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Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s not even December, but I can’t help diving into holiday season content. I just have too many recipes I’m excited to share! Normally I don’t start listening to Christmas music until December, or at the very least I wait until Thanksgiving is over, but I’ve been seriously in a holiday mood this year. I think it was all the baking I was doing the week before Thanksgiving and the early snow we got here in New England, but I have to confess that I had Christmas music playing in my kitchen two weeks ago. Oops!

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

If there’s one dessert that is guaranteed to get me in the Christmas spirit it has to be Diane’s fudge. I love my stepmom’s classic fudge recipe (and you all do too – it’s the most popular recipe on Lemon & Mocha!), but I love all the fun variations I’ve made over the years even more. I’ve shared S’mores Fudge – crazy good – and Chocolate Peppermint Fudge – so Christmasty!

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today, we’re all about the Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge. In case you aren’t familiar, chocolate turtles are chocolate covered pecans with caramel inside and they kind of look like little turtles. I wanted to take those flavors and bring them into this classic semi-sweet chocolate fudge. The end result was messy, but so good!

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

The chopped pecans are folded into the fudge so you get a little crunch in each bite. The caramel is drizzled on the fudge then swirled in before the fudge sets.

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used Smucker’s salted caramel sauce since I love how quick it is to whip together a batch of fudge so I didn’t want to over-complicate it with homemade caramel. Do you think you will try this twist?

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge
 
Yield: 36-64 pieces depending on how big you cut them
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce Baker's unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup caramel, see note
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Melt butter and the Baker’s chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in half the bag of chocolate chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted.
  4. Carefully stir in the condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and the pecans.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the fudge and use a knife to swirl into the fudge.
  6. Refrigerate until the fudge is set then cut into bite size pieces. Best eaten straight from the fridge.
Notes
Your caramel should be soft enough to drizzle off a spoon. If it’s too firm from being in the fridge, heat it slightly.

 

Baked Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Shrimp and Pesto

Baked Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Shrimp and Pesto  |  Lemon & Mocha

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and hopefully some relaxing time off! I’m diving right into this recipe because I can’t wait any longer. This is one of those recipes that didn’t really start as a recipe. It was just something I threw together for Matt and I for dinner and it was so outrageously delicious that I decided it needed to be shared on Lemon & Mocha as soon as possible. And by as soon as possible I mean a couple months later because I’m working with a schedule here! This is my Baked Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Shrimp and Pesto. We also have some seared asparagus, sweet peas and sautéed shallots tossed in there.

Baked Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Shrimp and Pesto  |  Lemon & Mocha

Before we go much further though, we need to discuss the product this whole dish centers around – Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. Have you tried this yet? They are frozen gnocchi that have cauliflower as the bulk ingredient and have only 140 calories per serving! They are high in sodium since they are a frozen food after all, but the low calories and fat are pretty hard to beat. When I first saw people posting these gnocchi on Instagram, a lot of people were complaining about them being mushy when cooked according to the stove-top instructions on the back of the bag. The ultimate question seemed to be how to cook Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi.

Baked Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Shrimp and Pesto  |  Lemon & Mocha

I thought about how much I love roasted cauliflower and how there’s no way they could get mushy if baked so I thought I would give it a shot. It worked! The gnocchi came out tender and perfectly crispy! Now, if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you there’s plenty of different cauliflower gnocchi recipes posted online if you search and you should be able to bake homemade gnocchi. I will probably test some of the recipes out in the coming months since I like making gnocchi, but in the meantime I’m sticking with these time-saver frozen ones.

Baked Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Shrimp and Pesto  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyways, back to this dish. The gnocchi are great on their own or with marinara sauce, but then you would miss out on these crispy shrimp coated in garlic, shallot and pesto. There are not a ton of gnocchi in the bag so I made sure to add in lots of green veggies so the dish would be plenty for the two of us for dinner. I highly recommend the asparagus and peas, but feel free to substitute in whichever vegetables you have on hand that would pair well with the shrimp and pesto. Maybe some spinach and pan-seared cherry tomatoes? Yum! Okay, I hope you all enjoyed this post because on Wednesday we’re going full-blown Christmas dishes and treats!

