Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Sorry... I've been having to work out a ton of pre-surgery details and haven't had much blogging time. Things have been rather hectic around here!

I am a huge lemon fan and when it was time for me to make more cookies for the Walden House, I wanted to do something lemony.  I found this recipe for Lemon Ricotta cookies and they are very good.  One lady requested that I keep her in supply with them since she loves them so much!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
        yields about 4 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
powder sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.
One at a time, add the eggs and mix well to combine.  Beat in the ricotta, lemon juice and zest.
Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or silpat. Spoon cookie dough onto prepared sheets ( I use my 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and dust with powder sugar.  Let cookies cool completely before removing from tray.

Monday, April 16, 2012

SRC: Betsylife Pasta with Asparagus

The best part of SRC (secret recipe club) is getting to experience all the fabulous blogs out there.  The worst part.... deciding which of their fabulous dishes I want to try.  This month I had the privilege of getting Betsy's blog, Betsylife.  She also is working on food styling and her blog clearly shows her talent in that.  I'll patiently pause here so that you can view her blog and see for yourself how accurate of a description that is :-)   Gorgeous pictures and many healthy choices to choose from.

I needed to take a dish to a family gathering so decided on making her Pasta with Asperagus I made a few changes but nothing too drastic.  While this was delicious as it was, I had to add bacon (sorry, it was written in the marriage vows that all meals must include bacon)  it really didn't need it.  But while I'm thinking of it,some added chicken breast would make an meat lover happy in this dish.  Betsy used this as a meal in itself but I used it as a side pasta salad.  Either way works pretty darn good!

Pasta with Asparagus and Parmesan
8 ounces uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 cup chicken broth (substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup bacon crumbles

Cook Pasta according to package directions using the 1 tablespoon of kosher salt in the water.
Add oil to pan medium size skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add asparagus to pan and cook tender, (this took me about 4 minutes.) Don't overcook the asparagus as you still wants some crispness to them. lly. Remove asparagus from pan and set aside. Add broth, lemon rind, and garlic to the pan; allow the liquid to reduce by half (about 5-7 minutes). Return asparagus to pan, add pasta, salt,pepper, cayenne and bacon; toss well. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Daring Cooks: create a recipe challenge

Blog-checking lines: Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!
It was required that you use at least one ingredient from each of their three lists :
List 1: Parsnips, Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Chipotle peppers
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee, Bananas

Some of those just seemed wacky to me... but WOW! Have the Daring Cooks been creative!  I was a little bit more cautious.  I know, I know.  It wasn't very daring of me.  However, I did make sure not to follow any recipe.  I just relied on what I remembered about making a marinade... so that counts, doesn't it??

I ripped off the basics of the fajita and added roasted cauliflower and goat cheese.  But first I had to marinade my beef to get all the flavor I could out of it.  I was able to find chipotle peppers in adobe sauce but that wasn't what I wanted.  I couldn't find any dried chipotle peppers either.  That left me using a dried powder or trying to smoke my own jalapenos.  Sorry, I went with the dried powder.  Again, not very creative of me but Life has just been a bit chaotic lately and so I took the easiest route.
Beef Marinade
2 pounds round steak, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon dried chipotle powder
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

combine ingredients and let set for at least two hours.
When ready to cook, drain off marinade and quickly fry in a pan with a bit of oil.  I did my meat in two batches so that the meat would sear and not steam. The meat will cook quickly.
Roasted Vegetables
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
2 onions, sliced thin
3 peppers (I used red and yellow) sliced into strips
2 tablespoons olive oil

Line two cookie sheets with tin-foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.  Spread out vegetables onto trays and drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with kosher salt.
Roast in oven at 425 degrees F., for about 25 minutes (vegetables should become nicely golden.

To assemble I just added the meat to my flour tortilla, scooped on some roasted vegetables and topped with a bit of goat cheese.

I admit, it was on the cautious side.  I will also admit that it was pretty tasty too!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter Everyone!!!! Father, Son and Holy Spirit Cupcakes

My mom's Sunday School class has been working on learning about how 
God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and she asked me to make cupcakes with a representation of them.... uh sure, no problem. Thinking of a way to do that should be easy peasy! Here's what I came up with.....
Exodus 3:5 "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." 6Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

Luke 3: 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Matthew 27:35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
 Have a Happy Easter everyone!!!!!!