Golden Milk

img_6511Golden milk actually uses milk, no it’s not another item claiming to be the life-giving elixir that is milk, as in from a mammal. (This is coming from a wife of a dairy farmer). Golden milk has been used for 100s of years as nourishing drink that reduces inflammation in the body and boosts your immune response. It uses milk, turmeric (raw or a paste), cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. I added a pinch of cardamom and sweetener to make this a treat even my kiddos would love. The warm hue of the milk is comforting, and you really can’t taste turmeric, so think of this as a spicy and sweet warmed up milk. Perfect on this rainy day or as healthy and satisfying after dinner drink.

Golden Milk 

Ingredients: img_6514

  • 4 Tbsp Ground Turmeric Powder
  •  1/4 C Water
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • 6 Cups Fresh Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp Pure Maple syrup or Honey
  • A pinch of Cardamom
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla

Directions: 

Add turmeric powder and water in sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until thickened about 5 minutes and add black pepper.

Stir in milk, add sweetener of choice, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Cook until warmed through and serve! Visit Pete Postma and Sons for more info on our dairy.

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Support your local dairy farmers! Drink Milk! (Real Milk)

Sweet Potato Persimmon Cookies

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I love the combination of two classic flavors of fall in this cookie. The combination makes for a super soft nutritious cookie that you can even serve at breakfast. I add chopped pecans and oats to make a very filling cookie, and chocolate chips to entice my littles. We make an annual visit to the Maino Ranch in Knights Ferry, to pick persimmons at the ancient Hachyia persimmon tree. We then bring home the fruits of our labor, waiting for when they turn just ripe enough to scoop out their sweet flesh for use in cooking. Having never been a persimmon fan before discovering this tree, I now love them, both the cooking ( Hachyia) and the eating (Fuyu) variety. I enjoy this new tradition and watching the kids play and climb under the big tree. See our recipe using Persimmons for Christmas Jam from last year! This recipe is a great way to use left over sweet potatoes and pecans from your traditional thanksgiving dishes! img_4141

Persimmon Sweet Potato Cookies                                                       Yield: 24 Cookies 

Ingredients: img_4248

  • 3/4 C Mashed Sweet Potato Puree
  • 3/4 C Persimmon Pulp
  • 1/2 C Butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 C Oats
  • 1/2 C Chopped and roasted Pecans

Directions: Pre-Heat Oven to 350 F. In bowl of stand mixer, mix on high sugar, puree, pulp, and butter until fluffy. Add egg on slow until just combined. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.

 

Slowly mix in dry ingredients into wet, stopping to scrape bowl. Fold in chocolate chips, pecans, and oats. Drop hearty size Tbsp dollops onto parchment lined baking sheet.

 

Bake for approx 25 minutes until cooked through. Enjoy!

Dairy Man’s Dream; No-Rise, No- Knead, Quick Parmesan Bread

img_3785Why is this bread called “Dairy Man’s Dream”? It has cheese, yogurt, milk, and butter! I adapted this recipe from “Bread Illustrated” written by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen. I have loved this book, all the recipes have great step by step illustrations. Bread is intimidating for me and this book really helps me understand the process of making bread so I can, well, actually make bread! In fact this recipe was done with my 2 year old!

I tried this recipe out last night, we did not have bread for dinner and the kids were up to make something. I almost pulled our bread machine out, (the kids call him “crunchy robot”) but I put him back and flipped through the cook book instead. I love the idea of no knead quick bread you can literally make in 10 minutes pop in oven and serve! The recipe called for sour cream and I substituted my farm fresh yogurt instead. I also omitted the cheddar cheese and added extra parm. The results were impressive and my dairy man of a husband happy after another long day at the new barn.

Ingredients:                                                                                                   

  • 2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour img_3790
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 3 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 3/4 C Yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp Melted Butter
  • 2 Cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Directions: Pre heat oven to 350 F. Melt Butter over low heat. Whisk in milk, salt and yogurt. Set aside.

Mix flour baking soda, pepper and 1 C of the cheese. Butter a 8″ x 4″ pan and sprinkle 1/2 C Parmesan cheese on bottom. Fold wet ingredients into dry, until just incorporated. Do not over mix!

Dough will be very heavy and lumpy. Place in prepared bread pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake approx 45 minutes until golden brown! Let cool at least 30 minutes, slice and serve with more butter of course!

