May 16, 2011

Some new twists on old favorites

My office is in the new kitchen. That's both good and bad: I'm finding the kitchen stays cleaner (the opposite of "out of sight, out of mind" I guess), but it also seems to just beckon me to come cook or bake something.

Since we moved in (just over a week ago!), I think I've used nearly every pot and pan and utensil I own (and a good majority of my serving dishes too.) We've enjoyed chicken piccata over vegetable pasta, twice-baked potatoes and grilled steaks, even pancakes and bacon (that was definitely a "holiday" from our regular low-carb regimen.)

But my real joy of cooking rests in baking, especially sweet treats. I spent Mother's Day afternoon making banana bread with a batch of too-ripe bananas. I made three big loaves: one for here, one for Mr. Official to take to work, and one for a friend who pleaded for one while she was homesick and overseas. She's now home, and this was a belated welcome home gift.

I've also taken some twists on a couple tried-and-true recipes. When moving, I discovered I had two bottles of lime juice. So Miss JoAnn's Lemon Bars became Lime Bars (and promptly vanished into thin air just like the lemon variety tends to do.)

An extra bag of raisins (which were no longer plump and soft) were the inspiration for raisin pinwheel cookies. I used my grandmother's recipe for date pinwheels and substituted raisins (with a dash of cinnamon) for the dates in the filling. I don't think I've ever made pinwheel cookies except at the holidays, until now. Now they might become another everyday favorite.  Hint:  they were better the second day.  And gone by the third.

Hmmm. I wonder what other recipes I can take for a spin in my new kitchen?  Yesterday was national chocolate chip day; I bet I could find a chocolate chip recipe to turn on its head.

Happy baking,