Nothing says “ghost weekend” to me more than curling up with several good recipes and seeing which ones stick. This weekend was my attempt to use up the more uncommon items in my fridge. First up was the Fontina cheese I used for my pizza. I scoured myrecipes.com looking for something that I could make with minimal ingredients other than the fontina, since I already had a big weekend planned for other dishes and other ingredients. I found this Onion and Fontina Beer Bread and immediately started making my grocery list. Turns out it sounded delicious and familiar because my mom has made it before. Great minds think alike! It was really quick and easy (in fact, the bulk of my time spent making it was spent on the phone) and it turned out great. I made mine with Blue Moon’s seasonal Pumpkin Ale. It added a nice sweetness to the bread. The outer parts had a nice crunch and the inside was moist and studded with onions throughout. Success.
Naturally because the recipe introduction says it goes great with stews, I made a stew to go along with it. Mom’s beef stew to be exact. It’s one of the many recipes that signifies home to me. I had never made a stew before (I hate chopping things- don’t write me off as a foodie though), and as I’ve always heard, once I got done with the dreaded chopping, it was pretty much hands off. The hardest part was waiting 2+ hours to eat it. Sucess Numero Deux.
Recipe number three was an attempt to use up the remainder of the ricotta cheese from my pizza adventures. I wanted to find an out-of-the-ordinary use for ricotta- that means no Italian. I settled on this recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples from Gourmet. I woke up on Saturday morning and went to work, and darn it if this recipe was not fussy. The apples turned out well ( I would have added more cinnamon though, but what can I say? I’m a junkie), but the pancakes were a failure. I had hoped that they would be fabulous after all the work I put into them (beating egg whites for pancakes? really?), but they were just… not. The lemon was way too subtle, and they tasted mostly like ricotta. They also had the texture of ricotta, which can only be described as wet. I was hoping that the ricotta would act to make the pancakes moist and fluffy- and they did- but not in a good way. I’m saving the rest of the apples to snack on throughout the week, but after making a stack or so of cakes, I threw the remainder of the batter out. Waste of time. Oh, and after all that I was ultimately still hungry. Talk about a fail.