Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursdays can be yummy too.

Uh.  Hi there.  Soooo, how've you been?  (Remember how I said that blogging after an absence is like that awkward moment you run into an ex you haven't seen since the breakup in a store and neither one of you knows what in the world to say to each other?  Yeah... it's like that.)

I've been gone for too long and I miss you.  My google reader misses me.  And we all miss Yummy Monday, am I right?? 

I've decided to throw together a quick Yummy Monday post (on Thursday.  Because it feels like a Monday, doesn't it?  That's just me?  Huh.)  Unfortunately, I can't say I'm really BACK BACK, but at least I'm popping in to say hello.


And you should be glad I did, too, because I'm offering you something incredibly tasty.  Are you one of those who skips my tasty posts, thinking to yourself "I don't cook" or "I have all the recipes I'll ever need" (ok, if you think THAT, could you please email me your cookbook?  I could use it.)  Maybe don't skip this post.  Just saying.

Our menu for tonight?  Ahem.  Parsley and Sunflower Seed Pesto from Googiemomma.  Baked Zucchini Fries with Sweet Onion Sauce from King Arthur Flour Blog.  And Cherry Pie in a Cake from me.

Ready?  I've got a lot to do, so let's just jump in.

The Parsley and Sunflower Seed Pesto is pretty straightforward.  You can probably tell from the name.  I'll tell you how I used it.

Parsley Sunflower Seed Pesto
2 bunches fresh parsley
1 C sunflower seeds (roasted and shelled)
1 C parmesan cheese, separated
3 cloves garlic
4 T (about) olive oil 

1 lb. angel hair pasta - cooked
1 package fresh cherry or grape tomatoes

Put the parsley in your food processor and give it a whirl.  Add the sunflower seeds and whirl again.  Add 1/2 C parmesan cheese, garlic and salt.  Set it to puree.  With the processor still blending, add the oil.  You may need to add more or less of ANYTHING depending on the consistency you desire and your specific tastes.  Pour your sauce over your angel hair and mix.  Top with 1/2 C parmesan cheese and cherry tomatoes.  I added a sprinkle of garlic salt over the whole thing as well.  Serve along with salt and cheese so people can add more of their own if they like.

Now.  You know I love me some pesto.  Yum.  I really can't get enough.  My dad doesn't.  Something about the tremendous amount of basil that he just can't handle.  That was one reason I wanted to try this recipe.  (Another reason was that it just sounded delicious...) And he really liked it!  Granted, he added more salt than I did, but to each his own, right?  It was NOT like basil and pine nuts.  It had a much more mild flavor.  It was nice for a change of pace.

On to the side of baked zucchini fries.  Which I'll just tell you right off, I will be making again and again and again.  You know all those zucchinis you get from your neighbors?  Don't throw them away, even if you have 60!  You don't want them?  Send them to me!  Because I'm making these!!  Oh, ps.  I changed the fries a little to accommodate what I had readily available (minor changes).  Also,  I admit, I totally accidentally altered the sweet onion sauce just a smidge.  And it was delicious.  So it's below.  The original can be found at the link above. 

Baked Zucchini Fries with Sweet Onion Sauce
2 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 3"-long stick
1 T salt
1 C Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Cooking spray
2 large eggs
Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Let the zucchini drain for 1 hour or longer; rinse and pat dry.
Combine the Panko, Parmesan, and all the seasonings; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with cooking spray.
Dredge sticks a few at a time in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake sticks for 12 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
Serve immediately, with sweet onion dip.
1 T butter
1 medium sweet onion, about 1/2 pound, peeled and sliced
3 T cider vinegar
2 T honey
3 T prepared mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over moderate heat, and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, then caramelize. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.
Once the onions are a medium brown, remove from the heat and add the vinegar.
Place the onions and vinegar into a small food processor. Add the honey and mustard, and process or blend until smooth.
Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Oh, heavens.  Can I just tell you that even writing about them right now makes me want to eat an entire bowl?  And that sauce was A-MA-ZING.  I kept the leftover sauce and used it on cucumber sandwiches with gouda cheese the next day.  Holy cow.  So good.  If you follow the link up there, you'll learn why it's so important to salt the zucchini and let it sit before hand (because it draws all the water out so it will take the breading better.  Who knew?) AND you'll get a picture tip for how to cut your zucchinis perfectly.

Also, did you know, that when restaurants bread items, they use the "one hand wet, one hand dry" rule so their hands don't turn into unusable baseball mitts of breading?  Did I tell you this already?  I feel like I'm repeating myself. 

For the finale, I made this:

Cherry Pie in a Cake
Grease a 13x9 pan.
Preheat your oven to 350.
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 egg
Set aside 1 Cup of yellow cake mix for use later.  Beat the rest of the cake mix, the butter and egg in a medium mixing bowl.  When well combined, press the batter into the prepared pan for a “crust”.
1 30 oz. can of cherry pie filling 
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese 
1 tsp. almond extract
3 eggs
Beat the above ingredients together until the mixture lightens in color and texture.  Pour this into the pan on top of the crust. 
1/4 C sugar
1/2 stick chilled butter
1 C reserved cake mix
1 C chopped pecans
1 C shredded coconut
If you have a stand mixer, you can beat everything together at once.  If not, beat everything except the pecans in a medium bowl.  When it is combined and crumbly, add in the pecans and mix with a spoon.  
Spread this evenly over the filling.
Bake it in the oven for 60 minutes or so.  The cake should look very moist, but shouldn’t “jiggle” when it’s moved.  Let the cake cool.  
Optional: Serve with vanilla cream glaze
Vanilla Cream Glaze
Mix together 1 C cream, 1/2 C french vanilla dairy creamer, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 C powdered sugar.  Pour over the hot cake so it seeps down into it.

If this recipe looks familiar, that's because it's a variation on my "Pumpkin Pie in a Cake" recipe.  The best pumpkin dessert you'll ever make, by the way.

And I loved it in cherry as well.  Yum.  Make it.  Trust me.  It's best warm.  And also cold.  And right out of the oven.  And a day old.

And since I sound like Dr. Seuss now, I believe it's a good time to sign off.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...


I'm seriously going to invite myself over for dinner if I ever find myself in your neck of the woods. Jus' saying. In case I show up on your doorstep, that's why.

Michelle L. said...

OhMaGawd, this all sounds amazing! I admit to being one of those who skips most cookery on my favorite blogs. But I'm so glad I took your advice to not skip! Fabulous ideas, yum, can't wait to try.

Unknown said...

Whoa! Hey that's me! You mean people actually read my blog? And then sometimes DO the things I talk about?....
Weird :-)
Glad you liked it!,

kellystar said...

totally going to try those zucchini fries when we have zucchini coming out of our ears in a few weeks! I'll give you our family review then!

Liz said...

Yum to the fries! Gotta try that! New fan, hope you can hop over to my little spot and check things out!

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