kitchen workhorse: volume one

I would not call myself “a cook”.

I consider myself more of an “adapter out of necessity”.

The handsome A mentioned to me a few weeks ago how he was worried about starvation when we decided to move in together.

He deftly avoids the kitchen and I have had myths flung far and wide about my adventures with chicken breast and bacon, microwaves and grease fires.

So we thought it would be a bit of an adventure.

However, since A mysteriously disappeared (especially mysterious since we live in a studio apartment and the only hiding place would be dangling from the windowsill) each time cooking duties were to be divvied up, I found myself standing in front of a frying pan … bewildered.

I have come a long way in my culinary talents, albeit humble.  And I have discovered a few ingredients that are always on hand when something seems to be missing–including lemon juice!

Apart from tossing a bit on top of tuna, mixed with noodles and adding it to a simple french onion dip–there are a few more complex recipes (as complex as I get) that also benefit from this lovely ingredient.

FRUIT PIZZA

GATHER …

1 tube of crescent rolls

half a pkg of cream cheese

bottle of lemon juice to splash

tablespoon-ish of any type of  jam/jelly/preserves  (I used peach jelly)

variety of fruit

bowl, fork, knife, cutting board, 9×13 baking pan

GO FORTH!

1. Unroll and smoosh the crescent rolls in the bottom of a baking pan, with an oven preheated to 350 degrees.  No need to grease it, since the rolls are buttery enough.  Allow to cook for 15 mins or so–until you can smell it!

2. While the “crust” is baking, mix cream cheese, lemon juice and jam, etc. for the sauce.  Some fancy Rockefellers may have a mixer, but I used a fork–which, after a bit of hefty maneuvering, worked out fine.   I believe most fruit pizza uses primarily cream cheese, but by incorporating different flavors in there, it makes it more interesting and also not so fatty–or so says an article from the Sunday paper.  Mine was plenty fatty, of course, but I tried.

3. Slice up whatever fruit you have and toss on top of the sauce, which is happily nestled on a cooling crust.  We used strawberries.

4. EAT.  Best when still warm, but still delicious as leftovers.

LEMONADE

Borrowed from my lovely pal and her mother–read more about them here!  This is seriously easy and probably ridiculously straightforward, but I have been making it this way since I was teeny and it documents my first love affair with the juice.

GATHER …

one cup lemon juice

one cup sugar

2 qt water (or whatever a standard pitcher is)

GO FORTH!

Mix everything together.  Rustle up a nasty, humid day and drink … LOTS.  I am rabid about sugar, so I add a little more sugar than lemon–but if you are more sour than sweet, adjust accordingly.

APPLE CARROT SALAD

Adapted from mom’s recipe–out of ignorance and laziness.

GATHER …

2-3 apples

2-3 carrots

1/4 C sour cream

splash ‘o lemon juice

1. Dice apples.

2. Shred carrots.  (You are more than welcome to adjust the portions.  I just used this for little ‘ol us, so if you need more–go nuts.)

3. Toss both into a bowl with about a 1/4 cup of sour cream.  (I have become my mother and do not measure anything.)  Basically the apples and carrots should toss about merrily in their creamy bath and without too much obstruction–then you have enough.

4. Add a splash of lemon juice–enough that it has a tang.

I love this salad because it is so fresh and summery.  It makes carrots not so boring, is colorful and bright, and as an added perk–the lemon juice keeps the apples from browning!  We had this salad with pork chops and creamy potatoes one night and it was a wonderful way to cut the heaviness of the rest of the meal.

Enjoy!

(And as since this is the first time I have ever tried to post about recipes, please let me know if they succeeded/failed/am missing something in my directions/ am simply crazy.)

-c

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