Friday, January 29, 2010

Ravioli and Panna Cotta

So I like to cook. I am not organized enough to run a food blog although, sometimes I pretend this is. Ha ha! I love trying new recipes and lots of different kinds of ethnic foods. If it has sauce on it, chances are i will probably love it. Ditto with spicy foods (Thai, Indian, Mexican). I also consider myself above average in the Italian cooking department. That is what happens when you are married to a true Italian. Ravioli however has always been a thorn in my side. I LOVE them. Order them out at restaurants anytime I get a chance. They are always so dang time consuming and hard to make. Then someone told me about a Ravioli frame. OH MAN! Why have I never heard of this before??!! Seriously, my inlaws and I need to have a talk about that. So as you can see in the picture above, it looks almost like an ice cube tray. But under the dough is the zigzag lines for the edges of the ravioli. You lay the dough out, put in the filling (like the picture), lay another piece of dough on top. Then you roll over it with a rolling pin and it seals and cuts it for you. Then you turn it over and pop the Ravioli's out. DONE! My recipe below made about 50-60 raviolis. I froze 25 of them and cooked the rest for dinner. So all in all, it made two full meals.

Here are the recipes if you are interested in trying this at home.

Pasta Dough
3 1/4 cups flour (white or semolina)
2 eggs
3/4 cup water (add water only as needed)
Mix dough and egg, then add water a little as a time as needed. Dough should be firm, not gooey. Refrigerate for 1 hour to 1 day. You can also water tightly and freeze until ready to use.

Ravioli filling
1 lb. hamburger browned
1 lb. Italian sausage cooked
large handful fresh parsley chopped
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (or crushed croutons)
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato sauce

Cook meats and let cool. Run them and the parsley through a food processor to get it tiny. Mix in a bowl with remaining ingredients. Add only enough tomato sauce to get the mixture to stick together. You don't want it soupy. You will probably have extra meat leftover. You can make a sauce with it or freeze it for later. It would also be good stuffed in a pepper and baked in the oven.

Sauce for Pasta
8ozs mushrooms chopped in big bite size chunks
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper

Sautee mushrooms in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. when all the liquid is out add the tomato sauce and oregano. Serve over Ravioli.

For dessert Panna Cotta (cooked cream). This is divine! Like pudding only better.
1/3 cup milk
1 envelope of Gelatin (.25oz)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Bring the cream and sugar to a boil on the stove. Stir so it doesn't burn. In a side dish, mix the milk and gelatin. Add to the cream on the stove. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool and refrigerate for about 4 hours. It will set up in the fridge. Or if you are impatient like me. Put it in the freezer in a glass bowl with tight lid and it will be done in about 1 hour. :) Serve in dishes with fresh berries as topping.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

St. Louis trip.

This week we got to take a quick trip to St. Louis. Massimo had to go there for work, so we joined him. We stayed near the Galleria area which was really nice. It was close to all the St. Louis stuff, but in a fancier area. The hotel had a pool and hot tub which we used every day. The first day we went to the Magic House. It is a 3 story house that is a Children Musuem. We spent the morning doing things like water table, sand box play, the Curious George and Magic rooms. After lunch we did the static generator, the 3 story Bean Stalk that they climb up, the musical chairs bench, construction center where they wear hard hats and play with construction things. There is even a level with a town that has library, grocery store, ice cream vendor, fishing, house, pizzaeria all of that WHEW!

The next day we went to the City Museum. Massimo had to work at night, so during the day he went to the Museum with us. It is amazing. There is a whole section that is tree fort/maze, where you climb through tunnels, over bridges and all over. Here is Dominic climbing through a hollowed out tree that stretched across the room. Other big hits were a mini train that drove around inside with a little person as the conductor. Toddler town with a ball pit, a skate park with rope swings and such, and a 3 story slide.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Purple Bangs.

I finally bought my own funky hair colors. I was tired of paying for it and having it wash out in a few weeks. The girl said this stayed in a couple months for her. Then I can redo it myself. Yippee! I love this color because it is bright but also the dark parts look black. I think it looks pretty good for my first at home attempt.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vintage Quilt

My Aunt Roberta is 93. When over at her house one day with my Grandma we found a bag full of quilt pieces. Beautiful pieces. So I asked my Grandma if I could take them and make the quilt. She said yes. Well the pieces are made of a satin/polyester type material. I had NO idea how to finish this quilt. I have been looking online and asking quilting type people for advice. Still I wasn't sure, but I was ready to give it a try. So I made a trip to Joanns with a few things in mind. Turns out I found a Organic 100% Cotton Sateen fabric. They had several colors, but the quilt pieces are every color and lots of gold pieces. I didn't think cream or white would look good with it because of the gold. So I choose a light blue. I am ironing the edges under and appliqueing the pieces onto the blue squares. I already have a good idea for how to quilt it as well. I hope to have it done in a month or two. I am really excited for my Aunt to see the finished product. I am not sure if she even remembers starting this quilt. I found the newspaper clipping for the pattern and it is dated 1941.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Baby talk.

Luca is talking so much. I just wanted to write a little bit about the funny things he has been saying lately. The crack up today is that we realized he is calling his daddy "ma ma". Its pretty funny. He doesn't mind but we are trying to get him to say Dada. His first thing he said on a regular basis was "Uh-oh". Yesterday he pointed to my glasses and said "No no no." He did that again tonight pointing to Dh's glasses. He also recently started saying "nurse" but I noticed when he was asking for food today it sounded like he was saying nurse. Funny. :) He also loves to play peek-a-boo and when he says it, it sounds like "da doo". Not too bad for a 16 month old. :)

Oh and i about forgot something else funny. When he sees a mess he growls at it. He looks much like the pictures and says "Ahhhh". The other night he was eating an orange and then it was not in his hand. So I said, "Where is your orange? go get it." He walks over by the couch looks at the floor and say "ahhh." I said, "Bring it to me." So he got the orange off the floor and brought it to me. So cute.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Bricks and Stepping Stones Quilt

I finished another quilt. I am really pleased with it. I gave it to my Dad and Stepmom for Christmas. It is a scrap quilt. I love scrap quilts. They are so colorful and use up all the fabric sitting in my tote box. I have been working on this quilt for about the last year. Basically any time I had a small section of fabric left I cut it into the 3.5 x 6.5 inch rectangles. Nothing big. I needed 112 of them though. Then when I got enough I made the little black and white 4 patches and finished it up. I did the binding in a light blue with dots. The backing is not pictured but it is a cream yellow flannel. I quilted the squares in the ditch. The white border I did a swirly stipple.

Here is the pattern for this quilt: