Thursday, October 15, 2009

An adventure in the gourmet....

Recently, I was reading a book in which was mentioned: Pan-fried Italian Gnocchi with grilled chicken and rosemary. Just the sound of it inspired me to make some. I'd never had Gnocchi before and so I read up on it, discovering that it is an Italian pasta made from potatoes, and to make it crispy, it is simply cooked in a skillet with a little olive oil. Here I found an easy recipe for gnocchi with plenty of pictures! I recommend rolling and cutting your gnocchi a little smaller than the recipe says, as mine turned out too big and something like a strange and rather sticky dumpling. I then had one of my brothers put the chicken on the grill while I continued with the next step of this dinner. This is what it looked like once placed in bowls and topped with the cheese, grilled chicken, and a sprig of rosemary:

It would take several more tries and tweaking of recipes to get it just to my liking, but it made a lovely dinner, and I hope someone else will now be inspired to step out of their comfort zone and into the range of "gourmet" cooking.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook


For Monday, May 25, 2009

Outside My Window... the birds are singing, and my brother and Dad are working. :)

I am thinking...that I like my new hair-do! check out:
It worked really well!

I am thankful for... My sister.

From the kitchen... I'm wondering what we should fix for lunch.

I am wearing... a blue striped shirt, grey lounge pants and black sneakers.

I am creating... or, will be creating a black cape for my brother.

I am going... to (probably) read today.

I am reading... The Two Towers (still), Desiring God... and some other that I can't think of right now.

I am hoping...that I can get my violin and bow back from the shop soon.

I am hearing... the aforesaid birds chirping outside, and my mother rattling hangers and cleaning.

Around the house... all sorts of things, only two more weeks until Kara and John's big day! :)

One of my favorite things... chocolate. yum.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: finish cleaning my room, write some letters, read some books, do some school...

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I don't have one right now, but will have to share one later!

Thanks to the Simple Woman for hosting the Monday daybook!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tiramisu :)

A few weeks ago, while working at the Farmers Market for a friend of ours, I (Christina) decided to run into the health food store that was nearby. While browsing the many interesting foods, I came across a cheese that I have been looking for, for a long time-- mascarpone cheese. Why would I want this cheese, you might ask. Because after tasting Tiramisu several years ago, I have been longing to make it myself! (and by the way, Tiramisu with cream cheese is just not the same).

So I went home (after purchasing the cheese, of course!), and searched for a recipe, and that Friday I made Tiramisu-- and as one the recipes said I would, I metaphorically "fell in love" with it. Since I couldn't decide what recipe to use, I will be sharing a combination of the recipies I used. (and I made the ladyfingers too-- yummmmy!;)

Ladyfingers: (I made these the night before)

Yield: approx 2 dozen

*2 Tablespoons butter
*3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour
*4 egg yolks

*1/2 cup sugar
*4 egg whites, beaten until stiff
*pinch of salt
*1 teaspoon vanilla

*powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 baking sheets with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour. Mark parallel lines in the flour across the width of the tray about 4 inches apart. Put the eggs yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and with an electric mixer beat on medium-high until the mixture is pale yellow, thick, and has tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Add the egg whites, rmaining 3/4 cup flour, salt and vanilla, fold to mix thoroughly so the mixture is smooth. Fill a large pastry bag with a 3/4inch plain tube with the mixture. Pipe fingers about 4 1/2 inches in legth on to the baking sheet, using the lines as a guide. Dust the ladyfingers with the powdered sugar. Bake for 15 to18 minutes, or until just firm on the outside and soft in the center. (You may want to check them, as they probably won't need to be baked as long as it says)

If there are any left after you finish sampling them then you
can move on the to next step of making the well worth waiting for, Tirimisu.

TIRAMISU (it means "pick me up" in Italian!)

*6 egg yolks
*1 1/4 cup sugar
*2/3 cup milk
*1/2 cup rum (or more if you prefer) [I used rum flavoring with the amount of water the box said to bring it up to 1/2 cup]

*1 1/4 cups whipping (heavy) cream
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*1 1/2 cups espresso coffee, divided
*8 oz of mascarpone cheese (DON'T use cream cheese!)
*ladyfinger cookies
*bittersweet chocolate-- shaved (curled)


In saucepan, beat egg yolks and sugar with wire whisk until well mixed. Beat in milk. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat.

With an electric mixer, beat on high speed for about 6 minutes or until very thick and light yellow. Lower speed to medium and add 1/4 cup rum, 1/4 cup espresso, and the mascarpone. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Beat whipping cream and vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until stiff, fold into the mascarpone mixture.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup rum and 1 1/4 cups espresso in a shallow bowl. Line bottom and edges of an
ungreased 9x9 glass baking dish with the ladyfingers and brush with the rum/espresso mixture. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture, cover with a layer of ladyfingers brushed with rum/espresso, spread the rest of the mascarpone mixture on top, dust with baking cocoa and chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight. Share.

Buon appetito!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook


For Monday, February 16, 2009

Outside My Window...bright afternoon sunlight.

I am thinking...I didn't know a girl could be so happy!

I am thankful for... many years of prayer brought to fruition.

From the kitchen... I just finished savouring a bit of dark chocolate with cocoa nibs.

I am wearing... green, black, blue

I am creating... an idea for a special dress.

I am going... to Australia.

I am reading... The book of Isaiah. Gaudy Night. And lots of books with the letters the title.

I am be a help to an amazing man!

I am hearing... the hum of the dishwasher, my sister muttering over her geometry, and my brother making explosions as he plays with his army men.

Around the house... stacks of laundry waiting for me.

One of my favorite things... my sister's computer. ;)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: check things off my ever-growing list!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Thanks to the Simple Woman for hosting the Monday daybook!