Everyone But You.

Oh I know. I know most of you are entering fall mode now and talk about ice cream and strawberries is kind of silly for you now. But I never get good strawberries here. NEVER. Keep in mind we don’t have seasons so is a little crazy and all over the place. So I was incredibly happy when my mom bought these pretty strawberries. Not the most gorgeous, red and juicy ever, but pretty decent for this place. And I knew they were meant to be something bigger then themselves. Woah, did it work…

I present to you Cardamom & Vanilla Strawberry Jam. This is one, if not the, most fragrant things I have ever made. I always thought cardamom was just for savory dishes, until I fell in love with the idea of a cardamom ice cream. So I bought lovely, organic cardamom pods until I decided to do something cool with them. I didn’t know they could work so well in sweets. They’re so perfect for it. They scent is indescribable and with vanilla…oh dear. You will love this. Promise.

I should tell you that I am not so sure this could be called a jam. See, the thing is that all the recipes for cardamom strawberry jam called for ground cardamom but I wanted to use my lovely, beautiful pods. I wanted to infuse them into something. So first I placed the berries and vanilla sugar in a colander, to let them release their juices. And mean while -oh yes I did it, I went there- I browned a little butter along with the cardamom to give it that wonderful aroma. You know you like it 😉

Don’t hate, is just a little butter, I swear. After the butter had browned and the berries released enough juices, I poured the juices in the brown butter and let the cardamom infuse for a while longer. Then I threw in the slightly mashed berries and cooked them down a bit and that’s it! This was simply gorgeous. Just on a warm toast with a little (more) butter. But You’ll see what I really used this for later on 😉

Cardamom & Vanilla Strawberry Jam

Recipe by me.

Keep in mind this is a small batch, is easy to double or triple.

1 1/2 cups of strawberries, hulled.

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon of butter (I used salted, if not, I’d recommend adding a pinch of salt)

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (use vanilla bean if you can, not possible here, but would be wonderful)

8 green cardamom pods (or use 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom, it might be a bit stronger)

First, you need a big colander to fit all the berries in. Place it over a medium sized bowl to catch the juices. Pu the berries in the colander with the sugar and vanilla. Mix them to cover all the berries and let them soften for a while.

Meanwhile, in a medium pot, throw the butter and break open the cardamom pods, releasing the beans. Only the beans go into the pot with the butter. Now over medium heat, start melting the butter. It will be a while before it starts to brown so go back to the berries.

With a fork, mash them slightly (you still want a few chunks) and let them soften further. Now check on the butter. When is beautifully browned, take it off the heat and add the juice you collected from the berries. Return to heat and give it a stir. Let cook for 5 minutes and then strain the syrup to catch the cardamom beans. Return to the pot and add the crushed berries. Stir and let it cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, until thick.

Since I was using it right away, I didn’t can it, but if you’re going to, here’s a great guide (and recipe!) for the process.

It would go great on vanilla ice cream or some cheesecake! Oh wow, that’s an idea! Either way enjoy it, by the spoonful 😉 I allow it!

Have a great day everyone!

I’m not crazy.

I once told you I’m not very good with savory recipes…What I actually meant was, I’m not good with main courses. I feel very comfortable with everything around that… appetizers, snacks, salads, soups, dessert, dessert, dessert. Okay, now you know. I other thing that I love to make are dips. Sauces. Dressings. Salsas. Relish. Spread. Toppings. I’ll stop now. Just call it whatever you want, I adore to make them cause I adoooreee to eat them. My meals normally consist of all the sauces and toppings I can get my hands on (in huge amounts) and then a little of the thing I’m supposed to put the toppings to. Take for example, ketchup. I eat it alone. Please don’t leave me, I had to get that out. The stuff is heaven to me.

That’s a jiraffe-shaped wood knife! is my mom’s and is AMAZING.

