Monday, July 22, 2013

Eggplant Zucchini Tomato Tart for a light summer lunch

I have been slacking here.  I have been baking and not posting.  It's just been kind of crazy, with so much going on in the evenings and I am still playing with my new's just not quite as easy as picking up my iPhone to take pictures in the middle of baking.  

In all seriousness, this summer has been flying are we almost to the end of July?  There is just not enough time for all of the summer things I want to bake, or enough time to enjoy the summer laying by the pool and reading.  I am not going to let this summer run a way just yet though!  I want more free movie nights in Crystal City and more Jazz in the Sculpture Garden!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sun-dried Tomato Basil Parmesan Biscuits

With my basil plant a little out of control (it is enjoying the crazy rain and then sunshine that happens most days now in DC) I was looking for new recipes to throw basil into.  That and apparently I really love the sun-dried tomato basil combination, as in the past 12 months I have made savory sun-dried tomato cupcakes and sun-dried tomato basil Dutch oven bread.  The combination of these ingredients baking in the oven is seriously one of the best smells.  I have loved this flavor combination since high school when I worked in my first restaurant, Cafe Carolina.  Out of all of the baked goods we made from savory to sweet, the best smell that came out of the oven was from the sun-dried tomato basil baguettes.  This smell almost made it worth while to be getting to work around 7:00am.

So this summer, I am putting a twist on the classic biscuit and adding in sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.  They are a simple twist on a classic, easy and delicious, plus they come out tender the way any good biscuit should.  Also, you can totally make them gluten-free by switching out the flour with any gluten-free substitute.  I used my favorite, Pamela's Ultimate.  Enjoy!

Everything prepped and ready to go.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

I need to be blatantly honest here for a minute.  This morning was one of those mornings where I had to literally drag myself out of bed.  I woke up with all of my confidence drained and didn't want to go to work.  I literally slid out of bed because even Charles was telling me to go get ready.  Do you ever wonder why some days you honestly just want to stay in bed and not move...hide away from the world for just a day?  I mean this past weekend I was full of confidence gliding around New York, like I lived there and going for runs through Central Park like it was an everyday occurrence.  But today, today I just didn't want to face "it".  I did not feel like I had any right leading or having to give tasks to others when I didn't want to be doing anything myself.  Ultimately I did put my big girls pants, okay well skirt on and head to work.

But it left me thinking, am I the only one who has days of complete self doubt?  I honestly can't even say what brought it on.  I had a great four day weekend hanging out with my mom in DC and New York.  We ate delicious food, shopped and just strolled around New York.  (Pictures from New York) But then Monday morning came around and I had a serious case of the Mondays.


Before Monday came around and before heading to New York, for the 4th of July cookout at my office, there were these Oreo Cheesecake Cookies.  These cookies were originally made for Courtney and inspired by her favorite dessert.  I had done the cream cheese technique used in these cookies last fall for pumpkin cheesecake cookies, but I was a little nervous about how they would turn out in regular cookie dough.  Well, they turned out delicious!  Delicious as in I wish I had one right now, I may have had 3 or 4 in one day delicious.  Delicious as in I made the twice in 3 days.   Seriously, you kind of just need to try these if you like oreos and cheesecake.  Soft and chewy with bits of cream cheese and crunchy oreos; these cookies are the truly oreo cheesecake in cookie form.  Enjoy!

At the National's game on the 4th of July.  Our Nation's past time...

The most complicated part of these cookies is creating the cream cheese pieces.  Cut and then...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The perfect time of year for Mojito Cookies

I don't know what it is about summer, but it leaves me craving mojitos, hanging out with friends and generally doing nothing productive.  Oh my house is dirty oh well...and wait I should totally go for a run this evening...oops probably not the best idea after an afternoon cocktail.  Maybe I can go for an easy bike ride instead.  I crave these probably because they are cool and refreshing, plus I might have mint just growing in a pot on my front porch.  So while I was laying at the pool one afternoon and dreaming of having a cocktail while making baked goods I thought up these.

These are a cakey cookie.  There are not hard crunchy bits to these cookies.  They are light and fluffy with a lovely lime taste and just right hint of mint and rum.  Definitely a cookie that screams of summer, of picnics and relaxing.  So if you love mojitos as much as I do, or just are in the mood for something a bit different give these a dry.  Oh and did I mention they are low-fat because they are totes made with part butter and part low-fat ricotta cheese...

What's up baking from the coffee table...butter and sugar creamed, plus dry ingredients mixed.