Olive Oil Ricotta Cake – The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (December)
Per her notes on this recipe, I split the cake into two layers and filled it with some of the Blue Apple Jam. I made two, and they were both a hit and quite easy to pull together. The cake itself wasn’t super sweet, and could easily be served without any topping or filling.
Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake – The Joy the Baker Cookbook (December)
This is a single-serve chocolate lava cake that you bake in a ramekin. It was delicious and really hit the spot the night I made it, right before Christmas. Very easy to pull together and if you keep your pantry stocked for baking, you have everything you need on hand. I melted the chocolate in the microwave (zap it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it’s all melted), in the same small bowl I used to mix the rest of it up. No need to create more dishes!
Single Lady Pancakes (January)
Another one from the Joy the Baker cookbook – just enough batter to make up one big pancake or two normal sized ones, which is pretty perfect when you’re cooking for one. She bulks it up a little with oatmeal, which worked well. However, my inability to cook pancakes struck again as somehow one side was burned, and they also turned out kind of gummy. But, the flavor profile was good so there’s that!
Whole Lemon Bars (January)
And back to the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I have a good lemon bar recipe from my Mom, but I was intrigued by this recipe that uses the entire lemon. Everything is prepared in a food processer and it didn’t take long to come together at all. They were quite good and a friend who tried one commented that they have a deeper lemon flavor, probably from the rind being included. Personally, I think that they’re a winner just for sheer ease of preparation.
Corn Muffins (February)
From my Betty Crocker – this calls for buttermilk, which I think gave them a nice tang. I made them in a variety of sizes (from toddler up to giant) for my housewarming, intending to freeze the leftovers. Alas I didn’t get them into the fridge quickly enough and they went bad. But, this is a good recipe and they turn out pretty well.
Create-Your-Own Stir -Fry with Orange-Sesame Sauce (February)
This is from The Best 30-Minute Recipe (yes, singular). I didn’t do the greatest job throwing this together – the brocooli and chicken both got overcooked – but it wasn’t bad. I don’t think I’ll make that sauce again, but I will follow the guidelines for the stir fry itself. I just didn’t get everything prepped before I started, which I think was part of the problem.