Food For Thought: Happy National Ravioli Day!!!!

Ok…. So, National Ravioli Day was actually Tuesday (March 20th) and I’m a horrible human being for posting this late. BUT, HOMEMADE RAVIOLI EVERYONE!!! You have to forgive me because life got in the way (o.k… work.) but, I had time today and decided to have my own belated Ravioli Day!

… Probably how my ravioli will turn out!

Butternut Squash Ravioli With a Truffle Butter Sauce

Ingredients for the Dough

  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 Large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ingredients for the Butternut Squash Filling

  • 1 large Butternut Squash
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • 4 tbsp Marscapone Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Ingredients for the Truffle Oil Sauce

  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cold unsalted butter , cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp black (or white) truffle oil

Directions for Dough

1.Place the cake flour, all-purpose dlour, egg yolks and salt in a food processor or stand mixer. Pulse to combine, or turn on at low speed. With the machine running, gradually add the oil then 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water until the mixture forms a dough(the dough should stick together if pinched between your fingers). If necessary, add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time if the dough is dry.

2.Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Gather the dough into a ball and knead until the dough is smooth and shiny, 5 to 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Directions for Filling

1.Peel and chop the butternut squash. Spread it on a pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 25 – 30 mins until squash is fork tender.

2.Sauté onions and garlic in a little olive oil till soft and translucent.

3.Place 2 cups of the squash in food processor with sautéed garlic, chopped onion and marscapone cheese. Puree the shit out of it. Make it smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and make ravioli.

Directions for Ravioli

1. Roll out the dough using a pasta roller, or rolling pin. Roll into a long thin strip (No. Those are not my hands. Lol!) Had my man doing this while I was making the filling.

2.Lie it out putting a small scoop of filling spaced apart by a couple of inches.

3.Brush on some egg wash (an egg beaten with about a tsp of water) and top with the other half of the strip of pasta dough *VERY IMPORTANT!! When pushing down the top make sure to get all of the air out of it. Push down around the filling and make sure there are no empty pockets or water will get in and make your filling soggy!*

4.Use something sharp to cut ravioli. You can make squares with a knife, or circles with a round cutter,

Directions for the Sauce

1.Combine the vinegar and white wine in a saucepan on medium heat. Reduce until the liquid forms a light syrup.

2.Reduce the heat and add the teaspoon of cream. I often heat the cream first because I find that it curdles less if you heat it first. I hate it when things curdle…

3.Decrease heat to low and whisk in butter, one cube at a time until well incorporated. Do not boil.
4.Add lemon juice, and truffle oil. Do not substitute the Truffle Oil. It wont taste how it should. The oil makes this sauce.

Assembly

1. Heat some butter in a pan and throw in some Fresh Sage leaves, until slightly crispy

2.Boil water and place pasta in once boiled *Fresh pasta does not take long to cook! About 2 minutes. Do not wander away!*

3.Top with sauce and sage leaf.

4.ENJOY!!!

Happy National Potato Chip Day!!

National Potato Chip Day?!?! UMMM… YES, PLEASE?? Everyone, grab your favourite bag of chips! …. I’ve got mine!

and let’s DO THIS!!

And, now for my recipe!! Or… the food I chose to make on this glorious Day to celebrate this glorious Snack food!!

Why, Nicole… Is that an Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese and Ketchup Chips?? WHY, YES IT IS!!

I know you all expected a classy recipe, because I’m usually better than this! But, this is my guilty pleasure… MY FAVOURITE thing to eat when I just want to be a disgusting glutton… And when you all try it, I will become a thing of LEGEND!! Ok. Maybe not. But, it’s really good!! And what goes better with it than a nice cold beer?!

Carol… I’m sorry if you see this post, as you can see my healthy eating is not starting today!! Lol!

I hope you all enjoy your day!!

CHEERS!!

Happy National Strawberry/Kahlua Day!!

