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Valentine Crazy

13 Feb

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I always loved Valentines Day and can’t help from going crazy.

If it can be formed into a heart I do it.

This year I made heart shaped meatball.

They weren’t balls they were  meatball mix that I cut with a heart cookie cutter.

I baked them and  put them in my tomato sauce.

My grandchildren loved them.

Then we made heart shaped individual pizzas.

Kids love to play in the kitchen and they did a great job,

The cookies were made with cherries so we had a red dessert.

Its amazing how everyone got excited about a simple dinner.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Angie’s Pasta

12 Dec

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Angie is my Mom and she could cook anything.

She got on a pasta kick for years and we made every kind of pasta you can think of.

She would call us and say we are making raviolis.

There were no excuses, we all had to show up.

Now I love, love , love to make pasta with my grandchildren.

Its cheaper than play-doh.

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups  all purpose flour but you can use wheat

4 tablespoons water

Put the flour and salt in the food processor and mix.

Add the eggs and pulse

Slowly add the water starting with two tablespoons and then adding more if needed.

Pulse till the dough turn into a ball and then knead in the machine for another minute or two.

It is such a smooth dough

You can let the dough rest for a while or refrigerate it for up to a week.

Put the processor away and take out your pasta machine.

My parents gave me mine when I got married and I love it.

Divide the dough into four pieces.

Sprinkle your board and the pasta machine with flour

Starting with the #1 thickness on your machine place the dough in the machine. Don’t worry because it is going to look lumpy.

Put it on your board and sprinkle with flour.

Fold the dough into thirds and roll.

Sprinkle with flour.

Roll at #1 again.

Sprinkle with flour

Turn to #2 thickness and roll again

You may have to cut the dough in half now just so it is easier to handle.

Turn to #4 and roll again

I like the thickness of #5

Then I put it threw the fettuccini cutter

Put it on a floured board or pasta hanging rack.

Fluff the pasta so it doesn’t stick together.

Cook in salted boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes

My grandchildren ate all of it just with oil, salt and some cheese for the one who could eat dairy.

Very fun activity

The thickness of the pasta is up to you but it does change the cooking time.

If it gets too thin just fold it up, roll it and start again.

 

 

 

The Bachelor Meal

7 Dec

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I did not cook this but my son did.

Hopefully he used serving plates but he put together a great meal.

Rib eye steaks grilled on his green egg at 700 degrees

Blue cheese salad

Crispy small potatoes baked in bacon fat and drizzled with balsamic dressing

Pasta with tomatoes, garlic and mozzarella

Apple crostata with vanilla ice cream

Brownies

Appetizers were cheese nachos, sausage calzones and tomato pizza.

Very impressive.

 

Mushrooms and Mushroom Ravioli

3 Nov

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Stop what you are doing.

Read this recipe.

Go out and buy the ingredients.

Start cooking.

Then be prepared for all the compliments.

This is too good and so easy.

It would be a $25 meal at least in any restaurant.

4 tablespoons butter. ONLY use butter

One large sliced onion

3 cloves diced garlic

2 pounds sliced mushrooms

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme maybe a little more. I love thyme. If you have fresh thyme use one four inch sprig.

Salt and black pepper

1/2 to 3/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2 or cream

2 dozen fresh mushroom ravioli

I found the ravioli in the produce department and they are delicious.

They were also on sale so that makes them even better.

Melt the butter in a large skillet

Add the onion and garlic.

Cook till they are soft.

Add all the mushrooms

Cook till they are soft

Add the thyme , cream, salt and pepper

Keep on a low heat.

Boil the ravioli

Do not overcook them. You want them still slightly firm because they will cook in the mushrooms.

If you overcook them they get too mushy.

Do not drain them.

Take your slotted spoon and take each cooked ravioli out with the spoon and place in the  skillet with the mushrooms.

Put some mushrooms over each ravioli as you put them in the skillet.

Serve with fresh thyme as garnish

I went all out and made veal cutlets with fried spinach and roasted vegetables.

