Friday, July 30, 2010

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Isn't it nice to eat lemony things in the summertime? Things taste so fresh with some lemon juice and zest.

I nearly lapped the cooling pan that this lemon glaze had dripped on. OK. Maybe I did. Don't judge me, alright? I mean, I AM pregnant! (Like I wouldn't have done it anyway.)

I brought these cookies into to work and they were gone before 10:00. I think people liked them! I think you will too!

Glazed Lemon Cookies
Source: Martha Stewart
Yield 2 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lemon Glaze (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool 2 minutes on sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread cookies with Lemon Glaze and let set, about 1 hour.

Lemon Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice until smooth.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rocking Horse

I was going to say that this is my favorite mocktail but I think I already said that about the Little Squirt. This one is ONE of my favorites. One can have many favorite things...right? Like favorite cookie. Favorite cupcake. Favorite restaurant. You can't choose only one!

I have a bounty of fresh mint so I was able to just walk out back and pick a sprig to use for this mocktail. The lemon in this is very light but you can still taste it. This one is very refreshing.

Rocking Horse
Source: Margarita Mamas: Mocktails for the Mom-to-be
Yield: One drink

8-10 fresh mint leaves
1 t lemon juice
1 t sugar
6 oz ginger ale

Muddle the mint and lemon juice in the bottom of a glass. Add ice, sugar, and ginger ale and stir. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

S'mores Bars

You must make these. If you are a man and you can't bake...tell you wife, your girlfriend, your mother, your aunt. If you are a woman and you can't can bake these. They are super easy to do and are oh so wonderfully sticky and delicious. Bring them to a party or a picnic and people will fall all over you.

Yeah, they are THAT good.

Of course I have no willpower and I sunk a spoon into them after cooling about ten minutes. They are so wonderful warm but they are really good cooled too. Wait for them to cool so you can cut them without making an absolute mess.

S'mores Bars
Source: Real Mom Kitchen
Yield: 16ish

1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 king-sized Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
1 large egg
1 jar marshmallow fluff (the small glass jar...I think it is 7.5oz)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (6ish full-sized graham cracker sheets, processed til fine)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan (I line my pan with foil for easy removal and cutting). Use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Set aside.

Meanwhile,whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture until combined.

Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. (I had to flour my hands to keep them from sticking to the dough.)

Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side. (I had to trim a little off one bar to get mine to fit.)

Spread chocolate with marshmallow fluff. Place blobs of it on the chocolate and then spread it around.

Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. You could roll it out if you chose but I just pressed it lightly with my fingers.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Be sure to cool completely before cutting into bars. Makes 16 squares.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spinach and Barley Salad

This is my favorite salad so far this summer. I want to come up with a new name for it. Something in reference to the green of the salad. I'm not sure what to call it yet.

This came together quite quickly (aside from cooking the barley). The best part was that it was still good the next day, I just served it up on a fresh bed of spinach. Or maybe the best part was the unanticipated crunch of walnuts. No, no, the smooth avocado.

Eh. It was all awesome.

Spinach and Barley Salad

Source: Cate's World Kitchen
Yield: 6 servings

4 cups water
1 1/2 cups pearled barley

1 medium zucchini, diced
4 cups (or more) spinach leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 avocado, cubed
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper

Bring the water to a boil and add the barley. Simmer until tender, 30-40 minutes, then drain the excess water. Let cool.

Combine the diced zucchini, spinach, walnuts, avocado, red onion, and green onion in a large bowl. Add the barley and mix well.

To make the dressing, mash the garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle to make a smooth paste. Transfer to a blender and add the lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil, and a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, then add as much as desired to the salad, tossing to mix.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Preemie Punch

One of my favorite parts of pregnancy is feeling my little guy kick and wiggle. Many times he will make my whole belly move and jolt. He is active ALL.THE.TIME. I'm sort of amazed by how active he is. He is especially active right before bed so I like to lay down and watch my belly move. I can't wait to hold him.

The great thing about this mocktail is that I had all the ingredients in the fridge. I'm in the habit now that I keep stock in juices, sodas, etc. so I can make mocktails whenever I want one.


Preemie Punch
Source: Margarita Mamas: Mocktails for the Mama-to-be
Yield: One punch

3 oz pineapple juice
2 oz cranberry juice
2 oz lemon lime soda
1/2 t grenadine
Fresh fruit or cherries for garnish

Mix all in a tall glass with ice. Enjoy the vitamin C!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Old Fashion Brownies

I love brownies. I love trying different brownie recipes to see how they come out and see how they differ from each other. I've tried recipes from King Arthur, Bakers, Joy the Baker, Dorie Greenspan, and various blogs I've happened upon.

I found this recipe on a sheet of paper tucked into one of my mother's cookbooks. I don't know how old it is, probably about 15 years old. I have no idea where it came from but I'm happy I found it and tried it. I call these "old fashioned" because they are so mild. They aren't super fudgy and chocolate. They aren't overly sweet. Just. Mild. That is the best way I can describe them. I really enjoyed these and I will certainly make these again.

Source: My momma!
Yield: 12-24 depending on how big you cut them

4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350*. Grease 9x13 in. pan. Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat or in microwave. In a mixing bowl combine the melted chocolate and butter with the sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour and nuts and stir until well blended. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes or until set. Cool and then cut.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Little Squirt

Doesn't it figure that the summer I get pregnant is the hottest summer we've had in years. I'm not complaining because to beat the heat I treat myself to mocktails, popsicles, and sometimes ice cream. I don't feel so bad about sitting here in the bedroom with the AC on when normally I would be outside doing something. Pregnant women get hot really easy!! Yowza.

This mock martini is one of my favorites. It is tart and does make your mouth pucker just a bit. It is so easy to make and I love be able to sip from my martini glasses.