 

I believe is what makes the food. What’s a burger without sauces? and pasta? A sundae without fudge? NO! is a sin! So I might as well use massive amounts right? 😉 Anyway…let me get to this…I made a really delicious Arabian Red Bell Pepper Dip. I love Arabian food, is full of dips and sauces! and this one is my favorite along with hummus. Is slightly sweet and spicy. And is sooo easy to make, everyone will love it. I was a bad host and didn’t have any pita bread to offer you here, but I love it just as much with whole grain crackers and veggies! Is all about the dip remember?

I had to say it…I LOVE this shot.

 

Ideally, you would burn the red bell peppers on a grill or directly on the flame of your stove. But I have an electric kitchen. So I placed them under the broiler and watched them carefully, turning them to burn all the way. You really want them to turn black here. They would look completely burned and that’s a good thing! That is going to give them a wonderfully smoked flavor that is the star here. And you MUST toast your nuts here, otherwise your life won’t be worth it anymore. I wish I was kidding. I never kid when it comes to dips.

I might have eaten most of this myself in one day. I did offer a little and everyone loved it, but it was MINE. I love my dips. spreads. sauces.

Oh, I should tell you this is usually made with walnuts, but I only had almonds. It worked perfectly! So you can experiment here and tell me how it goes (;

Red Bell Pepper Dip

Adapted from a Spanish Recipe somewhere in the internet. I really can’t remember.

4 red bell pepper

2 garlic cloves (I used 3 cause I like excess)

1 teaspoon of paprika

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of red wine or balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup of toasted walnuts or other nut you like.

Salt and pepper to season

You need to burn the peppers, for the broiler method, place them on a baking sheet in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes. Keep and eye on them and turn them to turn black on all sides. When that is done, take them out and let them sit on a plate for a couple of minutes. Now grab a ziplock bag or similar, and placed them all in it, closing the bag. They will sweat, making it easier for us to remove the skin and unleash the wonderfulness that’s under.

Meanwhile you can toast your nuts. Watch them carefull, we don’t want this ones burn, just fragrant and crunchy.

After a couple of more  minutes, take the peppers out of the bag and make sure they’re not so hot so you can handle them. Peel out the burnt skin with your hands. It should be really easy. Continue all around, discarding the black bits. I would recommend not rinse them cause some of the great flavor would go down the sink. A few black bits are okay, you don’t have to get it perfect. Now cut off the top and slice them open and scrape all the seeds and veins out (yes, vegetables have veins)

Noe get your food processor, or blender, or hand blender (like me) and get all the ingredients in there. Process everything together and taste for seasonings. Serve on a plate and decorate with a little more chopped nuts, coarse sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

You’re done! Wasn’t it fun?

I would normally give you a song to go along with this but I’m in a huge Green Day kick and I already offered you Green Day. Still, if you’d like to hear some more, I highly recommend Jesus of Suburbia (oh the video, the lyrics. Be my heart still, this might as well by on my top 3 favorite songs) Basket Case (a classic.) and Homecoming (a true masterpiece, so touching)  among others…I love them all. Amazing musicians. Listen to the lyrics.

Thanks for reading you all. Thank you SO much 🙂

The rest of the summer was the best we ever had

I can’t get enough. I love making ice cream in ways I thought were not possible. Is not even baking. And I didn’t even know I love ice cream so much. But oh, I do. Homemade ice cream is my favorite thing to eat. And this would be the first situation where I would choose vanilla over chocolate. I just don’t dig chocolate ice cream that much. Maybe I havent tried the right one. Next on my list! 🙂

But right now I have to tell you about this amazing ice cream Can you guess? No, is not “just” an Almond Ice Cream. This, my dear beloved, is a Salted Butterscotch Almond Ice Cream. You’re welcome. But really, you should thank my huge inspiration...Canelle et Vanille (jesus christ, what a beautiful blog) and her incredible sounding ice cream Butterscotch Smoked Almond Ice Cream. When I read those words together my jaw dropped to the floor and I don’t think I can pick it up just yet. I mean, smoked…almonds…butterscotch…ice cream. oh my god, send help please.

