Barbara started her online life 18 years ago when she began professionally developing websites. The first website she made for herself was in 1995 and was a place to feature her best recipes for family and friends. In the last few years she segued to a food blog, Creative Culinary, with the motto 'Eat, Drink, Repeat'. She prepares new recipes, photographs them and talks a bit about the store to table experience.
Barbara's specialty cocktails are making news on her ‘Happy Hour Friday’ column, where she occasionally pairs them with appetizers. Barbara is a mom to her grown daughters, Emily and Lauren, and precious dog named Abbie. She loves to create, cook, garden, decorate and read websites that inspire her each day. Barbara says she enjoys good wine and great cocktails, and when the weather is warm, nothing makes her happier than entertaining friends in her garden and feeding them barbecue and smoked favorites, along with a current favorite libation.
When I asked Barbara what's cooking this weekend, she said 'Oh boy, I've got a busy weekend planned. I'm making a Maple Bourbon and Balsamic Caramel Sauce; some Maple Bourbon Chocolate Chip cookies (I spy a trend and it wasn't even planned!); a Gluten Free dish for a friend using spaghetti squash instead of pasta; a barbecue sauce using Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey; an apple and walnut brie appetizer; and last but not least, developing a cookie recipe to serve with a bottle of Port! I guess the name booze queen is warranted after all huh?' she laughed.
'You know I do love to integrate dishes with liqueurs and spirits; they add a nice subtle touch that is often not recognizable as booze but just some added something that makes dishes richer and warmer. Cheers! Beyond that I've always loved to make desserts the most; something that not only tastes wonderful but looks beautiful as well,' she added.
'I love how working in the world of blogging can offer so many rewards never imagined when all you thought you wanted to do was keep a diary of recipes online. First and foremost is the acquaintances I've made all over the world. I now have friends beyond the reaches of North America who live in England, France, Switzerland, India and Australia. I've always been the kind that thinks of bringing food to friends when they are not feeling well; now I can do that in a different way from across the pond. Thanks for asking Lizzy... I am really so very happy I could help even in this small way! [Lizzy says: Not at all, Barbara, thank YOU!].
This dish is not a restaurant recipe or a long held family tradition. Nope; it came about much differently. I'm staying with a friend who finds a lot of recipes she wants to make but many end up in a pile of 'wants' that never happen. Karen had originally planned to make this herself to take to her parents for a get together but those plans went awry with some family conflicts so I offered to make the dish for her. That was a win win; she had a chance to regroup and I was introduced to something new that I really, really loved!
LEMON RICOTTA BASIL PASTA
8 oz/225g uncooked pasta
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of cooking liquid. Combine ricotta and next five ingredients (through pepper) and reserved cooking liquid in a large bowl. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Garnish with lemon wedges if desired and serve immediately. Serves 6-8.
I love this recipe, Barbara, it's fresh and delicious.... and perfect timing, as basil is just starting to flourish in the early warmth of our Australian springtime. Thanks ever so much for your kindness and generosity in sharing a post, especially given that you are in between homes right now. This has given me the opportunity to take a break this weekend. You're the best!
Note: all images in this post appear kind courtesy of Barbara Kiebel and are copyright Barbara Kiebel and Creative Culinary.