Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Here is a quick weeknight dinner.Although it would make a great fall meal,I am a big fan of butternut squash,so I eat it all year long.The ravioli is store bought,and the sauce is made of three ingredients.Using the best quality ingredients is important here because it is a very simple recipe!When you taste the ravioli,crispy sage & nuts together,you will see why I like it so much!Sage is a great herb to grow either outside or indoors.I am lucky,as I planted mine last year,and it did very well over the mild winter.

1 package of butternut squash ravioli
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
fresh sage leaves(about 10-15 leaves)
    Bring water to a boil in a large pot .Add the ravioli and cook for 5 minutes if fresh,or about 10 if frozen.Drain.

   In a saute pan,melt the butter.Add the nuts and the sage.Cook over medium heat until the butter turns brown,and the nuts are fragrant ,and the sage leaves crisp.Be careful,as the butter can go from browned to burned quickly.Place as many ravioli in each dish as desired.Lightly spoon some of the brown butter sauce over the ravioli,along with the nuts and sage.Top with grated parmesan if desired.

*** I use salted butter and parmesan,so I do not add additional salt to the dish.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I love reading other people's blogs.Usually,I stick to food blogs,or scrapbooking blogs,but I have another that I love to follow.It is called NJ2LA,and it details the experience of a young(she'll love me for saying that),mother from NJ who has had to uproot her life and family to move to LA due to a move by her husband's company.I love reading this blog for a variety of reasons...first,Amie, is my cousin via marriage(our hubbies are 1st cousins).Secondly,I cannot even imagine how difficult it is to leave all that you are familiar with,all of your friends & family,and move clear across the country to start over.Lastly,Amie,like myself and many of you, is  a foodie.Her blog chronicles her weekly adjustments to west coast living,as well as her wonderful discoveries of the California farmer's markets,west coast ingredients,and some great recipes thrown in for good measure,all with humor and charming wit.Take a look...I think you'll enjoy!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Coconut Macaroons

Here is a recipe for macaroons from Ina Garten.Delicious,plain or dipped in chocolate,these will be a welcome addition to your spring table.

1- 14oz. package of flaked coconut
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
2 egg whites

   In a large bowl,mix together the coconut,condensed milk & vanilla.In the bowl of your mixer,whip the egg whites and salt with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted out of the batter.Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture carefully.
  Drop the batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets(I used about 1 Tbsp. full),and bake at 325 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until golden.Enjoy!

***I dipped mine in melted chocolate.Wrapped well,these stay fresh for a few days.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

With Easter on it's way,I've been thinking about different blog ideas.I've seen this recipe over the years from Martha Stewart,and decided to give it a whirl today.So glad I did,because they came out great!I get a bit anxious at times when making bread ,as I don't often do well with yeast,but I followed the recipe(except for the currants) ,and was quite happy with the results.These are a mix between a pastry & bread.As a matter of fact,I am thinking that the dough might also be great as the base for a cheese danish,so be on the lookout for that one!

1-1/2 sticks of butter,melted & cooled
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
2   1/4 oz. envelopes of active dry yeast(4-1/2 tsp)
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs
5-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/3 c. currants(optional)
  -Butter a large bowl.Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it reaches 110 degrees.Pour it into the bowl of your mixer,and add the yeast, butter,sugar,cinnamon,nutmeg,salt and eggs.Mix in the flour ,1 cup at a time.The dough will form around the dough hook.Continue mixing for another 4 minutes.The dough should be smooth.
If using currants,add them now.
  Turn the dough out onto a well-floured area.Knead until the currants are spread throughout the dough.If not using currants,just knead for about 2 minutes.Place in the large buttered bowl,turn once,then cover tightly with plastic wrap.Place in a warm area,free of drafts.Let rise until doubled in size,about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

  Butter a 11 x 17 inch jellyroll pan(baking sheet).Turn the dough onto a floured work surface again, and knead a few times.Divide the dough into 24 pieces.Form each piece into rounds and place on the baking sheet about an inch away from each other.Cover loosely with plastic wrap,and let rise again for one hour.

  Once they have risen,use a knife or kitchen shears to mark each bun with a cross pattern. Whisk together 1 egg white,1 tsp. of water and a dash of salt.Lightly brush the mixture over each bun.Place in a 375 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes.Rotate the pan,and bake until golden brown,about another 8-15 minutes.Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.Pipe the icing over each bun.Enjoy!

2 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   Whisk together,add a few extra drops of milk if necessary.Place into a pastry bag fitted with a circle tip,or into a squeeze bottle.....make a cross pattern with the icing on each bun.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Light It Up Blue

Just a personal request from me to honor of World Autism Day,please wear something blue to show your support for all of the families affected by autism.One of my sons has autism,so I can tell you how important it is to us to help not only my son,but the many other children and adults dealing with this developmental disability.Wear blue,donate one dollar or more,or just share this post with friends.It is time to help those who need it most.Thank you!

***The puzzle piece cookie cutter can be purchased at  for $5.00