So, February 27th, 2018 is National Strawberry Day and National Kahua Day… So, why not mix the 2 things together?

pusheen

I know that we may not be in a time where we’re thinking of these fun ingredients. Our brains are on: Snow, Rain, Stress, Jobs, Etc. But, it’s the perfect time to think of these fun ingredients!! When we get a moment, everyone should enjoy some relaxation!

I was going to the grocery store for this holiday thinking.. “strawberries aren’t even in season here..what’s the point??” but, I bought those strawberries, I melted that chocolate, I dipped that strawberry, I filled it with CHILI Kahlua…. I ate it all…. and I felt better. Now is the time to enjoy the things we feel we shouldn’t be enjoying at this time of year… whatever that is where you are in this world!

Everyone deserves a day to focus on themselves!

 

lucy.gif

A-Cheerful-Dog

anchorman

Nice-Day-Meme

 

So on to my recipe to enjoy any day you get the chance to relax!

 

kahlua

Ingredients

  • strawberries
  • semi sweet chocolate
  • Coffee Liqueur (or I used chili Liqueur)

Directions

  1. Take your strawberry and scoop out some of the core (i used the handle side of a spoon because its narrow and easy to cut and scoop…I’m not fancy)
  2. Cut off a little of the bottom if you don’t have anything to hold it up (to make it flat, so it stands)
  3. Melt chocolate in a sauce pan at low heat
  4. When chocolate has melted, dip strawberry (or if you melted a small bit take a spoon back and dip it the chocolate and drizzle on the strawberry)
  5. Put in fridge to chill for a few minutes
  6. Fill with coffee liqueur
  7. CHEERS!!

 

Food For Thought..Happy National Stuffed Mushroom Day, And Superbowl Sunday!!

Happy National Stuffed Mushroom Day!! And coincidentally, it falls on SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!!!

football.gif

So, I have a dilemma with this years Superbowl… I don’t know who to cheer for!! I’m not a fan of Tom Brady (please, don’t start hitting your unfollow buttons… I’m sorry.) (and no, it’s not because of his deflated balls specifically… Lol!) But, the Pats have also already had their day in the sun… But, the Eagles are my brother in laws team AND pretty much my teams arch nemeses… my team is the Cowboys (PLEASE, don’t start pushing your unfollow buttons AGAIN! I know… why?? But, think of what I’ve had to go through the past few years and you can at least feel A LITTLE sorry for me!!) But, if the Eagles win I will NEVER. HEAR. THE. END. OF. IT. What to do?!?! Any suggestions??

Well, it’ll be an interesting night. But, at least A DELICIOUS NIGHT!!!

So, on to stuffed mushrooms!! I went with Jalepeno popper stuffed mushrooms!! Here’s the recipe and they only take about 25 mins, so plenty of time at Half-time!! Although, Justin Timberlake will be bringing sexy back.. so I don’t know if you’ll want to miss that! Lol!

Jalapeno Stuffed Mushrooms

stuffed mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 24 whole white button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (4-oz) can diced jalapeños, drained
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place a baking rack on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
  3. Remove stems from mushrooms.
  4. Combine cream cheese, garlic, jalapeños, cheese and cooked bacon.
  5. Spoon cream cheese mixture into mushroom caps. Place on baking rack.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Now back to the game!!!

Happy Robbie Burns Day!! Authentic Robbie Burns Dinner

paulnicole

January 25th, the day to celebrate the life and works of the famous Scottish Poet Robert Burns. First, a Little about Burns Night. I’m going to tell you right now. Haggis is GOOD!! Don’t look at what it is.. It’s like shepherds pie.. or a meatloaf… it’s just meat and spices and oats. It’s good!!

The first supper was held in memoriam at Burns College by Burns’s friends, on 21 July 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death; it has been a regular occurrence ever since. They held the first Burns supper on what they thought was his birthday, 29 January 1802, but in 1803, they discovered the Ayr parish records that noted his date of birth was actually 25 January 1759. Since then, suppers have been held on or about 25 January.

Burns suppers may be formal or informal. Both typically include haggis (a traditional Scottish dish celebrated by Burns in Address to a Haggis), Scotch Whiskey and the recitation of Burns’s poetry. Formal dinners are hosted by organisations such as Burns clubs, the Freemasons or St. Andrews Societies; they occasionally end with dancing when ladies are present. Formal suppers follow a standard order.

Piping in guests

the men

A piper generally greets the guests, who gather and mix as at any informal party. At less formal gatherings, traditional Scottish Music is played.

Host’s welcoming speech

The host says a few words welcoming everyone to the supper and perhaps stating the reason for it.

All the guests are seated and grace is said, usually using the Selkirk Grace, a well-known thanksgiving said before meals that uses the Scots language. Although attributed to Burns, the Selkirk Grace was already known in the 17th century as the “Galloway Grace” or the “Covenanters’ Grace”. It came to be called the Selkirk Grace because Burns was said to have delivered it at a dinner given by the Earl of Selkirk.

Selkirk Grace

Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

Soup course

The supper starts with the soup course. Normally, a Scottish soup, such as Scotch Broth potato soup, cullen skink, or cock-a-leekie, is served.

Haggis

“Piping” of haggis

Everyone stands as the haggis is brought in. It is usually brought in by the cook on a large dish, generally while a piper plays the bagpipe and leads the way to the host’s table, where the haggis is laid down. “A Man’s A Man for A’ That”, “Robbie Burns Medley” or “The Star O’ Robbie Burns” might be played. The host, or perhaps a guest, then recites the Address to a Haggis.

the dinner

Addressing the haggis

Address to a Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.
(fa = befall, sonsie = jolly/cheerful)

(aboon = above)
(painch = paunch/stomach, thairm = intestine)
(wordy = worthy)

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
(hurdies = buttocks)
His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sicht,
Warm-reekin, rich!
(dicht = wipe, here with the idea of sharpening)
(slicht = skill)(reekin = steaming)
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
“Bethankit” hums.
(deil = devil)
(swall’d = swollen, kytes = bellies, belyve = soon)
(bent like = tight as)
(auld Guidman = the man of the house, rive = tear, i.e. burst)
Is there that o’re his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect scunner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
(olio = stew, from Spanish olla/stew pot, staw = make sick)(scunner = disgust)
Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
(nieve = fist, nit = nut, i.e. tiny)
But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whistle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thristle.
(wallie = mighty, nieve = fist)

(sned = cut off)
(thristle = thistle)

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a haggis!
(skinkin ware = watery soup)
(jaups = slops about, luggies = two-handled continental bowls)

At the line His knife see rustic Labour dicht, the speaker normally draws and sharpens a knife. At the line An’ cut you up wi’ ready slicht, he plunges it into the haggis and cuts it open from end to end. When done properly, the “ceremony” is a highlight of the evening.

Main course

haggis cutting

split haggis

 Haggis served wi tatties an neeps(with potatoes and swede)

At the end of the poem, a whisky toast will be proposed to the haggis, and the company will sit down to the meal. The haggis is traditionally served with mashed potatoes (tatties) and mashed swede (neeps).

plate

Other courses

A dessert course, cheese courses, coffee, etc., may also be part of the meal. The courses normally use traditional Scottish recipes. For instance, dessert may be cranachanor tipsy laird (whisky trifle), followed by oatcakes and cheese, all washed down with the “water of life” (uisge beatha), Scotch whisky.

Toasts

When the meal reaches the coffee stage, various speeches and toasts are given.

Immortal memory

The main speaker gives a speech remembering some aspect of Burns’s life or poetry. It may be either light-hearted or serious and may include the recitation of a poem or a song by Burns. A toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns then follows.

