“Lemon and Marzipan Cupcakes” from “Crumb”

Marzipan is always a winner for me. Ruby admits elsewhere in the cookbook that she is guilty of eating marzipan as a snack. I do the same thing. There’s nothing like the solid hit of almond and sugar to keep me going when I’m dragging.

These were delicious and easy. But I do think calling them cupcakes is a bit of a misnomer. To me, cupcakes are a perfect cake at the bottom (which this is) featuring a pillow of icing on the top (which this doesn’t). This is more like a lemon and marzipan muffin. Whenever I gave these to friends after I made them, I would ask, “But don’t you think this needs some icing?” since they’re called cupcakes. But everyone said, no, they were perfect as they were.

I have to agree. If you added icing on top of this, it would be a bit much. Ruby does advise that you can make a lemon drizzle for the top, which I might try next time, as it would make them less like a muffin and more like a cupcake.

I still wouldn’t call them cupcakes, though. I would call them delicious, however.

“Lemon and Marzipan Cupcakes” from “Crumb”

“My Favourite Citrus Cake” from “Stirring Slowly”


Tom: Well, this is epic! It’s moist, but it’s sort of crystalline and crunchy, too. Yum.

Kirstin: That’ll be the golden caster sugar. Let’s not talk about the amount of sugar in this recipe though.

Tom: Is that you not talking about it?

Kirstin: …

Tom: Ah, yes. It is. Well, this is great. Would anyone like to split another slice with me?

Kirstin: …

Tom: Damn.

Kirstin: So should I take the rest of this into work then?

Tom: NO!

“My Favourite Citrus Cake” from “Stirring Slowly”

“Kale, Tomato and Lemon Magic One-Pot Spaghetti” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

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Kirstin: I saw this recipe on Anna’s Insta stream and knew I needed to try it out.

Tom: Was it easy as it looked on her video?

Kirstin: It really is a super little recipe. One that you could take all over the world and cook for lunch or dinner.

Miles: I liked the spinach!

Kirstin: Definitely making this one again. And possibly adapting it too, which is always a good sign.

“Kale, Tomato and Lemon Magic One-Pot Spaghetti” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

“Chicken Thighs with Lemon” from “Food52 Genius Recipes”

IMG_6857Nicholas (11): Chicken again?

Maureen: I know. I can’t believe we’re having chicken again after a month of having nothing BUT chicken, but here we are.

Andrew (15): This smells great.

Maureen: You can’t go wrong with olive oil and lemon, if you ask me. What do you think?

Tim: This is good.

Maureen: I agree. It’s not setting the world on fire with its creativity, but it’s delicious. The thing I love most about it is it’s so simple and yet so yummy. All I had to do was fry them on a low heat for about 40 minutes, while I could get on with making the side dishes.

Nicholas: I like it.

Andrew: Me too.

Maureen: I also like how the lemon rind becomes a little bit crispy, so you end up biting into a small morsel of deliciousness. Yum. I will definitely be making this again.

Want to make this? You should, it’s delicious. This might even become my go-to chicken recipe for those busy weekdays when you want a good dinner, but don’t want to get elbow-deep into general faffiness. Click through this paragraph to see the recipe on Food52.

“Chicken Thighs with Lemon” from “Food52 Genius Recipes”

“Roast Chicken, Saffron, Lemon and Chilli” from “Bill’s Italian Food”


Kirstin: I found this recipe lurking in the “Party Food” section. We were supposed to do it with two chickens, so I halved it. Do you like it? And you tell what the magic ingredient is yet?

Tom: No!

Kirstin: It’s the saffron. Subtle, but oh so yum!

Tom: This is epic. I love it. The chilli and yoghurt are fantastic. It’s probably not very authentically Italian, but if it tastes this good, who cares?

Kirstin: Yes, he says that in the introduction. That it probably very isn’t very Italian, but that Italians are magnanimous about other people messing with their cuisine. I bloody love this! This book is worth buying for this recipe alone. I can tell we’re going to cook it a lot. It’s a perfect entertaining recipe. A basic roast chicken but with delicious tweaks.

Tom: That’s fine with me. Move over, Gwyneth! Move over, Simon Hopkinson! We have a new champion roast chicken! Go Bill!

“Roast Chicken, Saffron, Lemon and Chilli” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

“Grilled Salmon with Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette” and “Asian Greens with Garlic, Ginger + Fish Sauce” from “It’s All Good”

Maureen: I don’t think I’ve ever used the grill pan for salmon. I was really skeptical that it would work, but it did.

Andrew (13): I like salmon. This is pretty good.

Nicholas (10): The rice is good.

Maureen: We’re not talking about the rice. Or the asparagus, for that matter. Only the salmon and the greens.


Tim: I like it, but I think the salmon is a little dry.

Maureen: I don’t agree. I think it’s fine. I think the problem is you’re not such a huge fan of salmon.

Tim: That’s true.

