The Crunchy Cookie

Equal parts deliciousness and hippiness

Photo: Karen Steffens, Sunset Magazine

I recently went to visit my grandmother in D.C., who, aside from making us three course meals for dinner, made mini tea cakes “in case we wanted them with our afternoon coffee.”  (I know, my gramma’s amazing.)  Now, my grandmother can bake like nobody’s business and these tea cakes were no exception.  One thing that made them stand out for me was the use of added orange peel; it turns out she zests oranges and lemons whenever she uses them and keeps the zest in the freezer for baking.  Genius!  This little tip inspired this post, all about creative uses for citrus, especially lemons.  If you have a tip and don’t see it below, please post it in the comments section!

  • Use citrus juice in healthy marinades and dressings by combining it with olive oil, a little honey or agave nectar, and seasonings like minced garlic, cilantro, and mint.  The possibilities are endless!
  • Use lemon juice to remove berry, coffee and tea stains in fabric by soaking the stains in lemon juice for one hour before laundering.
  • Have stains on a wooden cutting board?  Sprinkle a little salt on the stain and use half a lemon to rub the salt into the stain.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with cold water.  Repeat if necessary.
  • If you have a cold or flu, boil half a lemon, a few cloves of garlic, and about an inch of grated ginger root to make a tea.  Add honey and cayenne pepper to taste and drink often!
  • To get rid of tea and coffee stains in your mugs, sprinkle a little baking soda in a lemon rind and rub the stains away!
  • Use a little lemon juice to get rid of that lingering garlic, fish or onion smell on your hands or kitchen wares.
  • To freshen your disposal, throw used lemon rinds down the disposal after everything else.
  • A paste of lemon juice and baking soda makes a great polish for brass, copper, and chrome.
  • Lemon juice and white vinegar make an excellent cleaning fluid for the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Put lemon wedges in a bowl of water and microwave until a good amount of steam builds up in the appliance.  This helps neutralize odors and loosen food when cleaning the microwave.
  • A little lemon juice can help degrease pots and pans.
  • Want to lighten your hair?  Dampen it with lemon juice and then sit in the sun.  (I’ve heard strong chamomile tea works as well.)