Baked Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Shrimp and Pesto
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
  • ½ shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ to ¾ pound asparagus, trimmed then cut into thirds
  • ⅔ cup frozen peas
  • 10 raw shrimp
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread the gnocchi out on a baking sheet. Lightly spray them with cooking spray then bake for 40 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden, tossing/flipping 1 or 2 times during cooking.
  3. When the gnocchi are almost done, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until al dente, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the frozen peas.
  4. Push the veggies to the edges of the skillet and add a very little bit more olive oil. Add the shrimp so they are each directly touching the pan and sauté for 3 minutes on each side, or until pink and curled. Lightly season the shrimp with salt and pepper when you put them in the pan. Reduce heat to low. Add in the cooked crispy gnocchi and the pesto. Toss to combine and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Add more pesto or olive oil as needed. Top with grated Parmesan if desired.

 

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Tahini Sauce

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Tahini Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Tomorrow is the big day! Are you sick of Thanksgiving recipe posts yet? I love seeing everyone’s Thanksgiving recipes because it gives me inspiration for Christmas meals and cozy dishes to enjoy all winter long. I have a non-holiday recipe queued up for Monday – and you will not want to miss it – and then I’m diving right into Christmas dishes! I would take a longer break, but there’s just so many holiday recipes I’m excited to share with you all.

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Tahini Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Last week I shared the Leftover Turkey Pull-apart Sliders with a Maple Mayo and Cranberry Barbecue Sauce and today I have another creative way to re-imagine your leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and even your leftover butternut squash! These Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Tahini Sauce are healthy and light, which is perfect after a day filled with eating, eating and more eating!

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Tahini Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve used tahini in a few recipes here on Lemon & Mocha. If you aren’t familiar with the ingredient, it’s ground sesame paste and it’s a healthy way to bring rich flavor and nuttiness to a dish. This cranberry tahini sauce was so good that I found myself seeking out things to put it on when we ran out of turkey lettuce wraps. I loved it as a salad dressing and as a dipping sauce for my grilled chicken. While the cranberry tahini sauce has many uses, it’s especially delicious when drizzled over tender turkey and sweet roasted butternut squash all wrapped up in a fresh lettuce leaf.

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Tahini Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Even though I came up with this dish as a fresh take on leftovers you better believe I’m going to be cooking up some turkey and butternut squash in the next few months so we can have these lettuce wraps for dinner and lunches.

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Tahini Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

I hope you all enjoy these as much as we did! Happy Thanksgiving!

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Tahini Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Leftover Turkey Lettuce Wraps with a Cranberry Tahini Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the dressing
  • 3 tablespoons cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1½ tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
for the lettuce wraps
  • 12 butter lettuce leaves
  • Leftover roasted turkey, about 8 ounces
  • Leftover cooked butternut squash, about 1 cup
Directions
for the dressing
  1. Blend together all the ingredients until smooth.
for the lettuce wraps
  1. Top each lettuce leaf with some turkey and roasted butternut squash then drizzle with the tahini cranberry dressing.

 

Lemon Garlic Green Beans

Lemon Garlic Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have one final Thanksgiving recipe to share with you! If you are looking for a quick way to sneak some last minute veggies into your Thanksgiving menu then these Lemon Garlic Green Beans are calling your name! We aren’t kidding around with this flavor combination; there’s three cloves of garlic and an entire lemon in this dish so the green beans really live up to their name.

Lemon Garlic Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

Green beans sauté fairly quickly so I love making them around the holidays so I’m not using oven space. I’ve made these for Christmas and Easter, as well as regular weeknights when I’m looking for an easy green side dish.

Lemon Garlic Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

Years ago I shared my French Onion Green Beans, which are really tasty, but these Lemon Garlic Green Beans are extra simple. Sautéed green beans are tender, but not mushy, and these burst with lemon acidity and garlic flavor when you bite into them.

Lemon Garlic Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

Although I love this dish I’m actually not making it for Thanksgiving this year. That’s mostly because I knew I wanted to share these green beans with you months ago, but I just finalized the Thanksgiving menu last week. Below is our menu! It’s the first Thanksgiving I’ve ever hosted and I wanted to keep things light and simple since it’s just five of us. I have a bunch of new dishes I’m making and I’m excited to share those recipes with you later.

Lemon Garlic Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

What are you making for Thanksgiving?

Lemon Garlic Green Beans  |  Lemon & MochaAppetizers
Matt’s Mom’s antipasto platter
Roasted shrimp cocktail

Main Meal
Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Tahini Dressing
Rosemary olive oil bread – love my Breville loaf maker!
Matt’s sous vide turkey breast – I’m the only one that prefers dark meat, plus it comes out so amazing and tender in the sous vide immersion circulator
Cranberry apple roasted beet compote
Pan-seared crispy baby potatoes
Matt’s Mom’s stuffing
Roasted butternut squash
Roasted brussels sprouts with avocado and a honey lime dressing

Dessert
Cherry pie
Apple pie

Lemon Garlic Green Beans
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Blanch the green beans. Do this by boiling the green beans for 5 minutes then plunging them into ice water. Drain the water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic for 1 minute then add the green beans. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper. When the green beans are hot, add the lemon slices and cook for 1 minute before removing from the heat and serving.

