Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pasta Attempt Número Uno

Ok, this doesn't even look like pasta. But...it is.

Every now and then I think about making pasta from scratch.  I look up recipes.  I think about what kinds of wonderful and strange fillings I could put in homemade ravioli.  And then I say "I'll do it some other time" and I make something else for dinner. 

For some crazy, insane, illogical reason, I picked today to finally try pasta from scratch.  I left home at 7:45 this morning.  There was a faculty meeting after school, then I went to take care of a friend's dog, took the dog on a run (5.4 miles) cause it seemed more time-saving then going home and running, went straight from there to see my horse, brush the dirt off her and give her an apple, and then I finally got home.  At 6:35. Which is a ridiculously long time away from home by my standards, and I was exhausted.  By the time I got to start in the kitchen, it was after 7:00.  The smart thing to do at that point would have been to heat up the leftover steak tetrazzini that I have in the fridge.  But nooooo I was dead-set on making ravioli.  Pea-filled ravioli.  It took so long I didn't get to eat til after 8:30.  Which in my opinion is much too late for dinner.  Oh well...

The recipe I looked at earlier today said 1 egg to 1 cup of flour.  But I looked at a bunch of recipes right before I started and they said 2 eggs to 1 cup of flour.  So, I started with 1 egg...and then added a 2nd.  After I added the 2nd egg, I had to add a bunch more flour.  But at that point, I was adding it as needed, so I have no idea how much flour I ended up with in the end. 

Knead, knead, knead.  Knead some more, adding flour now and then, until the dough is smooth.  Let it rest for a little while. (15 min?) Then roll it out.  This was aggravating.  It's one of those doughs that wants to spring back as soon as you lift the rolling pin.  I got it as thin as I could (still not very thin) and then cut it into about 12 pieces.  In order to make ravioli, I rolled each of those pieces out even thinner, then cut them in half before filling.  I did this with 4 pieces, so I got 8 ravioli.  (I made thinner pasta strips out of 2 other pieces, and put the rest in the fridge for later)

I put a small spoonful of filling in the center of each pasta rectangle, wet my finger with water, ran it along the edges, and then folded the pasta in half and sealed the edges.  I fried them in a pan with some olive oil because it's easier for me to tell when they are done that way. 

I boiled the pasta strips I made...but I couldn't tell when they were done, and when I did take them out, they were slimy and gross and not edible looking.  Bye bye pasta strips.

The ravioli came out ok.  Not my new favorite food, but worth trying again.  (The filling was delicious).  I ate 4 of them with a salmon burger.  The salmon burger was another adventure, I think it will get its own post.

Pasta Ingredients
2 eggs
1/3 c wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 c white flour (start with 1, add more as needed)

Ravioli Filling
1  cup peas, cooked and mashed
1/2 avocado, mashed
1 spoonful sour cream w/chives
blend them all together


ewwww thick slimy noodles

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spicy Slaw

Something is wrong with that title...I don't like spicy!  But this is what happens when you add raw radishes to something...and use mustard for flavor.  oops.  I survived my taste-test forkful of this slaw...but I had to drink a bunch of water afterwards.  We'll see how I survive tomorrow's dose at lunchtime.  Maybe the mashed potatos will help relieve my burning taste buds.  It's so annoying being super-sensitive to spiciness...ugh.

1/2 cabbage, finely chopped
2-3 sticks of celery, finely chopped
6 or 7 radishes, grated
2 medium carrots, grated

I'm afraid to say exactly what I put in it...you might not want to know.  I kinda just threw together whatever caught my eye.

garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, oregano, dash of salt
      - (these are kitchen staples, I don't know how to make food without them!)
1/2 c ranch dressing
2-3 tbsp mustard
squirt of ketchup
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Picture Time!

I'm getting good at chopping now that I have
a good chopping knife!

more cabbage


radish time

I'm running out of space and I haven't added the carrots yet!

new bowl, more space

dry seasonings

the sauce

I'm very skeptical, and kind of afraid to try this slaw...like my scared face?

look, there's even a video of my amateur chopping skills
bonus points if you can name the song playing in the background

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls Take 2

I've been craving cinnamon rolls all week, but quick as this delicious recipe is, it's still not quick enough for school mornings, so I've had to content myself with chocolate chip pancakes every morning.  Finally, Saturday morning has arrived, giving me time to sleep in, make cinnamon rolls, and eat a late breakfast.  Or maybe it's brunch. 

I mostly followed the recipe I used last time, but since I'm incapable of actually following a recipe to the letter, even if it's my own, I made some changes.  For example, I didn't make a sugar/cinnamon filling...I just poured cinnamon on top of the dough.  And instead of mixing the apples into the dough, I spread them on top of the flattened dough and wrapped the dough around them.  MUCH easier to roll up this time!

