Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kodi-kins' Bow Ties

This is from Kodi Smith. We had a pasta and sauce night at Enrichment so I will be posting quite a few of the recipes here. Kodi could not make it, but sent the recipe. Several people attested to the fact that it was really good. Kodi called this Bow Tie Pasta with Red Sauce. I had to change the name to distinguish it from a zillion other recipes.

So I tried it and it was wonderful. What I really loved: It was simple comfort food, but the herbs added a little sophistication. Everyone loved it, even the little ones. I sauce is light, but not too light. I tastes fresh, even though it uses canned tomoatoes (most likely thanks to the fresh herbs.) This recipe makes me want to start that herb garden that has been on my To Do list for the last decade.

1/4 cup butter
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cube of beef bouillon (the Knorr jumbo cube which is 1" square.)
2 cans stewed tomatoes (1 lb)
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 lb pasta

Put water on to boil for pasta. Add pasta and cook as directed for al dente and drain.

Meanwhile melt butter and add sage, rosemary, and basil and beef bouillon. Process tomatoes and add to above mixture. Add the whipping cream.

Combine with pasta.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Red (or Pink)-and-White Cookies

This plump confection is a Valentine's Day take on a New York classic, the black-and-white cookie. I love the black-and-white. The original recipe appeared in Oprah’s O magazine. I had to make a couple changes. I love the look of these, but I could not bear the thought of biting into the red portion and having no red flavor. By red flavor I am referring to a raspberry or strawberry flavor. The original just called for the red part to be the same flavor, but dyed red. So I modified the frosting to kick out the red food coloring and add pureed raspberries. The color is pinker than the original, but the taste is so much better.

Makes 18 cookies (or 36 smaller versions)


· 3 cups all-purpose flour

· 1/2 tsp. baking soda

· 1/2 tsp. baking powder

· 1/2 tsp. salt

· 1 3/4 sticks butter

· 1 1/4 cups sugar

· 2 large eggs

· 1 large egg yolk

· 3/4 cup buttermilk

· 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

· 1 Tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest


· 4 cups confectioners' sugar

· 1/4 cup milk

· 1 Tbsp. heavy cream

· 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

· Red no-taste gel food coloring

2 Tbsp raspberry puree (puree raspberries then strain out the seeds, reduce to half by simmering over heat)

To make cookies: Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Scrape down the bowl and add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating briefly after each addition. Scrape down the bowl again, and turn mixer to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 parts. Scrape down the bowl; add vanilla and lemon zest, and mix on low speed for a few more seconds.

Using an ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets spaced about 3 inches apart (6 cookies per sheet).

Bake for 17 minutes, rotating sheets between oven racks halfway through, until edges are golden brown and tops spring back when gently touched. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then remove cookies and cool on racks.

To make frosting: In a large bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, milk, and cream and vanilla. Pour half of the frosting (about 3/4 cup) into another bowl and add the raspberry puree.
If mixture is too thick, add a little more milk (by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached) to either color.

Use an offset spatula to spread red frosting on half of the top of each cookie. Let stand until almost set, 20 minutes. Using a clean spatula, spread white frosting over unfrosted half of each cookie. (If the frosting thickens up during the process, whisk until loose.) Let set completely, about 1 hour.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Strawberry Whoopie Pies

This recipe appeared in Oprah’s O magazine. I had to make a few changes. For one thing, I cannot bake anything without adding vanilla. I liked sour cream better than plain yogurt.

Makes about 3 dozen


· 1 cup (about 5 ounces) stemmed and halved strawberries

· 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

· 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

· 1 tsp. baking soda

· 3/4 tsp. salt

· 2 cups light brown sugar

· 2/3 cup canola oil

· 1/2 cup sour cream

· 1 tsp vanilla

· 2 large eggs


· 1 cup (about 5 ounces) stemmed and halved strawberries

· 5 egg whites

· 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

· 4 sticks butter , cut into cubes, at room temperature

· Red no-taste gel food coloring

To make cookies: Put strawberries in a food processor and pulse in short bursts just until they are chopped into small pieces (about 4 to 5 pulses), and set aside. (Be careful not to puree them.) Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, and set aside.

Put brown sugar and oil in a large bowl and mix well, using the back of a spoon to break up any lumps in sugar. Whisk in chopped strawberries and yogurt until combined, then whisk in eggs, one at a time, just until combined. Fold in flour mixture in two parts, being careful not to overwork the batter. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. Using a measuring spoon, drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet to form each cookie, spacing dollops about 2 inches apart. Working in batches, bake until cookies are set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookies from oven; cool completely.

To make filling: Puree strawberries in a food processor until smooth (about 15 seconds); set aside. Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar together in the top of a double boiler until sugar is dissolved and mixture is milky white, about 2 minutes. Transfer egg white mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form and mixture is glossy, about 2 minutes. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Add butter and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add reserved strawberry puree and about 3 to 5 drops food coloring (frosting should be a light shade of pink), and beat again until well combined, about 1 minute more.

To assemble: Generously frost the flat side of half of the cookies, then top each with an unfrosted cookie to form sandwiches. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Straw & Hay

Once upon a time there was a glorious pasta dish at The Cheesecake Factory. Ryan and I would order it every time we went. We would order a large salad and Straw & Hay. It was a love at first taste and we could not order anything else. Such was our heart's devotion. Then the evil, wicked menu planner abruptly took it off the menu. Nooooo. "Can't you still make it?" "How did this happen?" We begged and pleaded for it , but alas, our villain made it impossible for us to order it. We were broken-hearted.

This story does have a happy ending, however, due to my diligence. I finally was able to get the recipe. Once it is off the menu, they are more inclined to release it. So the beloved pasta dish is once again available to us. Unfortunately, now I have to labor to make it but sometimes true love works that way.

8 ounce package regular egg fettuccine
8 ounces package spinach fettuccine
1 cup thinly sliced julienne ham or Canadian bacon
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
1 cube butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook pasta separately. Cook peas with the pasta in the last few minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in ham and mushrooms and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add cream and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Pour over pasta, stir until well combined. Top with remaining cheese. Serve immediately.