Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day, everyone!  We are celebrating over here with a visit from Tuck and Linda, and lots of time in the kitchen.

Yesterday I made lunch for me and Mom.  I have been meaning to try this recipe for "summer lasagna" for a while, but the plan kept falling through: people weren't hungry, or got pizza, or no one felt like pasta.  In addition, it was rather a lot of work because it's not a typical lasagna that you make in a casserole dish and bake.  You don't bake it at all, or even put it in a big dish.  You make each serving separately, layering on the different foods onto each person's plate.  But, I decided that Mom and I were worth it.

The layers consist of cherry tomatoes sauteed with olive oil and garlic, zucchini and basil, parmesan and ricotta, and of course lasagna noodles.  This is an amazingly delicious, light-feeling summer lunch!  It's not served hot, but not cold either; the noodles and veggies are still warm from cooking, but the cheese is cold, so the meal itself is warm, which I really liked.  It was perfect for a hot day's lunchtime.  Mom announced that she is in love with this meal.  We are brainstorming ways to make it at out vacation for a crowd; perhaps a buffet, make-your-own kind of thing?  Or I could put it all in a casserole dish, but I think it would be hard to cut.  Something to ponder.

After lunch I made the sponge and dough for bagels.  I have made these a number of times now, and while I just cannot get them as pretty as in the pictures, they are delicious.  There are many steps, and it takes two days, but they really are easy.  I think anyone who may be slightly nervous in the kitchen should make bagels, because it is a confidence booster!  I ended up with 14, and I made 4 cinnamon-sugar just by sprinkling it in the tops.  I only tried a plain one straight out of the oven, and it was delicious.  Tuck and Linda even split one and Tuck said it was one of the best bagels he ever tasted.  Wahoo!

Lastly, since it's the Fourth, I needed some sort of Patriotic dessert, so I resorted back to my good old red, white and blueberry cheesecake yogurt cupcakes.  Tuck had eaten a couple last time since they aren't too many carbs, and they are red, white and blue, so I whipped up a batch this morning.  This is the first time I actually had the mini cupcake tin wrappers, so it made 24 mini muffins.  The only issue was that you are supposed to use vanilla wafers as the crust, but they didn't fit in the mini muffin cup, so I had to crumble them.  It worked out just fine.  There are enough left that I think I may bring them to a barbeque tonight.  It's always great to have a delicious dessert that is less than 100 calories per cheesecake!

summer lasagna
red white and blueberry cheesecake yogurt cupcakes

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