Italian Summer Pasta Salad

 Italian Summer Pasta Salad1

 

After radio silence for 3 weeks, I’m back. Again. Can’t say for how long but I am here. So how are things guys? Here, monsoon has almost arrived and summer is officially over (for good!). But here I am, with a huge backlog of summer recipes. What am I to do when all these days I have been cooking all things “summery” regularly but not getting time to post them. Let’s just say that it is still summer somewhere in the world, right?! 😉

I love anything and everything Italian so when I came across this pretty looking salad on Sommer’s amazing blog I knew I had to get to it pronto. It is so good and SO refreshing! Zests of orange and lemon, al dente pasta, orange chunks, tiny tomatoes and torn basil all tied together with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. What’s not to love? Must try, whatever time of year it is for you.

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend.
Stay cozy, it’s gonna be a rainy one! xx

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad3

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad

Recipe scaled down & adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Yield: 2-3 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat Farfalle pasta
  • 1 naval orange, zest and orange segments
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup scallions, cut into 1 inch segments
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • 3 Tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, zest the orange and lemon. Place the zest and the juice of lemon in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk. Peel the orange, gently break the segments apart and seed them. Place them in the bowl.
  3. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl. Then pour the drained pasta over the tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Add the scallions and basil leaves to the bowl and toss. Salt and pepper generously, about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: I didn’t have scallions at hand so I had to skip them but they are highly recommended as it’d add some crunch & make the dish all the more flavorsome. 🙂

 

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Mango Cucumber Salsa

Mango Cucumber Salsa1
Hi! Trying to compensate my absence with back to back posts. I need to blog all the summer recipes I’ve made before the rainy season officially starts and I am really lagging behind. I thought at least I’ll give you this mango salsa recipe before mango season is ends. This salsa is a perfect accompaniment to your chips and a great side to grilled chicken or lamb chops.
I don’t remember how many bowls of this sunshine I have devoured this summer. It is my absolute favorite. I eat chips just so that I can have salsa (or any other dips/condiment for that matter!!) and end up having it by spoonfuls in lieu of chips! I have a couple of peaches sitting in my fridge, waiting to be used up & I most certainly plan of turning them in to this salsa sans cucumber this evening (with mint of course!).
Enjoy& be patient.
Weekend is almost here! 😉
Mango Cucumber Salsa2
Mango Cucumber Salsa:
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 0 minute | Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ripe mango, sliced, pitted & finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cup)
  • Salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade (can be subbed with coriander leaves)
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Don’t know what is basil chiffonade? – Pioneer woman tells you here!

Directions:

Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve (about 3-4 hours max otherwise it turns mushy). Serve with your favorite chips or a meat of choice.

National Doughnut Day!!! #RecipeRoundUp

Whether you prefer doughnut over donut or fried over baked doesn’t really matter, because these glazed, filled, sprinkled, and all around glorious treats are uh-mah-zing no matter what you call them or how you make them! In honor of National Doughnut Day today, I’m sharing some of my favorites (which are all of them!) from the archives.

So, take out your donut-pans and get your sweet donut craving on!
Go get baking! 🙂

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze1

Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Banana Donuts1

Baked Banana Donuts & Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cake Donuts2

Red Velvet Cake Donuts

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts2

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts1

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts1

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts

Fudgy White Chocolate Lemonies {Lemon Brownies}

Fudgy White Chocolate Lemonies1

 

Lemonies… It sounds so exotic and poetic. Some genius thought of this cool name for lemon brownies, I am not sure who did but genius, nonetheless! A simple reason for not calling them brownies has something to do with their color (They are not brown!!). These are pale yellow beauties adorned with bright yellow zest and white chocolate chips in each bite. They are so fudgy and buttery, dense yet light, just how I like my brownies.

These are the perfect treats for summer (or round the year, who am I kidding!?!) and totally irresistible. The lemon flavor really shines through and pairs wonderfully well with all that white chocolate. Be sure to use a white chocolate bar and not white chocolate chips for the batter. It makes all the difference! And have them chilled, straight from the fridge. You’re welcome. 🙂

Have a fun weekend!
xx

 

Fudgy White Chocolate Lemonies2

 

Fudgy White Chocolate Lemonies {Lemon Brownies}

Yields: 12-16 slices | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: about 35 minutes| Total: 50 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 9-oz block of white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp white chocolate chips, to sprinkle on top (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºF / 350ºC. Grease an 8×8-inch square pan; line base and sides with parchment paper and grease with butter/oil (I used foil).
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter in a microwave for 1-2 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. The mixture should be lump-free and glossy. Rub lemon zest and sugar together with the fingers and whisk in to the chocolate mixture. Set aside and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Once chocolate mixture is cooled down, whisk in eggs (one by one) and lemon juice until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt and fold into chocolate mixture with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the batter in a baking pan, sprinkle chocolate chips on top (optional) and bake for 33-35 minutes until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely in pan over a cooling rack. (If you’re in a hurry, throw it in a refrigerator or freezer for a while for easy cutting.)
  5. Lift up the ends of parchment or foil liner, transfer the brownies to cutting board and cut into 9 or 12 squares. Store it covered in an air-tight container for a week in refrigerator. It tastes best chilled.

Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze ~ Eggfree

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze1

 

Hello folks! April went by at a lightening speed. It was a total blur. A beautiful blur at that. Yes, I absconded again for the latter part of April. Well, I hope you didn’t miss me much. Sorry to say but I didn’t miss you guys one bit. Here is why. These past days were spent with my most beautiful angelic cutie pie tiny-little-peanut-sized-newborn-niece. She turned 12 days today. We feel so blessed to have her in our lives and welcomed her in to this world with lots of snuggles and baby talks. We immediately named her Cherry (lovingly, of course!) because trust me when I tell you this, she looks just like a ruby red cherry. She is such a doll, so adorable, so so precious. All the sleepless nights spent in soothing her back to sleep were totally, absolutely worth it. I’m back home now and miss her so so much.

The moment I returned home, I had to bake. To celebrate. I instantly thought donuts! I mean, come on, donuts=celebration. Summer is not treating us Bangaloreans well this year and lemons are always on my mind. Big, plump, juicy, organic, tart yet sweet lemons from my parents-in-law’s lemon tree. They are simply THE best. So lemon donuts it was. They turned out so amazing that the next day I made them again. This time around I doubled the recipe and baked it as an 8-inch single layer cake for my parents-in-law’s wedding anniversary. So if you don’t own a donut pan, buy one ASAP! These little things are addicting! For now, simply bake them as mini cupcakes or just double this recipe to get a cake.

 

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze3

 

The recipe is simplicity at its best. Almost refined sugar free. No eggs required. No mixer needed. Just one bowl and a whisk is all you need to make the sun shine brightest! You can even prepare the glaze in the same mixing bowl. I am always happy with less dishes and lesser clean up. So in these donuts, moisture is being imparted by buttermilk and oil. Honey shoulders the responsibility of lending sweetness. Truly ordinary ingredients create this extra-ordinary treat. These baked donuts are light, fluffy and just lemony which doesn’t make you pucker!

These donuts are then topped with lemon cream cheese glaze. The glaze is a perfect accompaniment for the donuts. Again, just lemony and just sweet. Decorate them with a sprinkle of yellow colored sanding sugar. Vibrant, just like our little one.

So celebrate life and all things nice with these lemon glazed donuts!

 

Baked Lemon Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze4

 

Baked Lemon Doughnuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze ~ Eggfree

Makes: 6 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

For donuts:
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (lemon enthusiasts may use 2.5 to 3 Tbsp)

For glaze:

Following measurements can glaze about 10-12 donuts.

  • 100 gm (3.5 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • Yellow colored sanding sugar, to decorate

Directions:

  1.  Preheat the oven at 180ºC / 350ºF. Grease 6-count donut pan with oil. Set aside.
  2. In one bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add sugar and lemon zest and rub together with finger to release oils from the zest. Whisk in honey, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract and lemon juice until the mixture formed is completely smooth.
  4. Slowly whisk in dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Divide the batter among prepared donut pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 8-9 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then carefully turn out doughnuts directly onto rack to cool completely.
  5. Glaze: Whisk together cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and sifted icing sugar to form a smooth consistency. Dip completely cooled donuts one by one into a bowl of glaze and place back on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with yellow sanding sugar just before serving as the colors will bleed. Donuts will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days stored in a refrigerator.

*You will have little cream cheese glaze leftover which is never a bad thing in my book. You may lick with spoon or store it in refrigerator for 3-4 days. Give the glaze a good whisk before using on baked goods.
*Double the donut recipe and bake it in an 8-inch cake tin. Bake for about 20-23 minutes.
*To make this recipe vegan, make your own non-dairy buttermilk. To 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, add 1/3 cup non-dairy milk of your choice . Let sit for 15-20 minutes and use as a regular buttermilk substitution.

