6.22.2011

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cookies


Give this girl a food gift and you have a best friend for life! And when I received a package of Meyer lemons from my dear friend Sherry from California, I was beyond myself with happiness. As I was skipping and hopping around the house shrieking with joy, sniffing and cuddling the box, my four children stared with worry.

I have so many ideas from my facebook friends, I think I may do lemon recipe for a whole month! And since Sherry grows these wonderful lemons in her backyard, she has some fantastic Meyer lemon recipes on her site, too.

So, how about this Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cookies as a starter?





Put the glaze in a storage bag, snip the corner and drizzling makes it a bit quicker when making a large batch.

You will absolutely love the soft, lemony cookie with the glaze.




Meyer Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Makes 3 1/2 Dozens


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested (Meyer lemon if available)

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Make Ahead:
Measure out dry and wet ingredients separately and it makes it so easy on the day of baking.
Or bake the cookies and freeze. On the day of serving, make and glaze the cookies at least a few hours ahead.

6.16.2011

Butterscotch Meringue Bar

I am still loving America's Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies edition. These meringue bars were so simple to make and I absolutely loved the butterscotch flavor melded with chocolate and blondie crust. The meringue crust held up beautifully even after two days. So give this a try and see how you like it.
The crust was soft and more like creamy peanut butter consistency.

Press down the chocolate chips into the crust batter so when meringue is spread over, the chips will behave and won't get mixed up with the meringue. My husband loves milk chocolate so next time, I will try those instead.

After whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks, slowly add brown sugar and mix until smooth in color and texture.

Oh, gosh. Look that that beautiful meringue ribbon!

Bake and cool completely before cutting. I had to freeze the bars so it will cut clean, thus this bar in photo looks very solid. But actually, the bars had a little more gooey, yummy factor. Things we food bloggers will do for good photos.


Butterscotch Meringue Bars

Makes 24 Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoon (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar (divided)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1. Line 13 by 9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing excess to hang over pan edges. Spray foil with oil spray. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, set it aside.

2. With a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well blended. Add egg yolks, water, and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Press down chocolate chips gently into dough.

3. In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to stiff peaks, then reduce speed to medium and add remaining 1 cup of brown sugar. Mix until uniform in color and shiny. Spread meringue over chocolate chip layer and bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before lifting out of the pan. 2-3 hours. Cut into squares.

For a large amount:
Use 12x24x2 steam pan liners, yielding 36 bars each.
Times 1 1/2 on the chocolate chips and doubled the meringue recipe.

6.15.2011

Heirloom Tomato Salad


When I saw these heirloom cherry tomatoes at Davis Produce early this morning, I couldn't help myself but to snatch these up! Instead of making a typical garden salad as a side dish for Wednesday noon service lunch, I was thrilled to have these fresh organic, heirloom tomatoes to make the side instead.
Various colors and shapes made my heart happy.

No fancy ingredients necessary. Just some fresh basil, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic will do.

To keep basil leaves from bruising and turning color, chiffonade the leaves. Click here for a quick tutorial.
Simple, light and delicious side for this hot summer.

It was a perfect accompaniment with salmon wraps served at lunch today!


Heirloom Tomato Salad
Serves 2-3

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Red wine, or pomegranate vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dried tarragon; (or 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped)
2 teaspoons Fresh Basil, chiffonade, or thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Garlic; minced or pressed
1 pound Heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
pinch of sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Feta cheese optional

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, a pinch of sugar, and dried tarragon until incorporated. Season the vinaigrette well with salt and pepper. Toss gently halved cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Let sit in room temperature for 15-30 minutes for flavors meld.

6.11.2011

What I'm Loving This Week....

Finding Jones Soda at Walmart! They were hidden on the bottom corner shelf. My life is now complete.

Getting baby chicks in the mail from efowl.com


Having coffee with Sherry at Ogeechee River Coffee Co. joined by Scott and Shari!


Eating cake pops!

I catered a party last night and my client had these amazing Okra chips! I only had a dozen.

Tomato and Cucumber sandwiches always make me happy.

Watching my children frolicking on Tybee beach


Have a great weekend! Glad to have some break next week to post some recipes, finally!

6.02.2011

Brie, The Guardian of Hens


This is our dog, Brie. She came to us six months ago and decided that she would adopt us as her family. We are not sure what type of breed she is. But with her huge ears and gentle brown eyes, she won our hearts.

She is quite good at digging up my flower garden, taking my neighbors' dog toys without asking, chewing up shoes, and treeing the cats. But recently, we found out that she is also good at guarding our free range chickens.

Each afternoon, she waits patiently by the gate until they are released in our backyard.

And greets them as they stream out the gate.

And with her big, black tail wagging, she happily strolls where ever the chickens go. If she hears a chicken squawk, she is the first one there to see what is happening.
Her work is not done until the last of our 18 hens are safely roosting in their hen house.

And we are so glad she came to us and made us her family.