Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ravioli with Roasted Vegetables

You would think I'm trying to torture my children by making a dish with a lot of vegetables but they liked it. My husband thought we were torturing him though. He did eat the ravioli and some of the chard but nothing else. No eggplant for him. I tried cooking the ravioli by boiling then in a skillet and baking. I think the baking way is easier since I just added the ravioli with the roasted vegetables. The skillet way tends to give a nice crispness but it sticks easier to the pan. I'm going to use the baking method since I like the easier method plus less cleanup after.
Ravioli with roasted vegetables
3 medium zucchini, chopped
1 eggplant, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 cup swiss chard
1 package frozen ravioli
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil for the ravioli.  
  3. Arrange the zucchini, eggplant, onion, and garlic onto a baking sheet.  
  4. Toss the vegetables with the oregano and the olive oil.
  5.  Season with salt and pepper.   
  6. Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes.
  7. Cook the swiss chard and ravioli in the boiling water for 8 minutes.
  8. Drain the water from the swiss chard and ravioli.
  9. Turn the vegetables.
  10.  Add the swiss chard and ravioli to the baking sheet. 
  11. Bake the ravioli and vegetable for 15 minutes.
  12. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and melted butter.
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago............................I made Lots of Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Two years ago..........................I made Bangers and Mash.
Did you already know............
-The small and medium zucchini has more flavor than the larger ones.
-Zucchini has more potassium than a banana.
Other names for zucchini are courgette, summer squash, green squash, and Italian squash.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tri-berry Pancakes

Oh, I love berries. I love them so much that my husband was willing to go with me to pick some raspberry and blueberries. The kids elected to head to camp since they were going to the beach. I'm not saying I blamed them but when they arrived home they thought I was going to share my berries. (I did tell my husband this was the first time I actually made it home with 3 containers still full of berries.) I did reluctantly shared my berries and I mean reluctantly. Then I was nice and made tri-berry pancakes for supper. I even shared with my Mom and sister. My Mom and I were unsure how the combination would go with cherries but I loved them.
Tri-berry Pancakes
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup chopped cherries
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

  1. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk in a large bowl. 
  2. Whisk in the baking soda until combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk until incorporated.
  4. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla.
  5. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Add a little oil to the pan and wait about 30 seconds.
  7. Pour 1/2 cup of the batter into the frying pan. 
  8. Top the pancakes in the pan with some of each berry. 
  9. When bubbles form on top of the pancake, flip the pancake over.
  10. Cook the pancake until the bottom is golden brown.
  11. Use any remaining berries for topping. 
Recipe adapted from here.

One year ago.........................I made Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies.
Two years ago.......................I made Raspberry Cream Cheese Scones.
He is trying to make his teeth blue!
Did you already know............
-It is believed red raspberries originated from Turkey.
-Black raspberries are native to America.
-Black raspberries are different from blackberries.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dill Salad Dressing

When we were in Vermont, our Aunt told us how she made a dill dipping sauce for seafood. The recipe was originally a salad dressing but she liked the taste and used it for seafood. I really should make homemade dressings more since this dressing came out great and I'm not a great fan of dill. The original recipe was equal parts mayonnaise with sour cream and some dill. I didn't want such a thick dressing so I changed it up. 
Dill Salad Dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dill
1 Tbsp onion, grated
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sour cream.
  2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, dill, and onion.
  3. Add the salt and pepper to desired taste.
  4. Mix well.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris and inspired by Aunt Donna.

