Monday, May 16, 2011

Spaghetti with roasted zucchini

This recipe is pretty straight-forward and very basic. I particularly liked it because of the fresh twist it put on spaghetti. My son was quite disappointed though, when I told him we were having spaghetti but there were no meatballs in sight. I, however, felt like this was a fresh take on a traditional dish and felt like I was eating just a little healthier tonight.
Spaghetti with Roasted Zucchini
From Woman's Day Magazine

12 oz whole-wheat spaghetti
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2-in.-thick slices fresh bread, torn into 1-in. pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
4 small zucchini (about 1 lb total), sliced 1/4 in. thick
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Kosher Salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 oz)
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest

1) Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with 1 Tbsp of the oil.

2) Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the bread and garlic until the bread forms coarse crumbs and the garlic is chopped.

3) In a large bowl, toss the zucchini, red pepper, remaining 2 Tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Add the Parmesan and bread crumb mixture and toss to combine. Spread the zucchini mixture on 2 rimmed baking sheets and roast until the squash is tender and golden brown, 10-12 minutes.

4) Toss the pasta with the zucchini mixture, parsley, and lemon zest.

Diana's Notes:
•I halved the recipe & we still have leftovers.
•I used a mixture of zucchini and yellow squash.
•I prepped my vegetables before hand. They roasted at the same time the spaghetti was cooking finishing at the same time, making my life a little bit easier.
•This would be a fantastic dish to add mushrooms or diced tomatoes.
•Unless you really like lemony pasta, don't go overboard on the zesting of the lemon.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I have never considered myself a lemon fan. Typically when there are other options available, (like chocolate), I always go with the 'other option'. However, Layla blogged about Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes a while back, I showed them to Richard, and he requested them.

I finally got around to making granting his wish, on Mother's Day no less and let me tell you-the buttercream frosting on these babies are delicious! The basic buttercream recipe will be one I use over and over in my future baking.

And the lemon cupcakes? I actually really liked them. But next time I will be sure to zest even more lemon into it. I craved more lemon!
Below is the recipe as I made it.

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes or 30 mini-cups


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup oil
1 cup full fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice


2-4 fresh strawberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice (approximately 1 large lemon)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


*Preheat oven to 350 F.

*In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add sugar and brown sugar and mix. Whisk together oil, coconut milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until relatively smooth. Fill cupcake liners (should be just under 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 20-25 minutes (15 minutes for mini-cups) or until golden, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely

*To make frosting, first wash and hull strawberries and toss them into a food processor. Puree strawberries and set aside.

*Add sugar and egg whites into a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.

*Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.

*Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.

*Once the buttercream is thick and smooth, gradually beat in the lemon juice on medium speed, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla. By this point you should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. You can stop at this point if you want to stick with lemon buttercream. For strawberry buttercream, gradually add in strawberry puree, beating on medium speed until well incorporated.

Let me know what you think!