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DIY Ideas for Using Lemons in the Home

DIY Ideas for Using Lemons in the Home

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This sweet and sour citrus isn’t just for flavoring

Learn how you can make more than lemonade when life hands you lemons.

The new year is all about fresh starts and self-improvements. Lemons are some of the most underrated yet incredibly versatile tools we have at our disposal. With New Year's resolutions declared and the accompanying sense of personal responsibility at hand, there's no better time to delve into the wonderful world of lemons — and all the fantastic things one of the trendiest foods of 2014 can do for all those resolution-makers in 2014.

Lemons can keep your living space smelling fresh!

Lemons work wonders to remove unpleasant odors. Throw a few lemon peels into the winter fire or boil them in water on the stove to fill your home with a fresh, citrus fragrance.

Make your own all-purpose cleaner.

Add an equal amount of lemon juice and water to a spray bottle to create an effective kitchen and bathroom cleanser.

Keep the bugs at bay.

When it's cold outside, insects often seek refuge in the warmth of homes. For ants, spray lemon water where you see them appear. For spiders, place bits of fresh lemon peel strategically in dark corners or on windowsills. For insects attracted to clothing, push cloves into the peel of a new lemon and dry in the sun. After four to seven days, the lemon will be completely dry (depending on weather conditions) and will become a natural insect repellent for wardrobes, cupboards, and suitcases.

Lemons add ambiance.
Their cheerful yellow color adds a welcome splash of warmth on those cold January days. Place lemon slices in your flower vase and add water for a beautiful effect.

11 Recipes That Make Preserved Lemons Worth Buying

Preserved lemons are essential to North African kitchens, where they're used to add brightness, salt, and depth to tagines and stews, dressings and sauces, and countless other dishes. But they can also inspire a "what on earth do I do with this?" moment at the store. Fear not—preserved lemons are easy to use, and these 11 recipes are here to show you why preserved lemons are worth buying (and eating with everything).

Ingredients For The Creamy Chicken Breasts Recipe:

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (this really adds a lot of lemon flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons of dill (fresh dill is best here if you use dry dill, you need 1/4 the amount)

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Table of Contents

Heavenly Homemade Lemonade

The first and most popular way to use a fresh lemon has got to be Homemade Lemonade. This refreshing and easy drink will always taste a million times better if you make it yourself and is without a doubt one of the easiest lemon recipes.

Heavenly Homemade Lemonade

Yields: 7 1/4 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 5 cups cold water
  • lemon slices, for garnish
  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh mint sprigs, for garnish


1. Combine sugar and boiling water, stirring until sugar dissolves.

2. Add lemon rind, lemon juice, mint leaves and cold water mix well.

3. Chill. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint sprigs.

Luscious Lemon Pie

Another popular treat among lemon recipes are lemon pies. Easy no-bake lemon pies are a huge hit with our readers and very popular during those warm Summer months. This Luscious Lemon Pie below is the epitome of easy when it comes to desserts.

Luscious Lemon Pie


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten slightly
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon rind, grated
  • 1 graham cracker crust


  1. Combine sugar and cornstarch in top of double boiler. Add the water slowly, stirring until thick.
  2. Gradually add the egg yolks, butter, grated lemon rind, lemon juice and salt.
  3. Stir for 1 or 2 minutes before pouring into graham cracker crust.
  4. Garnish top with grated lemon zest.

Decadent Lemon Butter

This Decadent Lemon Butter is one of the yummiest butter recipes you can find and a great way to get creative with your lemons. Spread this delicious butter over scones, biscuits or pound cake for a truly amazing treat. Plus you can jar up the rest and store in the fridge all Summer.

Decadent Lemon Butter


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ounce butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


1. Break egg into saucepan and beat lightly to combine white and yolk. Add sugar and beat.

2. Cut up butter and add. Add juice of lemon and lemon zest if desired.

3. Stir until sugar is dissolved over heat.

4. Cook over low, gentle heat until thick, stirring occasionally. Do not let it boil.

5. The mixture can take as long as you like to cook provided it is stirred and does not boil.

6. Keeps indefinitely if stored in the fridge.

More Luscious Lemon Recipes:

Lemon Saffron Bread - Make a lemon bread recipe that is simple and bound to please. Lemon desserts are light and tangy, and this one is super easy because it's a quick easy slow cooker recipe as well. Give this bread a try, it's one of the best lemon recipes.

