Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lakehouse Recipes and Travel Woes

So its been awhile since I've updated....first we were out of town at the family lakehouse for the 4th of July and then I was in Tampa for work.  I have a lot to say about both of those.

I'll start with business travel.  The kind that requires flying on airplanes.  Now, a few months ago, I wrote a post of "rules" that people should follow if they don't want to infuriate me should they happen to encounter me in an airport or on a plane.  Well, it appears I forgot one....silly me!  I'll recap here in case you're interested.

If you are flying on a domestic flight in the middle of the day, it is absolutely unnecessary and downright obnoxious for you to put your seat back all the way.  You know why?  Because, well, its 2:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday.  This is wakey-wakey really can't sit up straight for an hour and a half?  Plus, you're often not even sleeping!  Must you eat your Quizno's in a reclined position?  Is that even comfortable for you, or do you put your seat back just because its physically possible?  Or are you trying to annoy the socks off the person behind you?  Because, you know....there isn't much leg room to begin with and flying isn't all that comfortable.  And you want to know what makes it even MORE uncomfortable?  Your seat back in my face and the crushing sensation I get in my kneecaps so you can read your Kindle laying down!!  And if you absolutely must recline, for whatever inexplicable reason, you could at least EASE the seat back gently to give me a little heads up.  Instead of, you know, throwing yourself backwards as hard as possible so my drink spills in my lap and my nose breaks from the force of your seat in my face. 

Just sayin'.

Anywho, I'm home safe and sound and my kneecaps and nose are healing nicely.  I haven't cooked in like a week and a half so I'm itching to get back to the kitchen tonight (with my fishbowl-sized glass of wine, of course).  In the meantime, I have some recipes from the lakehouse to share.  I actually didn't make most of this I'll need to give my mother in law Mona and brother in law's girlfriend Lauren some credit here.  But I figure these are great recipes to share, and I DID take the photos, after all.  Enjoy!

Summer Pasta Salad
Source: My mother in law, Mona!

1 pound trio corkscrew pasta cooked and drain
1/2 jar McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning
1 18 oz bottle Kraftzesty Italian salad dressing
1 cucumber diced
1 Bermuda onion diced
1 red and 1 green pepper chopped
1 1/2 cup sliced baby carrots
1 pint cherry tomatoes halved

Mix all ingredients and toss well

Refrigerate at one hour before serving mix 1/2 bottle of salad dressing, can make day before, then add remaining salad dressing and vegetables before serving.

Cherry Hand Pies (made by Lauren!)
Source: Lauren, originally from Bon Appetit

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or about 12 ounces frozen pitted cherries, unthawed
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14-ounce package all-butter puff pastry (preferably Dufour), thawed in refrigerator
Flour (for dusting)
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons raw sugar

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to an 18x15" rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into nine 6x5" rectangles. Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl for egg wash.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl to blend. Combine fresh cherries and next 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cherry juices are released, about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture; bring to a boil, stirring often.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Working with 1 pastry rectangle at a time, place on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash. Scoop 3 tablespoons cherry mixture onto one side; fold dough over filling so that short ends meet, forming a 5x3" packet. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in top of pie to vent. Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle with raw sugar. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake pastries until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely

English Muffin Breakfast Strata
Source: Adapted from The Meaning of Pie

1 (16-ounce) package ground pork sausage
1 (12-ounce) package English muffins, split and buttered
1 (10½-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese
1 (8-ounce) block mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 large eggs
1½ cups sour cream
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained

Cook sausage in a skillet, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Cut muffin halves into quarters and arrange in an even layer in a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Sprinkle half each of sausage, cheddar cheese and mozzarella evenly over muffins. Whisk together eggs, sour cream and chilies in a large bowl. Pour evenly over muffins. Top with remaining sausage and cheeses. Cover and chill eight hours. Pull out of refrigerator a half hour before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Fireworks Cookies (Made by Mona)
Source: Martha Stewart

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
Coarse salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Decorating the Cookies:

Make the cookies: Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl.

Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, then vanilla. Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies using a 1 3/4-, 2 1/4-, 2 3/4-, or 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps once. Transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes

Bake until edges just start to brown, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

Decorate the cookies: Pipe an outline of white icing around edge of 1 cookie, leaving a 1/4-inch border, then "flood" with more white icing to cover

Immediately pipe a red or blue dot in the center of cookie. Then pipe concentric rings of colors around the center dot (using the same color as the dot, or alternating colors).

Immediately drag a toothpick through the colors to create bursts, starting from the center dot and working toward the edge, then alternate dragging inward and outward as you work around the cookie. (Or drag around the cookie in 1 direction or curve the lines for a pinwheel effect.) Let dry. Repeat with remaining cookies and icings

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos Ann. Those cookies look amazing. Props to Mona, I'd totally mess those up.

    I HATE people who put their seat all.the.way.back!!! Drives me crazy. I'm getting in a bad mood just thinking about it!