Wednesday, August 29, 2007

August: Lemon Spaghetti

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian Book

1 pound spaghetti
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.

Posted by Maria @ 10:45 AM :: (0) comments

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Peach Pie Recap

So I took great liberties at the recipe for July. I had about 3.5 pounds of peaches and used the Peach, Apricot, and Cherry Pie recipe to make peach pie. I also did not have cornstarch so I looked it up and substituted cornastarch with flour (1 tablespooon of cornstarch = 2 tablespoon of flour).

As for the pie crust, I used Trader Joe's frozen pie crust. I've had way too many heartaches with pie crusts so I made life easy for me and bought one at TJ's. After tasting the pie, I vowed never to make pie crust again. Trader Joe's crust is flaky and delicious plus, I did not even have to roll it out. I also did not do the lattice top but instead put another pie crust to cover the fruit, cutting slits to let the steam out. Deeeelicious!

Letterpress July Goal: Print wedding invitation order.

Posted by Maria @ 5:12 PM :: (0) comments

Monday, August 27, 2007

July: Peach, Apricot, and Cherry Pie

from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

All-Purpose Flour for dusting
Pate Brisée
1 pound fresh, ripe peaches, pitted and sliced into 1/4 inch thick wedges
1 pound fresh, ripe apricots, pitted and sliced into sixths
1 pound fresh, sweet cherries (like Bing), stemmed, pitted and halved
2/3 cup granulated sugar (makes for a tart pie, if you want it sweeter, increase to 3/4 cup)
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 tsp coarse salt
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablesoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Sanding sugar (or granulated), for sprinkling

On a piece of parchment paper generously dusted with flour, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour; fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate, pressing it into the edges. Trim dough to a 1/2 inch overhang all around. oll out remaining disk of dough in same manner; transfer (on parchment) to a baking sheet. Chill pie shell and dough for 30 minutes until firm, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss together peaches, apricots and cherries. Add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon juice; toss to combine. Remove baking sheet from the refrigerator; transfer dough to a clean work surface. Using pastry cutter (preferably fluted) or sharp knife, cut dough into 3/4 - 1 inch wide strips.

Spoon the chilled mixture and any juices into the chilled pie shell, mounding fruit slightly in the center. Dot with butter. Brush the rim of the pie shell with butter. Weave a tight lattice of dough strips on top of the fruit. Using kitchen scissors, trim dough strips to a 1/2 inch overhang; gently press top and bottom pieces to seal. Fold edges over and under, and crimp edge as desired.

In a small bowl, whip together egg yolk and cream; brush on latice and edge of pie shell, being careful not to let it pool. Generously sprinkle entire surface with sanding sugar. Freeze or refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, with the rack in the lower third.

Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature ro 350 degrees. Continue baking, rotating sheet halfway through, until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling and have thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The pie is best eaten the same day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosley covered in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.

Posted by Maria @ 9:40 AM :: (0) comments

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Vegetable Chowder Recap

Unfortunately, I've been lazy in the "getting the ingredients" department and mostly used what I had on hand. I split the recipe in half and used 1 cup half-and-half and 1/2 cup low-fat milk since I did not have whole milk on hand. I used a few potatoes 'cause I only had a few small potatoes around. I also used frozen corn and green beans instead of fresh.

This is a good and hearty soup. Surprisingly easy to make and very tasty.

Posted by Maria @ 6:58 PM :: (0) comments

June: Vegetable Chowder

From Everyday Food Magazine

3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium red bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, diced (2 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups milk
4 medium baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
8 ears corn, kernels removed (about 4 cups)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, broken into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
Hot pepper sauce, for serving (optional)

In a Dutch oven or 5-quart pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add milk, potatoes, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, about 8 minutes.

Stir in corn, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until corn is tender, about 3 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer 3 cups of the solids to a blender; puree until smooth. Return to pot; add green beans. Bring to a simmer; cook until beans are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Season again with salt; serve with hot pepper sauce, if desired.

Posted by Maria @ 6:55 PM :: (0) comments

Lots of changes

I've been lapse with this blog and my New Year's resolution... a lot has happened. Got laid off at work. Been busy with various things-- freelance, updating resume, launching a design website and got my first wedding invitation order off of someone finding my letterpress site.

Those are my excuses but I plan to keep doing this, late or not.

Posted by Maria @ 6:38 PM :: (0) comments