Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage Butter

Generous 2 3/4 c. type "00" pasta flour or all-purpose flour
4 eggs, beaten
semolina, for dusting

Rolled out pasta
1 lb. sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. honey
salt and pepper

Sage Butter:
4 Tbsp. butter
1 bunch fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

To make the pasta, sift the flour into a large bowl or food processor. Add the eggs and bring the mixture together or process to make a soft but not sticky dough (I had to add about a tsp. of water just to make the dough stick together). Turn out onto a counter lightly dusted with semolina, and knead for 4-5 minutes, or until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Raviolis before boiling
For the filling, peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Cook in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, or until softened but not colored (at this point, I added the minced garlic and a dash or two of thyme, and cooked for another minute). Stir the onion into the mashed potatoes, and add the garlic and thyme (unless you've already added them!). Drizzle with the honey and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Using a pasta machine or rolling pin, roll the pasta out to a thickness of about 1/32 inch (this takes forever and is really really hard! And I rolled out a little at a time). Cut the pasta in half. Place teaspoonfuls of the filling at evenly spaced intervals across one half of the pasta. Brush around the filling with a little water and cover with the second half of the pasta. Press lightly around the filling to seal the pasta, and cut into squares with a sharp knife or pastry wheel. Lay the ravioli out on a sheet of wax paper that has been lightly dusted with semolina.

Sage butter
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and drop in the ravioli. Cook for 2-3 minutes (I cooked mine longer because my pasta was a little thicker than what it was supposed to be), until the pasta rises to the surface and is tender but still firm to the bite.

Meanwhile, for the sage butter, melt the butter with the sage in a small saucepan over low heat.

Drain the ravioli and toss with the sage butter. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Cooking School Italian

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken in the Crock Pot

2 lbs. chicken (I used white and dark meat), diced
16 oz. can chopped pineapple with juice
1/2 c. teriyaki sauce (see recipe below)
1/2 c. water
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
6 small colored bell peppers, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Black pepper (lots)
Sesame seeds

Teriyaki Sauce (1/2 c.):
1/8 c. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 2/3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 - 2/3 Tbsp. honey
Capful of white vinegar
2/3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 c. cold water

To make the teriyaki chicken: Mix all ingredients together in the crock pot minus the sesame seeds, but including all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce except the cornstarch and cold water. Mix those together in a small bowl and then add to the crock pot. If you want to make the sauce separately before adding, you can do that as well. My friend suggests: To make it even easier, buy Trader Joe's "Island Teriyaki" sauce in a bottle and just pour the whole bottle in. It's teriyaki, soy, sesame seeds, and pineapple juice already mixed together.

I cooked it on high for 2 hours, then low for 1, then back on high for 1 more hour. It was a bit more liquidy than I wanted, so I added a bit more cornstarch during the last hour. Serve over hot white rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Recipe adapted from Lindsey Ismailova

Twix Bars

I used this recipe to make a giant Twix bar rather than normal sized Twix bars. 

Shortbread and carmel
Shortbread Cookie:
 1 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk

Carmel Filling:
15.5 oz. soft carmels (for the giant one, only about 20-25 carmels were used total)
2 Tbsp. milk
Dash of salt

Chocolate Topping:
12 oz. milk chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tsp. Crisco, if needed to make the chocolate softer (I did not use this)

For shortbread cookie: Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this to the butter mixture. Finally, at low speed, add the milk and vanilla. Separate the dough into halves and wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until the dough is as firm as a stick of butter. 
Now is the time to preheat your oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once your dough is firm enough to work with, either roll it out onto the sheet pan or press with fingers to about 1/2-3/4" thickness. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning the baking sheet front-to-back halfway through the baking time. 
For carmel layer: Unwrap and place your carmels, milk and salt in a microwaveable bowl and nuke for 1 minute at a time, stopping to stir, until nice and melted (approximately 3-4 minutes). Pour carmel over the baked shortbread. Put in the refrigerator to harden and set. Cut the shortbread/carmel layer into Twix size pieces or whatever shape you desire. Chill them in the freezer to firm them up before dipping.  
Giant Twix Bar
For chocolate coating: Microwave the chocolate at 1 minute intervals while stirring till melted or use a double boiler method to melt. Dip the bars into the chocolate and place them on waxed paper to set (if you make a giant bar, pour the chocolate over the top, chill, then flip over and coat the bottom then turn upright on wax paper). Chill in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up setting. Once they are set, you are ready to enjoy them!

Recipe courtesy of Jill Hanses 

Mounds Candy Bar

14 oz. coconut, shredded
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 lb. powdered sugar
24 oz. dark chocolate chips

Mix coconut, milk, and sugar. Chill. Roll into bite-sized pieces (or one giant one if you're daring) and place on wax paper. Refrigerate. Melt half the chocolate chips until they are 75% melted, and barely warm to the touch.  Then mix in the other half of the chocolate chips, stirring rapidly.  When the other chocolate chips are close to, but not 100 percent, melted, pour it all over the coconut. The chocolate will need to set before you can turn it over and coat the bottom.

Giant Mounds

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I love the Pioneer Woman. She has such great recipes! And she loves food. =)

Here's the link:

I don't even think I altered anything. Oh wait, I added cilantro. And I used diced tomatoes instead of roma tomatoes because I never have raw tomatoes on hand.
Veggies and chicken in cajun sauce

Veggies and Garlic

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Open-Faced Cucumber Sandwich

There's lots of options for this!

Slice of bread, pita flatbread, or whatever kind of bread you want
Cucumber slices
Cream cheese (although I've also used Laughing Cow wedges)
Spices such as basil, chives, pepper, garlic, etc
Sunflower seeds (optional)
Sandwich with cream cheese, spices, sprouts, and cucumber
Alfalfa sprouts (optional)

Mix whatever spices you want in with the cream cheese, then spread it on the slice of bread. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top of the cream cheese (if you want them) then add the sprouts (if you want them). Layer the cucumber on top. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Erin Holloway

Homemade Wheat Bread

Here is the link to the recipe I used: I used the first recipe on the page. The only thing I altered was I used bread flour instead of white flour, and I added a dash of ginger when mixing the ingredients. It turned out really well. When the directions say to form it into a loaf after it rises the first time, I rolled out the dough, and then started at the end farthest from me, and rolled it toward me. Then just pinch the seam and fold the ends under.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lentil Dal

This is the first crock pot recipe I've posted on here. It's definitely a recipe I will be making again and again!

1 c. red lentils
1 c. chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. Garam masala
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
dash of turmeric
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp. of coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
black pepper to taste
Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped

Add all the ingredients to a crock pot. Cook for 4 hours on high, stirring occasionally. Serve with naan, rice, or bread.

Recipe courtesy of Lindsey Ismailova

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Zucchini Fries

Cooking spray
2 large zucchini
1/2 - 1c. flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded (or more if you want it)

Heat oven to 425°F.  
Cut off ends of zucchini. Cut each zucchini in half crosswise; cut each half into 8 (3-inch) spears. 

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper; spray paper with olive oil cooking spray. Place flour in shallow bowl. Beat eggs in another shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs and Parmesan mixed together in third shallow bowl. Coat each zucchini spear with flour; dip into eggs and coat with bread crumbs and cheese. Place on cookie sheet.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. You may want to flip the spears over half way. I didn't and they turned out well, so it just depends. Serve warm.