Date Night – Lemon Poppyseed Dressing and Lemon Meringue Pie

We don’t get to have a weekly date night. Not even a monthly date night, more like a month and half date night. But it is important and we have tried now more than we ever have our entire married life. Even before we had children. Sometimes we have to use our date night to run errands, Christmas or Birthday shop, etc. This night I had signed us up for a Parents of children with life threatening medical conditions Support group. Sounds fun and romantic – No?

Jim picked up the babysitter on his way home from work and changed his clothes. I fed the kids, showered and got dressed (I even wore lipstick). As we were leaving the house and walking hand in hand to the mini-van a neighbor hollered over and said, “this looks like a date” and we both smiled.

We went to the country club for dinner and it was swell.

It was early (5:30) and the place was empty. We talked and looked each other in the eye. We ordered an appetizer



We got salad before the meal. I always get a Ceaser. Jim ordered the Cellar. What’s a Cellar you ask? It’s Romaine, shredded cheddar, tomato, boiled egg, croutons and a creamy lemon poppy-seed dressing.

I’m use to the bright yellow, somewhat slimy poppy-seed dressing. This one was CREAMY! It looked delish, it was DELISH – so I asked the server for the recipe.

  • Hellmans Mayonnaise
  • poppy seeds (of course)
  • juice of one lemon
  • sugar
  • salt

That’s it. She didn’t give me portions because it’s a secret but you could play around with it and make it your own “special house dressing”

Then as usual Jim took 100 years to choose what to order and I tried not to get angry. In the end he always asks me what I’m ordering, I tell him. He then asks me what would my 2nd choice be and he orders that. We then eat off each others plates and go home happy.


In the end I got the “Oscar” with half chicken, it was a Tuesday. I like trying whatever the restaurant is famous for. It was disappointing.  Half a grilled chicken breast on a toasted English muffin covered with what was supposed to be a bearnaise sauce and two sad and flimsy asparagus spears wilting over the top. I know I’m not a food critique but the chicken breast was overdone, dry and chewy.


Somewhere in the middle of dinner we look at the time and realize we need to hurry to make the support group meeting.

Then like teenagers deciding to miss curfew we make the decision to skip the meeting and go to the movies.

But first we order dessert. We never do this either. Mostly because we are jammed from dinner and we are always on a budget. But tonight when the waitress asks us we ask her what our choices are. I hear Lemon Meringue pie and since the lemon poppy seed dressing was SO good and I never eat lemon meringue pie I decide on it.

IMG_7123We get one piece and two forks, we’re on date after all and sharing pie or a milkshake seems romantic. Right?

IMG_7121It was so refreshing. Tart, sweet, cool and the meringue is creamy and crisp. This is homemade pie and delish. I ask for the recipe and they give it to me!

Lemon Filling:
4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie shell

Preheat oven to 375

Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.

Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour mixture into pie shell and top with meringue while filling is still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.

Meringue Topping:
4 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.

Then I find out it’s strikingly similar to Alton Brown’s recipe, actually it is his recipe… No wonder it was so good.
Read more at:

On to the movie.

IMG_7130And just the two of us.

IMG_7134Sometimes you need a night away to remember why you got married in the first place.

Honestly, Amy

3 thoughts on “Date Night – Lemon Poppyseed Dressing and Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed perusing your blog. Terrific writing, fun thoughts, poignant perspectives, genuine heart, great photos, date night ops… and oh yes, and Alton Brown’s lemon meringue pie. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Blogust, 2013 | thesisterslice

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