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100% home made sausage and ricotta ravioli

Today is the last day of my summer break. I’m sitting on the couch watching Band of Brothers with a fan in my face because its been too hot for too long. I didn’t get everything on my to-do list done but I did get a lot done and let me say I am ready to get back to school I am missing a bit of structure in my life! Yesterday I finally got to make home-made ravioli, now originally I was going to make just home-made pasta but after looking at a few different recipes I decided it was too boring and really it was just noodles and there was no ta-da about it. These ravioli were the best I have ever had and not just because I made them, they tasted so fresh and the filling was light and flavorful! I was in shock. Now making ravioli does take a few hours, when I first read on the recipe that it took a few hours I pretty much laughed and said yeah right, but no it takes a few hours and it’s because of the dough. I combined two recipes and it worked beautifully! the first recipe I tried for dough sucked so I scrapped it and started over, man was I glad I did!

I first started with the filling because the filling needs to cool in the fridge before you can fill the ravioli.

Ingredients:

5 spicy italian sausage links

1 large onion

2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

salt and pepper

garlic (fresh or powder, I used powder)

olive oil

I chopped up the onion and cut the sausage out of the casings, I then heated up a pan with a little olive oil in it. I cooked the sausage and onions till the onions were cooked and the sausage was no longer pink and then I added the garlic till it smelled just right. My advice with garlic powder is honestly don’t be afraid to add too much because you probably wont! I always add a ton of what ever spices I’m using and I always get great results. Use a slotted spoon to put the sausage and onion mix in a blender or food processor (I used a blender) and then add 1/4 cup olive oil and the ricotta cheese, blend and mix till you get a smooth mixture, taste and add salt and pepper till perfect. Then place in the fridge to cool while you work on the dough.

the sausage out of the casing and the chopped onions

the sausage, onions and garlic

 After I made the filling I cleaned up a bit because I had already made quite a mess. Once the kitchen was back in order I started on the dough, now the first recipe SUCKED! All it was, was flour, eggs and olive oil and let me tell you it was this tough pile of dough that was seeping olive oil, I couldn’t even knead the dough so I threw it right out and found a different recipe. Here it is:

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup water

extra flour for dusting

 Add the olive oil, water and salt to the already beaten eggs and beat with mixer till mixed. Add in one cup of flour at a time till combined. Once you are done you should have a lovely dough that is soft and ready for kneading. Knead on a flour dusted board until it is smooth through out and elastic (when you pull the dough it doesn’t tare right away it has a pull to it). Get a rolling-pin and dust it to prevent sticking. Roll out flour till it is about as thick as 2 quarters stacked, then start cutting out circles, (I used a cutter that I normally use for crumpets, it’s the perfect size) cut the pieces and lay them in a pan. When you are done with all the dough ( you may have to roll it out a few times to get it all cut out) grab the filling, a table-spoon, a fork and a cup of water. 

Prepare a cookie sheet by dusting it with flour and set it near your workspace, grab a chair and sit down. Take the dough, work it out a little bit with your hands, scoop a tablespoon full of filling into the middle, dip your finger in the water and put a little water around the edge of the dough. Fold the dough over and press down, then with a fork, seal the ravioli and place it on the pan. Repeat this till you run out of dough or filling.

  If you are not going to make  the ravioli right away cover the cookie sheet in plastic wrap and stick them in the freezer till they are ready to be boiled (this is what I did) If you are going to leave them there for a while, let them set for an hour (in the freezer) then store them in a freezer bag till you want to use them (I would say use them within a week)

 

 

 When you are ready to cook them, bring a pot of water to boiling and add salt and olive oil, cook 10 ravioli at a time. When they float to the top they are done, 4-6 minutes. Then with a slotted spoon, place them gently in a dish while you cook the others. These are amazing  plain or with marinara sauce. Enjoy!

 If you happen to have extra filling, as I did here’s what you can do:

Boil some pasta depending on how much filling you have left, once the pastas done, drain and pour in to a greased pan and mix in the extra filling till it is all combined, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top and bake at 375 till the top browns.

