Glazed Mini Lemon Poppyseed Tea Cakes

These simple and elegant tea cakes are bursting with citrus flavour; serve them at your next spring gathering.

We Canadians have to wait for spring just a little longer than seems fair.

Each April we wait impatiently for the first rhubarb of the season and then we bake it into everything from hearty muffins to delicate galettes. We still have weeks – maybe months – to go until strawberries arrive at the markets, and until then, we’re juicing lemons and squeezing clementines for our kitchen baking projects.

Citrus is definitely the inspiration for these cakes. I wanted to create a delicate tea-time treat that evoked the feeling of spring while still using the winter ingredients we have on hand.

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Roasted Asparagus with Buttery Lemon Breadcrumbs

Our traditional Easter dinner is looking a little different this year.

My beloved first born’s birthday happens to fall on Easter Sunday, so we’re shifting things around to make space for both special occasions. My sister-in-law is hosting a multi-family dinner on the Saturday night of the holiday weekend, and I’m taking on Easter brunch the next day, reserving dinner later that night for Ben’s birthday celebration.

Seeing as he’s in charge of the menu that evening, I imagine we’ll be dining on pulled pork, poutine, and donuts for dessert, a decidedly un-Easter meal if there ever was one. In an effort to make up for it, I’m planning a buffet of seasonal spring foods for the brunch earlier in the day.

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Lemon Pudding with Raspberry Sauce

It’s been snowing all day in my corner of the world. The sky is grey and the snow is so thick that you can’t see more than a few feet in front of you when you step outdoors.

With a grey, blustery, wintry day ahead of me, I turn to the kitchen for warmth and I find a bag of lemons waiting for me. Lemons are in season right now, one of the only bright things produced in winter, which tells me that Mother Nature understands comfort food.

Surely She knew that a warm bowl of Lemon Pudding could bring a little ray of sunshine on a cold winter’s day.

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Simple Lemon and Arugula Pasta

Editor’s note: I’m very happy to welcome Courtney from Cook like a Champion blog as the newest contributor to the site!

If there’s ever a time when I don’t feel like cooking, it’s in the middle of summer. I don’t know if it’s the long days (more time to play) or the fact that it’s too hot to stand over the stove, but I always struggle with what to cook in July.

There’s an abundance of produce at my farmer’s market, but it’s all so perfect I almost hate to even cook it. July is the month to appreciate quick meals with fresh ingredients.

There are plenty of nights I’d be fine having a salad or even cheese and crackers for dinner, but I obviously can’t go the entire month without cooking dinner. That’s where recipes like this one come in. The only thing that has to be cooked is the pasta.

The residual heat from the hot pasta cooks everything else, creating a simple and delicious meal that can be enjoyed on the hottest of days. Even better, this pasta tastes just as fantastic at room temperature, which means it would be great for a picnic or potluck.

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Natural egg dyes, braided bread, lemon shortbread and other good ideas for Easter

lemon shortbread with lemon marmalade

My Easter plans are a little slow in forthcoming this year as I’ve been distracted by our forays into making maple syrup – our newest urban homesteading project. Look for a full post from Danny soon on our backyard sugar bush adventures later; we’re giddy with our progress.

Easter is a fantastic excuse to entertain and I will definitely be gathering a few friends and family around for brunch or lunch. The boys and I had a chance to bake cookies in adorable little bunny and chick shapes and make the thumbprint shortbread cookies above.

The rest of the menu will be inspired from the archives and a few old favorites I rediscovered when putting together this round-up. Of course, maple syrup will be the spotlight ingredient of the brunch.

Perhaps you’ll find an idea or two below for your Easter table.

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