Yes, 2021 was another Covid year along with its different Variants. According to some of the news reports, vast numbers of the population self-isolated themselves in their own bubble of family and friends, discovering board games, puzzles, online shopping, Tik-Tok, Instagram and for me, food.
I discovered a world of food sites and made some new friends. One of my favourite sites is by Bernadette Laganella, or simply, my friend Bernadette who writes her “New Classic Recipe” blog. Bernadette’s numerous friends contribute family stories behind the cherished recipes. Bernadette herself, contributes her own stories and family faves. I love her “Mom’s Apple Cake” and her pasta dish, “Pasta e Ceci Alla Romano”. This is a worthy site to keep: New Classic Recipes can be found at: https://newclassicrecipe.com
Another delicious site is from Chef Ronit Penso’s kitchen and is called “Tasty Eats.” Chef Ronsit’s “Pan Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce” caught my eye as I was checking out possible duck breasts recipes for Christmas or New Year’s dinner. Recipes for entrees as well as baked goods and desserts are varied and from all over the world. The directions are easy to follow and the ingredients are normally found on your kitchen shelf or at the supermarket. Chef Ronsit Penso’s site, “Tasty Eats” is found at https://ronitpenso.wordpress.com.
Having time to peruse recipes for entrees and baked goods online, I discovered a regular “treasure trove” of edibles, nibbles and treats. One of my surprising successes is a recipe for “Dropped Lemon Blueberry Scones.” Trust me when I say, this was a total time-saver as there was no kneading, rolling or cutting out involved. Just drop by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I used lots of fresh blueberries, but frozen berries work equally well. Try these easy-to-put-together scones. It can be adapted for both gluten-free diets as well as diary-free diets. Just don’t forget the baking powder as I did one time. The scones were still delicious, as my guests politely assured me, but the scones were flatter than a pancake. My neighbour laughingly assured me he loves pancakes The link that will get you to these amazing scones is: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/lemon-blueberry-drop-scones?_cmp=stf
In case I mistyped the link, use your search engine and type in taste of home dropped lemon blueberry scones and the recipe will pop out.
If you’re a chocolate fan and I definitely am, this is another recipe I lucked into, probably because the words “cherry” “chocolate” and “chunk” all appeared on the same line. I have to warn you that these are very addictive as I also threw in a cup of mini-dark chocolate chips along with the baking cocoa powder and the dark chocolate chunks. Um-mm, don’t forget the dried tart cherries but if you do forget, the cookies won’t miss them with its abundance of you-know-what. This tasty morsel is found at: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cherry-chocolate-chunk-cookies?_cmp=stf And, if this doesn’t get you there, use your search engine and type in taste of home cherry chocolate chunk cookies and that will get you to your chocoholic fix asap.
Chocolate brownies were also part of my self-isolation with Hubby. If I didn’t include this recipe in my earlier brownie blog, then I apologize with my mouth stuffed with the fudgiest dark chocolate brownie in 2021. Here is the delicious link to that recipe: https://www.tasty.co/recipe/the-best-fudgy-brownies
With New Year fast approaching, this last recipe is a very savory nibble to have on hand to ring in 2022. It’s cheesy and hot with the additional taste of lemon. If you like peppery, this recipe will grab your taste buds back for more. The recipe below is from my go-to Christmas baking book by Maria Robbins titled “Baking for Christmas,” and copied verbatim.
I wish all of you a truly Happy, Healthy 2022. No matter what, we do have to eat. I hope you enjoy looking into my favourite foodie blogs as well as trying a few “goodies. Happy Eating!
Lemon Parmesan Crisps: 1-1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese (approx. 1/4 lb) 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or more according to personal taste 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter 1 tablespoon water and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice Place the grated Parmesan, cold butter, flour , lemon zest, black pepper and cayenne in a large bowl—either a food processor with a steel blade so it can be pulsed on and off to combine OR with a blending knife. Whatever is used, cut or pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle on the water and lemon juice and mix until it just forms a dough. Remove to a floured surface and knead briefly until the dough holds together. Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a log about 11 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Wrap log tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm enough to slice. NB: the dough will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days or for a month in the freezer before slicing and baking. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the log into 1/4 inch slices and arrange them 1-inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes or until they are golden around the edges. Use a metal spatula to move the cheese crisps to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up tom 2 weeks. (We’ve never had to store these crisps for 2 weeks–it gets eaten immediately!)