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Sausage and Spinach Ravioli

July 21, 2014

D and I both really enjoy good ravioli. We decided to make some at home following a fun weekend of camping. It seemed like a good hearty meal for a post-hike day. Using wonton wrappers makes this a quick to put together meal. You can usually find them in the refrigerated part of the produce section at your local market. The directions below have you sandwich the filling between two wrappers; we did this and then cut out fun shapes with some ravioli presses we got for Christmas. If you want, you could even just use one wrapper per ravioli and create small triangles! Whatever makes you happy!

20140720 Sausage Ravioli 02

You will need:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 oz mild Italian sausage, out of the casing
  • 1 c packed fresh spinach
  • 1 t fresh sage
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 package (12 oz) fresh wonton wrappers

Then you will…

  1. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Brown the sausage in the skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.
  3. Add the fresh spinach and mix. Allow to wilt before removing the skillet from the heat.
  4. Chop the sausage, spinach and sage in a small food processor until it is fine enough for a ravioli filling.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the whole egg with a splash of water. Beat until well mixed to make a simple egg wash. Set aside.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg yolk with the ricotta and nutmeg. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  7. Add the sausage mixture to the egg-ricotta mixture. Season with salt and pepper per your tastes.
  8. Mix well. Set aside.
  9. Lay out 6 wonton wrappers. Lightly brush one side of each with the egg wash.
  10. Place a small amount of the filling (less than a teaspoon) in the middle of 3 of the wrappers.
  11. Top the wrappers with the filling with the remaining 3 wrappers, egg-side down.
  12. Press around the filling to get rid of any air bubbles, and then firmly press the rest of the edges together.
  13. Repeat until you have assembled all of your ravioli, storing the finished ones on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  14. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
  15. Bring a large pot of salted water to a light boil. You don’t want huge bubbles, since that can break open your ravioli.
  16. Drop the ravioli into the water and allow to cook until they float.
  17. Remove and serve with your favorite sauce!

20140720 Sausage Ravioli 03

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Honey Cornmeal Cookies

July 11, 2014

20140618 Cornmeal Cookies

These are super easy cookies to mix together. There are only a few ingredients, and then you get this delicious combination of honey and cornmeal. It’s almost like a dessert cornbread.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 5 T honey
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 c flour

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, honey, cornmeal and flour until mixed.
  5. Place tablespoons of the dough two inches apart on the cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
  7. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
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Cinnamon Coffee Bundt Cake

July 6, 2014

I made this one morning while D was sleeping in late. It’s easy to pull together, and a slice is the perfect complement to a morning cup of coffee. I baked it in a Bundt pan, but this would be great in a 9×9 baking dish as well. Just use what you have on hand!

20140616 Coffee Cake 02

You will need:

  • 1/4 c + 1/3 c brown sugar, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 c + 2 T whole wheat flour, divided
  • 3 T old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 t nutmeg, scant
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 t instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 c mini chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 8 oz light sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine together 1/4 cup of the brown sugar with a pinch of salt, 5 tablespoons of flour, the oats, 1/2 t cinnamon, nutmeg and the melted butter.
  3. Sprinkle the mixture evenly along the bottom of the Bundt pan.
  4. In another small mixing bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of the brown sugar with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, the instant coffee and the chocolate chips. Set aside.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together 5 tablespoons of softened butter with the sugar.
  6. Mix in the egg and vanilla.
  7. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda and remaining 2 cups of flour.
  8. Mix in the yogurt or sour cream, whichever you decide to use.
  9. Spread half of the batter on top of the cinnamon-sugar mixture already in the pan.
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon-chocolate chip mixture of the the batter.
  11. Top with the remaining batter.
  12. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  13. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Allow to cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.
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Basil Cashew Pesto

July 1, 2014

D and I have a cute little basil plant on our deck. We used some of its fresh basil along with some cashews to make a pesto sauce the other night. We added some light cream and fresh pasta to round out the dish. It was a wonderful dinner! We liked the creaminess you get by adding cashews to the pesto plus the lightness from the lemon.

