Rhubarb Mint Julep

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UGH, guys. This morning I ventured out to the dreaded DMV. As far as DMV excursions go, this one was relatively painless. I was the 4th person in line and was there for only about an hour and a half. The pain came with the photo-taking. I mean, WHY is it always so awful? Some things that go through my mind post-drivers-license-photo-taking:

“Why is my face so huge?!”

“Is my right eye always squintier than the other?”

“UGH!”

“I need a drink.”

Good thing I made this little number and have the ingredients to whip it up, if need be. It’s a rhubarb-laced version of a mint julep. Which, I have only recently realized, is pretty much a bourbon-sno-cone and pretty much amazing. Click on over to the lovely Fashionable Hostess blog for the details and recipe for this DMW-blues killer, I mean…springtime libation.

Easter 2015 and a Ricotta-Berry Cake

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Now that we have Casper, holidays have taken on a renewed sense of whimsy and excitement. It’s so fun to be able to share old traditions and create new ones with him. I know that he’s not really old enough to know what’s going on, but we had a ton of fun making him a basket and making Easter a special day for all of us. I made marshmallow-cereal treats for some of our neighbors–Casper didn’t get any, but he thought they looked pretty cool because, SPRINKLES! We did get him some non-sweets-treats and packed his basket with some cute board books and Sean’s favorite Dr. Seuss book, plus a few plushies, and a fresh pair of moccasins. Sean and I dyed a bunch of eggs after Casper went to sleep on Saturday night. I LOVE dyeing Easter eggs and making the colors super vibrant and mixing colors. We “hid” Casper’s Easter basket underneath his favorite side table–it has cross bars under it that he likes to climb over all-day-every-day like some sort of baby obstacle course. We also dressed him up–which made my mother extremely happy.

For dinner we invited Sean’s brother, Geoff, and his girlfriend, Kelly, over for dinner. On the menu were deviled eggs (DUH!), a smoked pork shoulder with quince and sherry vinegar sauce (an idea we borrowed from a recent date at Toro Bravo), garlic-butter and vermouth shrimp (for Kelly, who doesn’t eat meat), potato gratin, spice roasted carrots with mint and feta, and a brussels sprout and kale salad that Kelly and Geoff made. The guys tried Sean and his friends home-brew (a super hoppy IPA), and I made kir royale to drink, as well. I also made this super moist Ricotta-Berry Cake. It’s so good, tender, and a perfect sweet slice to end a springtime meal. It’s so easy to put together, just 2 bowls, and is the type of effortless cake I think we all need in our arsenals. It’s perfect with a little dusting of powdered sugar or if you want to go crazy, which I did, a some barely sweetened whipped cream is the perfect accompaniment. I could also totally see making this cake with little chunks of rhubarb or even cherries in the summer.

In all, it was a pretty good day. Casper had fun, he was confused by all the happenings but got the hang of the festivities, was delighted by the basket full of goodies–especially the cookie monster Sean got him–and enjoyed showing off his pterydactyl-squawking skills for his Uncle and Kelly.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Ricotta-Berry Cake

Adapted from Bon Appetit

8 Servings

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups ricotta

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted, unsalted butter

1 cup frozen mixed berries

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch cake pan  (I used a spring form pan) with parchment and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Fold in the butter. Fold the ricotta mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Gently fold in 2/3 of the berries. Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan and scatter the top with the remaining berries. Bake the cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool at least 20 minutes before un-molding. [/recipe]

 

 

Recently at Betty’s and Other News

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Hi, Peeps! (Because, Easter, right? Sorry.)

I have a few recipes over at Betty Crocker that I wanna share with you, PLUS I was recently on a podcast, so there’s that situation to cringe about.

Pickle Pepper Pork Melts

First, these Slow Cooker Pickled Pepper & Pork Melts (say that 3x fast). They are super easy, so flavorful (pickled pepper juice is the secret) and totally, indulgently, satisfying.

Easy Ham Glazes

Second, 10 (TEN!) dead-easy Ham Glazes just in time for Easter. All 10 are 4 ingredients or less and will add some flavorful pop to your Easter table. My favorites are the Peach Jalapeño, Honey-Sriracha, and Maple, Mustard, & Rosemary.The first 5 recipes are from another blogger, the second 5 are by me, and I took all the photos. So, needless to say it was glaze-city up in here but, bonus! they all work well to glaze other things: salmon, shrimp, chicken, chops, and WINGS.

And, for the podcast. I was invited by the super kind host, Gabriel, of The Dinner Special Podcast to be a guest a bit ago (Casper was only about 6 months old, then!) and it’s live today.  It’s such a good podcast, there have been amazing guests and I love listening to it. So many awesome bloggers and food people with amazing tips and insight, I really feel honored to have been invited on the show. That said, I’m a total weirdo and have no idea what I am saying in it. I talk about being a new mom and how getting dinner on the table is different now and some things I employ to get ahead. I also ramble on about other random things, it’s like half word-vomit and half mom-talk. You guys, I was SO NERVOUS!