Address to the Lassies

This was originally a short speech given by a male guest in thanks to the women who had prepared the meal. However, it is now much more wide-ranging and generally covers the male speaker’s view on women. It is normally amusing and not offensive, particularly since it will be followed by a reply from the “lassies” concerned. The men drink a toast to the women’s health.

Reply to the Laddies

This is occasionally (and humorously) called the “Toast to the Laddies”. Like the previous toast, it is generally now quite wide-ranging. A female guest will give her views on men and reply to any specific points raised by the previous speaker. Like the previous speech, it should be amusing but not offensive. Quite often, the speakers giving this toast and the previous one will collaborate so that the two toasts complement each other.

Works by Burns

After the speeches there may be singing of songs by Burns (such as Ae Fond KissParcel o’ Rogues and A Man’s a Man) and more poetry (such as To a MouseTo a LouseTam o’ ShanterThe Twa Dogs and Holy Willie’s Prayer).

That may be done by the individual guests or by invited experts, and it goes on for as long as the guests wish. It may include other works by poets influenced by Burns, particularly poets writing in Scots. Foreign guests may also be invited to sing or say works from their land.

Closing

Finally, the host will call on one of the guests to give the vote of thanks. Then, everyone is asked to stand, join hands, and sing Auld Lang Syne to bring the evening to an end.

Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld  lang syne.
For auld, &c.

Auld Lang Syne (as you may know it)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.
CHORUS
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
REPEAT CHORUS
We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.
REPEAT CHORUS
We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn
Frae mornin’ sun till dine.
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.
REPEAT CHORUS
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.
REPEAT CHORUS
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.
REPEAT CHORUS
And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
For long, long ago.
And surely youll buy your pint-jug!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet
For long, long ago.
REPEAT CHORUS
We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered manys the weary foot
Since long, long ago.
REPEAT CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since long, long ago.
REPEAT CHORUS
And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!
And give us a hand of yours!
And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will
For long, long ago.
REPEAT CHORUS

Food For Thought: Happy National Cheese Lovers Day!!

Ok… This has to be MY. FAVOURITE. DAY. Actually, I’m pretty sure when I doing my research there was a WINE AND CHEESE DAY… *salivating* I don’t know….

Anyways, NATIONAL CHEESE LOVERS DAY?! Yes, please!!! So, grab your cheese and let’s go!

cheese meme

So, I got crazy today…. I made my first Soufflé and I’m so proud!! Now, I will tell you right now that I’ve never TASTED a soufflé before.. But, from the descriptions I feel like I did a pretty good job! So, let’s start this party off right, with a recipe! A Recipe from Julia Child to be exact!! So, you KNOW it has to be good!!

souffle

Ingredients:

  • 1 c grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or paprika)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (for the egg whites)
  • 4 Tb of butter (1Tb for buttering mold)
  • 1 Tb grated Parmesan cheese (for dusting mold)
  • 3 Tb flour
    1 c milk, lightly boiling
    4 egg yolks
    5 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Start by buttering the mold and sprinkling with cheese. I chose to use Parmesan cheese because it grated finer than Gruyere. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Tear a long enough piece of foil so that it is long enough to wrap around your mold.
    Fold in half length-wise and butter one side. The buttered side will be the “inside” of the mold.
  3. Wrap the foil around the mold.
  4. Melt the 3Tb of butter in a sauce pan and stir in the flour with a spatula, cooking over medium heat until the butter and flour foam together for about 2 minutes without browning.
  5. Remove from heat. When mixture has stopped bubbling, pour in all of the boiling milk at once and beat vigorously with a whisk until well blended.
  6. Beat in the seasonings, cayenne or paprika, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Return to moderate heat and continue to stir with a whisk for another minute. The mixture will be very thick.
  7. Remove from heat, take the egg yolks and beat 1 egg yolk into your white cream mixture one at a time until well incorporated.
  8. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, begin to beat your egg whites with a whisk attachment on low speed. You will see that the egg whites will “break up” and begin to have a foamy consistency… So, I will admit right now that this step didn’t work for me.. My whites were a little runny and would not come together… But, my soufflé worked out pretty good! So, I’m ok with that!
  9. As the egg whites are foaming, increase the speed gradually and add cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Increase the speed to fast and continue to beat for a few more minutes.
    Do not leave your egg whites! Continue checking them. What you want to see are “traces” on the surface. The egg whites should also have a glossy white sheen and be able to be stiff and firm when holding with a whisk.
  10. If they don’t get to stiff peaks… Continue anyways, because it still worked for me!
  11. Once the egg whites are done, don’t let them sit for long. Take a large spoonful and stir it into the cream mixture to lighten it.
  12. Stir in all but about 1Tbl of the grated cheese into the cream mixture
  13. There is a technique with folding the rest of the egg whites. Take one large spoonful of the egg whites and using your spatula, cut down the middle and draw the spatula under, while scraping the side of the pan and turning the pan with the other hand. Basically, you folding under and to the side.
    Continue with the rest of the egg whites. Be careful not to over fold. It’s OK if there are white streaks leftover.
  14. It’s also ok if you just ignored this advice because your whites did nothing. It was still good, just continue!
  15. Now your mixture is ready! Carefully pour your mixture into the prepared mold. It should be about 3/4 high. Tap the mild carefully to even it out and top with remaining Tb of cheese.
  16. Place on middle-back rack of pre-heated 400 degree oven.Once in, immediately turn down to 375 degrees.
  17. Cook until puffed up and not liquid in the centre (use a tester stick to check) approx 30 mins

I know it’s silly, because I probably didn’t make mine perfect… But, I’m pretty proud!! National Cheese Lovers Day=SUCCESS!

grate

CHEERS!!

Food For Thought…Spaghetti Recipe

Here is my recipe from yesterday’s National Spaghetti Day dish!

Feel free to used pre-made pasta if you’re short on time, but I LOVE fresh pasta!

Ingredients:

  • 600g of 00 Flour
  • 6 Eggs
  • Salt (for water)

Directions

  1. pour flour into a mixing bowl
  2. Create a divot in the flour and crack your eggs into it
  3. push the flour into the eggs a bit at a time
  4. Knead until it takes on a silky sheen
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins
  6. Get a pot of salted water boiling
  7. Roll out with either a rolling pin or a pasta roller (I have an attachment for my mixer which is so great!)
  8. When at desired thickness either slice evenly with a sharp knife, or throw on the pasta slicer attachment and throw it through!
  9. Throw pasta in boiling water for about 5 mins or to desired state of al dente

Spring Peas and Bacon Pasta

Ingredients:

  • Pasta
  • 4 slices Bacon
  • 1 cup of Peas (Fresh or Frozen) If frozen run them under some cold water 1st and strain them to try to get some water out)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1tsp herbs de provence (or you can just throw in a little thyme, rosemary, basil, savory, fennel
  • cracked black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a frying pan, fry up the bacon
  2. You can pour out some of the fat after if you want… I leave it in because FAT IS FLAVOUR!) add minced garlic and fry until softened
  3. Add peas until heated through
  4. Add olive oil, herbs and red pepper flakes and throw pasta on top
  5. Add cracked black pepper to taste
  6. Toss to coat and warm
  7. Feel free to top with parmesan cheese
  8. ENJOY!!

Food For Thought…Happy National Spaghetti Day!!

Well, I’ve been thinking of other things to post about to rest my tired liver every once in a while…. Although, I could very well mix things up with a drink and food pairing, or a food and book pairing… Let’s get crazy! So, It’s National Spaghetti Day and originally I was thinking of featuring an asian pasta since spaghetti was said to originate with rice noodles in Asia. But, time got away from me, so I would up with some homemade fresh noodles tossed in some olive oil infused with garlic, red pepper flakes, herbs de provence, salt and pepper with bacon, peas and tomato.

spaghetti

Recipe to follow…. Right now, I’M GOING TO EAT!