Mushroom Ravioli

The weekend officially started when Luke performed his TGIF dance for me.  Let me tell you, I am totally marrying this guy for his dance moves.  Boy knows how to work it.

He also believes we are developing a sixth sense that alerts us when Izzy is about to yawn, so we never miss an adorable moment.  I do not feel that much responsibility is required for this super power.

Did you know that the Vietnamese word for “wonton” practically falls halfway between the Cantonese and Mandarin pronunciations of the word?  I think that is soooo cool.

Can you tell that I am wayyy too tired to be writing this post?  Does the absurd randomness of my topics give it away?

I’m basically typing anything that comes to mind.  So I best make this quick before I type something incredibly stupid that I will totally regret in the future.

Making ravioli with wonton wrappers is very easy and much less time consuming than trying to roll out your own pasta dough without a pasta machine.  Believe me, I’ve tried.

I also happen to love proper wontons, so making a mushrooms version and covering it in pasta sauce seemed like a pretty good deal.  I have concluded that it was in fact a very good deal.

Mushroom Ravioli

Adapted from Taste & Tell

Makes about 4 servings

8 ounces button mushrooms
6 ounces portobello mushrooms (I used reconstituted shiitakes)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
30 wonton wrappers

Place mushrooms in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and salt; cook 5 minutes or until moisture evaporates, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese.

Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon about 2 teaspoons of mushroom mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite corners together. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a triangle. I also like to crimp the edges with a fork for extra security.  Place ravioli on a large baking sheet covered with wax paper.

Cook ravioli in boiling water 2 minutes or until tender. Drain and serve with you favorite sauce.  The ravioli can also be frozen on the sheet, then transferred to a ziploc bag for longer storage.


Marshmallow Crunch Brownies

Last night, Luke and I went to Finale in Cambridge.  For those of you who haven’t heard of this magical place, it is a “desserterie,” or a restaurant that specializes in desserts.  You can get savory food there too, but I’m all about the dessert.

We ordered a sampler platter since it was so hard to choose just one dessert, and boy was it tasty.  If you’re ever in the Boston area, I would definitely recommend a stop at Finale.

Now on to the brownies.  As you can see, there’s a lot going on with these guys.  It’s a layer of brownie, topped with marshmallows, then topped off with a peanut butter chocolate crisp rice cereal mixture.  The contrast of flavors and textures is out of this world good.

Marshmallow Crunch Brownies

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Makes one 9X13” pan

For the Brownie Base:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Toppings:
1 bag (10½ ounces) miniature marshmallows
1½ cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup smooth peanut butter (don’t use natural peanut butter)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.

For the brownies: In a medium saucepan, melt the unsweetened chocolate, butter and ¾ cup of the semisweet chocolate chips over medium heat. Stir occasionally while melting. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl , whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Stir the melted ingredients into the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in the dry sifted ingredients and mix well. Fold in the remaining ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the corner of the pan comes out with moist crumbs.

Remove the brownies from the oven and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over them. Return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes, then remove from oven.

Meanwhile, place the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted. Remove from heat, add the Rice Krispies and mix well. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.

Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate until chilled before cutting.

 


Cinnamon Chip Scones

I have been singing “Somebody That I Used To Know” all day.  Why won’t this song leave me alone?  When I first heard it, I didn’t even like it, and now I can’t extract the damn melody from my brain.

I’ll just relegate myself to the kitchen and sing to my scones.  They won’t scoff at me the way the rabbit does.  Or at least I think that’s a scowl.  It certainly seems to be a critical look at the very least.

So, I guess the moral of the story is that scones don’t judge.  They are unconditional lovers, no matter what your singing ability.

Even if you’re singing at 7am and trying to wake up your significant other/friend/rabbit.  Just present him/her with a scone after your performance.  I tried it out on dear KA this morning, and it totally worked.

Izzy was less amused, go figure.  I gave her a carrot instead.

Cinnamon Chip Scones

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Makes 8 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup cinnamon chips (I use Hershey’s cinnamon chips from Amazon)
1 cup heavy cream

For the cinnamon sugar topping:
1 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Quickly cut in the butter, using your hands or a pastry blender. Mix until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some larger butter lumps. Stir in the cinnamon chips. Pour heavy cream over the ingredients and stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Don’t over mix.

Transfer dough to a floured countertop and knead dough by hand just until it forms a ball. Form scones by patting the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Cut the scones into triangles or use a biscuit cutter. Press scraps back together and cut additional scones until dough is used up.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Using a pastry brush, brush scones lightly with heavy cream. Sprinkle scones with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake scones for 12-15 minutes, or until scones are light brown. Cool scones on a wire cooling rack and serve.

 


Chive Parsley Pesto

It’s Wednesday already, and you know what that means.  Hop Day with Izzy!  Don’t you wish you were sprawled out like this bunny?!!  During the mini-heat wave last week, Izzy was stretched out a lot, probably trying to keep cool in our un-air-conditioned apartment.  She was cool, and I got some fantastic photos; win win.

Luke thinks we should dress her up somehow for Easter.  How does one make their bunny festive for such an occasion?  I mean, she’s already a bunny.  When I googled “dress up rabbit for Easter” I mostly got images of cats and dogs with bunny ears on.  Maybe she’s already as dressed up as she can be.

