Introducing Kari Cheng from Miss Busy Bee
Welcome Kari Cheng to Morning Erection as a guest blogger. Click on over to Kari’s site and read more of her posts. In addition, it would be a great gesture if you left comments below for Kari to respond to. Kari has her own blog so this guest post is a sacrifice because it means she neglected her own blog to post here. It is a great honor for me to be able to have a guest blogger and as a favor to me show Kari the courtesy you might want shown to you if you were a guest writer on someone elses blog. Leave plenty of comments and visit her site. She’s also a prolific photographer. Thanks.
I’m a total foodie. Now, that doesn’t make me a cook or a chef or anything – it just means I love to stuff my face with good. Good food. All day, every day. However, not only do I love to eat, but I love experimenting in my kitchen as well. And those who know me know that I will go onto these weekly binges where I cook and bake everything in sight, and there are those weeks where I just want to make something that’s easy and simple.
Easy and simple. Those are the key words for summer. Summer is all about relaxing, lounging around, being lazy. When it comes to cooking in the summer, I want it to be very low-key, very easy, very…simple.
Summer is already here, and I’d like to share some recipes to kick off your summer vacation! I’m by no means a great cook, but I have a passion for making food. That, and I love taking pictures – which you’ll see here. The recipes I’m sharing today has one theme: Lemons. And that’s my key ingredient for the summer because it’s so fresh and so versatile.
Any of these recipes here can be grilled, but since I live in an apartment complex and have no access to a barbecue grill most of the time, I bake my foods – which comes out just as delicious and just as healthy as if it had been cooked on the grill. These recipes are just enough for two people, but feel free to triple or even quadruple the recipe for your needs. I usually eat alone or with my boyfriend or a few of my close friends, so I don’t usually cook a food that would feed an entire nation.
So here is the perfect (in my opinion), no-fuss, low-key summer trio:
♥ Rosemary & Lemon Salmon
♥ Lemon & Olive Oil Asparagus
♥ A Lovely, Simple Pasta
Now, perhaps you want dessert. I know I always do. I picked up a recipe a few months back that was the BEST recipe for Pecan Bars. Okay, it was Martha Stewarts’. Love her, hate her – you can’t deny that she makes some of the best foods around. If you’re looking for a delectable treat to top off that yummy dinner, go ahead and make a batch of pecan bars. But BEWARE: proceed with caution or you’ll end up eating the entire batch! They will last you for a long time, or if you live alone, give them as gifts to your family, friends, significant other, cat, dog, etc.
Oh yeah, and go ahead and enjoy your meal with a nice glass of white wine or your favorite summer cocktail!
Rosemary & Lemon Salmon
♥ 6-8 oz. fresh, skinless, boneless salmon
♥ 3-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
♥ 1 lemon plus 2 slices
♥ Salt & Pepper
♥ Good extra virgin olive oil
♥ Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a sheet of foil, shiny side facing up, on a cookie sheet or a baking pan.
♥ On the foil, coat the salmon evenly on both sides with salt, pepper, the juice of half the lemon, and olive oil.
♥ Top salmon with a few sprigs of rosemary and a slice of lemon. Wrap the salmon up in the foil and bake for 20-25 minutes until the fish is tender. Remove from oven. Save the juices from the salmon for the pasta.
Lemon & Olive Oil Asparagus
♥ 5-8 Asparagus spears
♥ Extra virgin olive oil
♥ ½ a lemon
♥ Salt & Pepper
♥ Parmigiano Reggiano
♥ Place asparagus spears in a cookie sheet lined with foil, shiny side up. Coat asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the juice of the lemon.
♥ Cover with a sheet of foil, shiny side facing in. Bake for 5-8 minutes in 325°F, depending on how tender you like your asparagus to be.
♥ Remove asparagus when done. Top spears with shaved or grated parmigiano reggiano
A Lovely, Simple Pasta
♥ Juice from the Rosemary & Lemon Pasta
♥ Parmesan Cheese, grated
♥ Bring a pot of water to a boil. I don’t like to add olive oil and salt, but feel free to add it in. Add the spaghetti in.
♥ While the pasta is almost cooked, heat up the mixture from the salmon in a frying pan. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain the water from it, and sauté the pasta in the frying pan to infuse the flavor into the pasta for a few minutes.
♥ Top with Parmesan Cheese and serve!
Martha Stewart’s Pecan Bars
Ingredients (for the crust):
♥ 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
♥ ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
♥ ½ teaspoon salt
♥ 3 cups all-purpose flour
Ingredients (for the filling):
♥ ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
♥ ½ cup packed light brown sugar
♥ ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
♥ 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
♥ 2 tablespoons heavy cream
♥ ¼ teaspoon salt
♥ 2 cups (8 ounces) pecan halves
♥ ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
♥ Preheat oven to 375ºF. Make crust: Put butter and brown sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in salt. Add flour, I cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Continue mixing until dough begins to come together in large clumps.
♥ Press dough about 1/4 inch thick into a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Pierce the dough with a fork. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Reduce oven to 325F.
♥ Make filling: Place butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, and heavy cream in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in salt, nuts, and vanilla. Pour filling into the cooled crust.
♥ Bake until filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a paring knife around the edges of the pan and invert onto cooling rack. Invert again onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1 by 3-inch bars. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.
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What are some of YOUR favorite summer recipes? Let me know in the comments below! I always love to try new foods and recipes!