Lasagna, Chicken, and Lemon CakePosted: July 26, 2006
Hubby and I were adventurous last weekend and tried out two Cooking Light recipes – Basil and Zucchini Lasagna and Asian Barbecue Chicken.
This was our first time making lasagna from scratch. The food processor came in handy, and Hubby liked pouring the various layers into the baking pan. He even said that making the lasagna together was “fun” (and he’s never said before that about cooking)! The best part? We loved how it tasted! In the past, we used to buy frozen lasagna, but we thought they were very salty and had too much sauce. So after a number of disappointing experiences, we quit buying lasagna altogether. This recipe had exactly what we liked. I made a couple of mods — I threw in mushrooms because I thought zucchini by itself was a little boring, and I also used tomato sauce instead of pasta sauce simply because I didn’t read the directions carefully enough. But all in all – a success!
I selected the Asian Barbecue Chicken recipe because I wanted to test our Foreman grill. As you can see from the photo, the chicken breasts are way overcooked and are on the verge of becoming chicken jerky…but they still had a yummy flavor. The crushed red pepper flakes added a nice kick. The only downside? Cleaning the grill. The grill plates are not removable, and the entire thing isn’t supposed to be immersed in water. We scrubbed it with wet paper towels and then Hubby held it over the sink while I soaped it. Talk about a pain. But I would definitely use this marinade recipe again.
This week, I baked a Lemon Cake (a Barefoot Contessa recipe).
Instead of describing what happened, I think I’ll just list what I learned in the process.
1. My arm is totally weak. After grating the zest of two lemons and then juicing four lemons, my arm wasn’t up for holding the hand mixer for five minutes to cream the butter and sugar. I need a stand mixer.
2. If a recipe calls for grating zest, juicing lemons, using three mixing bowls plus a saucepan, pouring syrup on the cake after it comes out of the oven, and then letting the cake cool down completely before adding icing, then the recipe wasn’t meant for a slowpoke like me to make after dinner on a work night. Because by the time I finished washing the dishes and took the cake out of the oven, it was bedtime. I left the syrup and the icing for the following evening.
3. I am terrible at reading directions. If the ingredients list shows 2.5 cups of sugar, and the instructions tell you to mix 2 cups of sugar with something else, I shouldn’t assume that the author just forgot to mention the remaining ½ cup. Because she didn’t. The half cup was supposed to be saved for the lemon syrup. Whoops…did I just add 25% more sugar than instructed? Sigh.
4. When my husband suggests that perhaps I should skip the lemon syrup and go directly to the icing, it might be a good idea to listen to him. After doing both steps, I decided that the lemon syrup was unnecessary. The icing has lemon juice in it and is plenty sweet.
Overall, the lemon cake turned out so-so. It didn’t taste too bad even with the sugar overload – it was a just a bit dry. I’m thinking that maybe I’m not clicking with the BC dessert recipes. Anybody want to recommend a good cookbook for sweets? I’m considering Williams-Sonoma Desserts. But first, I want to try a low-fat banana bread recipe and make butterscotch cookies for Hubby.
Hope you have a great day with some yummy food!