Citrus Iced Tea

It has been ridiculously hot the past week. There is no other word to describe the multiple over-90° weather that the east coast was hit with over the past few days. This is a great iced tea to help break the heat (just like the all-day rain did for us today). Beware; it does require boiling 4 cups of water—the result is well worth it in my opinion.  Keep out of the heat!!

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Tomatoes in the summer are so refreshing. Combined with goat cheese and some basil, a plain red tomato transforms into something much more enjoyable. These are recipes for tomatoes, goat cheese, and basil in two different ways. The first is a caprese salad and the second is a portabella sandwich on french bread with Dijon mustard. Yum.

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This is a posting that reflects the fact that I, unbelievably, miss winter. When I was little, every winter I would complain that I missed summer and every summer I would miss the winter. This time, however, I think I might really miss the crisp, clean, almost pure white of winter. I guess there is a good reason I ended up in upstate New York for college. As much as winter can be blisteringly cold, it also has a pristine beauty that the heat wave of summer seems to lack. I must be a winter-girl through and through.

This isn’t necessarily an only-winter recipe: rather, avoid making them on super hot days because it requires boiling a large pot of water, which can add greatly to the internal temperature of any kitchen and house. I did, in fact, make these last week when the temperatures weren’t quite so high and the humidity was much lower.

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Happy Father’s Day!

For Father’s Day dinner, I was put in charge of making the appetizers. While I tried to stay away from anything that would require turning on the oven (temperatures have been uncomfortably high lately), I couldn’t resist trying out these cheddar-jalapeno-and-green-onion biscuits. Cheddar and jalapeno make a mouthwatering combination; the addition of a little bit of diced green onion creates a more complex and interesting flavor in these biscuits. The miniature size takes biscuits from heavy to light, making them perfect for appetizers rather than for breakfast or as a major part of a meal.

These biscuits are cut with a diameter of about 1-inch. I used a tiny teacup I found in my parents’ kitchen, but anything could work; a 1-inch diameter cookie or biscuit cutter would be ideal, of course. Obviously, these can be made in larger sizes, just adjust the baking time accordingly.

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Summer Cole Slaw

Cole slaw is one of my favorite things to eat. I can’t explain it, but there is something about cabbage and a slightly sour/spicy dressing that just does it for me. I eat it in just about everything from adding it into chili (much better than it sounds) and putting it on burgers to eating it on its own. It’s strange, but so good.

I created this recipe at school where good Cole slaw is hard to find. And, even if it was readily accessible at the store, I’m way too lazy to walk the 5 minutes down the street to get it. There’s definitely something questionable about that logic, but lets not get into that right now…

This recipe calls for purple and green cabbage. Make sure to salt them separately—the purple cabbage will leave behind a purplish tint that will mar the color of the green. Also, salting for several hours will make sure that the cabbage is wilted just enough to leave some crunch but to take it to the realm of slaw and away from salad. Letting the cabbage sit in the dressing for a few hours before serving will allow the flavors to mix, but it is still excellent without waiting.

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First Post/Lasagna

This is the inaugural entry for Spoonful—the combination of, what will most likely end up being, a summer of unemployment and a kitchen-keen college student. In celebration of returning to my parents’ kitchen (which is a vast improvement over the tiny closet that is the kitchen in my college apartment), I decided to take full advantage of the expansive countertop space and the functional oven. The benefit of being able to know the actual temperature of the oven is something I won’t take for granted any longer.

This lasagna is so, so good and can be made either vegetarian or with meat. Also, I am tempted to add thinly sliced vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, etc) in between the lasagna sheet layers next time I make it. The prep is pretty easy if the sauce and the filling are prepared ahead of time. The sauce can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. The ricotta filling can be made ahead of time without the egg and refrigerated, just don’t forget to add the egg to the mixture right before assembling the lasagna.

This dish also has adult approval: my parents took a dish of this lasagna (meat version) to a neighbor’s party. Apparently it was a hit.

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