25 November 2008

Road to redemption.

Cooking a big dinner and baking dessert has become somewhat of a Sunday tradition. After a few missteps, I took a week's hiatus, finally getting my nerve back this Sunday. First item of business, remake those damn muffins -- WITH sugar.

Heidi approved.

Luckily I had more than enough pumpkin pulp left over, so it was minimal work to throw these guys together. And guess what? They are very tasty (and yes, that empty space in the muffin tin IS from Heidi. The little sneak!!!).

For dinner, Brad said "something lasagnay!," so I flipped through my binder and decided on lasagna-style baked ziti. Luckily my recipe didn't have the nutritional information on it (it does on the web link) or I never would have even attempted it -- ha! BUT... I knew it wasn't great, so I made a few adjustments: 3/4 lb meat instead of a pound, lite ricotta, and I only used 2/3 of the ricotta called for. I made it in a 9 x 13 pan (I only have two larger ramekins), and even though it says four servings, we've gotten nearly double that (also good for that insane caloric count!). It was super satisfying, filling, and extra yummy. The perfect Sunday dinner.

For dessert, I decided to make the lemon-lime squares I saw a few weeks ago on Bread and Honey (a super cool food blog Lisa Z. turned me on to). I woke up Sunday morning with a bug up my butt to hit the Treasure Mart for some retro bakeware -- it didn't seem right to make these cute squares in anything less. Alas, TM is closed on Sunday, so boring old bakeware had to suffice.

Again, after the tart incident (I know I haven't fully disclosed, but trust me, it was a disaster) and the muffin disaster, I'm a little gun shy. First, the crust. Here I followed the recipe exactly, even using, gulp, that whole stick of butter.

Out of the oven, and so far so good! Next up, the filling. Here I did deviate a little, using just two eggs and substituting applesauce for the other two. While mixing, I started to worry -- perhaps you just can't do that substitution for "tarty" desserts... maybe that was the problem with my tart... But it was too late, and it was time to go in the oven. Looks right, right?

And it was! The custard set just fine... I was so relieved.

It turned out! It turned out! I felt on top of the world! :) Some powdered sugar and a little coconut later, it was dessert time.

Lemon limey! A full belly later, I felt ready to tackle Thanksgiving dinner again...without the fear that I'd screw everything up.

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