Yes, yes I did put mini chocolate chips on top of half of the rolls.  Everything tastes better with chocolate.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Today was my second attempt at bagel-making.  The first time, I made half of the recipe into cinnamon mini-bagels and half of it into garlic-herb sandwich bagels.  They came out pretty good, but they didn't rise very much and I thought they tasted too heavily of whole wheat flour.  This time, I used an extra 1/2 tsp of yeast and less whole wheat flour.

1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 cup warm milk
  * I only had 1/4 cup of milk left...so I used that, 3/4 cup heavy cream, and 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg yolk
3 3/4 cup flour (I used approx half wheat, half white)

combine ingredients, knead for awhile
let rise 1 hr
divide into 8 pieces, shape into bagels
set oven to 400
rise 10 minutes
drop one at a time into boiling water, remove when they float
bake for 20-25 minutes
   I baked them for 20 minutes, then flipped them over and baked them for another 5 minutes to brown the tops.

They make great sandwiches!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Snow Day Lunch

Snow Day #1.  Totally unexpected.  I didn't even know it was supposed to snow.  My phone was set to silent last night so I slept through the call and got the voicemail when my alarm went off almost 20 minutes later.

I didn't get around to packing my lunch last night before bed, but I guess it didn't matter!  I ended up eating about the same thing I would have anyway though.  Tuna sandwich and a salad.  But since I was home, I got to make some sweet potato fries to go with it.  And I got to toast the bread for my sandwich. 

Sweet Potato Fries 2/ Ranch. 
I tossed the fries with a little bit of my homemade salad dressing today,
because it was sitting on the counter in front of me asking to be used
instead of the seasoning and olive oil I usually use...not sure why. 
But they were yummy.
The salad dressing is oilve oil and herb based anyway...

Tuna salad (mayonnaise/relish, celery), Muenster cheese, tomato

spinach, carrot, tomato, avocado, homemade dressing

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

This morning, I decided that I really wanted cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  I have been wanting to try this recipe for awhile, but when I read through it this morning I knew there was no way it was going to happen today.  I don't want to eat cinnamon rolls in the middle of the afternoon...so I needed a recipe that wouldn't take half a day.  (Someday, I will get around to making the dough the night before so I can enjoy the pull-apart cinnamon bread for breakfast.)  To google I went, and typing in "quick cinnamon rolls" got me a bunch of recipes using "yellow cake mix" or "1 can of rolls" or other such cheater methods involving not-from-scratch ingredients that I don't have and am not going to buy.  Then I tried "quick cinnamon rolls from scratch" and found this website which led me to this website and recipe.  I'm not a huge fan of biscuits, so I probably wouldn't have even looked at Ezra Pound Cake's recipe if I hadn't been led to it by someone else.  Actually, I was so busy scanning the recipe I didn't even notice that "biscuit" was in the title until after I'd already made them. 

Here's my recipe...modified from the original, of course

2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 heaping tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1 c wheat flour
1 1/2 c white flour
1 red delicious apple, chopped

1/4 c brown sugar
4 heaping tsp cinnamon (can you tell I like cinnamon?)

2 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp pumpkin butter
dash of heavy cream
6-8 tbsp confectioner's sugar (they were heaping tbsp and I lost count...)
3 (or so...) tbsp milk

I mixed all the dry ingredients together, then added the heavy cream, and then the apples.  Very Sticky!  I put a sheet of wax paper on the counter, lightly floured it, set down the sticky dough, pressed it down into something relatively flat and less than an inch thick, then put another sheet of wax paper on top and rolled it out. I think I ended up rolling it out to less than 1/2 inch, because I didn't actually read the part of the directions where it said how thick to make it.  This turned out to be a problem. 

I removed the top sheet of wax paper and poured a little bit of cream on top of the flattened dough, then spread it over the top using the back of a spoon.  Then, I sprinkled the cinnamon filling on top and attempted to roll it up.  It proved rather difficult, due to the dough wanting to stick to the wax paper, and the holes that appeared, especially around the apples since the dough had been rolled to thin to hold them well.  But somehow I got it rolled.  Then I sliced it into 1 or 1 1/2 inch slices and laid the slices down in a baking pan.  Into the 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

When they came out of the oven, I poured the glaze over some of them.  I didn't want to pour it over all of them in case it didn't turn out that well. 

Procedure by Picture

Oh, in case you're wondering...the cinnamon rolls were delicious.  And so was the pumpkin glaze.  I will still have to make real cinnamon rolls someday, but this recipe will do for the days when I wake up wanting cinnamon rolls and don't already have dough ready in the fridge.