Saturday, September 1, 2012

Week 11 Donna Hay: Summer Night

Donna Hay: Summer Night

Things have been a bit crazy for me this week.  I had a lot of big projects to do at work and found myself going in early and staying late.  I have been neglecting my own life so when I was suppose to cook on Friday night I was just beat.  I wanted to just sit in my room and stare at the wall in silence for a long time.  Just me?  I decided that I was going to get over myself and muster up the energy to cook.  I had planned on making another one of Donna's meals but my sister said that the Summer Night menu sounded good and to be honest it was more appealing as it entailed little "cooking" and the flavors sounded refreshing.

Peaches Wrapped in Prosciutto
Peaches Wrapped in Prosciutto
A great way to start off a fun menu.  The recipe called for the peaches to be on rocket/arugula but after going to several stores for ingredients, forgetting to buy said arugula at each place,  I decided to just have the peaches and prosciutto.  There was a small amount of balsamic reduction made which just added to the complexity of the flavor.  I think this dish would be great for appetizer with some nice white wine at a gathering.  Virtually no cooking involved and perfect for the hot weather we have been having.

Lemon, Ricotta and Pea Pasta 
Lemon, Ricotta, and Pea Pasta
Pasta!!  I love pasta.  Pasta loves my waistline which is why I don't eat it very often, but when I do you can be assured that it tastes great.  Every ingredient that went into this light and refreshing dish is something I love.  Peas, lemon, ricotta, and pappardelle pasta (my favorite)!  The middle sister and I went to a few stores just to find the pappardelle pasta which apparently is not that popular as main stream grocery stores do not carry it.  We ended up going to our local Italian grocery store, Lucci's Deli, in order to find the perfect pasta for the dish.  (I can be quite particular at times.) The quest was totally worth it as the large long noodles made for a great net for the creamy ricotta.  Next time, if not pressed for time, I am just going to make my own pappardelle as it will be far less expensive and fresh made pasta is really close to Heaven.
Strawberry Shortcakes
Donna Hay Strawberry Shortcake

Pizzelle Strawberry Shortcake
And dessert... When I was little and growing up no sugar was allowed in our home.  Every so often we would have "dessert" at home which consisted of us girls getting to split a can of mandarin oranges.  To this day I cannot remember when I realized this was not what most of America considered dessert.  So of course when there is a chance to have "real" dessert I jump at it.

This dessert recipe was an interpretation of strawberry shortcake.  The recipe called for shortbread cookies but apparently the grocery stores we went to did not view this as a grocery staple.  Last resort I opted for pizzelles from Lucci's which are thin Italian waffle cookies.  I thought the dessert was a bit of a sticky mess.  Flavorful, yes, but because it was so hot the mascarpone was a little more liquid than what the pictures in the cookbook looked like.  Next time I will make the mixture ahead of time and stick in in the refrigerator.  Also, I might pipe the cheese onto the cookie to make it a bit more decorative.  I expressed this to my sisters and as I looked up I saw them both licking their plates, literally.  I guess they liked dessert.

Overall the meal was light, refreshing, and a breeze to make.  The only cooking involved was the balsamic reduction and boiling water for pasta.  These recipes are being added to my make-again repertoire.  I hope you enjoyed!


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