Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sicilian Inspiration: Pesto Chicken Florentine & Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Pesto Chicken Florentine

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Those who know me probably would not associate me with cooking. It's not necessarily because I am bad at it, it is just because I have always enjoyed baking much more. As a result, I've honed my baking skills much more than my cooking skills, but we all know there's no dessert without the main meal (except in certain cases when dessert IS the main meal, which happens to be my favorite). So, lately, I've been trying to develop my cooking skills in hopes of becoming a great baker AND chef! 

Earlier this week I decided to create a meal for my family inspired by all of the great food I experienced on my trip to Sicily this past March. Sicily is known for their delicious tomatoes, lemons and ricotta cheese, among other things! So, with this in mind, I decided to make a pasta dish, Pesto Chicken Florentine, and Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze for dessert.

I based the pasta dish on a recipe I found on For a healthier kick, I used whole grain pasta and light alfredo sauce. I also decided to add diced tomatoes for an extra level of flavor which was well received by my taste-testers! I served the dish with fresh french bread and let's just say there weren't many leftovers! 

Dessert was a total hit, as well! I used a Giada De Laurentiis recipe from the Food Network to make the lemon ricotta cookies, which basically disappeared within hours after setting them out for my family to enjoy! These cookies are truly lemony delicious. The ricotta creates a very moist, nearly cake-like cookie that could be enjoyed at any time of day! The glaze adds the perfect finishing touch. I am definitely considering these one of my new favorite cookies, especially since they are inspired by the famous fruit of one of my favorite destinations: the legendary lemons of the beautiful Italian island of Sicily!

I encourage you to try out either of these recipes and let me know how it goes! Happy Cooking & Baking!

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