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The kids helping at the new barn

Jalapeno Overload; A Confession- Recipe for Cheesy Jalapeno Cauliflower Rice & Beans, and an Aioli

img_2514I have a confession for our community “Gospel Garden.” If you have visited you would guess that either the Modesto Gospel Mission loves jalapenos, or I do. By far the most prolific plant that has grown, in pace with the tomatoes, are the jalapenos. I never knew that the plants could reach 5 ft tall! I think we had around 50 plants donated, and each bush puts out around 20 peppers! Well my confession is this, it was a mistake. A friend of mine asked how many peppers we would like when he made his donation. I was thinking bell peppers for the salad bar, turns out they were jalapenos. Should have asked! I have new found love for these peppers after this summer. They have been such a blessing at our garden. We found that kids love them when you remove the seeds they are not all that hot, and make for an exciting snack! Many were used by the mission and given to neighbors and family. I have found many fun recipes, and they make an excellent addition to marinara sauce, stir fry, breads, pizza and on! Below are two recent recipes.

With the change in weather I  was excited to create something warm and homey. This cauliflower rice dish is great way for kids to get there vegetables, and to avoid a starch overload. Super simple to make, kids can help! Can either be a great side dish or the star of the show. Simple to prepare, cauliflower rice is now a staple in our home. I love the big fresh bag from Taylor Farms available at Costco stores! Think of this recipe as a great way to clean your fridge of vegetables that need to be used. Use here! get creative! I use my marinara and farm fresh yogurt: OK to use store bought of course! Also below another fun way to use jalapenos; make an Aioli, (fancy word for garlic mayo). Below is a recipe inspired by my mom, who used a jalapeno aioli with fish tacos at our last visit to her place on the coast.

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice                                                                  Yield: 6 largeservings

Ingredients:img_2526

  • 4 Jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 C Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 Can Pinto Beans
  • 2 C Cauliflower Rice
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 C  Chopped leeks, squash or other extra vegetable from garden or fridge.
  • 1/2 C Yogurt
  • 1/2 C Marinara Sauce
  • 4 Tbsp Butter

Directions:

In saute pan over medium heat, melt butter, add onion, celery and saute until translucent around 8 minutes.

Add cauliflower rice and cook an additional 8 minutes. Once cooked through add tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add beans, yogurt and marinara. Mix well and then add cheese. Serve once cheese is melted and ingredients warmed through Enjoy!

Simple Jalapeno Aioli

Directions:

Place 4 chopped jalapenos, 1 C mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp yogurt, 3 cloves of garlic and blend! That’s it! Feel free to fool with the portions. This makes approx 2 cups of sauce. Use on sandwiches, burgers, pasta, tacos and on!

Creamy Summer Squash Soup with Roasted Chicken

img_1827Looking for a way to use all your summer squash and serve a healthy meal the whole family will love, while also freezing tons of extra for later use or gifts? This recipe will meet all those needs. It is a great, fresh way to get the kids to eat your garden veggies. This soup is amazingly satisfying for those on a low-carbohydrate diet or those trying to eat a healthier whole food based diet. I added Jalapenos from our Gospel Garden to our abundant harvest of crook neck squash and onion from our home garden. To this I also added our farm fresh home made raw yogurt. Make extra to freeze for soups and sauces during the winter months. The spicy kick will also serve those who need a nourishing soup during cold and flu season.

Summer Squash Soup                                                              Yield: Approx. 15 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 10-15 Crook Neck Squash, coarsely chopped.

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    My helpers!

  • 1 Small White Onion, diced.
  • 4 Cloves Garlic bruised.
  • 5 Jalapenos, sliced, seeded and cored.
  • 4 Tbs Olive oil
  • 3 Tbs Butter (no margarine please!)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Yogurt 
  • 1 C Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Heat olive oil, onion, jalapenos and garlic until onion becomes translucent. Add squash, butter, salt and pepper.

Heat for 20 -30 minutes, ever so often stirring the squash to help break down. Add chicken stock and cook an additional 30 minutes until squash is slightly mushy and cooked through. Let cool and puree in blender in batches. Rinse out original pan. Return puree to pan and place in medium heat. Add yogurt and cheese and whisk to incorporate.

Serve warm or cold and topped with roast chicken breast, and accompanying a loaf of french bread.

For the Chicken : My method for roasting chicken is simple- choose bone in, skin on chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, a little olive oil and cover with foil. Bake in 375 F oven for 45- 50 minutes, (or until an internal temperature of 170 F). Remove foil and brown an additional 10 minutes. Remove breast from rib before serving in soup if desired, or serve as is on the side!