Recipe from Martha Stewart.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie went down in the Lemon & Mocha kitchen and it was as amazing as it sounds (and looks)! When I was brainstorming what desserts I wanted to share for Thanksgiving I knew I was going to make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle, but I wasn’t sure about my second dessert. Usually for Thanksgiving everyone immediately thinks of pie and my pie-loving husband has converted me into a pie fan over the years. I don’t like to share recipes on Lemon & Mocha that I’m not 100% satisfied with and while I have made a bunch of really great tasting pies, I wouldn’t say I’ve perfected them yet. However, there is one type of pie I have perfected, if I say so myself, and that is ice cream pie.

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have made many, many ice cream pies over the years and I’ve shared a few on here as well, although not nearly enough! I’ll work that into the schedule for 2019. Graham crust, cookie crust, ganache-topped, candy filled, cake filled – you name it, I’ve whipped it up. I may have even eaten a slice or two. Clearly I’m kidding, many, many slices have been consumed, all in the pursuit of perfection though.

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

This Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie is a nice break from the traditional Thanksgiving dessert table and the big bonus is that it’s so easy. Like so easy I even waited until the week of Thanksgiving to share it because you barely need any time to put it together. Although it is quick to make, it does require at least eight hours of freezing time so definitely read the instructions all the way through and plan accordingly.

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

The base of this ice cream pie is a regular graham base with some cinnamon and ground ginger mixed in for that warm spiced holiday feel. Then we have pumpkin ice cream. You could certainly make your own and if you need a recipe I have had great success with all of David Lebovitz’s recipes from The Perfect Scoop. I had just come back from my vacation last week so I went the easy store-bought route, especially since so many brands have delicious-sounding pumpkin flavors right now. I bought the Talenti pumpkin gelato; it was really creamy, packed with rich pumpkin flavor and even had pie pieces in it – bonus!

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

On top with have whipped cream and homemade sugared pecans. These pecans are tossed in egg whites and pumpkin pie spices then baked. They are so addictive, especially when they’re warm, so it was really difficult saving them for this pie! I find that ice cream tends to be a universal crowd pleaser and I know from experience there’s a lot of ice cream crazed families out there so this is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. Although I highly recommend pumpkin ice cream you could certainly substitute a different ice cream flavor of your choice, just don’t skip those candied pecans! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
for the pie
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 quart pumpkin ice cream or gelato
  • 2 cups whipped topping, such as Cool Whip (see note)
for the pecan topping
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces pecan halves
Directions
for the pie
  1. You have two pan options here. The first is a spring form pan lined with plastic wrap. Sometimes I like doing it this way so it’s easy to pop it out and put the pie on a cutting board for a nice even cut or onto a platter. The second option is to make the pie directly in a glass pie pan. If you’re doing option two (directly in the pie pan) and want a firmer crust bake the graham crust at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes then let cool completely before adding the ice cream.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, the granulated sugar, the ground ginger and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Pour into the prepared pie dish and press down with your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup to make an even crust layer, going slightly up the sides of the pie dish. Don't go too high up or the crust on the bottom won't be thick enough. Put in the fridge for 2 hours or the freezer for 1 hour before the next step.
  3. Scoop the pumpkin ice cream or gelato into the graham crust. If you want to make the ice cream easier to spread, beat it with a stand mixer for a minute. Spread the ice cream into an even layer then let set in the freezer for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Combine the whipped topping with the remaining 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Spread on the firm ice cream pie. When you’re ready to serve, top with the pecan topping.
for the pecan topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg white and vanilla until frothy. Add the pecan halves then toss to coat. Add the sugar mixture and combine to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet and spread out the pecans. Bake for 1 hour, tossing the pecans on the pan about every 15 minutes. Let cool before placing on top of the pie when ready to serve.
Notes
If you want to use homemade whipped cream, follow these instructions. In a cold metal bowl of a stand mixer or in a large cold metal mixing bowl with a hand mixer, use cold beaters to beat 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon until stiff peaks form. Do not top put on the ice cream pie until you’re ready to serve it. You can make the whipped cream a day or two ahead, just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve then lightly beat with a whisk before topping the pie.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!