I started my serious relationship with cauliflower back a few years ago when the Southern husband and I decided to give the Atkins Diet a whirl. Remember that one? It promised you could eat all the bacon you wanted, so long as not one single carbohydrate passed your lips. This sounds like heaven to me, until I got to the second day and realized that I loved carbohydrates as much as I love bacon, and the only reason I lasted on it long enough to lose a few pounds was that I realized that whipped cauliflower was actually almost as good as mashed potatoes. I had never truly appreciated the deliciousness of cauliflower before then, but ever since I’ve been figuring out different ways to serve it up, including this scrumptious cauliflower and blue cheese soup!
So, one of the most popular posts on this here blog is the one about making homemade fresh ricotta. Yep, right there in the comfort of your own kitchen – it takes three ingredients and about ten minutes, and you will never ever be happy with store-bought ricotta again, so consider yourself warned. Once you make it you will want to keep making it over and over again, so your biggest issue will be figuring out what to do with all that glorious ricotta. I have lots of answers for you, and my latest one is basil ricotta macaroni and cheese!
I’ve been seeing versions of this adorable little dessert pop up all over the place, and every time I read another approach to making it I knew it was only a matter of time before I gave it a whirl myself. I mean really…who could resist the thought of a warm, cinnamon topped cup of coffee cake that cooked in a mug. In the microwave. In less than two minutes. It was just too dang tempting to resist, so one lazy afternoon I pulled out my Peter Rabbit mug and got to work.
I am usually very, shall we say, inflexible about my weekly menus. The Southern husband and I decide on our suppers for the week on Saturdays, and on Sundays we hit the farmer’s market with our list in hand. If someone suggests a change in menu after I finish writing out my list, they are usually out of luck. I’m just ornery that way. But a little while ago I arrived at the farmer’s market one Sunday to find heaps of these teeny tiny baby new potatoes – red ones, yellow ones, and (I am not kidding) purple ones. And so I broke one of my own cardinal rules and decided right there in the middle of the store to chuck out the dinner plan for one of those already-planned nights and make shrimp salad with new potatoes.
Oh, how I love chicken pot pie. The warm comfortingness of it all – the tender chicken and veggies, the golden crust, the delectable taste of everything being right with the world. But let’s face it, chicken pot pie is a late fall/early winter kinda thing. Now that the days are longer and we’re finally putting our winter coats into the back of the closet, hot and crusty pot pies are no longer the kind of thing we are looking for, supper-wise. But I can’t live without my trusty chicken pot pie, even if spring IS in the air. The only thing left to do was to lighten it up a little for the season.
You know those days when you really, really, really want a homemade cookie, but the thought of the mixing and the baking and the cooling and the cleaning up makes you reach for the box of supermarket cookies instead, when what you really wanted was the homemade deal? That is where these delectable little rum balls come in. They require exactly no oven, no cookie sheet, no baking, no cooling and about 15 minutes from “I think I want a cookie” to popping into your mouth.