Quick Hard Lemonade | @thefauxmartha

This is not Mike’s Hard Lemonade. It’s Mel’s Hard Lemonade. It’s been making an appearance at 5:00 for some time now. With a smooth, round lemon flavor served in a wine glass, not a beer bottle, it’s elegant and classy and quick. Along with a glass, you’ll reach for your brimmed hat, linen pants, and wicker picnic basket. Or maybe you’ll just reach for the wooden spoon to stir together dinner. I usually (always) do the latter. At 5:00.  Read more

Lemon Poppyseed Macaroons | @thefauxmartha

I hesitate to use the word healthy to describe anything. It means a lot of different things to different people. And it has meant a lot of different things to me in my short life. I used to think there was no place for healthy desserts. It was probably after the “decadent” fat-free chocolate cake I made in college that made me think so. We all choked that one down. Sadly, it’s still my legacy to some. Read more

Into a microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 cup of water. Cut a lemon in half, squeezing the juice into the water. Drop the two halves into the water. Place in the microwave, and heat on high for 3 minutes. Let it stand for another 5 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the door. When the timer goes off, use a dry towel to clean up the mess. (For step-by-step images, click here.)

—Chris, Burnt Macaroni

Lemon Garlic Cucumber Salad | The Fauxmartha

We’re squeezing in a thousand dates in 30 days, or however many days we have left as just the two of us. It’s new ground for us. We’ve never been the best at dating—the kind of dating that requires reservations and plans. We’re far too last minute and, truth be told, cheap. The cost of a date seems to add up quickly, where all I can seem to see are dollar signs above every doorstep. We’ve been on a grad school budget for too many years. I’m not sure that we’ll ever lose that mentality. Nor do I want to. Read more

More often than not, my limes are hard as a rock and yield little juice and a very sore hand. Maybe I should start picking out my own rather than buying the bag? Making dinner the other night, trying to come up with a solution, I remembered a tip my friend Meghan taught me a couple years ago. And it worked like magic. Using the tip of a sharp knife, poke a small slit in the lime and microwave for about 30 seconds. The lime will come out juicy and maleable. Same rule also applies to lemons.

The secret to making jam without commercial pectin is to add lemon juice and a cut-up apple to your jam pot (and you may need to cook it a bit longer). Both fruits have naturally-occurring pectin, which serves to help solidify your jam. For example, proportions for a small small batch of strawberry jam could be: three cups of berries,1 1/2 cups sugar (or honey), juice from half a lemon and half a cut-up apple.

—Nicole, Cucina Nicolina