Summer to-do list: 2012

I have been on Summer break for two weeks and have had my to do list written out for about a month and a half. This summer will be different from all the others because I got an internship with a company called “Delicious Gourmet Cupcakes”, when the internship is over I will get hired on to help with orders and I am so excited to start this new adventure! Hopefully I will still have time to complete the items on the list :)

The list:

  • Make home-made pasta and sauce
  • read The Hobbit
  • Have a band of brothers marathon
  • make rainbow cupcakes
  • make a Lord of The Rings cupcake
  • make home-made cheese
  • bake a batch of pretzels
  • bake pumpkin ginger cupcakes

I have made home-made pasta sauce before but never pasta so that will be a lot of fun and hopefully tasty. My dad read The Hobbit to me when I was younger but I don’t remember it and since the movie is coming out in December, I thought it would be fun to read the book first and I also thought it would be fun to start a tradition of reading a JRR Tolkien book each Summer (last year I read Lord of The Rings). I love Band of brothers and have since I was a kid, I had a marathon a few months back but I have been wanting another one. I found a picture of really cool rainbow cupcakes online that I have been dying to make for months and ever since I started the cake decorating I have wanted to make a Lord of The Rings cake. Home made pretzels are like the best thing in the world, fresh from the oven with a little musterd….perfection! I used to make them all the time but then school took over so its time to make a batch. I have a recipe for pumpkin cookies that everyone (including myself…they are my favorite cookies) loves, I found a recipe for pumpkin ginger cupcakes that has 5 out of 5 stars and that is with over 2,000 reviews so I have a feeling these things are good..I need to try them! Heres the link if you want to try them with me! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pumpkin-ginger-cupcakes/detail.aspx

 

The Lord of The Rings cake I want to make, the tree of Gondor is on the top and the script from the ring is around the sides

 

As I finish things on the list I will blog about the experience! I hope I get everything done, Im gonna be busy in the kitchen this summer, I cant wait :) 

the rainbow cupcakes I want to make, they look like such fun!

song of the week : Cold War Kids

I have two favorite bands, Mumford and Sons and The Cold War Kids. I can’t pick a favorite, sometimes I listen to CWK more than Mumford and Sons and sometimes I cant quit Mumford and Sons. Right now im having a Cold War Kids moment, I am in love with the lead singers voice, its bluesy, folksy and just different and unique! I love it. Some people think he sounds like a woman which I think is absolutely ridiculous, he just sounds like a man with the one of the most uncommon voices, once you know what he sounds like you know his work. This song is folksy and has a beat that sticks with you. This weeks song of the week is Saint John by The Cold War Kids (im sure you already guess the artist though :P )

 

 

Nathan Willett :)

Oatmeal cups (muffins)

Dry ingredients:

1 cup flour

2 cups oats

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside

Wet ingredients:

3/4 cup milk

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup oil (for an even healthier muffin use apple sauce instead of oil)

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup raisins

Mix the ingredients then add to the dry ingredients and mix till combined. Bake in medium-sized muffin tin at 390 for 10 minutes. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee :)

Soup Nazi, no meet the lobster Nazi!

A while back I was staying at my Aunt’s house spending a few weeks with my cousin while my Aunt and Uncle were out-of-town. My other Aunt came down to visit for a while one day, we were just kicking back playing with my younger cousins and my Aunt was reading a magazine. The magazine had some list about the top 50 meals in California, and one of the meals was a plate of lobster that looked amazing! My Aunt got pretty excited when she saw that the restaurant was close to us and asked if I would like to try it some time and of course I said yes! About a month and a half later (I was home by this time haha) I got a text message early in the day from my Aunt asking if I would like to go and get the lobster for lunch and my gosh was I excited! About an hour later we were driving to the restaurant, trying to find our way and when we finally arrived we couldn’t believe the magazine found this place! It’s totally hidden and you would not expect to find such great food inside.

