Happy New Year’s Eve!… 2nd December Recipe test with Anna!


The very last recipe test of the year! It was  a really pretty snow day and a great time to reflect on the past year, wrap up my manifesto for next year, and to look forward to new experiences in 2013.

I chose to make penne with ‘The best spaghetti sauce you’ll ever have”, Grilled chicken with roasted tomato and oregano salsa, and Lemon Raspberry cake for dessert!

The cast of characters for the Lemon Raspberry cake:


Anna grating the lemon:


The mixture for the lemon filling:

IMG_2202 IMG_2204 IMG_2205

The raspberry sauce for the cake:

IMG_2208 IMG_2210

Putting the filling in the loaf pan:

IMG_2212    IMG_2219 IMG_2221

The cast of characters for the sauce:


3 burners at once!:


The cast of characters for the chicken:


Spices for the marinade:


Veggies for the salsa:



IMG_2225 IMG_2227

Opening the champagne bottle for new years! This was  a new experience!

IMG_2229 IMG_2231 IMG_2232 IMG_2233

The dinner was SO GOOD!!


Feeling festive!

IMG_2238 IMG_2239

Fun evening of board games and champagne- and waiting for the new year’s when we’ll have boyfriends/husbands- but in the meantime girl’s night is awesome!


The Best Pasta-with-Tomato-Sauce You’ll Ever Have
By Luisa from The Wednesday Chef
(Photos by Laura Ratliff)

This simple bowl of pasta is over-the-top amazing and so easy to boot. All you do is make a plain tomato sauce (empty a can of good-quality plum or cherry tomatoes into a pot, add two cloves of garlic, a sprinkle of salt to taste and a few spoonfuls of good-quality olive oil; and bring the tomatoes to a simmer before letting the sauce cook over medium-low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, adding some fresh basil at the end) and boil up a bunch of penne or rigatoni in salted water until they’re al dente. Then, in a serving bowl, combine the drained pasta with the tomato sauce–but, before mixing it all together, add a big dollop of fresh ricotta (calculate a scant 1/4 cup per person). If you’re lucky enough to find ricotta imported from Italy, use that: it’s worth it. Working quickly, mix the cheese, sauce and pasta together until you have a pink sauce that’s fragrant and creamy and delicious, then serve IMMEDIATELY (passing grated Parmigiano at the table). Your guests will be floored.

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Tomato and Oregano Salsa


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)


  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, cored, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray


Combine first 8 ingredients in a plastic bag. Add chicken; marinate at least 30 minutes. Heat oven to 400°F. Cover a baking tray with foil. To make salsa, spread tomatoes on tray; drizzle with oil. Add salt and pepper. Bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Combine tomatoes, shallots, onion, jalapeño, garlic and oregano in a bowl. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, flip chicken and add leftover marinade to pan. Cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Cover chicken; cook 10 minutes. Divide among 4 plates; top each with 1/4 of the salsa. Serve immediately.

Lemon Raspberry Cake

YIELD: Makes one loaf.


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
juice of 1 large lemon
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons framboise liqueur* (raspberry liqueur)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup sugar (for sauce)


Preheat the oven 350°F. Butter and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk and combine the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Mix the buttermilk mixture with the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the vegetable oil until evenly incorporated. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Allow batter to rest.

In a blender, blend the lemon juice, raspberries, framboise liqueur, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Take one ounce of the raspberry mixture, straining if desired, and drizzle lightly on top of the cake batter. Use a toothpick to swirl into the batter.

Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Strain the remaining raspberry mixture into a sauce pan. Add 1/3 cup sugar, and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool and set aside.

When the cake is done, let it cool on a wire rack. Serve the slices with the ruby raspberry sauce. Enjoy!

*Optional. If you do not have any raspberry liqueur, substitute with water.



One response to “Happy New Year’s Eve!… 2nd December Recipe test with Anna!

  1. Pingback: 2012 Manifesto End of Year Wrap up! | thegreentreeischirping

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s