Sunday, June 19, 2016

Springy Lemon Penne

I was visiting my sister a few weeks ago and we went to this amazing Italian restaurant near her house for lunch one day.
We have been before and it is always great, but this time it was beyond amazing!

One of the things we ordered was this gnocchi with a light cream sauce, with lemon scented ricotta on top, it was to die for.

I wanted to do a version of that at home. My version of the pasta turned out really good, but that gnocchi, I still dream about it!

What you need,

2 cups penne noodles
1 tbsp. butter
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
¾ cup green peas, fresh or frozen
1 pint tiny tomatoes
4 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook the pasta noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile in a small pan melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the zucchini and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften slightly. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until the tomatoes soften. Toss in the peas and turn off the heat.

In a large pan melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Cook for a 2-3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken a little bit. Stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked pasta and the veggies and let everything bubble together for 2-3 minutes.

In a small bowl stir together the ricotta cheese and lemon zest. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pasta with a scoop of the lemony ricotta right on top.

What a delicious pasta this turned out to be.  It is so light and clean and wonderful.



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Strawberry Cobbler

I bought a flat of beautiful strawberries the other day. I could just eat them all as is, but I decided to bake something wonderful with some of them.

A warm comforting Strawberry Cobbler… isn’t it purdy!

I love the warm tender fruit and the crisp fluffy biscuit like topping. It is like dessert heaven.

A little ice cream on top and you really have yourself a perfect summer treat!

What you need,

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
¼ cup sugar
1½ tbsp. corn starch

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup butter
¼ cup milk, I used 2%
1 large egg

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8x8 inch square baking dish.

In a bowl combine the strawberries, sugar and cornstarch. Toss gently to coat all the berries. Pour them into the prepared pan.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the butter and using a fork cut it into the flour mixture until it forms shaggy dough.

In a cup combine the milk and egg and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the flour, mix until just combined, don’t over mix.

Dollop the topping onto the berries.  Try to spread it out all over the top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the topping is light golden brown and cooked through and the strawberries and hot and bubbly.

Serve warm or cold with or without heavy cream or ice cream.
No matter how you eat it, I guarantee you will love it.

The tender fluffy biscuit topping is so delicious and the berries are so sweet and soft. I just love a good cobbler!



Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Now I know that a lot of people make these classic Chocolate Crinkle Cookies at Christmas time… but I had never made them before. I decided to whip up a batch so I could take some with me when I went to visit my sister and her family.

I always take cookies or something when I go to visit and I always try to take something different. These cookies were a big winner!

They are so chocolatey, but not super sweet… I love how chewy and gooey they are. They are the absolute best as soon as they are cool enough to eat, so melty and awesome.
But they are still great after a day or two and they freeze really well.

What you need,

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup icing sugar

Into a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment beat the sugar and vegetable oil together until combined. Add the eggs one at a time until the mixture gets light in color and fluffy.
With the mixture on low, add the dry ingredients a little at a time until totally incorporated.  Add the chocolate chips and mix just until combined.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and stash in the fridge for at least 2 hours up to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your baking sheet with parchment or a silpat mat.

Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoon and roll into a ball. Roll each ball in the icing sugar to coat well.

Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes until the cookies edges are crisp and the center is just set.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat as many as you can right away… then put the rest into an airtight container for eat over the next couple days, or stash them in the freezer for a delicious snack later!

I think I might have to make these at Christmas time if I can wait that long‼
If you need a major chocolate fix these cookies are just the thing.



Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pesto Potato Salad

My sister has been making this Pesto Potato Salad for years and I love it! For some reason I had never made it myself? Weird…
So I whipped up a batch today and it was delish!

It is such a hard left turn from my usual potato salad. This is a good thing, it makes a great change.

It is simple to put together and tastes amazing, I suggest you make it the next time you barbeque some chicken or burgers. It will spice up your life!

What you need,

1lb. baby potatoes, red or white, halved, cooked and cooled
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp. mayo
2½ tbsp. pesto (I used jarred but you could use homemade)
3-4 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
2 tbsp. finely diced red onion
¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl stir together the sour cream, mayo and pesto until well combined.

In a large bowl combine the cooked potatoes, bacon and onion. Pour on the pesto sauce and gently fold together until everything is coated well.  Top with the shaved Parmesan cheese.

Serve right away or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

This salad is really great, especially if you love pesto as much I do.
It is a great change up to the usual potato salad.

I am very glad I finally made this salad for myself! I will be making it again for sure!



Recipe from my Sister Kate! I think she adapted it from Company’s Coming years ago.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Raspberry Coffee Cake

The last couple weeks I have been eating raspberries like they are going out of style. They have been so good! So big and juicy and lots of flavor, which you don’t always get from store bought raspberries.

I decided I better bake something with them instead of just popping them all directly into my mouth.

It is a long weekend so I thought what better to celebrate than with a lovely coffee cake that I can eat at breakfast, lunch and dinner!

This cake is really good; I warn you… you might just eat it all!

What you need,

For the topping,
½ flour
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the cake,
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups fresh raspberries

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray and 8x11 inch pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the topping. It will get smooth and you will think, this is kind of weird but just set it aside and trust the process!

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sour cream until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together until just combined. Don’t over mix, you want a nice tender cake and if you over mix the batter it will be tough and not so nice.

Carefully fold in the raspberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly into the pan.
Using a fork mix up the topping, it will be a little hard because the butter will have set up a bit, but it should crumble up, just like you want it to.
Using your fingers crumble the topping over the top of the cake.

Bake for 35-45 minutes. Use a toothpick to test the center of the cake after 35 minutes, when it comes out with just a few crumbs on it, the cake is done.

Remove the cake and place on a rack to cool.

Serve as is, with some ice cream or whipped cream. A nice latte to wash it down would be lovely!

This cake is so moist and tender. The little bit of lemon zest in the topping adds just the right amount of zing to each bite.

I loved this cake, it was really great. It would be good with strawberries or blueberries, even rhubarb would be a treat!



Recipe from Annie’s Eats