Blackberry Lemonade - What kid doesn't love lemonade? For that matter, what adult? Try this naturally pink lemonade using blackberries, fresh or frozen, and taste a little bit of heaven. Lemon recipes don't get any better than fresh lemonade.

Lemon Cheesecake with Lavender Crust - For a simply divine and luxurious dessert you'll have to try this Lemon Cheesecake with Lavender Crust. It's one of the best cheesecake recipes you can find. If you're a fan of lemon then you'll fall in love with this dessert.

Lemon Cooler Cookies - If you are a fan of lemon recipes than you are going to adore these Lemon Cooler Cookies. Such a quick and easy cookie recipe to make and they came out amazing!

Bottled Sunshine: Homemade Lemon Gifts

Isn’t it funny that just when the snow hits the ground, the produce section gets flooded with citrus fruit? The sweet and tart juices echo the tropical climates from whence they came. And lemons, well aren’t they just sunshine itself? This year bottle some of their cheer and give it to a friend. Here are three simple, but elegant gift ideas anyone can easily make. All you need are lemons, salt, sugar, vodka, butter and eggs. Does this mean you’re Christmas shopping at the grocery store this year? You bet.

Limoncello: An Italian Delicacy

I first indulged in limoncello when I was dating the man who would become my husband. We used to frequent a seafood restaurant on the Miami River for lazy weekend lunches. We enjoyed the food and the relaxed atmosphere created the romance that blossomed into our family. The first time I ordered a limoncello, I had no idea what it was. It just sounded divine. It is, but also strong. Those small digestives we ordered cost a ridiculous $14 a piece, so I quickly learned how to make my own. Now for the price of a round of drinks you can have a couple of gifts (and chef nips) yourself.

12 lemons
4 c vodka (medium quality)
4 c filtered water
3 c sugar

1. Using a vegetable peeler, gently peel only the yellow part of the lemon peel from the fruit. Scrape off any excess white part with a sharp knife. This is a great TV watching activity and husband involvement is required appreciated.

2. Put peels in a large pitcher and pour vodka over them. Cover top. Allow to sit at room temperature for 4 days, giving them a small swirl once a day.

3. Make a simple sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small sauce pan over a medium flame. Stir and gently warm until sugar is dissolved, about 7 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Pour over lemon peels and vodka. Allow to rest at room temperature for 1 day.

4. Strain the lemon peels and pour into sterilized containers.* Chill. Best consumed within 2 months.

Serving Suggestions:
Limoncello is traditionally served as a digestive, after a meal. It is also delicious as a champagne cocktail when served with a crisp prosecco. I also like a splash of it with amaretto over ice. Enjoy!

Lemon Curd: An English Delicacy

My sister introduced me to this treat during my High Tea Phase. In my early twenties, I became drawn not to the bar scene, but the old-fashioned ladies tea scene. Blame Jane Austin. I hosted tea parties for my friends and delighted in cucumber sandwiches and scones. My sister and I lived a few states apart, but when we saw each other, we went for tea at grand hotels. Kate has a knack for always finding the best stationary shops, breakfast joints and cute, girly stores. One year she bought a tiny jar of lemon curd for my annual Christmas tea party and it was love at first bite.

6 egg yolks
1 c sugar
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 4 lemons
pinch of sea salt
1 stick of butter, cut into tiny bits

1. Fill a medium sized saucepan with about an inch of water and bring to a boil. Place a glass bowl over it and egg the yolks, sugar, salt, juice and zest. Stir and cook until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 10-15 minutes. It’s important to keep stirring.

2. Remove from heat and put it through a strainer. You will need to use your rubber spatula to help it along. Allow it to cool slightly.

3. Bit by bit whisk in the cold butter. It will become nice and fluffy. Put in sterilized jars* and refrigerate. Good for a week. You can also freeze it for a month, just place plastic wrap directly on the curd and leave space for a slight expansion.

Serving Suggestions:
Scones are the classic choice, but any baked good will appreciate a dollop. Blueberry muffins, pound cake, and pumpkin bread go particularly well. You can also pipe it into mini fillo cups and sprinkle berries on top for a last minute dessert. Enjoy!

