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Cooking corner: Spring recipes bring fruity, fresh flavors

Cooking corner: Spring recipes bring fruity, fresh flavors
Apricot pastry
Apricot pastry

As an avid baker since quarantine, I鈥檝e made lemon bars, chocolate crinkle cookies, cream puffs and more. I chose an apricot pastry recipe for this spring season because apricots start ripening in the spring and through the summer. This was my first time working with a butter dough, however, so I was a bit worried about the results.

Although the list of ingredients called for puff pastry, I substituted it with Pillsbury鈥檚 Grands! Flaky Layers Original Biscuits. I was also supposed to use demerara sugar 鈥 larger sugar crystals with a brown shade from molasses 鈥 for decoration, but since few of us, including me, have it in our pantries, I omitted it.

I realized that it鈥檚 important to drain and pat down the canned apricots with a kitchen towel to prevent the extra moisture from making the pastry soggy. Shaping the dough was tricky, so I kept my dough flat and traced a square with my knife, half an inch from the edge, keeping two corners diagonal from each other still intact with the rest of the dough. I made the squares big enough to fit the apricots, and I was generous with the cream-cheese mixture, since the cream wouldn鈥檛 have been as noticeable after baking. For the egg wash, it鈥檚 okay to use your fingers or a spatula if you don鈥檛 have a brush 鈥 its purpose is to give the top a golden-brown color after baking.

While the pastries were in the oven, I washed the dishes and cleaned my cooking area to save time. I heated the jam just before the pastries were ready so that it didn鈥檛 cool and harden.

To plate, I sprinkled the pastries with powdered sugar and served them warm. Overall, they were only in the oven for about 10 minutes, and my family was satisfied with the final product. This apricot pastry is a simple but beautiful dessert 鈥 perfect for a spring picnic.

Asparagus pasta
Asparagus pasta

Although this was my first time cooking something besides scrambled eggs, I decided to challenge myself and cook a meal for my family. I chose to cook pasta with asparagus and lemon because the recipe seemed simple and asparagus鈥 peak season is in April and May.

To be honest, I ignored the stated measurements for the asparagus, opting to measure with my heart. I went with two asparagus per person and drizzled enough olive oil to coat them. To cook the asparagus, I cut off the tough root ends before halving the remaining spears. Since I didn鈥檛 have a grater to zest the lemon, I cut the outer layer of the lemon peel and diced it. After juicing the lemon and adding salt and pepper to balance out the flavors, I added two extra garlic cloves to the oil mixture to get the flavors out.

For the pasta, I also ended up going with my own measurements, measuring roughly one serving of pasta by making a circle with the tip of my index finger touching the base of my thumb. Because I was worried about over- or undercooking the pasta, I stirred it every minute or two to check its readiness.

Finally, for the plating, I portioned the pasta onto plates and added shaved parmesan cheese, panko and basil.

Overall, the pasta was fairly simple to make and active cooking time was around 15 minutes. My family commented that the parmesan-cheese garnish was key. This pasta recipe is perfect for a spring lunch or dinner because the asparagus鈥 and lemon鈥檚 bright tastes keep the dish fresh and light.

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Yueun Hong
Yueun Hong, Sports Editor
Sophomore Yueun Hong is an online editor for 麻豆放映免费 and has been on staff since January 2023. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and playing the piano.
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