Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recipe Week 4: Pasta Carbonara

I'm still playing catch up a bit. I made this recipe a couple weeks ago. It was a pretty easy weeknight dinner, and reminded me a bit of homemade mac n' cheese.

It is pretty simple to make. You start with fresh pasta.

Then, cook some diced pancetta in a pan with oil and add it to the pasta.

The cheese sauce is made from a rich, heavy cream, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and egg, all whisked together.

Finally, the sauce is added to the pan and cooked on low heat, otherwise the egg will scramble.

All in all, this is a very easy weeknight meal. I got about 4 servings worth out of the batch.

Recipe is found here on Spoon Fork Bacon's website. While you're there, poke around a bit, they have a nice selection of both savory and sweet dishes, and many of them are Asian recipes you can make at home.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Recipe Week 3: Cookie Dough!

So, while I have been good about trying new recipes, I'm still getting into the swing of blogging about them every week. Brace yourselves for a bit of backlog.

I had preordered this book when it came out and, as the name suggests, it is chock full of decadent cookie goodness.

So, to branch out from Joy the Baker for a bit, I tried the most basic recipe in this book: cookie dough.

This cookie dough is a little different than what I'm used to. The is no egg, no baking powder or soda. It is not meant for baking, it is meant for eating. Which is pretty much the most amazing thing ever.

It is a pretty simple formula that anyone who bakes cookies would be familiar with: cream butter, add sugar, add dry goods, add chocolate chips. The recipe normally yields about 1 1/2 cups. Not wanting to eat all that myself, I cut the recipe in half ( and still ended up with 1 cup of it. I think my division skills have deteriorated ).

I split it up into 2 containers, ate one and put the other in the freezer. I've found it tastes better out of the freezer -- it has more of the consistency of cookie dough you buy in a tube. Also, although the recipe says you can eat it immediately, you really should chill it a bit first, it tasted a bit off to me until it had some time in the fridge.

Below are my alterations to the recipe -- enjoy!

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
(adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook, by Lindsay Landis,  pg 12 )

Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup butter
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 1/8th cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips ( or add more, like I did. Chocolate chips aren't meant to be measured )

1) Cream butter in an electric mixer.
2) Add sugars to the butter and mix for a couple minutes until fluffy.
3) Add in milk and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
4) Mix flour with salt, and then slowly add this to the batter with the mixer running, tapping it in until it is all incorporated.
5) Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Transfer to a container and chill for about half an hour before eating ( or you can eat it immediately, but it might taste a bit funky ).

Dough will last 3 days in the fridge. I had it in the freezer for about a week with no ill effects.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Recipe Week 2: Lemon, Lime & Thyme Cookies

For my next recipe, I tried another Joy the Baker recipe ( I'll branch out to another author next week, I swear! ). This one is from her cookbook on page 190.

The recipe is basically a shortbread recipe with a little bit of fanciness added. The first unique bit is that the sugar is changed to citrus sugar by rubbing in lemon and lime zest.

Next you cream the butter in an electric mixer.

Then, add in the sugar and some thyme.

Once the rest of the dough is mixed together, roll the dough in wax paper. The recipe says to chill at least 3 hours to overnight. I made mine a couple days ahead of time.

Once you're ready to bake them, you just roll out the dough and cut out the cookies. Simple!

These cookies are slightly sweet and go great with a big glass of milk. They were definitely a hit with my family :)

Project #4: iPad Case

After I made my new purse, I wanted a new case for my iPad as well. I followed this pattern for the slipcase, but I added about 4 inches to the length of the main body so that the top would fold over more.

I also doubled the width of the pocket and folded it over so that it was lined. Before I folded it in half and sewed it, however, I added a piece of velcro to the pocket so that the stitching would be hidden. I stitched the opposite side of the velcro to the exterior fabric before stitching it to the lining fabric.

Other than that, I followed the tutorial pretty much exactly.

I made it a little too wide, so the iPad shifts around a little in the case, but for a first attempt I think it came out pretty well :)