Lemon Crinkle Melts

Lemon Crinkle Melts1

A melt in your mouth lemon cookies.. Ooh, how I love thee. I craved them one afternoon so bad that I had to bake them PRONTO! I LOVE lemon even more than chocolate. Please don’t hate me! If there is a choice between chocolate and fruit, I most certainly always choose the latter (umm..yess.. mostly!). Chocolate vs lemon tart? Absolutely lemon tart! Chocolate donuts or strawberry filled donuts? Undoubtedly strawberry! Are we still friends? Okay, great! 🙂

Lemon Crinkle Melts2

These cookies were SOOO GOOD that I might have tried eating 4 in a go. Don’t try to picture that! I found this fantastic recipe on White On Rice Couple blog and they looked so gorgeous that I had to make them. I slightly reduced the quantity of butter and sugar mentioned in the recipe to suit our taste and they were perfect for us.

This recipe does not use any lemon extract and if you are worried about the lemon quotient then worry not, my friends. They are plenty lemony. I was blown away by the flavor and texture would be an understatement! If you love lemon cookies and love snickerdoodles like I do, you will find yourself stuffing yourself silly with these lovely cookies. Soft interior with slightly crisp exterior achieved by rolling the dough in confectioners sugar before baking. Delicate and bright! What’s not to love?!

Can you tell I’m obsessed? Yeah, this recipe will be definitely made again & again & again.
Enjoy!

Lemon Crinkle Melts3

Lemon Crinkle Melts

Recipe slightly adapted from White On Rice Couple

Yields: Around 24 cookies or more depending on size

Prep time: 10 minutes | Chill time: 30 minutes | Bake time: 9-11 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (make it eggfree & use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda for at least 20 seconds. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of your mixer, add lemon zest, brown sugar, white sugar and mix together with hand. Add butter to the bowl and beat butter and zesty sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg and lemon juice until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again to make sure everything is incorporated.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to get all of the flour. Cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Sift the confectioners sugar onto a large plate. Form the dough into 1 inch sized balls. Roll the balls in the confectioners sugar then place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies just begin to turn light golden and the tops of the cookies look matte (no longer shiny or wet looking). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: To make these cookies vegan, replace butter with vegan margarine.

Zesty Lemon Ice-cream with Blueberry Swirl

Zesty Lemon Ice-cream with Blueberry Swirl1

I have a declaration to make. This is by far THE best ice-cream I have ever made! Seriously!!! It’s so good that I could not believe this was made by me at home without the use of ice-cream maker. It came out so perfect, it was definitely to die for!

It was tart, light, refreshing, tangy, sweet, velvety… Lick-your-bowl good if you still don’t get what I mean! Everything you want your lemon ice-cream to be and more!

This ice-cream definitely screams SUMMER!

We are making this one little bit differently than how we were doing with our previous ice-creams. First, we need to make lemon curd for the base and then fold it in with whipped cream. That’s it!

Lemon curd is wonderful and super easy to make. It is so versatile that apart from using it in this ice-cream, you can use this as a filling for your tarts, pies and cakes or simply as a spread for your scones!

We are going to cook the lemon curd in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water aka double boiler. It will only take about 3-4 minutes to cook.

I have scaled down the recipe to make ice-cream for just 2 people. I have been whipping ice-cream daily so you can understand why I would do this! But I regretted my decision as soon as I had its first bite.. It was heavenly! And I wanted more!! 😦

So let’s get down to the business!

Zesty Lemon Ice-cream with Blueberry Swirl2

Zesty Lemon Ice-cream with Blueberry Swirl

Yields: around 6 scoops

Ingredients:

  • 1 small egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice, sieved so that it is free from pulp
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh medium fat cream (40%), chilled
  • 2 Tbsp blueberry compote

Directions:

  1. In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the egg, sugar and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick. This will take about 3-4 minutes to cook.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately pass the mixture through the sieve to remove any extra lumps. Whisk in butter and lemon zest. Let cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools down further. Freeze it till cream is ready.
  3. Whip the fresh cream till soft peaks form. Gently fold in the chilled lemon curd. If it is too tart for you then add more cream as per your taste.
  4. In a small airtight container, spoon in half the mixture and top it with blueberry compote, top with rest of the mixture and freeze for 4-5 hours before serving. Serve it topped with fresh blueberries and dig in!

*Tips: Lemon curd has to be made with fresh lemons. Juice lemons at room temperature to get more juice and strain the juice to remove any pulp from it. While grating the zest from the lemon, be sure not to remove pith (white membrane) from the lemon as it is very bitter tasting. Cold lemons are much easier to zest. You can use a zester or fine grater for this. Do this just before using as the zest will lose moisture if it sits out too long.

Lemon curd recipe scaled down and barely adapted from Joy Of Baking