Last week, I cooked my first homemade meal in the new apartment. I attempted to work with the ingredients already in the fridge, but had to run to the store to buy a few items. I already had whole grain penne, so I based my meal off of this item.
I wanted to make a somewhat healthy pasta, since I would be working with whole grain noodles. I bought fresh asparagus and planned to steam it; however, we have yet to buy a saucepan that our steamer can fit in. So, I went with plan B and instead sautéed the asparagus in olive oil, lemon and pepper.
Not having the correct sized saucepan was a blessing because the slightly browned asparagus infused with lemon gave the pasta that extra pop of flavor it needed. This recipe makes enough pasta for days and heats up well. I can vouch for that, as I’ve brought it to work for the past two days!
Much to my dismay, I had to fly home from South Carolina on Monday. The trip was an absolute blast and extremely relaxing. We explored the city, tried new restaurants and lounged on the back porch facing the peaceful forest during the day; almost every night we indulged in delicious, gourmet dinners.
I ate some of the best, and most interesting, food during the trip—from rich and silky butternut squash soup infused with cinnamon, all spice and bourbon at the Hyatt chef’s table dinner (here) to tender and garlicy fresh mussels from Nantucket. Although I never dreamed I’d be daring enough to try something such as a mussel, as I am not a huge seafood fan, it was not all bad.
Our last night in South Carolina, I was in a baking mood (naturally). I’d been craving lemon curd and wanted to make something simple, yet delicious. We were not able to find wonton wrappers in South Carolina, so instead I bought frozen mini phyllo cups, which worked just as well—if not better. The tartness of the lemon curd paired with the sweetness of the homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberry was delectable. These mini desserts would be great for any dinner party or get together.
Whenever I’m bored, I often find myself flipping through cooking magazines or browsing the Internet for new and delicious recipes. My mom bought me two magazines filled with recipes ranging from gourmet desserts to simple appetizers.
I wanted to make this lemon yogurt mousse with blueberry sauce the instant I saw the picture and read the recipe in The Best of America’s Test Kitchen magazine.
The dessert turned out exactly as I’d hoped, with a deliciously light and fluffy texture and flavor. The subtle tartness of the lemon and Greek yogurt juxtaposed the sweet bottom layer of the blueberry sauce. It’s a spectacular dessert that doesn’t require consuming hundreds of calories just to satisfy a sweet tooth.
My mom and I wanted to find the perfect green bean recipe to bring to Thanksgiving. After a few days of hunting on the Internet for recipes, we finally decided on a recipe for green beans with prosciutto, lemon juice, lemon zest and toasted pine nuts.
A few nights before, we tested a different recipe that called for green beans with pancetta, caramelized shallots and toasted hazelnuts.This recipe sounded delicious, however, the taste was not there. The pancetta was so salty that my mouth puckered with distaste and the hazelnuts were too large and somewhat bitter.
My mom and I selected a recipe from Eating Well, not for health reasons, but because the ingredients were appealing. Eating healthy does not mean sacrificing deliciousness or taste. The tart of the lemon juice and zest worked well with the slightly salty and savory prosciutto, garlic and toasted pine nuts. Hopefully the rest of the Thanksgiving guests approve of our decision!
A friend of mine celebrated her birthday last night—and we all know what that meant. I had a reason to bake! I wanted to make something that I had never made before, so I decided on blueberry and lemon cupcakes. The birthday girl was kind enough to share her cupcakes with our table of 12 so that everyone got a taste. I’m not sure how well blueberry cupcakes went with sushi, but they still got two thumbs up all around the table.
Since two of the main ingredients are fruit, one of my friends asked if that meant they were healthy. Unfortunately, I had to say no. But it would be ideal if they were, right?
The sweetness of the blueberries and the subtle tartness of the lemon is a surprising, yet delicious, combination. The recipe initially did not have a strong lemon taste, so I altered it a bit to make sure the lemon stood out. One suggestion for the recipe was to freeze the blueberries for 4 hours. By doing this, the blueberries would not sink to the bottom. I’d say this trick worked!