There was just no way of finding smoked almonds in this hole. So I changed things up a bit and ended up with this beautiful concoction. I used less butter, but decided to use evaporated milk for the whole milk. You can totally use whole milk, but the evaporated gave this ice cream that something extra, flavor-wise, and made the texture ultra creamy. I wish I could really describe to you just how creamy this ice cream really was. Is too much.

Is almost too much.

This fulfilled all my expectations. You know, I really hate those so called “Almond” ice creams that are nothing more than vanilla with chopped almonds. And they don’t even toast them. They are often super icy and just plain bland. I hate bland things. I wanted this to taste like almonds, so no vanilla (you can use it) and quite a bit of almond extract. And I toasted the almonds because life is not worth it without that. By far, the richest, creamiest most velvety thing I’ve ever made. I’m so sad is all gone.

I kinda hated my huge ice cream maker (my mom gave it to me) but then I discovered The Pioneer Women has the exact same one! so yeah, it can’t be that bad. Oh, I should tell you that the original recipe tells you not to caramelize the sugar or it’ll be bitter. I’m a revel (or just stupid) and decided to do it anyway. It wasn’t bitter at all! it gave the ice cream a richer butterscotch flavor. The only problem is that some of the sugar clumped, but with leaving it to cook a little longer, they dissolved, so everything is good. Do this. Today. Or tomorrow, but do it.

Salted Butterscotch Almond Ice Cream

Recipe Adapted from Cannelle et Vanille

2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of evaporated milk (you can use whole, but it’ll be slightly less rich)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 Tablespoon of butter (I used salted)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg yolks
a little less of 1 cup of toasted almonds, roughly chopped.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and let it brown. Once browned, add the sugar and combine. Let the sugar melt and cameralize to a light golden.  Add the heavy cream, evaporated milk and salt and bring them to a boil.

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and temper the liquid into them. Return the custard back to the pot and cook on low heat until it thickens enough, so when you run your finger through the back of the spoon, the mark should remain there. Or, until it reaches 84C or 183F. Strain the custard through a fine sieve and chill it over an ice bath. When cooled, refrigerate the mixture overnight. Churn it in the ice cream machine and add the chopped toasted almonds at the end. Freeze.

Lick everything you used to make the ice cream. Feel guilty but oh so good. Now go do some hot yoga to feel better.

Oh so creamy (Did I say that? it really, really is!) Everyone loved this. I want to make more ice cream. I want YOU to make it. And to listen to this super cute and catchy song. (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To by Weezer. Love the lyrics, love the video. I love summer.

And I love you (:

Tease.

I’m making something amazing for tomorrow’s post. Well actually is for my aunt returning from the states. She told me to surprise her with some treat. And oh, will she be surprised. I need to make it a day ahead in order for it to be the best it can possibly be. I can’t tell you just yet what it is. That would be mean to leave you with a name and no pictures of the finished product or recipe yet right? right. But showing you parts of the process is totally harmless right? 😉

Is one of my favorite things to make. If not my absolute favorite. It makes me feel special and like such a pro.

And this special recipe makes me feel like the fanciest person ever, which, mind you, I’m not. I’m a mess, my room is a mess, my schedule (yeah like I really have one) is a mess, my head is a mess of thoughts. Right now, my hair is a mess too. But damn, do I like fancy-sounding desserts. They make me feel like I live in france and go out everyday to buy lovely fresh fruits to a street market in a pretty dress and make macarons.

Okay this has nothing to do with the recipe, but I ate it while waiting for things to cook. And it was delicious. Is a chocolate covered frozen banana bite. Yum. Please, do excuse my chocolate-covered and poorly manicured hands. I’m a mess remember?

Besides, I love to scrape nail polish off my nails. Is a sickness. Please help me. I’ll give you the loveliest recipe tomorrow. I promise.

It involves almonds! God I love toasted almonds. Have you heard the lovely sound they make while cooling down from toasting? Is magical I tell you. Oh and the scent. I wish I could capture it in a (fancy) bottle and perfume all my body with it. I’m not even kidding, I would do use an almond scented perfume. And a brown butter one. Yum. I already have a coconut one and is my favorite thing ever.