If your sauce gets too dry, add some pasta water or cream to keep it loose.

This is a great easy meal.

 

Spicy Cauliflower and Tomato Pasta

25 Oct

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Cauliflower has been so inexpensive all year.

I have made it every way possible.

This is a recipe that I make when I need a quick meatless meal.

4 cups cooked cauliflower, cut into small bite size pieces.

Three tablespoons olive oil

One small diced onion

4 cloves diced garlic

One 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes

8 basil leaves

One cup parmesan cheese plus more for garnish

One cup cream

3 tablespoons capers with the brine

1/2 to one teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes depending on how spicy you want it.

One tablespoon butter

Cook the cauliflower and put it on the side.

Put the olive oil in a large skillet.

Add the onions and cook till soft.

Add the garlic and cook for three to four minutes.

Add all the tomatoes with the juice.

Bring to a boil and reduce the tomato juices slightly.

This takes about 8 minutes.

Add the basil, cream, cheese, pepper and capers and bring to a simmer.

Add the cauliflower and heat for another ten minutes.

Add the tablespoon of butter

Bring your pasta to a boil and drain then pour into the cauliflower.

I also made spiral butternut squash instead of the pasta and it was really good. See below:

Sprinkle liberally with extra good grated cheese.

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Pesto Pasta and Peas

7 Aug

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This is the time to harvest your basil.

What a treat.

I love pesto and I don’t even measure anymore when I make it but this is a good approximation.

4 cups washed basil you can even use the tender stems

4 cups Italian parsley use the tender stems too

2 cups baby arugula

8 to10 cloves garlic depending on their size

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil

3/4 cup good olive oil

1 cup parmesan cheese

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Juice of one small lemon or 1/2 large lemon

This takes two minutes in the food processor.

Put the garlic and salt in the processor bowl and process till it is almost smooth

Add the basil, arugula, lemon juice and parsley

Process three or four spins

Add all the oil and process till it is incorporated.

Maybe six to eight spins

Add the cheese and pepper

Taste to see if you need more salt.

Process just so the cheese is blended.

This makes about 30 ounces maybe more.

Cook two pounds of pasta.

Use whatever shape you have.

1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen peas. Cook in the microwave till they are hot.

Take 1 1/2 cups of the pesto and mix it with the cooked pasta

Add the peas

Spoon extra pesto on top

Serve with extra cheese.

Use the zest of the lemon for garnish.

This is worth breaking my carb free diet.

 

 

Scallion Pancakes

10 Jul

I have always loved scallion pancakes but never made them.

Last week I made them twice.

Don’t get excited. They are easy but time consuming.

Plus I had to make a double batch and could have used a triple batch.

This is a recipe for a single batch which make six pancakes.

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup boiling water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sesame seed oil for painting and more for frying

2 cups diced green scallions

Canola oil for frying

Take out your food processor

Add the flour, salt and boiling water

Pulse till the dough forms a ball

If too wet add more flour

Take the ball out of the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap

Refrigerate till cool

Cut into 6 equal pieces

I use my pasta machine to get the dough thin

Start with #1 and progress to #3

You should have a 8 to 9 inch piece of dough

Paint with a thin layer of sesame oil and fold in half

Repeat this 2 times

After that paint with the sesame oil again and add 1/6 of the scallions

Now this is a little different

Take one end of the pancake and roll it so it looks like a finger then roll the dough around like a cinnamon bun.

Flatten with your hand and using your rollin pin, roll till it is about 6 inches in diameter

Repeat with the remaining dough

Heat a skillet with three tablespoons canola oil and one teaspoon sesame oil

When the oil is hot add the pancake and cook till it is brown on one side then flip over for another minute

Drain on a paper towel

Continue cooking the rest of the pancakes

Put the pancakes on a moist paper towel and microwave for 12 to 20 seconds to heat them up

I used them to make gyro

I grilled lamb and shredded it

Smeared tsatziki sauce on the pancake, placed a good handful of meat, one grape leaf and a ton of lemon salad with feta cheese.

OMG I will make this over and over again.