The pesto will keep for about 2 days in the fridge; I recommend topping with plastic wrap to keep its bright green color. You can also freeze it using ice cube trays and then put the pesto cubes in a ziptop plastic bag for up to 6 months.

You will need:

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 t salt, scant
  • 5 c fresh basil
  • 1 c unsalted and roasted cashews
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 c Romano cheese, grated (or could substitute Parmesan)
  • 1 c olive oil
  • Pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Add the garlic and salt to a food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground.
  2. Rinse the basil and add (still wet) to the food processor.
  3. Add the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice and cheese to the food processor.
  4. Blend until well mixed.
  5. With the processor on, slowly add the olive oil until mixed together to form the pesto. You can add extra olive oil to thin the sauce as needed.
  6. Add a little pepper to taste.

20140525 Basil Cashew Pesto

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Carrot Banana Bread

June 26, 2014

20140526 Carrot Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of my favorite treats. This one is a little different with the addition of carrots. We made it when D’s parents were in town, and then we used it as the base for some amazing french toast!

You will need:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 c grated carrots
  • 1/2 c cashews, chopped

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the bananas with the butter, brown sugar and eggs until well combined.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt until just mixed into the wet mixture.
  4. Mix in the spices, carrots and cashews until blended.
  5. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until a tester near the center comes out clean and the loaf is set.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
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Turkey Saltimbocca

June 20, 2014

“Saltimbocca” — or “jumps in the mouth” — is a classic Italian preparation for veal. You add sage and wrap the cutlet in prosciutto, before cooking it with white wine and butter. D and I adapted it for some turkey cutlets we picked up and served it with a green bean and potato salad.

You will need:

  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1/3 c Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 8 turkey cutlets, about 1/4-inch thick
  • 8 fresh sage leaves (you can substitute small pinches of dried sage)
  • 8 slices (~1/4 lb) of prosciutto
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 c unsalted broth (I had vegetable stock on hand)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. On a large plate or in a baking dish, combine the flour with the cheese, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Pat the turkey dry.
  3. Top 1 of the cutlets with a sage leaf.
  4. Top the cutlet with a piece of the prosciutto, wrapped around to the back.
  5. Lightly dredge the cutlet in the flour mixture and set aside.
  6. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
  7. Heat half of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  8. Add 4 of the cutlets, sage side down, and cook until golden brown. This should take roughly 3 minutes.
  9. Flip the cutlets over and cook until golden brown and cooked through, another 3 minutes.
  10. Transfer the cutlets to a plate.
  11. Heat the remaining oil and cook the remaining 4 cutlets.
  12. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  13. Allow almost all of the wine to cook off.
  14. Whisk in the broth and allow to simmer until 2/3 reduced.
  15. Stir in the lemon juice and butter. Whisk until the butter is melted and incorporated into the pan gravy. Remove from heat.
  16. Season with salt and pepper. Note that the sauce will be very lemony. This is what you want to offset the prosciutto and sage.
  17. Serve the cutlets topped with the pan gravy.

20140602 Saltimobocca 04

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Coconut Lime Custard

June 13, 2014

This custard has a very distinctive flavor due to the coconut milk. I really like its 5-ingredient list that mixes the coconut with lime. It’s a light(ish) way to end a good meal and can be made ahead of time. This means you get to enjoy the meal from start to end!

20140524 Coconut Lime Custard

You will need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 6 T light brown sugar
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • Coconut chips (optional)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 320 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the coconut milk, vanilla, lime zest and juice.
  4. Pour the mixture into 4 heatproof glasses, like ramekins or another ovenproof dish.
  5. Set the ramekins in an ovenproof baking dish with high side.
  6. Pour hot water into the larger baking dish, until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the custards are set in the middle.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and (carefully) lift the ramekins out of the water bath. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
  9. If you’d like a contrasting texture, top with coconut chips!
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