 

 

 

Our dairy farm’s future, the strawberry patch and a recipe for Molasses Ginger Strawberry Muffins.

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Is this a time that everyone is uncertain? I know my husband and I are. My husband, Jon, his brother Jack and his father are dairy farmers. Their grandfather came from Holland to start this dairy in the central valley region of California. Since their grandfather’s time much has changed and the dairy seems to be on its own little island while all around it things are changing. Clinging to ideals and a passion for dairy farming has kept this dairy alive. Sad to say making a profit in the dairy industry has become increasingly harder. This is due to many factors, cost of production, regulations, cost of labor and a lack of a skilled consistent labor force. Jon and partners have chosen to try robotic milking. After visiting many robotic milking houses in the mid west, Jon and Jack were excited and sure that robotics are the future of dairy farming.

My husband will be the first to tell you that we really don’t know if it is. But what we do know is that if we want to continue milking cows something needs to change. We have to at least try, and what are farmers if not pioneers. Every year farmers take risks and bear the elements, battle the ever changing social climate and push forward in hopes to continue a way of life that nourishes our communities and families.

We have a small garden that the kids and I planted at the dairy last year. It did alright, and supplied some employees with fresh lettuce and other veggies. The strawberries we had planted did horrible. At the end of the season I tore out the wilting lettuce, fried zucchini plants and tired peppers, but the strawberries seemed to be greener. I left them and forgot all about the plants during fall and winter. Spring of this year my husband called saying I had better get to the dairy and pick the strawberries. “What Strawberries?” I replied wearily, having just got in from yard work. He informed me that plump, red strawberries littered the  old dairy garden spot. As the kids and I returned to the dairy garden I was amazed to see amidst all the weeds were the same strawberry plants, but with fresh glittering red strawberries ready to be picked. we cleaned up the weeds and began caring for and harvesting the strawberries we had given up on. We  have picked many times this spring continuing now into summer. Our prayers for our dairy are patient hopeful ones. Prayers that through doing things for the right reasons, not giving up when all seems impossible, nourishing our business then watching and waiting, we will see a sustainable, joyful future for an industry so deserving of a fruitful fate.

To learn more about robotic milking visit https://www.lely.com/us/the-barn/milking/

img_1232Using our strawberries we made these delicious muffins to share with the dairy employees. I wanted to try something different, a little spice and warmth from the cinnamon, ginger and molasses to contrast the sweet strawberry sauce that tops these buttery muffins. Enjoy!

Molasses and Ginger Strawberry Muffins      

Ingredients:                                                                                         Yield: Approx 20           Sauce:

  • 2 Pints Fresh Strawberries
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 Tbs Lemon juice

Muffins:

  • 1 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Sticks Butter
  • 1/2 C Yogurt (Try my Homemade Yogurt Recipe)
  • 1/3 C Molasses
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs

Directions: 

Pre heat oven to 350 F. Use Pam Baking Spray to prepare your muffins tins. Make the strawberry sauce first. Clean and cut strawberries in half place in large saucepan over medium heat.

Add sugar and lemon juice. Simmer stirring occasionally and until cooked through (approx. 15 minutes). Using immersion blender puree until smooth in pan. let cool slightly and pour into jars leaving about 1/4 of the mixture in pan.

Use the jarred strawberry sauce for other desserts, on top of pancakes or ice cream. May be preserved or frozen for future use.

Using same large pan without cleaning, melt butter slowly on low heat. Stir the melted butter into the strawberry sauce. Add yogurt, molasses and sugar and stir to combine with whisk.

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Make a well in flour and add the eggs. Stir yokes to break and slowly fold the wet, dry ingredients and eggs to combine. img_1109Drop 1 Tbsp of sauce in bottom of muffins tins. Add 2 large spoonfuls of batter on top. Top with another 1 Tbsp of sauce.img_1111 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Remove when slightly cool and transfer to cooling rack. May use right away or freeze for up to 6 months. Enjoy!