One year ago......................I made Raspberry Ginger Ale.
Two years ago....................I made Raspberry Phyllo Cups.
Did you already know..........
-Dill belongs to the carrot family.
-Dill seeds are stronger in flavor than the dill leaves.
-In the Middle Ages, dill was used to ward off witchcraft.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Campfire Cinnamon Rolls

I'm sorry I've been gone. I know there was no excuse. We have returned from vacation. We stayed on the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont. It was beautiful. The kids went swimming, canoeing, and tubing. They ate marshmallows and ice cream. What a great time! Since we had a fire, I decided to try making orange infused cinnamon rolls. I covered most of the rolls and the inside was gooey. The kids didn't want me to change them. The ones I left the top part of the orange off were fluffy. I had to make one of the rolls without the top since the kids ate my orange. If I'm camping, I would make this easy recipe again.
Orange Infused Cinnamon Rolls (makes 8 rolls)
8 oranges
1 can of unbaked cinnamon rolls tub with frosting

  1. Cut the oranges in half. 
  2. Scope out the orange to create a shell. (Eat the scooped out filling.)
  3. Place one of the unbaked cinnamon rolls inside half an orange shell.
  4. Place the other half of the orange shell on top.
  5. Wrap with tin foil.
  6. Place the orange wrapped cinnamon rolls onto hot embers of the campfire.
  7. Allow the cinnamon rolls to cook for at least 13 minutes or until desired doneness. 
  8. Top with the frosting inside the tube of cinnamon rolls.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchen.

One year ago................................I made NB Chocolate PB Bars.
Two years ago..............................I made Berry Lemonade.
Did you already know..................
-Lake Champlain was formed by glaciers during the Ice Age.
-In 1609, Explorer Samuel de Champlain stumbled upon Lake Champlain.
-Samuel de Champlain was the first European to map the Great Lakes.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Minestrone

     After my daughter woke up, she came into my room. I said, "Welcome back."
She asked, "Huh?"
So, I said, "Welcome back from dreamland." She nods.
I ask, "How was your trip?"
She relies, "I'm tired."
I asked,"What did you do on your trip that you are so tired?"
Smiling, she replied, "I don't remember since I slept the whole time."
She is pretty clever even when she first wakes up.
     Since I had so many vegetables from my CSA share, I figured I should make some minestrone. I normally do not make soup in the summer but it was a nice change. My husband decided to make something else since all the vegetables scared him. He even asked why I put beans in it? I replied because I knew you weren't having any. The kids and I liked the soup a lot. I added the kolrobi since I have an abundance of it but you could omit it. I served it with french bread.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup kolrobi, chopped
2 bay leaf
1 Tbsp thyme
4 cups chicken broth
28 oz. can plum tomatoes
1 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups potatoes, diced
2 cups zucchini, diced
2 cups shredded cabbage, shredded
1 cup pasta
1 can cannellini beans 
 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook for 7 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, and kolrobi. Saute for 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper. 
  5. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and the water. Allow to simmer for 1 hour. 
  6. Add the potatoes, zucchini, and shredded cabbage. Cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the pasta and beans. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the Parmesan cheese before serving.
Recipe adapted from Michele Urvater. 

One year ago.............................I made Cherry Muffins.
Two years ago...........................I made Blueberry Coffee Cake.
Did you already know.....................
-The earliest forms of minestrone was made before the Roman Empire since their diet consisted mostly of vegetables. 
-The Italian word for soup is minestra, zuppa, and brodo.
-Minestrone is usually made seasonal vegetables with pasta and beans.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fluffnutter Bars

The other day I had to buy marshmallow fluff for my niece. I remember when fluff was a staple in my cabinet but my daughter hasn't been asking for it for awhile. Its funny how you don't realize how your children's (or your own) taste evolve over time. I think all my son has been eating for lunch lately is tuna fish. (Why tuna fish? Why everyday?) I don't think my children will evolve away from desserts. Well, my daughter loved this dessert. Of course, my husband loved this dessert even more. It is gooey and soft.
Fluffernutter Bars
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8x8 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled butter with the peanut butter until well combined. 
Add the brown sugar and sugar with the peanut butter mixture.
add the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.
Add the flour until just combined. 
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.
Gently fold in the marshmallow fluff into the other half of the batter.
Pour the rest of the batter on top of the other batter. 
Bake the dessert for 15 minutes or until the center is set but still soft.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Bakerita