Maureen: What do you think of the bok choy, or, as Gwyneth calls it, the asian greens with garlic, ginger and fish sauce?

Tim: I like that. It’s got an interesting flavour.

Maureen: I like that it’s a different way to prepare vegetables.

Andrew: I’m not so sure about it.

Nicholas: I don’t like the salmon. Or the vegetables. Thumbs down for both.

Maureen: I like them both, but I seem to be the only one. This is not a bad recipe, but it hasn’t been a crowd pleaser, either. Better luck next time, Pepper Potts.

“Grilled Salmon with Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette” and “Asian Greens with Garlic, Ginger + Fish Sauce” from “It’s All Good”

“John Dory with Orange, Fine Herbs & Pink Peppercorns” from “Polpo”

Maureen: Fish Friday!

Nicholas (9): I’m not so sure about Fish Friday anymore.

Maureen: What do you mean? We’re doing our bit for the planet by eating less meat, and we’re doing our bit for ourselves, by eating more fish, which is good for us.

Andrew (13): I do have fish and chips every Friday at school.

Maureen: Well, sure, but it’s good that we’re doing it as a family too. What do you think?

Tim: It’s delicious.


Maureen: I think this is the best thing I’ve made so far out of the cookbook. I might be swooning right now. But I can’t tell if it’s because I like the recipe, or if the John Dory is just an excellent fish to eat.

Tim: Could be either. Or both.

Maureen: The woman at the fishmonger said John Dory is her favourite fish.

Tim: I think the pink peppercorns sort of overwhelm it.

Maureen: I’m not sure I agree. They look pretty, though.

Andew: I think it’s good.

Maureen: Should I make it again?

Andrew: Sure, I suppose so.

Tim: Yes. I think it’s nice. But maybe less peppercorns next time.

Nicholas: I’m not sure.

Maureen: I think it’s utterly delicious. We’re definitely having this again.

“John Dory with Orange, Fine Herbs & Pink Peppercorns” from “Polpo”

“Lemon Chicken Breasts” from “How Easy is That?”

Tom: This is yum. I love the crispy chicken skins.

Kirstin: Yes, I love the way she cooks with the sauce, complete with nine garlic cloves, under the chicken, so the skin can crispen but the flavours can get into the meat. And the lens kept steaming up on my big girl camera, so I used my iPhone instead for the pic tonight.

Tom: Nine cloves! Oh yes!


Ella: It fills me with deliciousness.

Tom: This reminds me of the chicken we used to cook with lemon.

Kirstin: That recipe we made up all those years ago. It remind me of that one too! But I could never quite figure out what to do with the lemon juice and the contessa has it all sorted, with the lemon juice going in after you’ve warmed the garlic in the oil.

Ella: It’s really great because at the beginning you can taste it’s all lemony and then you can taste the salty. And then it has this awesome aftertaste.

Tom: I think that’s the roast garlic you can taste at the end. It is absolutely yum.

Miles: I just tried the chicken.

Kirstin: And?

Miles: It’s good.

Kirstin: Oh good! Success! We shall be having this one again then peeps!

“Lemon Chicken Breasts” from “How Easy is That?”

“Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table”

Nicholas (9): What’s this called?

Maureen: Well, I call it lemon spaghetti, but it’s got an Italian name. (Finds cookbook to see what the official name is.) It is Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano. Just like I said. Lemon spaghetti.

Andrew (13): It’s pretty good.

Maureen: I agree. I like this. Though I”m not really sure it merits its own recipe in a cookbook. I could do it in four sentences: Cook spaghetti. Make sauce by grating lemon and adding a massive amount of cheese, some olive oil and a splash of pasta water. Mix spaghetti into sauce and put basil leaves on top. Enjoy.

Nicholas: I would eat this again.

Maureen: I’m not surprised you would. But like I said it’s not like the wheel has been reinvented or anything. Saying that, it’s not nearly as boring as I thought it would be. It’s very nice.


Cook’s Note’s: Gwyneth advises that 350 grams of spaghetti would feed four. I’m here to tell you that 350 grams of spaghetti would not feed the four people in our house, particularly when one of them is a teenage boy and the other is his younger brother who loves spaghetti. Just make the whole packet of spaghetti (500 grams) and augment the sauce of cheese, olive oil and lemon accordingly.

“Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table”

“Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon & Rocket” from “Nigellissima”

Peter: Tuna dinner!

Anna: Are you suggesting this is a student meal?

Peter: For students today. You couldn’t get rocket in my day. In fact I don’t think we knew what rocket was.

Anna: This calls for very posh tuna so I don’t think many students will be making this. I think this would be a very good quick summer dinner. Very fresh, very light. Probably not the first thing I’d make on a cold, rainy October night next time.

Peter: I liked it. I’d be happy to have it again. Maybe sitting in the garden next summer.

Anna: If it ever stops raining.

“Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon & Rocket” from “Nigellissima”