It just doesnt scream "Amazing seafood inside" and it was hidden behind other buildings

 We walked in to the restaurant and you know when you walk in to some place new and you just feel out-of-place and awkward and you just want to turn around and walk out? Yeah that’s how I felt when I walked in but I wanted the lobster so I put up with feeling totally out-of-place and sat a table. The man who helped us was I believe the main guy in charge and he was also the man I named “The lobster Nazi” because he was. This man did not try to be nice to you and he didn’t care if you were comfortable so obviously he knows how good the lobster is. First off, the menu had no prices! so, ya know, first warning that this isn’t the cheapest place, second you go in knowing what you want because the lobster Nazi doesn’t help you order. And thirdly, the most important lesson of all that was learned here! NO ROLLS! okay? no rolls! My aunt tried ordering spring rolls or egg rolls any type of rolls and the lobster Nazi barked back with “NO ROLLS!” “NO ROLLS!” none of any kind. So just forget the rolls because they aren’t here, you aren’t getting them just like George didn’t get his free bread nor the soup he paid for. After the painful act of ordering (yes it was painful and also still awkward) we got our drinks and rice and a few minutes later the lobster!! Oh my the lobster, the lobster made all the awkwardness and confusion worth it! It looked beautiful, it smelled delicious and we could finally try the lobster we had been waiting for!

Doesnt it just look good? Oh by the way, yes I know the pictures, why so small and of random angles? because once again the lobster Nazi, my gosh man the lobster Nazi! I had a feeling if he knew I was taking pictures to blog about the food he would snatch the plate and phone away and yell “NO LOBSTER FOR YOU” because he was the soup nazi of lobster. He was. We ordered a small plate of lobster and it was huge, big enough to easily feed a full family of four and it was me, my aunt and my little cousin. We looked at the plate and in my head I was thinking “Eat this whole plate of lobster? challenge accepted!” and guess what, we ate the whole plate of lobster! Only being interrupted a few times by the waiters who would come by completely randomly and clear your plate and give you a new one so that you almost felt like an inconvenience.

I even ate the little tiny bit of meat that was in the head face skull thing and from what my aunt has told me, I even ate the lobsters babys…ew…I know! But I didn’t know! they were these little red things and I was like okay try everything and it was good until I found out they were the baby eggs and then I couldn’t eat anymore. After we finished the food I then had a panic attack because there was a sign that said cash only (OH!! and a sign that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” which by the way the soup nazi also had) but the panic attack was killed when the lobster nazi said they took credit card.

The meal was finished with a plate of oranges, random right? Thats what I was thinking but then my Aunt told me they serve the oranges to settle your stomach and guess what? after eating probably a pound of lobster and noodles and finishing it with orange slices my stomach didn’t ache from the pain of being too full. So it works. The lobster nazi is scary but the food makes up for it! SO amazing!! I would definitely go again if I saved up the money.

Porto’s : Bakery & Cafe

Today was simply lovely. Spring break so far has consisted of me laying around only getting up to cook and workout and I’ve loved it but I am going to start being more constructive with my time like I was today. A hike that was 3.6 miles in a light drizzle up and down hills to a waterfall and back with the last 1/2 mile up hill = :o. After making it to the car, wet with rain and sweat, my friend Jen said it was time for lunch at this Cuban bakery. I was intrigued, after a little drive we made it and I was in love!! It was basically two stores combined so it was huge and there were so many baked goods I felt like a little kid in awe standing at a candy counter. To start my meal I got a guava pastry and a Cuban sandwich with plantain chips, it was all amazing!!! And the prices were just as amazing! The sandwich was 4.65 and the pastry was .75 cents! after I had to finished eating we went back to buy some things to take home, 3 chocolate pastries, 2
eclairs, 1 macaroon, 1 red velvet cupcake, 2 coconut pastries and more plantain chips and that was all only $14!!!!! I was in shock the entire time of the prices and quality! There are three locations in California, Glendale, Burbank and Downey. It is a bit of a drive for me to get to one again but my gosh is it worth it!!! I cannot get over how good this place was. Here is a link to their website: http://portosbakery.com/, if you are ever in CA or live in CA try this place you will love it!! there is something for everyone! :)

 

coconut strudel = amazing!

