Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday Dinner - Two Desserts


Lemon Fusilli Pasta with Grilled Lemon Chicken
adapted from the Barefoot Contessa


  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 lemons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 grilled lemon chicken breasts (see recipe below)


Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the spinach, Parmesan, sliced chicken and tomatoes. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

Grilled Lemon Chicken

This is the best chicken marinade ever and I don't think I have it posted anywhere on my blog. My sincerest apologies, my friends, because that is just not right! This recipe is like a secret weapon. It takes ordinary chicken and makes it taste... extraordinary.


  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, halved and skin removed


Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Pour over the chicken breasts in a nonreactive bowl. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. (According to Ina, but I think the optimum marinating time is two nights.) Grill chicken.

Tomato Feta Salad
from the Barefoot Contessa- I made only about 1/4 of this recipe. I'm the only tomato fan in the family.


  • 4 pints grape tomatoes, red or mixed colors
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 onions)
  • 1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds feta cheese


Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well. Dice the feta in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible. Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature.

Caramel Crunch Bars (from Baking From My Home To Yours)

I love these so much! The first time I tried them sandwiched around vanilla ice cream, but after sitting in the freezer, they were two frozen to eat. I prefer them at room temperature. I'm a little mad at Bobby for finishing them off last night without checking with me first. ;)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup toffee bits

To make the shortbread

Preheat oven to 375

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a large mixing bowl, add butter and beat until creamy and smooth. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla. Pour in the dry ingredients and turn the mixture on low speed - mix just until the dry ingredients are almost all incorporated. At this point, add the chopped bittersweet chocolate - using a wooden spoon or firm spatula, stir the mixture until combined.

The dough should be creamy and very sticky at this point. Place dollops of the batter over the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Using an offset spatula, a spoon or wet fingertips, spread the mixture into a thin even layer.

Bake until the shortbread is a rich golden brown and looks like it is trying to come away from the sides of the pan, about 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the pan and turn the oven off.

To make the topping

Scatter the top of the hot shortbread with the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Pop the pan back into the turned off oven and let sit for 2 minutes to soften the chocolate. Remove and immediately use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate mixture all over the top. Scatter the toffee bits on top of the melted chocolate and gently press down to adhere. Place the baking pan on a wire rack to cool completely - if the chocolate has not firmed up by the time you need to cut the bars, briefly place it in the refrigerator to set.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Glaze and Blueberry Topping

from Epicurious.com

1 1/2 cups (packed) powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon Juice

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
Crushed-Blueberry Sauce
For glaze:

Combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in small bowl. Stir with spoon until smooth and paste-like, adding more lemon juice by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread. Set aside.

For cake:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl; whisk to blend. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla in small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into flour mixture until just blended (do not stir). Scrape batter into pan; spread evenly.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes.

Immediately run knife around sides of cake. Place rack atop cake in pan. Using oven mitts, hold pan and rack firmly together and invert cake onto rack. Remove pan from cake. Place another rack on bottom of cake; invert 1 more time so that cake is top side up. Stir glaze until blended. While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoonfuls onto cake; spread to within 1/2 inch of edge (some glaze may drip down sides of cake). Cool completely. Serve with Crushed-Blueberry Sauce.


mickell said...

Seriously Katherine, you are amazing!! I so wish I could cook like that. Your blog inspires me to try but I'm so inadequate in the kitchen. I envy your skills.

Holly Moore said...

Katherine, your blog does not disappoint. Of the plethora of blogs I have on my blogroll I only read a few faithfully (even if I don't always comment), and yours is one of them. You have the best food blog ever! Sooo yummy. And you are just too cute! You should make a website and make money off your blogging. You're so talented.

Kayla said...

I can't even tell you how long I've been waiting for you to post your homemade rolls recipe! Are you willing to share?! Also, I agree with these other ladies that have posted comments. Your blog is wonderful and inspiring. You've got this great way of writing that could bring you profit, easily!

Kent said...

This was really rich and yummy! Thanks!

Tara said...

hee hee. Like Kent would know :)

Jessica said...

hey girl! I saw your recipe for this lemon cornmeal cake and knew it would be good--besides the fact you recommended it--lemon, cornmeal, glaze oh yeah. I made it yesterday and I LOVE it. I didn't have blueberries so I used blackberries instead. Thanks for sharing your skills!!!
miss ya.

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