Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lemony Lime Extrovert

I have been kind of a stress case lately. Partly because I am so dramatic. I sign myself up for stuff and then panic because it's a lot to do. It's ridiculous, I know. Even worse, my panic manifests itself as verbally fretting to passersby. I have heard that there is a common misunderstanding of what an extrovert is. Most people think extroverts are just outgoing people, but extroverts can actually be fairly shy (though I, generally, am not). The point is that they get their energy from being around people while introverts get their energy from their alone time. So introverts can be really outgoing too. Not that you don't all probably know that. But I didn't realize another thing about extroverts is that they process thought verbally. I knew I did, but I didn't know it was typical of a lot of people, of all extroverts. They, or I should say we, don't sit and think well; we have to talk through things. I know, this is exhausting, even for us. One source put it concisely, "Extroverts tend to think as they speak, unlike introverts who are far more likely to think before they speak. Extroverts often think better when they are talking. Concepts just don't seem real to them unless they can talk about them; reflecting on them isn't enough." So there ya have it, that is why I am so blog-y and phone-y and all around chatty. I am just thinking out loud. I would say feel free to tune me out, but unfortunately, you are part of the process. Man, how do I have any friends? Anyway, I have tried to spare the blog world from being passersby, but if you have been in my wake the last week and gotten an ear full of barbecue suppers, visits from my sister, a four hour argument with my mom, or whatever else I have been hemming and hawing over, I do apologize. But honestly, it's just kind of me, so take it or leave it. Although honestly, I wish I could leave it. It is the one thing about me that I have been picked on for for as long as I can remember. It is frustrating to feel that I exhaust people by just being myself. Not that most people aren't very kind- kind, but weary. The more I think it about it, the more I think most of my friends are introverted. I could be wrong. Give me a shout out if you're an extrovert.

My, isn't this a strange and bittersweet post? Perhaps not enough sweet. That is why I have recipes! Delicious recipes. And two are deliciously sweet.

Lemon Daisy Cake
from Williams Sonoma. I actually have a daisy cake pan, but it is supposed to hold a standard 9x13.

For the cake:
2 c. all purpose flour
2T baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8T unsalted butter
1 1/2c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
4 eggs plus 2 yolks (Do y'all know to have your eggs at room temperature? Accomplish this quickly with refrigerated eggs by putting cold eggs in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes)
1c. buttermilk
For the glaze:
1/4 c. water
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/3 c. sugar
1T rum

-Grease and flour pan (A good release can be made with equal parts melted butter and flour-1T of each should be enough. Brush it on with a pastry brush. This is especially good in pans that have lots of nooks and crannies like the daisy pan). Preheat oven to 325.
-Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
-Beat butter on medium high until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla and lemon zest and continue to beat. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
-Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 additions.
-Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake 50 minutes (or until toothpick...)
-Transfer to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Release cake a brush glaze(made by whisking glaze ingredients until sugar dissolves) on warm cake. Let cake cool completely before serving.

Lime Squares With Pistachio Graham Cracker Crust
from Everyday Baking on PBS. I made these for the first time yesterday; they are scrumptious!

For the crust:
4T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 c. shelled pistachios
1 c. (4oz.- that's 8 whole graham crackers; I measured it) graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1T grated lime zest
For the filling:
2 large egg yolks
1 14oz. can sweetened, condensed milk
1/2c. fresh lime juice

-Preheat oven to 350. Brush an 8 inch square baking dish with butter, and line bottom with parchment, leaving a two inch overhang on two sides.
-Process nuts, crackers, sugar and zest in food processor until finely ground. Mix in butter. Press mixture into bottom of pan and bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
-Mix eggs and condensed milk together, then add juice and whisk until smooth. Pour filling over cooled crust. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan on rack . Chill at least one hour before lifting parchment out of pan, cutting, and serving.

Salmon with Herbs and Lemon Butter
from Dierbergs (It's a grocery store. I think they had this recipe in the sale flyer a few years back). I know you are thinking salmon is expensive. But this recipe is so delicious and quick, and the other ingredients are so inexpensive, that it is a bargain! Salmon is on special at Shnucks this week for $6.99 a pound, too.

1 1/2 lb. salmon fillet (You may have to adjust the recipe to fit your crowd. You do not need the whole 1/2 pound per person like they tell you because you have spinach and pasta in the dish too.)
2T butter
2T lemon juice
2T chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed (it is really better to use fresh if you have it on hand, but you need to use more of fresh)
1/4 tsp. salt
ground black pepper

-Rinse fillet and pat dry.
-Melt butter in saute pan over medium high heat, blend in herbs and lemon juice, saute fillet on both sides until done.
-Cover a serving dish with baby spinach. Place cooked angel hair pasta (I like that multi-grain Barilla kind in the yellow box) on top of spinach. Place cooked salmon on top of pasta. Drizzle herbs and butter from pan over salmon, and squeeze extra lemon juice if desired.

Okay, that is bad recipe writing, but I actually changed this to an indoor recipe from an outdoor recipe, and the directions are in my head. Originally it was a grilling recipe which read like this:
-Place salmon skin side down (and see, I always have them take the skin off at the fish counter) 4 and 1/2 inches over hot coals.
-Melt butter and mix in seasonings. Brush over salmon.
-Cook salmon, basting frequently, 10 minutes per 1 inch thickness.


Jessie said...

I'll take you like you are. And I am an extrovert - definitely an oral processor, so don't feel bad.

Abby said...

you are always taking me for who i am; it's a gift! so i guess i should take you off my list of people to explain myself to all the time (won't you be relieved?!)

Wrights said...

you don't wear me out. and you don't have to explain yourself to me either:) i also have to process through everything and talk through things until they are settled.

RHB said...

I'm an extrovert too- definitely get energy from being with people although I tend to wear myself out doing it too and then usually need a break to get refueled- thanks for the salmon recipe!

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