Tuille Biscuit Basket Filled With Strawberries and Ice Cream
1 pound fresh local strawberries, washed and quartered
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 quarts vanilla ice cream
6 sprigs mint
3/4 cup strawberries, cut in quarters
3/4 cup raspberries
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons water
juice from half lemon
Wash and cut 1 pound strawberries; set aside. Mix egg whites, sugar, flour and vanilla extract together. Add the melted butter and refrigerate for 1 hour. Spray a nonstick sheet pan and spread the batter into a circular shape. Bake at 350 degrees until golden. Remove from tray using a palette knife and immediately put over the bottom of a glass turned upside down and shape into basket. Place the basket on the plate.
To make the sauce: In a saucepan boil the fruit, sugar, water and lemon juice together for 5 minutes. Blend, then strain through a sieve and cool.
Mix the sauce with 1 pound strawberries.
Fill the basket with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Spoon on the marinated strawberries and garnish with picked mint.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes a little less than 2 quarts
grated zest of 2 lemons
2 cups granulated sugar
5 cups cold water, divided use
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 12 lemons), 5 or 6 of the rinds reserved and roughly chopped
lemon slices for garnish (optional)
Make a sugar syrup by combining the zest, sugar and 2 cups of water in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
Pour the sugar syrup into a 2-quart container. Let cool, then add the lemon juice, chopped rinds and remaining water. Stir well.
Chill until very cold. Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices, if desired.
Wicked Pink Lady Lemonade
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 ounces good-quality gin
1/2 cup freshly made lemonade
dash of grenadine or splash of cranberry juice cocktail
2 teaspoons heavy cream
In a cocktail shaker or jar with a lid, combine the gin, lemonade, grenadine or cranberry juice cocktail and cream. Add ice and shake until chilled and frothy. Strain into a champagne or martini glass and serve.
--Recipes from "Lemonade: 50 Recipes for Classic, Flavored, and Hard Lemonades and Sparklers," by Fred Thompson (Harvard Common Press, 2002, $10.95)
Makes 6 to 8 dozen cookies
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup soft butter or margarine
2/3 cup buttermilk (or regular milk soured with 1 teaspoon vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream sugar and butter or margarine. Beat eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract into mixture. Add nuts, if using. Sift remaining ingredients together and blend into mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 8 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden around edges. Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "Nancy Holmes Watson was looking for a spritz-cookie recipe. This recipe can easily be loaded into a cookie press and piped into decorative shapes before baking. Do not refrigerate dough before working with it, or it is too firm to work with.
"If you choose to use a cookie press, the cooking time is approximately the same. This dough can also be refrigerated and rolled out between sheets of floured waxed paper and cut with cookie cutters. The flavor of these is like a slightly caramelized butter cookie."
Rigatoni With Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
4 quarts water
salt to taste
1 pound rigatoni
4 garlic cloves
1 jar (8 ounces) sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparing the rigatoni: Pour the water into a large pot, salt lightly and cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rigatoni, stir to separate and cook according to the directions on the package, until al dente. Drain in a colander and return to the pot. Keep warm, covered.
Making the pesto: Coarsely chop the garlic. In a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, including the oil, the pine nuts, garlic and parmesan and process to a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Add 1/2 cup of the pesto or more to taste to the rigatoni and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Store any remaining pesto in the refrigerator for up to two days for other uses.
Chicken and Noodles With Peanut Sauce
Makes 5 servings of 1 cup each; total preparation and cooking time about 30 minutes
5 ounces uncooked Japanese curly noodles (chucka soba)
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil (divided use)
1 pound chicken-breast tenders
1 1/2 cups red-bell-pepper strips
1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped green onions (divided use)
Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
Combine broth, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, rice vinegar, ketchup and red pepper in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken; saute 4 minutes. Add bell pepper; saute 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Combine chicken mixture and noodles in a large bowl.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 15 seconds. Stir in broth mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the broth mixture and 1/4 cup green onions to noodle mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup green onions.
Per serving: 353 calories; 10.9 grams total fat (2 grams saturated fat); 28.5 grams protein; 36 grams carbohydrate; 2.3 grams fiber; 53 milligrams cholesterol; 663 milligrams sodium