Enjoy this one!

Little Squirt
Source: Margarita Mamas: Mocktails for the Mama-to-be
Yield: One tart drink

Sugar rim for glass
Lemon wedge
5 oz lemon lime soda
1 T fresh lemon juice

Use the lemon wedge to wet the rim of glass and then roll the rim in sugar.

Shake together the soda and lemon juice. Strain or pour into martini glass.

Try not to think about how this kid is going to get out.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another Day at the Beach

This has been quite the beachy summer already!

Seth and I went to Popham Beach not too long ago. The beach has changed so much over the winter that you wouldn't recognize it if you were just plopped there without knowing what it was. We ended up walking through the water to a sandy place and were told we had to be prepared to be there for 3 hours while the tide came in and went out enough for us to leave. The lifeguard said he wouldn't be able to get to use if there was an emergency. Um. OK.

We had the best time. It even rained a little bit and Seth and I hid under the towel together. It was the kind of romance that would make other people sick. We probably did. I don't care.

I talked a little bit about my normal picnic sandwich in a post last month. I didn't have the energy (helllo I'm PG!) to roast all the veggies, etc. So I just did a pesto, mozzarella and tomato sandwich on Slate's Bakery French bread. Awesome!

(I'm not even going to post a recipe because you can see what's there and you can figure it out...right?!)

With this we brought twizzlers, crackers, a soda to share, and I brought a piece of chocolate fudge. Yeah...the beach and fudge...perfect.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bed Rest Banana Smoothie

Here is another mocktail to help you stay cool! This one has a banana in it and all that potassium can help with the leg cramps I get at night time. What can I drink to get my kid to stop jumping on my bladder in the middle of the night??

I topped mine with a Twizzler because...well...I'm pregnant and I can!

Bed Rest Banana Smoothie
Source: Margarita Mamas: Mocktails for the Mom-to-Be
Yield: One cool drink

1 banana
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup selzer water
1/4 cup ice cubes

Blend it up. Garnish if you wish. Don't think about your messy house.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Some of my friends and I were discussing our favorite summertime treats. I said one of mine is a frozen whoopie pie. Yes. Frozen. That creamy filling is delightful frozen. Just one of the things I learned from my momma!!

Speaking of my momma, I had been using her recipe (or her mothers?) for the cake part of the whoopie pie. It would turn out flat nearly every time. I decided that it was time to try something else. I looked around, took tour through my binders, and landed on a recipe from Hannaford Supermarket's Fresh Magazine. I think it was last year that they did a special on whoopie pies and included original, pumpkin, peanut butter, and reverse...which I loved.

These were wonderful. I did make a half batch of the filling to test it out but found that I like my mother's filling better. I will certainly make these again.

Classic Whoopie Pies
Source: Hannaford Fresh Magazine
Yield: 12ish?

1 1/2 cup butter, divided, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Salt
11/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1/2 teaspoon instant powdered coffee
23/4 cup confectioners` sugar
3 cup Marshmallow creme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix 3/4 cup of butter (1 1/2 sticks) butter and brown sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each egg.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, stir together buttermilk, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and instant coffee until coffee is dissolved (this may take a minute or so); set aside.

Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until smooth, scraping down mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Add half the buttermilk mixture and mix again on medium speed until smooth and slightly fluffy in texture. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk, and mix until smooth. Batter will be thick and slightly springy when done.

Drop 2-Tbsp. portions of batter onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each portion to allow for spreading. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, until puffed and set but still soft when touched lightly with fingertips. Let cakes cook for 3 minutes on baking sheets before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

Prepare filling while cakes are baking and cooling. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to mix 3/4 cup of butter (1 1/2 sticks) and 1 tsp. vanilla until creamy. Add half the confectioners' sugar and mix on low first to combine, then on high until smooth. Add remaining confectioners' sugar and mix again. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula. Add marshmallow creme and mix on medium high until filling is smooth and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Assemble whoopie pies. Spoon filling onto the flat sides of half the cakes, dividing it evenly. Top with remaining cakes, flat side against the filling, rounded side up. Serve immediately, or wrap and store at room temperature for up to two days, or in freezer for up to two months.

Friday, July 9, 2010

What's Growing at 179

With all this heat and sunshine in the east, my garden has really taken off. Last night was the first night I was able to harvest anything, a perfect zucchini! The other veggies aren't too far behind!

I have a few varieties of tomatoes, cherry, better boy, and heirloom.

This is ALL mint! Spearmint and Applemint.

There are red and purple peppers...that are green for now.

The tiniest cucumber! There are two varieties.

Little summer squash!

Mmmm. Basil.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Roasted Gahlic.

Garlic. How I love you so. Let me count the ways.

1. Some are good for me.

2. I love that slight burn of you when you're fresh.

3. I adore the mellow, almost sweet flavor of you roasted.

4. You're beautiful.

It is so easy to make roasted garlic. And it is like getting an extra gift...garlic flavored olive oil!!

I like to keep a dish of roasted garlic in the fridge so I can smear it on whatever my heart desires. In the mornings I will put it on my English muffin before adding a fried egg and thick slices of tomato. When I make potatoes I will add a big spoonful for a little kick. For a snack I like to spread it on fresh bread with a big slice of mozzarella.
Divine. I feel so fancy.

Roasted Garlic
Source: ME!
Yield: I dunno. Enough for a few different things?

1 head garlic
Olive oil

Cut a little less than a quarter of the top off the garlic, just enough to expose all the cloves. Put that in some sort of dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Cover with foil and roast at 350 degrees for a little under an hour. Cloves will become golden and soft. Let it cool and then the cloves pop right out of their shell.

Save the olive oil for bread dipping or anything you would normally use olive oil for.