Preserved Lemons: A Moroccan Delicacy

This is a more recent discovery, initiated by my study of yoga in India. I ate meals with my teacher, Master-ji, and his family. We ate in the kitchen and just behind the table was a shelf full of colorful pickles. Well, I didn’t know they were picked at first, because they were all sorts odd shapes and vibrant hues. I only knew of green dill pickles. These were hot and spicy, made of mangoes, lemons and other exotic Indian fruits. I was too afraid to try them until just before leaving. On my last night, Master-ji coaxed me to try one. It was amazing! That got me started on my hunt for (what should I call it?) global pickles. These preserved lemons are a foodie’s dream: a new, but faintly familiar ingredient that can be added to just about any recipe.

fine sea salt
lots of fresh lemon juice

1. The ingredient list is non-specific, because the quanity really depends on the size and shape of your sterilized* jars. For each lemon that will fit in your jar, it will take about 1 1/2 T sea salt. You want your lemons to be tightly packed in the jar, so think of that when your shopping. You will use a lot of lemon juice, so using the left-over peeled lemons from the limoncello is an excellent idea.

2. Place about a tablespoon of sea salt in the bottom of the jar. Wash and dry your lemons. Slice them in quarters, lengthwise being careful to leave them in tact at the top. Carefully remove seeds.

3. Take about 1 1/2 T salt and thoroughly coat the flesh of the lemon.

4. Push lemon back into it’s original shape and place it in the jar. Repeat the process, filling the jar as tightly as you can. Pour fresh lemon juice over the top until lemons are covered completely.

5. Place jar on a sunny window sill for 21 days. Once a day, say hello and give it a nice shake. (If you don’t have 21 days before gift giving, simply include a note instructing the recipient of this for whatever number of days is left.)

6. After 21 days, the lemons are ready. They’ll be good for 6 months.

Serving Suggestions:
The peels and flesh can both be used in cooking. They can be added to sauces, soups and sautes. This is a great gift for a foodie or cook. Tell them to explore Moroccan and Persian recipes or they can create their own. Enjoy!

*To sterilize jars either fill a large pot with water and boil them for 5 minutes or run your dishwasher without soap.

25 Easy Lemon Dessert Recipes to Enjoy This Spring and Summer

Lemons are the star of so many dishes&mdashbut it probably shines the brightest in desserts! The tart citrus fruit is a key player in so many sweets you already know and love: lemon pound cake, lemon meringue pie, sugar-dusted lemon bars. the list goes on! So get ready for plenty of bright and zesty treats ahead&mdashthis collection of easy lemon desserts has something for every lemon lover out there.

Ree Drummond is a big fan of all things lemon: Homemade lemonade is one of her favorite warm-weather rituals, and she loves a good dose of lemon at breakfast, too (try these Lemon&ndashPoppy Seed Waffles). Find all her best lemon desserts here, including zesty cakes, cupcakes, cookies, sweet rolls, and more. If you're hosting a brunch party, surprising a friend with a batch of homemade treats, or simply looking to add some zing to your day, your plans should definitely involve one of these delicious lemon dessert recipes.

Just one quick tip before you start baking: If a recipe calls for lemon juice, press and roll your lemons against the counter first before you halve and squeeze them&mdashthis will help you get the most juice out of them!

How To Make and Use Dried Lemon Peel

They're useful to have around, and will keep for up to a year!

If you know anything about my flavor preferences, then you probably already know that LEMON is very near the top of the list! (I even have a whole Pinterest board devoted to my love of lemons!) So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that today’s project is all about lemons – or lemon peels, to be exact!

When you think about pumpkin as an ingredient, what do you see? Do you dream of creamy pies, or warm and comforting lattes? What about savory muffins, . Continue Reading

Lemons are a pretty fascinating fruit, because you can use them for so many different things! Not only does their fresh citrus flavor complement many different sweet and savory foods, but it also makes an excellent cleaner. And on top of that, it’s used in many health and beauty products, too!

Today I’m sharing an easy way to keep lemon on hand to use in recipes, cleaners, and homemade beauty products… by making your own dried lemon peels! The peel of the lemon contains oils that are packed with lemon scent and flavor, and you can keep dried lemon peels in your fridge to use for up to a year!

How to Dry Lemon Peels

Use your vegetable peeler to peel the skin off your lemons. Try to avoid peeling off the white stuff (the pith,) since it is more bitter in flavor.

Once you’re done peeling, place your peeler on the racks of your dehydrator. Dry them for several hours at 95 degrees, or on the low setting. You’ll know they’re completely dry when the peels snap when pressed, rather than bending. (Ours dried in about 10 hours.)

How to Use Dried Lemon Peels

You can use your dried lemon peels as-is by mixing them into a potpourri mix. Mmmm, I love the fresh, citrus-y scent of real lemons!

