Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Monday, March 12, 2012

lemon thyme shortbread cookies

the temperatures in midland, Michigan have been so warm these past few days.  spring is coming and i will be in my herb garden again very soon.  in fact, some of my herbs are greening up already and just waiting to be used in many herbal recipes.

this inspired me to bake these cookies which use dried thyme leaves.  they are a great cookie and include an herb that usually isn't used in baking sweets.

to make the cookie, combine 3/4 cup of room temperature unsalted butter, with 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar in a mixer.  then add, 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of dried thyme leaves.

in another small bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups of flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt.  add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl slowly to combine.  roll into two logs and wrap in plastic wrap.  chill at least one hour.

remove and slice to bake on parchment covered baking sheets.  bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes, rotate and bake again to lightly brown, about 2 more minutes.

these are very nice tasty tea cookies and your guests will be interested to hear that the cookies include the herb thyme.

toasted ravioli

on a recent trip to the market, my husband brought home frozen cheese ravioli that somehow made it into our shopping bag. i think the person shopping before us didn't pick up all of their groceries !  i had not tried this recipe for years, but thought i would again, and it was actually quite tasty.

these cheese ravioli can be served with marinara sauce for a quick appetizer or even for a meal with a light pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese.

to make the toasted ravioli, remove them from the freezer and thaw the quantity to cook for the meal.  i thawed them in a glass dish and it took several hours.  when ready to cook, dip each into a small amount of egg beaters or egg yolks that have been beaten.

then dip into some panko breadcrumbs and brown in a small amount of canola oil.  the ravioli brown very quickly and can be placed on a baking sheet to keep warm in the oven and complete the cooking.  sprinkle with parsley flakes and serve.

these were crunchy and tasty and something different.

watergate salad

here is the recipe for the authentic Watergate salad, as served for years at the now famous Watergate hotel in Washington D.C.  this salad is sweet and wonderful to serve around st. Patrick's day since it has a tint of green from the pistachio pudding mix.

to make the salad:
in a large bowl, combine one 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple, not drained, with one small box of instant sugar free pistachio pudding mix.  mix very well with an electric mixer to combine.  next add 2 cups of mini marshmallows, 1 cup of shredded coconut, 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, and one 8 ounce carton of non dairy whipped topping. mix all ingredients very well.

place into a serving bowl and chill for at least 4 to 6 hours and then serve.  this is a perfect salad to serve with an informal meal or for a summer light fruit dessert.

this is a classic fluff salad that has been a favorite of many visitors to the Watergate hotel. 

mint meringues

st. Patrick's day is less than one week away, so it is time to plan something special to celebrate the day.  here is a fun, easy and quick recipe for a very light meringue.  with a hint of green, the fresh minty taste is just perfect for a simple dessert.

to make the meringues:
preheat the oven to 225 degrees. these cookies don't need much heat.  line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  beat 4 room temperature egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter with an electric mixer until they are foamy.  add
1 3/4 cups of confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time and continue beating until peaks become stiff and glossy.

use a large decorating tip on a pastry bag and pipe onto the baking sheet.  bake 1 hour and then turn off the oven and allow the cookies to stay in the oven for 2 more hours to dry.  remove from the oven and add sparkling green sugar to decorate.

these light cookies are wonderful with homemade pistachio ice cream.

serve them in a clear pedestal dish or crush them and serve in individual pedestal glasses with fresh whipped cream, layering the cream and meringues on top of each other.