With April just around the corner, I decided to go in a very green direction with the last of my chives.  Not feeling another chive-y dinner, I decided to go with something that would preserve that chive flavor for later.

Oh pesto.  So vibrant and tasty on just about everything, and so versatile.  This version features chives and parsley and is currently being stored in my freezer in mini tupperwares for a rainy day.

On a side note, my dear friend KA is coming to visit today!!!  I’m so excited to share my kitchen with her and cook up some memories.

Chive Parsley Pesto

Adapted from Swallowing the Seasons

Makes about 1 cup

4 cups chives, minced

1 cup parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until all ingredients are finely chopped and well incorporated, pausing once or twice to scrape the sides of the bowl and test for desired consistency.  Add a drizzle or two more olive oil if it is too thick for you. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Store in the fridge, or transfer to Tupperware for freezing.  You can also freeze pesto in an ice cube tray, then transfer to a ziploc or tupperware once it is fully frozen.


Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I am feeling good.  Yesterday I brought up my running score with pudding, making to a 2-2 tie, my competitor being pudding itself. It wins whenever I fail to create a successful pudding.  But I won again (and will post about it soon).  Maybe I’m finally getting the hang of it.

I also unclogged our bathroom sink using vinegar and baking soda.  It was very middle-school-science-experiment-esque.  Nothing like beating clogged sinks to raise the old self-esteem.

So I thought I deserved an awesome treat to round out an awesome day.  Pssssh, yeah, because I totally need an excuse to bake something.

Not.  Anyway, I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while, and thought this occasion was worthy of such greatness.

And I mean greatness.  Cookie dough + cheesecake filling = an incredibly happy mouth.  I could kiss the person who developed this recipe…or maybe just give them a really emphatic high five.

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Adapted from Heat Oven to 350

Makes a 9X13” pan (I halved this recipe)

For the chocolate chip cookie layer:

 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

1 large egg

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For the cheesecake layer:

 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temp

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, salt and vinegar. Beat in the egg, then the baking soda and flour. Stir in the chocolate chips. Divide the dough into two equal portions and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl cream the cream cheese with the sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a greased 9×13 pan (or 8X8 if you’re halving), spread 1/2 of the cookie dough mixture evenly across the bottom.  I found this easiest to do with my bare hands, as long as I wetted them first.  Spread the cream cheese mixture on the top of the cookie dough. With the remaining cookie dough, flatten chunks of dough between your hands into discs, and then place on top of the cream cheese mixture to make a patchwork of cookie dough.  It’s ok if the cheesecake part isn’t completely covered.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is brown and cooked through. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

 

 

 


Cinnamon Scented Sweet Potato Chipati

So, flatbread is my bread of choice for the moment.  Don’t get me wrong, I love sinking my teeth into a thick, soft piece of yeasted bread, but sometimes, I want a thin crispy bread, you know, to shake things up.

I love pitas and naans, so when I came across this recipe for chipati, I was intrigued.  A different kind of Indian flatbread?  Don’t mind if I do.  The only difference I can see between naan and chipati is that chipati is a little thinner.

Obviously mine is even more different because of the addition of sweet potato and cinnamon.

But what an addition.  It’s subtle, but still noticeable and quite pleasant.  I’ve had a lot of fun dipping these guys in hummus, and making little pizzas out of them.

Making your own flatbread is incredibly easy, and since there’s no rising time, you can make them rather quickly.  They are a great accompaniment to dishes as well.

Cinnamon Scented Sweet Potato Chipati

Adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2004

Makes 16 chipatis

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour (you can use all all-purpose)

1 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato

1 Tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ cup water

Combine flour, sweet potato, butter, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix well.  Add in water and press the mixture together with your hands. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 mins.

Divide the dough into 16 equal-ish portions, shaping each into a ball.  Working with one at a time, roll into a 4 inch circle, about 1/8” of an inch thick.  Repeat for each ball of dough.

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat until very hot.  Place one dough circle in the pan, and cook for 2 mins, or until brown spots appear, turn and cook the other side.  They may also puff up.  Transfer to a large plate and serve!


Cornbread Pancakes

Yesterday was quite the whirlwind of adventure and excitement, as we like the occasional Saturday to be.  It started off with Luke and me at a jewelry store looking at wedding rings.  A local store was having a HUGE sale, and there was free food.  Bonus.

It was a mob scene.  I’ve never seen so many young couples in one place.  I guess living in the suburbs right after college will do that to you.  Anyway, I am happy to report that we have secured our wedding rings!

When we got home, we had the pleasure of entertaining two very good friends of mine.  I made pulled pork.  We love pulled pork.  After dinner, we went out for drinks.  I don’t actually drink, so I was more there for the company…and watching drunk people.

Nothing better after a long, hard night of drunk people watching like pancakes.  Especially if that after time is Sunday morning.  Sunday morning and pancakes are made for each other.  Since I still had chives, I added some to half the batter, but you really can’t taste them in the finished product.  They were still very tasty, like more portable cornbread.

Cornbread Pancakes

Adapted from Heat Oven to 350

Makes about 15 pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray or grease with oil or butter.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg, then whisk in the milk and vegetable oil. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Drop a heaping 1/4 cup onto the skillet and cook until the edges are set and the bottom is golden brown. Turn and cook the other side until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.  Serve with your favorite toppings!