creamy dill dressing

These past few days I think I've had more salads with my meals than since I went through that salad-for-everything phase in grade school. There are a couple of reasons for this- one is the ridiculously large (yet cheap!) tub of salad mix I found at Costco. But really I've gotten that before and all the good intentions of eating it could not make me pull the container from the back of the fridge. So the real reason must be this creamy dill dressing recipe I found. I'll gladly eat anything if you put mayo on it.

Creamy Dill Dressing
via cooks illustrated, kinda

1/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. plain yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced (I ran out of garlic and used garlic powder, which tasted fine)

1 T. fresh dill (I only had dried dill weed, which I just added to taste)

Mix. Yum.


lemon risotto

Sure, there really is no reason for me to have a Costco membership. I mean, yeah the samples are nice and I do enjoy the novelty of seeing a freezer completely devoted to waffles, but come on, I live alone. I do not need 36 toaster pastries and yet, I just love a bargain! I can't pass them up! Which is why I now have a 5lb bag of lemons and a case of broth. Necessary? Maybe not. But under what other circumstance would I be searching the internet for savory lemon recipes, find this one for lemon risotto, and then realize I have all the ingredients already? I didn't really see it coming, but this recipe got a 'this is so awesome' fist pump after I tried it. Super good.

Now if anyone has a recipe that uses up a lot of pears, let me know.

Lemon Risotto

Bon Appétit | May 2002

6 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large shallots, chopped (I used one yellow onion)
2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Bring broth to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover to keep warm. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.


cheese straws

Last night I had some people over for a game night. I haven't been very social lately, so I got excited about it. I went to K Mart and got a new board game (Apples to Apples) and then headed over to the grocery store for some cheese straw and pizza dip fixins.

I'd already had the pizza dip a few years ago when Sarah had visited and she made it for a party. Just thinking about it made me drool, so I figured it was a good time to make it again. And it was again awesome. There are no pictures of this, as it was quickly eaten.

The cheese straws were also awesome. They tasted like a spicy Cheez-It. I'd had this recipe in my 'Things To Make' favorites folder for a while now and am so happy to have finally tried them.

Cheese Straws
from Smitten Kitchen, Adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon half-and-half

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each 1/4- to 1/3-inch wide. Gently transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/4-inch between them. The dough may sag or may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned — just do your best. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.

4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

5. Serve at room temperature.