Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cooking up a Storm in the Rain

So I never got around to changing out of my pajamas today. And not because I was being lazy. I've spent all day in the kitchen, getting my P.J.'s covered in flour and globs of frosting, so I didn't really see the point of changing. I took a break in the early afternoon to eat lunch.

I had 2 tarts in the oven, and snuggled between them the other half of my mushroom calzone. I ate this with marinara. One of the tarts was inspired by my leftover mushroom filling, made with sauteed mushrooms, ricotta, and marscapone. I mixed the filling with 4 eggs, some heavy cream, and some chives from my patio garden, and poured that into a pie crust that I pre-baked. I also made a second tart with another pre-baked pie crust filled with eggs, cream, gruyere cheese, and asparagus.

Aren't they pretty? Well, the mushroom tart is a bit brown, but I'm sure it will taste good. I hope so, since I'm serving it to my whole family tomorrow!

Once I finished the tarts, I moved onto desserts. I still had some leftover peanut butter frosting from last weekend's peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, so I decided to make some mini chocolate cupcakes using Martha's recipe. I lightened the peanut butter frosting a bit by folding in more whipped cream.

This is a really good, easy cupcake recipe. They're very chocolaty - but that's partly due to the awesome Green & Black's organic cocoa powder I used. I also made a light dessert for tomorrow - my first pavlova! I got the recipe from Gourmet magazine for this Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries. I made the lemon curd and its chilling in the fridge, and then made and wrapped up the pavlova. Its basically just a big meringue.

I'll assemble it all tomorrow at my Mom's, topping with the lemon curd and berries. Dinner tonight was pretty simple, since I didn't feel like doing more complicated cooking. I heated up leftover crab cakes and sweet potato pie, then sauteed some asparagus with shallots and EVOO.

I can't wait to see how all my food comes out tomorrow, and try the other delicious treats the rest of my family is making. That's what the holidays are all about - eating!

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