 

Brown Butter Maple Oat Breakfast Muffins; Learn my Quick, One Pot “Blank Canvas”  Recipe, and a lemon version

img_9499I’m bringing muffins back! Some of you may be thinking, I never knew muffins were out, neither did I! That was until I went to research muffin recipes in my new cook book and nada! Looking further online, it seems the culinary world has turned its back in this American staple. The muffin  is underrated and seen as creation that takes little skill that has now been confused with its trendier counterpart the cupcake. Muffins were created in America, different from the English version, this muffin was a batter that required a tin, and baking powder, which wasn’t invented until the late 1800’s. Muffins were traditionally made by hand, but modern bakeries wanting to make them more light like the much desired cupcake,  added more sugar and used a mixer to add dry to wet ingredients. Personally the muffin means a lot to me. It has been a wonderfully easy way yo be creative as a busy mom, and feed my kids a wholesome snack at the same time. Muffins are versatile and a great way to use seasonal fruits an vegetables. The possibilities are endless, and in using traditional methods with high quality  ingredients its like creating a work of art. It has taken me time to be able to not have to look at a recipe, creating a stand by muffin recipe that I can make quickly,  being able to get creative with what I have, and double easily to share. My recipe takes one pot, little mess and little time. I usually can make these in 10 minutes or less and you can too! Think of this recipe as a blank canvas. The ingredients should be the freshest you can find. If you can take the time to make fresh yogurt  I encourage it. See my recipe for homemade yogurt. Besides added health benefits, yogurt tenderizes baked goods. The homemade yogurt makes this muffin special, and creates a feeling of accomplishment. Get cookin’!

Ingredients

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Everything here except the Baking Soda and Powder

  • 3 C flour
  • 1 C Rolled Oats
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 3/4 C Sugar
  • 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 C yogurt
  • 1/2 C Butter (melted)
  • 1/2 – 1 C add ins- see below.

For Lemon Oat Muffins:

  • Juice and Zest of 2 Meyer Lemons
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting.

Other ideas for ad ins for both sweet and savory muffins include ; Apple sauce, Fruit puree or whole berries, chocolate chips, almond butter, roasted nuts, pureed vegetables like carrot or cauliflower, cheeses, grated zucchini, and the list goes on! You can adjust the add ins by decreasing the amount of yogurt or butter used. For example if you want to add 1 C apple sauce use only 1/2 C yogurt.

Have fun creating new muffins to try with your family. The portable nature of a muffin makes it such a great convenience and a way to pack nutrition into your day without hitting the drive thru, taking time and money. Remember these also freeze great for later use so stock up when you have some extra time to bake!

Directions;

In large pot melt butter. If making Lemon Muffins as pictured above, add lemon zest and juice. Let butter cool slightly. Add sugar, yogurt, maple syrup and oats, stir.

Place sifter over pot and sift in flour, salt, baking powder and soda.

Make a well in center of flour crack in 2 eggs. Using a fork beat the eggs until yoke and whites combined, then fold into dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix, batter should be lumpy and this is OK. Spoon into buttered tins.

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You can never over fill and muffin tin!

bake 350 F for 15-20 minutes, or until tooth pick comes out clean. For Lemon Muffin sift tops with powdered sugar and additional lemon zest. Enjoy!

 

Split Pea Soup with Horseradish and Tarragon

img_9386In the heart of everyone is a little country and a desire for simpler things. I don’t care where you are from or where you are now, this is true in all human beings. A soup like this is meant to be created and not ordered. This is as old school and traditional country as it gets. I spiced this up with fresh grated horseradish root and Verde sauce (courtesy of my mother and inspired by the taco Christmas eve shared with employees at dairy).  The spice cuts through the sweetness and richness of the ham and peas. I also brighten it with Meyer lemon and tarragon from our garden. Fresh garlic, onion, bay leaf and a little nutmeg add warmth. I did not have any carrot at the time, but if you have some add a couple large carrots chopped, as this is a great addition! I love this as a meal served with crusty bread and fresh butter.  Make an extra batch to share!

Yield: Approx 6 large servings                               Time: Preparation; 30 min. Cooking: 4 hours

Ingredients: img_9375

  • 2 1/2 C Split Peas Dried
  • 2 1/4 Quarts Water
  • 1 1/2  Lbs Cubed Ham plus Ham Bone
  • 1 Tbsp Chicken Bouillon
  • 2 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Stalks Celery
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Grated Horseradish Root
  • 1/2 C Verde Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Tarragon or 2 Sprigs Fresh Tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Meyer Lemon juice

Directions:

Melt butter in dutch oven or large stock pot. Add chopped onion, garlic and celery. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and saute until transparent and softened. Grate fresh horseradish into vegetables. Add cubed ham and ham bone. Saute an additional 5 minutes to render flavor. Add Split peas, and cover with water. Add chicken bouillon and stir. Bring to boil an then turn heat to low. Cover and simmer for one hour.

