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Archive for May, 2008

Sour Cream Lime Squares

Last summer, I made lemon shortbread bars and I was surprised and happy with how they turned out: thick, sweet, and tart. This summer, I decided to try them with lime.

They came out a bit goopier than last year as I used a smaller pan and didn’t cook them quite long enough. Regardless, they firmed up a bit in the fridge and have a wonderful sweet, limey taste. If you have limes, this is a nice substitue to lemon bars.

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I’m a big fan of British tea, and I love cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches. I made my own version Memorial Day weekend, using fromage blanc instead of cream cheese and adding some fresh chopped dill. Despite the gloomy, wet weather, we were able to enjoy a bit of Spring.

I plan on making this sandwich for lunches during the week – quick, easy, and light (depending on how much fromage blanc I smother on).

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I’m not sure what’s with us and pancakes, but both Cauli and I had blueberry pancakes over our anniversary weekend. We’re not really the pancake types – too much bread early in the morning and I like to have eggs as well, which gets to be too large of a breakfast. But recently – recently it’s all I’ve been thinking about. Soft, thick, fluffy pancakes with a sharp berry sauce over the top. Perfect…

Perfect for company. My friend Jini visited us this weekend, and I’ve been looking forward to cooking for her for some time now (she left before I became seriously interested in cooking).

These pancakes were really good – very dense and light at the same time, due to the bright lemon taste, ricotta, and egg whites.

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This dinner was created on the fly, which says a lot about how I’m growing more comfortable with cooking. I’m someone who needs to think recipes over for a few hours, if not days, and it’s nice to know that I can throw something together when an original plan doesn’t work.

I decided to make mushy peas again and toss them with some leftover fettuccine alfredo from dinner this weekend at my mother-in-law’s. As I was making the peas, I discovered the fettuccine was gone, so I settled on a casserole.

The outcome was good, though it’s a bit of a weird recipe: whole wheat flour for the white sauce (ran out of all purpose white) and half and half (no milk), goat cheese from Harley Farms (a great farm we visited this last weekend where we got to pet the goats), and my favorite crackers crushed for the topping. This really is nothing more than my previous posted mac and cheese recipe with a few additions. This would have been great with some chopped chives mixed in and some chive blossoms as a garnish.

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This post was supposed to be about honey chicken with preserved lemons.  Instead, it’s about something much better…a Spring discovery involving peas.

Peas! How I hated them as a child. If only I’d known what a difference fresh peas made, rather than their less flavorful (and frankly awful) relations found in a can.

I decided to make mushy peas to go with a honey lemon chicken recipe I adapted from Cooking Light.

I chopped up a shallot and sauteed it with about a tablespoon of butter until the butter browned and smelled nutty. I then added fresh-shelled peas (peas I shelled while commuting home on Caltrain, strangely enough), about two tablespoons of half and half, and two tablespoons of water. I brought it to a boil and cooked for about 12 minutes.

At this point I could have put the peas in the food processor to make them “mushy.” Or perhaps used our emersion blender. But the chicken took so long that I was rushing to get food on the table, so I beat the peas with a mallet for a while to make it look more “mush” and less “pea.” They would up looking like peas that had been beaten with a mallet.

I can’t begin to describe how good these peas are. The combination of fresh peas, with nutty brown butter, the light yet deep flavor of shallots, and cream…oh dear. I instruct you now, my 7 readers, to go out and make this. You will be amazed and delighted and convinced you can live on peas alone.
 

 

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