Cuban sandwich = I could eat it forever

Song of the week, catch up, whats to come.

Oh man I feel lost and confused. Logging in to this page and seeing I havent been on since February 5th?!? Thats just crazy. I have a lot to blog thank goodness spring break is in two weeks! I have a new recipe for chocolate peanut butter granola, I have a post about a resteraunt I tried that was featured in a magazine and I actually met the “lobster Nazi”…like the soup Nazi from “Seinfeld”. It was insane and I cant wait to write about it. I also have become obsessed with “Pride and Prejudice” the movie (2005) and Mr. Darcy! My oh my hes my new obsession. So I will leave all that to the next posts and move on to my song of the week. It is “Angeline the Baker” a folk song and I chose Mumford and Sons cover because its awesome to say the least and always stuck in my head. wunCLHhxKdc. Listen, fall in love and like me for showing you :). I will blog soon and talk about the lobster nazi. Lately my food obsessions have been sushi, greek yogurt, and crepes so a few pictures of crepes and sushi will probably show up :P. Thanks for reading and just hold on a little the best is yet to come!!!

What I’ve been up to and what I’ve been learning

gum paste flower

I’ve been learning so much and working so much on cake, school finding time for friends and working out…its been a bit crazy! But I took a gum paste and fondant class which was fun and now I am taking a Gum Paste flower class which just started last week. Here are some picture of whats been going on.

 

gum paste rose

first three layer fondant cake...Mythology themed

the cupcakes with royal icing roses

gum paste bow

my final project for my gum paste and fondant class

 

 

The new year

I’m a bit behind in everything already and its only the 11th day of  2012, this year is not looking good for me! The last week and a half I was sick with an awful cold, all I did was lay in bed and watch the Lord of The Rings. It was a nice break from reality until I finished the Lord of The Rings and couldn’t figure out what to watch next. My new years resolution last year was to go on an adventure, did I go on an adventure? hmm technically no. I didn’t travel to any special destination but I did do an excellent job of finding myself last year. I found my real personality again that I had lost for a few years, I found a few new amazing friends, I found a new healthier life style, I started taking a cake decorating class (my first step towards my future career) and on december 28th I got my nose pierced :) . I had been thinking about getting it done for a while and kept changing my mind and it was annoying so I decided to just get it over with and done so I could move on. Im glad I got my nose pierced, I love it, I faced my fear which helped me feel stronger and more powerful. This year my new years resolution is to get to my goal weight and get in good enough shape to run for about an hour. 2011 was such an amazing year for me, so much happened and so much changed for the better I honestly hope 2012 is the same.

I hope you all had an amazing holiday with your family!! thank you for reading and I hope 2012 is a year that works in your favor!! :)

Quick hello

I am currently sitting on my kitchen floor with my boxer Daisy. Yesterday I finished my Christmas shopping and wrapped presents (lots of fun! i absolutely adore giving presents!!) today me and my father are heading to the grocery store in the beautiful rain to procure some ingredients for my holiday baking. I get three weeks off of school this year and trust me they will be spent well and in the kitchen! I plan on baking cinnamon rolls(christmas-cinnamon-rolls) for christmas morning (tradition that I carried on for my dad because his mom used to do it, and i luckily found a recipe that I can start the day before other wise it wouldn’t happen!) the swedish cookies pepparkakor that are rolled in cinnamon and sugar YUM!(pepparkakor-mmmmm) peanut butter cookies(peanut-butter-cookies) that I am handing out to my brothers friends for presents, peanut butter cake (peanut-butter-cake), brioche bread, spiced slice and bake cookies, chocolate cookies rolled in powdered sugar then baked, gingerbread, and maybe sugar cookies for my brother since they are his favorite. Clearly my family and I plan on gaining some holiday weight haha :). I hope to get recipes, pictures and stories up soon! I already have the pictures for the spiced slice and bake cookies and chocolate biscotti done so soon *fingers crossed*. I truly hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a beautiful Christmas with your family!! God Bless you all!! :)

quick note :) some of the recipes i mentioned I have already posted, so the links are included they are just in super light blue but right next to the name.

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