One year ago........................I made Chinese Chicken Salad.
Two years ago......................I made Fresh Strawberry Jam.
Did you already know......................
-In 1917, Archibald Query created Marshmallow Fluff.
-Due to sugar shortage during WWI, Mr. Query closed his business.
-After the war, two partners Mr. Durkee and Mr. Mower purchased the recipe from Mr. Query and began producing Marshmallow Fluff.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Picked Beets

So, I received some beets in my CSA share. I love beets. My husband thanks I'm crazy. He believes I've influenced the kids since they like beets too. Well, my Dad came over and I told him I have another share of beets. He suggested that I should pickle them. Now, I thought it was a good idea. Since I try to be a good daughter, I let him sample my one can of pickled beets. Next thing I know, my Dad brought over bags (I mean bags) of beets. I'm unsure if there were any beets left in the store. I have bottled 10 jars of pickled beets for my Dad. When will this supply of beets end? If you like pickled beets, then you really need to make this recipe. It is very easy.
Pickled Beets
12 small beets, cleaned and stem trimmed
2 large shallots, peeled
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the beets with the shallots, rosemary, and olive oil.
  4. Cover with parchment paper or tin foil.
  5. Roast the beets for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  7. Once cooled, remove the skin from the beets and slice thin. 
  8. Place the beets into a 1 quart Mason/Ball jar.
  9. In a medium pot, boil the apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, and water.
  10. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the beets.
  11. Tightly seal the jar and refrigerate at least 3 days before serving.
Recipe by Alton Brown.

One year ago.............................I made Monkey Tree Cake.
Two years ago...........................I made Tostadas with Chicken and Parsley.
Did you already know....................
-Beet greens are edible.
-In Victoria times, woman would use beet juice to dye their hair red.
-When beet juice is added to an alkali the solution will turn yellow.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Strawberry Fool with blueberries

This is one of the simplest desserts I have made. How could it not be? The dessert is blended fruit with sugar and whip cream. Yes, it is that simple. My family loved it. My children licked the bowl clean and then showed me. I told them it was so simple that they could make it next time. I will not be surprised if they do. Now, the recipe is suppose to be refrigerated for at least an hour. We didn't wait. How could I when the children knew I had made whip cream? I'll make it next time when they are at camp. Oh, this dessert is so light and smooth. If you lick the bowl, you won't be the only one.
Strawberry Fool
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
Additional sliced strawberries, whip cream, and blueberries for garnish

  1. In a blender, puree the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. 
  2. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  4. Remove 1/2 cup of the whip cream for garnish.
  5. Fold the seedless strawberry mixture into the whip cream. 
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour to chill.
  7. Garnish with the berries and whip cream before serving.
Recipe adapted from Katie Lee. 

One year ago....................................I made Nutella Rice Krispie Treats.
Two years ago..................................I made Chocolate Cookie Cutouts.
Did you already know.................
-A fruit fool is a classic English dessert.
-The classic version called for the fruit to be stewed before being mixed into a custard.
-Gooseberries were the tradition fruit used in a fool.

I hope you have a fantastic 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

R, W, and B Cupcakes

I wanted to try making a two color swirl on some cupcakes. The only cupcake wrappers I could find to match the theme were these amazing spider-man liners. My son thought it was awesome. I should have waited to make these cupcakes after my husband had turned on the air condition but it all taste the same. I did use some red, white, and blue jimmies in my white cupcake batter to add a splash more of color.
Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes
1 cup of red frosting
1 cup of blue frosting
12 cupcakes cooled

  1. Place the red frosting in a piping bag. Set aside.
  2. Place the blue frosting into a different piping bag.
  3. In a large freezer bag, place the red and blue piping bags angled with the tips at the same corner. 
  4. Cut a hole larger enough to fit both tips through the freezer bag.
  5. Bring the tips through the freezer bag hole to create one large piping bag.
  6. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
One year ago.............................I made Strawberry Shortcake Whoppie Pies.
Two years ago...........................I made Bacon and Cheddar Scones.
Did you already know.......................
-On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence.
-In 1941, 4th of July was declared a national holiday.
-President Obama's oldest daughter Malia Obama was born on the 4th of July.