citrus desserts that were created with a lot of careful and deliberate thought. 

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this recipe, however, does not require a whole lot of thought. it's a pretty reliable straight forward type of cookie. no games!

i realize i often gravitate towards creating (and eating) baked goods that are more on the sturdy side and even though they are petite these babies are no exception. a cookie that'd hold up well if you packed them to go along for a picnic or my personal favorite.. sneaking them into a movie.

a little secret trick i learned, now i do this as often as possible when working with any citrus fruit, is to combine the sugar in the recipe with the zest. in this case, its lemon zest but doing this small extra step is really beneficial to the overall finished product and allows for a more full bodied flavor. 

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i can't wait to keep finding things that make me change my mind about a preconceived preference or way of thinking i have had. its refreshing to know you can always learn new things, you can always change your mind..you can always continue to grow. that's kind of some of the best parts about life. if you think something is permanent, it's not or at least it doesn't have to be if you allow yourself to keep an open mind. 

i love recipe sharing, if there are any links or personal favs of some lemony baked goods that make your heart feel good.. hmu

until then..

happy eating!

xo

rita

 

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Petite Lemon Cookies


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest

INSTRUCTIONS

  • in a medium bowl

    1. sift together the flour, salt, baking powder & baking soda
  • in a small bowl

    1. combine the lemon zest with the sugar. using a fork, press the lemon zest into the sugar until it becomes fragrant and changes color.
  • in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment

    1. mix butter and lemon sugar for 2-3 minutes on medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
    2. add eggs, lemon juice, and both extracts, mix for 4-5 minutes on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.
    3. slowly add the dry ingredients in 3 separate increments, mix on low speed until just incorporated.
  • using a small ice cream scoop

    1. (i use a 1.6" wide sized scoop)
    2. scoop cookie dough into small balls, place them onto a parchment lined cooking sheet and slightly press down on each dough ball. make sure to leave about an inch of space between each dough ball.
  • in preheated 350° oven

    1. bake for 12-14 minutes, the centers should still be soft when you remove the cookies from the oven.

the Foodcourt : Pambiche

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pambiche! i love saying that word. pambiche, pambiche! over and over, on straight repeat.

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i stumbled upon this adorable cuban restaurant on my last day in portland, it was a superb send off lunch, a warm friendly tummy goodbye. 

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the most perfect cuban mocha, oh my. 

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the house sauces, cuban ketchup and hot sauce. 

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rabo encendido

“oxtail on fire”. a classic cuban favorite that will have you bone gnawing and finger licking! tender oxtail slowly braised in a spicy (not picante) creole wine sauce. served with white rice. it is also gluten free, pretty neat.

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pan con lechón

the original cuban sandwich! adobo roasted pork braised with creole gravy and red onions and served on a toasted cuban roll. served with a side of tostones.

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outside dining meant getting to enjoy your food while watching portland's quirkiness go by on the street next to you.

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it was a beautiful meal! on a glorious overcast day, eating outside was a really great choice.

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i'm not very familiar with cuban cuisine so this was some delicious homework.

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i decided to go with the oxtails because it's one of my favorite cuts of meat (perhaps in a tie with beef shanks). it's usually slow-cooked in a stew, braised or featured in a soup and cooked well it is simply divine!   

this dish was prepared phenomenally, the meat was extremely tender and falling off the bone. the savory sauce was rich, flavorful, perfect with the white rice. highly recommend this dish and i'm highly excited to try more cuban food. 

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don't mind me, i'm just going to be thinking about this mocha and dreaming about those oxtails.. 

i believe i have a few more yummy portland eats to share! however it is very difficult to peep the photos because i get SO hangry and a little nostalgic, that city is filled with an endless amount of delicious goodness.

xo

rita

 

 

 


winter is here.

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both feet firmly planted into winter.

confession... i'm not a huge nature person. what can i say? i think being a city living introvert makes me a little jaded in regards towards the outdoors. i often tend to forget that not too far away from the sparkling vegas lights there are some very beautiful all-natural views. it can be quite magical spending time up in the mount charleston area, especially during winter when you're lucky enough to get to play in the snow.

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burnt cold. 

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the road so far.

i know there are a good amount of people that suffer from seasonal affective disorder and get a mean case of the winter blues. for some reason i really enjoy winter and am the total opposite. i feel calm and peaceful. everything seems paused and it some how gives me the sense of having extra time. 

i adore lighting a candle, enjoying a huge cup of coffee and editing photos while being all cozied up in my home. every once in awhile a needy cat will require some cuddles & warmth but in winter extra cuddles of all varieties are basically a necessity.

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the bro to my ladybro.

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i think the mountains look the most beautiful with a powdering of snow.

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the higher up, the fatter the flakes and all of a sudden i was 5 years old again.

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such peacefulness in the stillness. 

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ghost...? 

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trees lose their leaves every year and still they stand tall and wait for better days to come.

highly anticipating what this new year will bring, cannot wait to find out what adventures and lessons are to come. 

i am going to keep trying to find the happy in every day and on the toughest ones i am going to remember to be kind to myself. we rarely have a choice over what kind of obstacles we are given in life or when people let us down but we do get to decide how we are going to handle ourselves when these situations occur. 

the best anyone can do is keep trying to try. 

xo

rita

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the Foodcourt : salt & straw

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unlimited samples is extremely problematic. 

ESPECIALLY when they are handcrafted teeny (beautiful) spoons of delicious ice cream.

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i remember watching a program on viceland and it featured an amazing human making a bone marrow, smoked cherry flavored ice cream. whaaa?! i didn't quite understand why i wanted to try it so much.. i mean i have watched enough iron chef episodes to know not everything tastes good as an ice cream. (i'm talking to you morimoto!) BUT for some reason watching him make and explain this insane flavor of ice cream as well as his process had me completely mesmerized. i was about it! i wanted to go to there, i wanted to say hello and explore all of the beautiful ice cream ASAP

basically ever since then salt & straw was added to my must visit list for portland. 

i have a fantasy foodie list for many cities, its a little fun thing to do and who knows if i'll ever go but if i do then i'll have some places to start with.

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if i walk into an ice cream shop and the first thing i smell are freshly made waffle cones.. i know they mean business. truly, the real deal.

*waffle cone scented heaven*

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that wonderful waffle cone smell does nothing to help narrow things down with the flavor decision. the menu was nutter butters AND it changes seasonally because of course it does.

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okay reminder on that bit about unlimited samples. 

they will literally let you try every single flavor they have if that is what your heart so truly desires. i have MAD food indecision so i was basically that person and tried super hard not to annoy the kind lady who graciously was spooning me sample after sample. i was very appreciative of her, she was my ice cream angel.

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i decided on not deciding and went with a 50/50 split between the sea salt with caramel ribbons and cinnamon snickerdoodle. 

zero regrets.

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portland, i fkn love you. 

xo

rita

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Mama

Bfast

last sunday was mother's day, i'm lucky enough to have a wonderful mama that i got to spend the day with! also beyond grateful to have many amazing mothers in my life. i know "holidays" of any kind can stir up extra feelings, not all of which are warm and fuzzy, this particular mother's day fell on my dad's birthday which made it bittersweet. for me, father's day will be a struggle, it's like having a lump in your throat that won't go away which makes everything a bit harder. on these days, when you feel badly remember to be good to yourself. do things that you love, whether that's going out with a friend for a meal or perhaps staying home with netflix, indulging in postmates and putting on a nice smelling face mask. 

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we ate outside, a table of only women.

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my sister made this kiddo and then this kiddo made whipped cream because i asked berry nicely.

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mama requested mimosas & waffles, so guava mimosas and brown butter buttermilk waffles is what i made.

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bunches of berries, bacon, turkey sausage, beef bulgogi (we are asian? it made an appearance.. i have no actual real reason for it being apart of brunch), cheesy scrambled eggs, and waffles joined us at our table.

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i think i have made uuhh, between 40-50 different waffle recipes and have yet to find my PERFECT one. 

with this waffle recipe i used dry buttermilk for the first time and was very happy with the way they turned out. i usually always buy real buttermilk, use it for A recipe, then the rest usually ends up going to waste and i'm left with a broken heart. i figure finding a way to minimize heartache is always the best approach to most things in life.

christina tosi helped transform the way my brain thinks about dried, powdered and other dehydrated ingredients being used in baked goods. since reading both of her cookbooks i have noticed it has slightly changed how i approach creating or adjusting a recipe i'd like to make and i'm happy for the influence.

life is hard, eat more waffles and hug people that make your heart feel bueno bueno

xo

rita