Friday, July 2, 2010

Recipe Catch Up

Today's Recipes: Zucchini & Bacon Pasta, Spinach, Pea & Ricotta Fritters, Lovely Lavender Cake

Wait, before I talk about food I have to show you my new haircut! I luuuuuuuuv it! I haven't had a cut since the end of February because (due to a lack of communication and an abundance of distractions) she cut it waaaaayyyyyy too short, and I was afraid to go back. Well, the hair situation had gotten a bit pathetic, so I freaked out, calmed down, then made an appointment. Same hairdresser, much different result :-)

I've been doing quite a bit of cooking lately, but not all of it was worth discussing. Some of it was, so I'll share it with you here :-)

Zuccini & Bacon Pasta
I threw this together on a weekday night when I couldn't bear to go to the grocery store. It turned out so well that I have to document it :-)

2 zucchini - sliced
1/4 Lb crimini mushrooms - sliced
1 Anaheim pepper - sliced
4 (or more) slices bacon - cooked and chopped
your favorite cheese - shredded (or a few frozen cubes of cheese sauce)
your favorite pasta - cooked

Sautee the mushrooms and peppers. Add the zucchini and a small amount of water. Simmer until the zucchini is tender & the water is gone. Add in the bacon and warm.

Combine with pasta and cheese/sauce & ENJOY!

- this next recipe is from my new favorite cookbook - it's a 'cooking with and for your toddler' book, and it is doing a fantastic job of inspiring me!

Spinach, Pea & Ricotta Fritters
(from Yummy Baby by Jane Clarke)

9 oz (1 bag) fresh baby leaf spinach - washed and well drained (I also sliced it)
4 1/2 oz fresh or frozen (thawed) peas
2 large eggs - beaten
5 Tbsp plain flour - sifted
2 Tbsp porridge oats (I used oatmeal that I chopped in the coffee grinder)
9 oz Ricotta cheese
freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil

Heat large frying pan and add spinach, tossing the leaves until they wilt. If using fresh peas, add them now and cook for another two minutes. Drain the spinach and peas well, squeezing to remove any excess water. If you're using frozen (thawed) peas, add them now. Place the spinach and the peas in a mixing bowl and add mix in the eggs then the flour and the oats and finally the ricotta. Mix well & season with plenty of black pepper.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until set and beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven. Chop into small pieces until necessary.

--- I've found that I like more spice than just the pepper. I also add finely chopped or pressed fresh garlic and shredded fresh basil. Also (true story), DO NOT use cottage cheese if you run short on ricotta - even if you drain it first.

Lily Ruth's Birthday Cake

It turned out pretty, but only so-so for quality. Here's what I think happened - ready? - I... am not... a good... baker. There. I said it. It really seems to be true. In addition to the anniversary cake debacle, I've made several cookie recipes lately, and they were as lackluster as the cake. I'm pretty sure that the problem lies in my patience and my 'devil may care' approach to following recipes. I'm fairly certain that successful baking requires patience and accurate measurements :-/

At any rate, I got the recipe here, and I made the 'Lovely Lavender Cake'. I may try it again, and this time I'll 1) beat the egg mixture longer - I'm not convinced that I had achieved 'glossy and thick' and 2) I'm going to start checking for done-ness at 25 minutes. The recipe says to bake it for ONE HOUR... and I fell for it. I didn't check it until 35 minutes in. As you may have deduced (if you're a good baker), my cake was tasty but was too dense, and a bit overdone/dry. I used basic cream cheese frosting to cover the cake and for the writing and that part was supremely tasty. Another lesson here - do not add additional liquid because you think that your frosting is too thick as it begins to come together. It will soften as you go. Additional liquid will leave you will a thinned-out mess that has to be chilled before application. *le sigh*

O.k., I've been trying to pretend that I'm not sick anymore, but I am. I really, really am. The mastitis is not gone (it never really left), and seems to have re-manifested itself in the form of swollen, painful lymph nodes in both armpits and extreme mucus production. If you managed to get the license plate of the truck that ran me over, please let me know... I will be going back to the doctor this week :-(

I can't remember any of the other recipes that I wanted to talk about, so I guess I'll just go lay in bed with my head propped up to facilitate drainage - yes, I know, GLAMOUR GIRL! - and not sleep because I can't breathe. Pooooooor me :-{ (that's me with a quivery bottom lip as I hold back my pity party tears).

I took a few cute Lily Ruth pics today, and I will fabricate a reason to post them soon. Sleep well, Dahlings. Dulce sueƱos!


  1. cute hair! love the color too!

  2. Thanks, Erin! The color os a fiction of the pretty light that day. In actuality, it's nearing time to re-color and it's a bit brassy :-P It's SUPPOSED to be golden brown... and was until last week...

  3. Really cute hair - and a great cake! I can't wait to make the pasta either. How is the mastitis now? Hot compresses worked sometimes for me. I'm so sorry!

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