Lemon Ricotta Cookies

One of the things I wax poetic about most is that someday I want to have a house (preferably in a place like this) where I have a huge farm table (preferably one like this) and an open door where friends and family are welcome to come over any time to eat, have a glass of wine and talk or hang out. I love the idea of having a full house and, even more, I love the idea of feeding people really good food.

I’m an overachiever only child type though, so I often let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Why am I waiting for this magical house in the middle of nowhere and a farm table that will likely cost me a lot of money? I have an apartment. And a perfectly nice coffee table.

So a couple of Sundays ago I decided to make that goat cheese cheesecake, send a mass email out and invite people over. For about four solid hours I had people coming in and out of my place, eating cheesecake, drinking wine and having a generally great time. Old friends met new friends, I caught up with everyone and folks seemed to enjoy. (Added bonus: it forced me to clean my place and make sure my laundry was up and out of the way.)

Last weekend was the third or fourth installment of my Sunday Open House and I made a crap ton of cookies. Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, Cranberry Cake and these lemon ricotta cookies. All three were a huge hit, but people swoon annually over these Giada cookies. Yeah. I said it. Giada. Judge me if you will, but not only are these cookies easy but they’re tasty!

I didn’t modify anything in the recipe, it’s perfectly fine as is. But if you wanted to get fancy you could substitute the lemon for any citrus fruit – orange, lime or even grapefruit if you really wanted to. Not really grapefruit, I think that sounds pretty awful actually.

Do you guys entertain much? How about you city dwellers…are you entertaining in a studio apartment with total disregard for spatial limitations? Any tips or tricks for me? I’m hoping to keep this up into the new year. It just feels so good to have people I love around…stuffing themselves silly with my food no less!

Recipe for the lemon ricotta cookies after the jump!

Continue reading

Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon Brown Butter

I get these cravings.

They’re not quite pregnant lady cravings (dear lord, no!) but they are intense, can’t-get-a-dish-out-of-my-mind, give-that-to-me-right-NOW! cravings. Usually that’s when I seek out a restaurant that makes the best possible version of whatever dish I’m craving. (Side note, but related, Proof makes a really lovely chocolate hazelnut cake…another recent craving.)

So when I recently got a hankering for ricotta gnocchi? No luck, Chuck. I was fresh out of ideas for where to get that in the District.

After waiting a couple weeks to see if my craving would abate I happened to be watching The Cooking Channel (which is like, whoa, the best channel ever) when lo and behold! Chef Michael Symon, on his show Cook Like An Iron Chef, was making…RICOTTA GNOCCHI!! And oh, look at that!! I had just bought Keswick Creamery, fresh ricotta (which you can find at the Dupont Farmers Market)!! How convenient.

So there I was, on a Sunday afternoon, in something like 90 degree weather, making ricotta gnocchi. You know why all those people on Top Chef make gnocchi? Cause it’s totally easy to make and pretty fail-proof. And I’ll tell ya! If I can do it, you can do it. I promise. And there’s something kind of rhythmic and soothing about making the little fluffs – an unexpected, but added bonus when a person has something thinking to do.

I do warn – it’s a heavy dish. Maybe tuck this recipe away for another month ’till it cools down a little bit? Other than that, rock this recipe in your kitchen pleeease! You will love each. Fluffy. Pillow. Covered. In. Brown. Butter. NOM!

Enjoy! :)

Continue reading

Veggie No-Bake Lasagna

When I was asked to participate in recipe demos at the 14th and U St farmers market with fellow food bloggers Mango and Tomato, Florida Girl In DC and Thrifty DC Cook I was a) totally flattered and b) freakin’ the heck out! The recipe needed to include farmers market finds (duh!) but also be as no-cook/no-bake as possible.

Yikes! I love using farm fresh ingredients in all sorts of things…but it’s rare that I go the no-cook/no-bake route. I’m the girl who makes cheesecakes and brownies in the dead of summer. It could be 100 degrees out and I’m thinking about what to bake.

At any rate…Martha Stewart gave me some inspiration at the last minute. She had a photo and brief “recipe” for a veggie “lasagna” that looked so fresh and pretty. Turns out it was easy enough to make but was sorta bland. So I added in my favorite vinaigrette, some salt and pepper and all was well in the world again.

I hope you guys like it as much as I did! Enjoy!

Continue reading