Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lemon Pasta

Tonight, I wanted a light, summery pasta. This worked out well:

-Serving of penne
-1/2 a lemon
-3 to 4 basil leaves

Cook the pasta according to directions. Douse the pasta with the lemon juice before serving onto a plate. Wash and tear the basil leaves, and scatter them throughout the pasta. Crumble chevre on top.

Quite simple and quick but worth repeating.

(And just for the record, blackberries for dessert pairs well.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Found Them!

I found Grandma Gerri's recipe cards! We need to send her goodies next Christmas. Or  this summer.


3/4 cup Margarine
4 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
3 Tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup nuts

Mix together. Grease pan. Bake at 250º-350º. Roll in confectioners sugar

Cheese Krispies (4-5 dozen)

2 sticks oleo
1 package (8 oz.) Cracker Barrel sharp cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
2 cups plain flour
2 cups Rice Krispies (not used by Gmom)

Mix well and fold in Rice Krispies. Pinch off a teaspoons worth at the time and mash with fork. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes.

Pecan Pound Cake (3 loaf pans)

5 cups of pecans (chopped)
1 pound margarine (Walmart) softened
3 cups sugar
4 cups plain flour; sifted
1/2 cup self-rising flour; sifted
eggs (8 medium/ 7 large) 3/4 cup, rest of 2 cups milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Cream together margarine and vanilla. Add ~1/3 of the flour. Add cup of eggs and milk and beat. Add another third of the flour. Add the last cup of eggs and milk. Add the final third of flour. Fold the nuts in. Grease and flour pan. Bake at 300º for approximately 90 minutes. When it pulls from the side of the pan, then it's done.

Pecan Pie

Recipe pastry
2 eggs beaten
1 cup dark Karo syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons melted margarine
1 cup pecans (whole)

Roll pastry, line pan.
Mix eggs, syrup, salt, sugar, vanilla, butter, etc. together. Fold pecans in last.
Bake in 400º oven for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350º and bake 30-35 minutes longer.

Happy cooking!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Spring Birthday Cake

Yesterday, we celebrated my freshman year roommate's birthday, and of course, I couldn't resist taking over the dessert planning.

Although I'm not much of a cake person, I decided that for this birthday, I would go with the traditional birthday cake of two layers, and since I have yet to use my Baking with Julia much (horrible, I know!), I decided to try Julia's perfect genoise, a basic French cake. French cakes are drier than American but still oh so delicious.

Now, that Spring has arrived in Minnesota, I've been craving fruit, so I made lemon curd to hold the two layers together, though I used buttercream frosting for the rest of the cake. Still, I wanted more lemon, so I drizzled more lemon curd on top of the cake. Then, to decorate and take full advantage of Spring, I decorated with fresh violets. They may not add much flavor, but they are beautiful!

Genoise from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
This only makes enough for one round, so I doubled the recipe for my cake.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs (room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour the melted butter into a small bowl; reserve.

In another bowl, mix the flour, 1 Tb of the sugar, and the salt.

Then, in a large bowl, beat the eggs and the remaining sugar. Then, with a hand-mixer, whip the mixture on medium speed until it is airy, pale, and tripled in volume like softly whipped cream. The took me about 7 minutes. The eggs are properly whipped when you lift the mixer and the mixture falls bak into the bowl in a ribbon that rests on the surface for about 10 seconds. Whip the vanilla extract into the mixture near the end.

Fold in about one third of the flour mixture. Be sure to stop as soon as the flour is incorporated. Fold in the rest in two more additions.

Then, spoon about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl with the melted butter and fold the butter in with a rubber spatula. Fold this mixture into the batter in the large bowl. (This is the point at which the batter is at its most fragile, so fold gingerly).

Pour into a prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Let it cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan.