Foodie Blog Roll 2

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Ravioli

I was very excited about making pumpkin ravioli and even found a recipe to make the dough from scratch. I did these two ways: some with homemade dough and some with wonton wrappers from the store. I think I was a little too excited about this, and ended up being a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but I just kept adding stuff to give it more flavor. I wasn't sure what type of sauce to use for pumpkin ravioli so I turned to the internet. Several recipes called for sage and brown butter sauce-that just did NOT do it for me! I will have to try something else next time. Anyways, here is what I did.

Pumpkin Ravioli
For the homemade dough, I used a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network:
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 C very hot water

"In a large bowl combine the flour and the water. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine into a large ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes."
Click on the link above for her exact instructions for rolling out/ filling the dough. I used 1tsp of filling for these. I do not have a ravioli cutter, so I used a cookie cutter.

 Pumpkin filling:
1 C pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2 C ricotta cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper
1 1/4 C grated Parmesan
Freshly ground nutmeg

Mix everything together well in a bowl. You may want to taste the filling before actually filling the pasta; mine needed more salt! I thought it would be fine because of the salt I added plus figured the salt in both cheeses should be enough.

For the wonton wrappers, place a piece of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet so the wrappers don't stick. Fill them with 1 Tbs of filling.
Wet the edges of the wrappers with water and place another wrapper on top of the first ones, pressing all around the edges. Try to make sure there is no air in the ravioli.
 Boil in batches until the ravioli float to the top. 

4 T butter
4 Fresh sage leaves, chopped

In saute pan, melt butter and add sage leaves until butter is browned. When ravioli is done cooking, coat with butter sauce. 

Hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Freshly grated nutmeg
Shaved Parmesan

So, here are my final products:
Pumpkin Ravioli with homemade dough

Pumpkin Ravioli in wonton wrappers

We liked the homemade dough better for sure! It took a lot longer and was messy, but kind of fun. The wonton wrappers were really quick, but a little slimy in my opinion. 
I will definitely make ravioli again, but with a different filling. And I will DEFINITELY use a different sauce. Overall though, this was fun and I'm glad I tried it. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cranberry Tangerine Muffins

I went to Panera Bread earlier this week and got coffee and a cranberry orange muffin. Yum! It got me thinking about how excited I am that Thanksgiving is next week and how, to me, that was a true "Thanksgiving" muffin!! I immediately started creating my own "Thanksgiving" muffin and this is what I came up with.
Cranberry Tangerine Muffin

Luckily, my grocery store had fresh cranberries, so I bought a few bags with intention of freezing some. I love the colors of the fresh fruit that went into these!

Beautiful, right? I have used dried cranberries in baked goods before and it is always great, but these fresh cranberries gave the muffins such a great tartness! Love at first bite!

3/4 C whole wheat flour
3/4 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
2/3 C milk (I used skim)
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 T fresh tangerine zest (about 3 small tangerines)
Juice from 1 tangerine
Splash of cranberry juice (optional, I just had some on hand)
1 1/4 C Fresh cranberries, cut in half
"Toptional" (Optional Topping)
1/4 C flour
1/4 C oats
1/8 C brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 T canola oil

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, sift or mix the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Add the wet to the dry and stir only to combine; do not over mix. In the bowl that you used for your wet ingredients, mix together the 5 "toptional" ingredients, if desired.  Spray your muffin pan with Baker's Joy,* and pour the batter evenly into the 12 cups; sprinkle on the "toptional."
Bake for 17 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. :)
*Baker's Joy is the best stuff ever! It is a non-stick spray with flour in it. Sounds crazy, right? But for baking it is a MUST! It can be found at your local grocery store. It has 0 calories and it's so easy! Now you don't have to brush the inside of your baking pans with butter, or take two steps and spray them with non-stick and THEN coat them with flour. Baking made easy!

I hope you all have a GREAT Thanksgiving and give these a try!
      xoxo Cookin' Cowgirl.

click here to print

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taco Soup

Two weekends ago we went to our buddies house to watch some football. Zach, the host made some amazing taco soup! Maybe I'm crazy, but I had never had that before. I was originally thinking that he meant tortilla soup, but I was pleasantly surprised when I scooped up my bowl. The best way I can describe taco soup, for those of you who don't already know, is that it is like a cross between tortilla soup and chili. Now are you intrigued? :)
Everyone was raving about how yummy his soup was and wanted the recipe, including myself, but I just had to try to make my own before I got it from him; no copying! So here is my take on taco soup.

Taco Soup

1 lb ground turkey (or beef) (My package from the store was actually 1.3 lb)
1 large onion, chopped
1 packet hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper 
1 27 oz can chili beans
1 16 oz can pinto beans
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 16 oz can corn, whole kernal
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 C hot water

In a large skillet, brown the meat and onions. Add the two mixes and the spices to the meat mixture and combine. In a large, heavy bottom pot, pour in the meat mixture and turn oven on. The only thing that you will drain is the black beans, so it does not make the soup black. Pour everything else, including the juices, in the pot and simmer for about an hour, or until mixed and warm, stirring occasionally. 

This soup is hearty and thick and SO healthy!. You may require more than 1/2 C water, but I found it to be just right. We topped it with cheese and Chris added some crushed up chips to his also. I wish I had some avocado to top mine with; next time! 
Shout out to my girl, Laura, for the request. Love you and let me know what you think!! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Healthy Fruit Smoothies

Five to be exact.
As some of you know, I recently underwent some major jaw surgery, forcing me to be on a liquid diet for weeks. Once I even actually even felt like eating anything, I had to get creative! I made some soups prior to surgery and froze them so I would have something for lunch and dinner, but breakfast was a little more difficult. I am not a huge fan of shake type drinks like Boost or Ensure, but I still needed to get some protein and nutrients in the morning. My solution?
Smoothie Challenge!!!

I came up with 5 fruit smoothie recipes and thought I would I share. These all have the same base, Greek yogurt and cranberry juice (that's why they all have a pink tint), but the fruit combination are different. Have a good blender? {or magic bullet, or food processor} Give these a try!

Smoothie Challenge
Day 1 {Peach, Cran-Raspberry}

1/2 C frozen peaches
1/4 C frozen raspberries
1/4 C frozen cranberries
1/4 C Greek yogurt
1/4 C cranberry juice

Day 2 {Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry}

1/2 C fresh strawberries
1/4 C frozen blueberries
1/4 C frozen raspberries
1/4 C Greek yogurt
1/4 C cranberry juice
Few cubes of ice
Day 3 {Strawberry, Cran-Raspberry}
1/2 C frozen raspberries
1/4 C frozen strawberries
1/4 C frozen cranberries
1/4 C Greek yogurt
1/4 C cranberry juice

 Day 4 {Apples, Raspberries, Peaches}
1/2 C frozen chopped apples
1/4 C frozen raspberries
1/4 C frozen peaches
1/4 C Greek yogurt
1/4 C cranberry juice
 Day 5 {Strawberries, Blueberries, Peaches}
2/3 C frozen strawberries
1/3 C frozen blueberries
1/3 C frozen peaches
1/3 C Greek yogurt
1/3 C cranberry juice

For all of these recipes, just throw everything in a blender, pulse a few times, and turn it on high. You may want to add a little more juice if it keeps getting stuck, or ice if you blend it down a little too much. Fresh fruit would also be great!

As you can see, on the last one, I made it a little bigger, but for the most part, I tried to stick to the same measurement; 1 cup of fruit and a quarter cup of juice and yogurt. For the frozen apples and strawberries, I washed, cut and froze fresh ones from the store. The rest of the fruit, I bought already frozen. Make sure you get a good Greek yogurt that is low fat, has a lot of protein and is low in sugar. Also, I used "diet juice." because all the fruit already has a lot of sugar in it. 

I know it is getting a little cooler now, (and I can chew a little!), but I even had a smoothie this morning. I put a T of ground flax seed in there as well which gives the smoothie more of a richness. Let me know what you think of these recipes! :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sugar Cookies

Two weekends ago I bought a container of 100 cookie cutters and I really wanted to use them to make cute sugar cookies that I could decorate. I talked to my friend, Kelsey, and asked her to help me, so the search for a great sugar cookie recipe began. I wanted to find a recipe where the dough would stay thick and not flatten out when they baked up. I found the base of this recipe on but definitely made some changes. These cookies turned out awesome! Making these is time consuming, but really fun!

Rolled Sugar Cookies
banana, duckie, airplane, football, doggie bone, bikini, cowboy boot, football helmet
1 1/2 C butter, softened
2 1/2 C sugar 
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of lemon
5 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth (I mixed the whole recipe together by hand, but a mixer would be fine also). Beat in the eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Stir in the last 5 ingredients. Cover dough and chill in the fridge for AT LEAST AN HOUR. (Believe me, you need it to be cold or it is really sticky!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to your desired thickness (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick). Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters and place on cookie sheets. 
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, but make sure you watch them closely. Some of the smaller cookies cooked up in less than 5 minutes! Cool completely before decorating.
I used store bought icing, food coloring and sprinkles to decorate these. Also, I forgot to take pictures of these, but we rolled some of the dough into balls and then rolled them in colored sugar; pretty cute. Lastly, we made faux snickerdoodle cookies by rolling some of the dough balls in a mix of:
1 part cinnamon
2 part brown sugar
2 part white sugar

Here is my only other picture:
Gameday Sugar Cookies

I think they were a good luck charm because my Oklahoma State University COWBOYS and Chris' Kansas Jayhawks won on Saturday! (Shout out-Go Pokes!) At least I'd like to think it was because of me! hehe 

Give this recipe a try and don't be afraid to tweak it to your liking. I'm glad I did!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Easy Apple Cider

It feels like FOREVER since I have blogged....I guess 12 days is a really long time to go with out my scrumptious recipes :) Well, fear not; this one is super easy! It starts out with store bought apple cider, which is sure to be available in all grocery stores this time of year. I bought one gallon and used about 3/4ths of it for this particular recipe and honestly, the rest of the items on the ingredient list are probably all things you already have in your kitchen.

Apple Cider

12 C store bought apple cider
1 apple (I used gala) quartered and cored
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp ground all spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8th tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp whole cloves
1-2 cinnamon sticks (plus additional for garnish)

Pour the cider in a large sauce pot and heat on stove at medium heat. Wash orange and apple. Cut apple and remove core and seeds. Cut it into quarters and toss them in the pot. Pour everything else in the pot and stir to combine. Cook until heated through. Use a ladle to pour it into mugs and try not to scoop up the cloves. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired. Sip away! :)
This can sit on the stove on simmer for a long time. It can also be refrigerated and reheated. 

Tip: It's not a bad idea to stick the cloves pointy part of the cloves in the skin of the apples so that you do not have avoid scooping them up when serving. I did not do that this time, but I found a great picture of someone who did:
Cool, huh?

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