When life gives you lemons? Make dinner, dessert and cocktails!

I adore lemons.  I love the yellow color; they always make me feel happy and bring a smile to my face.  I also love the smell of the blossoms and fruit and cannot get enough of the flavor.

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay (Hjalmar18).

When we lived in our little Spanish Bungalow in Long Beach, CA we had a lemon tree in our front yard.  I loved walking past it numerous times each day enjoying the smell and activity of the bees buzzing busily around it.  When we moved back to the Midwest, one of the things I missed most (besides milder winter weather, of course) was my little lemon tree.

Several years ago, my son gifted me with a lemon tree for Mother’s Day.  I loved this little tree, but it did not like indoor life in my home.  After about 1-year nearly all of the leaves had fallen off and it certainly wasn’t flowering or bearing fruit.  I almost threw my little lemon tree away, but decided it couldn’t hurt to place it outside on our porch for the summer.  The sunshine and fresh air breathed new life into my resilient little tree.  A couple of years later, summers outdoors and winters indoors, it is healthy and now it has two lemons ripening.

There are approximately 50 varieties of lemons.  They range in flavor from sweet to sour and in acidity.  They are grown all around the world and are thought to have originated in northeastern India.
The ancient Egyptians are credited with ‘inventing’ lemonade around 500 AD.  However, only the Pharaoh and royal family were allowed to enjoy the beverage.  In 1630, a lemonade soda (lemon juice, honey, and sparkling water) was first sold in Paris.  Through the 1840’s demand for lemons grew as a cure for scurvy.  This debilitating disease was caused by a lack of Vitamin C and significantly impacted sailors and miners during the California Gold Rush in the mid 1800’s.  This demand for lemons resulted in the many California lemon groves, some of which still exist today.  Even in current times, many websites suggest that increasing consumption of fruits like lemons decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and lower weight.

And now that you have learned a little bit about lemons, let get to the recipes!


Lemon Chicken is a quick and easy meal for a weeknight.  Add a salad and rice or pasta and you have a perfect meal.

Lemon Chicken

I enjoy eating fish and this is fantastic sauce that goes really well with a delicate white fish.  I usually keep a giant bag of fish filets from Costco in my freezer and at least one lemon at all times in my fruit bowl, so this is great when I don’t have time to shop.

Baked fish with a lemon cream sauce

Avgolemono is probably my favorite soup.  It is hearty enough to serve as a meal and it is a common dinner request from my son and hussband during the cooler months.

Avgolemono (Greek chicken-lemon soup)

Here’s a great cookbook with even more recipes.


These lemon brownies are fantastic.  Lots of lemon flavor, but not as gooey as a traditional lemon bar.  This recipe calls for a lot of butter, so maybe not the healthiest treat.  However, they are easy to make and they are always enjoyed and even requested.

Lemon brownies

I just love the pop of color on these cupcakes with the blackberry buttercream.  Raspberries also work well.  Great flavor and a little more elegant.

Lemon cupcakes with blackberry buttercream

Lemon pound cake is a classic and this is a great recipe.

Italian lemon pound cake


There is no shortage of cocktail recipes leveraging the sweet-sour flavor of lemons.  Limoncello is my favorite summer sipping aperitif.  For many, it brings back wonderful memories of time spent visiting Italy.  It is super easy to make.  I prefer my Limoncello less sweet, so I go easy on the sugar.  It’s always easy to add a little more if needed.  With this recipe, the hardest part is waiting for the lemon flavor to infuse into the alchol.


Most people think of using limes for margaritas, but lemons are a great alternative, especially when combined with a little honey.

Lemon-Honey Margarita

This is an old-style cocktail with an interesting history.  Back in the days of prohibition, lemon and honey was used to hide the harsh smell and burn of bathtub gin.  The combination of lemon and gin makes for a very refreshing cocktail.

Bee’s Knees

Cocktails are always best when prepared with just the right barware and served in just the right glass.  Here are some ideas for your bar collection.

Home Bar Ad

I hope you enjoy this recipe collection.  Please let me know if you had a chance to try any of these recipes.  I would love to read your feedback.


  1. I will definitely be trying several of these recipes. I also love the inclusion of some historical background! Keep it up! =D

    • Provenance2016

      September 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      Thank you Angel.

      These are super delicious recipes. I have made them all, but the lemon brownies themselves, along with the recipe, are definitely the most requested. I love the history to go with the recipes. That’s the ‘provenance’ I love so much. Antique Roadshow lover here!

      take care,

      • I’ve seen you around in EBA and 12 week buddies on facebook. I really enjoy your content. I’ve already subscribed to your newsletter and can’t wait for what’s coming next!

        • Provenance2016

          September 8, 2017 at 11:08 pm

          Thanks Angel. I love the community and support provided by these groups. It makes writing and learning how to design and manage my site so much more fun. The best is yet to come. Laura

  2. Lemons always give a recipe a very special flavor! I really appreciate you sharing your awesome post and your talent with us at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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