Alternately, you can put your dried lemon peels into a blender, food processor, or spice grinder, and grind them into a powder. The powdered lemon peel can be substituted for fresh lemon zest in many recipes! Just use 1 tsp of your dried lemon peel for each tablespoon of lemon zest that a recipe calls for.

  • You can also use your powdered lemon peel to add delicious lemon-y flavor to salad dressings, cookies, pudding, veggies, etc. Use sparingly, since the flavor is concentrated, and add to taste.
  • Add a small spoonful of your powdered lemon peel to a small bowl, along with and handful of sugar and a splash of olive oil. Mix it up and use it as a quick and easy body scrub! Scrub away dead, flaky skin and reveal the soft, smooth skin underneath.

I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I've been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

SodaStream Infusions & Fruit Juice REcipe Ideas

1. Infused Cucumber & Mint

Slice half of a cucumber and a half cup of fresh mint leaves, loosely packed. Let it sit in a gallon of water for 12 hours. You’ll have an incredibly tasty water that you can then carbonate in your SodaStream. This recipe rivals even the best La Croix flavors!

Filter out the cucumber and mint with a strainer before carbonating in the SodaStream. You can add lime or lemon after carbonation for an especially refreshing drink!

2. Pomegranate Juice & Lemon

We buy Pom from Costco and use just a couple tablespoons and a squeeze of lemon for a delicious drink!

3. Strawberry & Mint

Chop a cup of strawberries and a half cup of loosely packed mint. Place in a gallon of water for 12 hours. Strain the fruit and mint, and then carbonate with your SodaStream.

4. Ginger & Lemon

Boil freshly 1/2 of fresh ground ginger for 20 minutes in 1 cup of water, and then strain. Add the ginger to your carbonated water with a squeeze of lemon.

5. Grapefruit & Blood Orange

A simple squeeze of grapefruit and blood orange is a great way to flavor your SodaStream.

6. Lime & Raspberry

Muddle raspberry at the bottom of your glass and then add a squeeze of lime. Top it off with your carbonated water.

7. Raspberries, Lime, & Basil

Infuse water with raspberries and basil for 6-10 hours. Carbonate the water and then top off with a squeeze of lemon.

8. Cantaloupe & Cucumber

This is one of my favorite infusions! Slice half a cucumber and a half cup of cantaloupe. Infuse for 6-10 hours and then carbonate!

9. Pineapple & Mint

This SodaStream recipe is both fresh and tropical tasting. It makes a great mixer with rum as well! You can also make a syrup using the syrup and a can of pineapple and letting it soak with mint. You only need a bit for a great homemade SodaStream syrup.

10. Blueberry & Sage

Muddle blueberries and sage in a glass. Add the carbonated water for a great, fresh tasting soda. Turn it into a cocktail — it also goes great with vodka.

11. Raspberry Orange

Muddled raspberries in a glass, plus a squeeze of orange. Add carbonated water for a simple soda that tastes great. This can also be an infusion flavor if you let the raspberry and orange slices sit in water for 10-12 hours, then filter before carbonating.

12. Peach Thyme

Infuse water with peach and thyme. Add a cup of chopped peaches and thyme a cup of peaches

13. Lime & Lemongrass

Boil a half cup of chopped lemongrass and sugar in a cup of water to make a delicious fruit-based homemade soda syrup. Carbonate your water and then add the lemongrass syrup and a squeeze of lime.

Homemade SodaStream Syrup Recipes

14. Homemade Tonic Water

You can make your own tonic water syrup with a variety of spices and citrus fruits. Get the full recipe for a great tasting tonic here.

16. Ginger Ale Syrup Recipe

Ginger Ale is one of my favorite sodas, and it’s one of the simplest soda syrups to make. All you need is sugar and fresh ginger. Get my full recipe on homemade ginger ale here.

17. Sparkling Lemonade Syrup

Make your own simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in a lemon peel while the water boils. Remove the lemon peel and add in fresh squeeze lemon juice. I typically use about 3 lemons, but you can add as much as you want according to your preferences – use more if you want it extra sour!

18. Lemon Lime Soda Syrup

Make your own homemade Sprite with this all natural lemon lime soda syrup. You only need a 1/2 cup of syrup per liter of sparkling water that you make in a SodaStream. You can add more if you desire extra sweetness. Get a recipe from the NYT Cooking here.

19. Cream Soda Recipe

The main ingredient in cream soda is vanilla. you can make your own version with just vanilla, sugar, and lemon! Get the full recipe here.


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