Add bay leaf and tarragon, (I use something called a soup sock for herbs to be removed) and simmer an additional 3 hours, or until peas are cooked through and soup has thickened. Stir in Verde sauce and lemon. Garnish with additional fresh grated horseradish and serve with crusty bread and fresh butter! Enjoy this warm country meal and share with friends! May freeze for up to 4 months.

Dad, Uncle Jack, Aunt Angie and the kids at dairy Christmas Eve. Enjoying Oysters and fresh tacos with homemade Verde and guacamole prepared by the workers to share in celebration. A feast at the shop!

 

 

 

Habanero Limoncello

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A little sunshine for this holiday season! I just love the hue that limoncello turns  as it marinates with lemon zest. Limoncello is essentially an infused vodka, a traditional drink originating from Italy. Using our Meyer lemons, I wanted to try making limocello for the first time. A suggestion from a friend, thanks Ellen! I added a kick by using habenaro vodka, which I had on hand. It turned out great, and not too spicy, but you can also use regular Vodka as well. Lemoncello can be enjoyed by itself, or as a mixer with champagne, ginger ale, (think moscow mules), or create your own!  Lemoncello only uses the zest of the lemon, so juice the remaining lemons to create other holiday treats, lemonade or freeze juice in ice cube trays for future use. This makes a unexpected gift and freezes well once made to enjoy during summer!

Ingredients:

  • 10 Lemons
  • 750 ML Premium Habenaro Vodka (Regular Vodka ok as well)
  • 3 1/2 C Water
  • 2 C sugar

Directions:

With very sharp knife or potato peeler remove the outer rind of lemon, trying to avoid the inner white pith. Too much pith in the vodka will make a very bitter drink. Place rinds evenly in jars, and add vodka till 3/4 way to top. Place on lid and allow to rest in dry dark place for 1-3 weeks. Then make a simple syrup by adding the water and sugar and heating sugar until dissolved. Stir often. Allow to cool. Pour vodka with rind through strainer into the pan with simple syrup. Stir and pour into jars. Allow to rest further an additional week in refrigerator. Enjoy and give!

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Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Cookies; Sprinkled with Cinnamon Sugar and Zest

img_9008Meyer Lemon Cheese Cake Cookies with Cinnoman Sugar and Zest

Our Meyer lemon tree  is officially producing! All year I wait for these beautiful lemons, a signal that Christmas is also approaching. In trying to take a step back this season (cards not done, shopping to be finished) it’s time to make cookies!

Some one once said they are working to view their children as little beings that need to be nurtured, and not as objects in the way. How often I need reminding. This is a cookie you can have fun with. Kids can put there thumbprints in them, they do not have to be perfect. I place graham crackers in a bag for the kids to pound and smash-up.

I used a lemon blue berry juice I happened to have made, and fresh yogurt  I make from our diary farm,  but just fresh squeezed lemon juice and greek yogurt will work fine. Try adding a dash of pomegranate as well for festive flair.

Yeild: Approx 46 Cookies                                                      Time: Prep- 30 min./ Cook- 15min.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 C  Graham Cracker Crumbs (approx 1 sleeve)img_8998
  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Sticks Butter, softened
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, separated
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Yogurt
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnoman Sugar

Directions: 

Preheat Oven to 350 F. In large bowl mix flour, baking soda, graham crumbs, and salt. In bowl of mixer beat brown sugar and butter until fluffy. Add egg white and beat until combined. Fold into large bowl with flour mixture until just combined. Mixture will be crumbly this is ok!

Replace bowl of mixer and add softened cream cheese and granulated sugar. I chose not to wash bowl, just to use it again for the filling. figure it’s all going to the same place right? Turned out just fine, and when your cooking with 3 kids you have to learn to cut your corners! Once cream cheese is fluffy, add yogurt and zest of 1 lemon (zest only the yellow, trying to avoid the white pith as this is very bitter). Add egg yolk and beat until just combined.

On parchment lined baking sheets place large table-spoon full of graham cookie mixture. Flatten with thumb to make indent in center and repeat. Add 1/2 tbsp full of cream cheese mixture in center. It is ok if it over flows, I tend to like the look of this luscious cream cheese mixture overflowing, but if you want a neater cookie add a  smaller amount at a time. Bake until filling is set and cookies are golden brown. Approx. 12-15 minutes.Sprinkle with cinnoman sugar and another good zesting of lemon if desired.  Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and them transfer to wire rack. Enjoy!