Lounging in Neutrals, my 500th Post


Zip cardigan by Lafayette148NY, pants from Caroline Rose, and tank by White House Black Market.

Smoked Salmon, Asparagus, and Lemon Ricotta Sauce

Love this recipe! It’s easy, delicious and it can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. Great as a summer salad , brunch, lunch or dinner!   Adapted from While the Pasta Cooks by Andrew Schloss.

Smoked Salmon, Asparagus, and Lemon Ricotta Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 pound curly pasta
  • 12 medium asparagus spears, trimmed and cit into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • finely grated lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  •  4 ounces sliced smoked Nova Scotia salmon, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts



  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. Stir a few times to assure it doesn’t stick.  Cook using the directions of the package. A few minutes before it’s tender, add the asparagus.
  2. While the pasta cooks, mix the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a serving bowl. Drain the pasta and asparagus, and toss them with the cheese mixture in the bowl. Mix in the smoked salmon, dill, and walnuts.


Sweet and Sour Pork

So easy and delicious! Adapted from Pei Mei’s Chinese Cook Book.

Sweet and Sour Pork

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 2 green peppers
  • 4 slices pineapple
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • oil for stir-fry, peanut or canola


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 egg yolk


  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons catsup
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil



  1. Using a sharp knife, slice the loin in halves. Pound the meat to tenderize, and cut into 1-inch squares. Soak with the marinate for at least 1/2 hour.
  2. Cut the green peppers and slices of pineapples  into 1-inch squares. Set aside.
  3.  Pour enough oil in the pan to cover the bottom, about an inch deep. Heat the oil on medium-high heat. While the oil is heating up, coat each piece in 1/2 cup of cornstarch. Place in the oil in batches and fry till browned. Set aside onto a plate and drain off the oil.
  4. Place 2 tablespoons of oil into pan and fry the peppers and pineapples, stirring constantly. Add the seasoning and continue to fry till thickened. Add the pork and heat through, for a few minutes. Serve over rice.




Chocolate Macaroon Nests — Constantly Cooking

A no-bake, festive treat! This fibre-rich, gluten-free confection almost qualifies as a healthy treat. I loved making macaroons (not to be confused with French macarons) as a little kid, particularly because I could execute this recipe independently, since the oven wasn’t needed. They’re sometimes called haystacks, but I’ve also heard them described as cowpies and […]

via Chocolate Macaroon Nests — Constantly Cooking

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

Chocolate therapy! This was quite easy and delicious. I didn’t have a 9 x 13 pan, as the recipe stated,  I used an 8 x 8 which increased the baking time to an hour.

It also makes a great dessert for the holidays!  Adapted from Make it Ahead by Ina Garten.


Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print




  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup hottest tap water
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half


Mocha Frosting

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper, then ease and flour.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, until batter is smooth.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In an another bowl whisk together the hot water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder until smooth. Add the half-and-half and whisk till smooth. With the mixture on low speed add the flour and chocolate mixer, alternate in thirds, starting and ending with flour.  Mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour into cake pan, smooth top and bake in oven for about 30 minutes.

Mocha Frosting 

  1. place the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder in a bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer and pour over the chocolate mixture. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the Khalua and vanilla.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Beat the frosting with a hand held electric mixer over high speed for no more than 15 to 20 seconds or it will curdle. Spread evenly over cake.


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