This dessert is without a doubt in the top 3 best thing things I’ve ever made. Oh my god I can’t wait for you to try it.

Oh, in case you haven’t noticed, I love being a tease.

This piece is lovely. So inspiring and french. I wonder of french people are aware that we think they’re so fancy. They probably do know I’m a mess. But sometimes I like it.

Is handsome.

I love it when the simplest ingredients make the best treats. Only another baker could understand the beauty and satisfaction of joining together butter, sugar, flour and eggs and get something amazing. Throw in a couple of add-ins and you have perfection.

And I have a confession to make. I live blondies better than brownies. I love chocolate, dark, intense and in large quantities, but there’s something about blondies that can bring you that, PLUS the milder, more caramely, vanilla flavor. Is a perfect marriage. I can’t achieve that with brownies. Though, a perfect brownie is ALWAYS welcome.

And so, for my friends yesterday I made Chocolate Covered Peanut Blondies. Just because I love crunch in blondies and peanuts and chocolate go wonderfully together. Everyone RAVED about this. They disappeared so fast I could barely take pictures of this. Also, they were so fast and easy to make. If you don’t like nuts in your baked good you can leave them out or use something else, anything works here, seriously and you can top them with white chocolate or caramel or peanut butter or, if I had had some, I would have used Sour Cream & Brown Sugar Chocolate Ganache. Mmmmm.

My pickiest friend loved these. Just cause they were chewy, soft and buttery, with the crunchy contrast of the peanuts and the decadence of the melted chocolate on top. I used dark chocolate cause that’s what I use in pretty much everything and I think is the best way to go, but feel free to change it according to your tastes.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Blondies

Recipe by me.

1/2 cup of butter

1 1/2 cups of brown sugar

1 1/2 cups of AP flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of peanuts (I didn’t want it to be chockfull with them. You can chop them if you want)

5 oz of dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or any other chocolate or topping you might want)

Preheat the oven at 350°. Grease and flour an 8 x 8 baking pan.

Melt the butter in a pan and let it brown (Click here if you don’t know how to brown butter) After that, transfer all of it to a medium bowl and let it cool slightly. Dump in the brown sugar and  (stand mixer or hand mixer are best, but you can always do it by hand) beat until fluffier and lighter in color. Beat in the eggs, one at the time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract.  Add in flour, baking powder and salt (you could sift this but I almost never do) and mix until just combined. Add the peanuts or any other add ins you want and mix to distribute them evenly.

Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Check earlier just in case. Take them out and cover it with the chopped chocolate. Let it sit to melt and then spread evenly on top of the  blondies. Cool before cutting into them.

These babies will make your day better. Meanwhile…

Get into this band. Is in my top 3 favorite bands of all times. Don’t believe in labels, they are not what most people think they are. They sound incredible and this song is gorgeous. Beautiful lyrics.

Thanks all for reading!

I’ve been here before

My favorite thing to make is ice cream. I mean I love baking SO MUCH but there’s something about making ice cream that makes me feel incredible…I mean nobody I know makes their own ice cream. My mom did it a couple of times when we were younger, but it was kind of a shortcut recipe, she used sweetened condensed milk and no eggs, meaning, no custard. It was quicker ans easier, but when I learnt how real ice creams are made I was hooked. I mean is one of those things that the store-bought version will NEVER be as good as the homemade. never. ever.

And so I made this gorgeous Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Cake. With homemade vanilla ice cream, laced with chopped chocolate of course. This was my best friend’s birthday cake and she was IN LOVE. Actually everyone that tasted it. It has the most simple flavors but they work together wonderfully. Kids and men love this. I have found that they don’t like complicated or fancy flavors and this seems to please everyone. Gotta love that!

I found this recipe in Sugar Plum and, obviously, I fell in Love. She uses store bought cookie dough ice cream and I’m sure that take sit to another level! But they don’t sell Cookie dough ice cream here. It was amazing nonetheless. Her cake is way prettier than mine, and I have to blame it on the homemade is cream. It is never as firm as store-bought, so it kinda melted all over the cake, but the taste wasn’t compromised at all! This cake is gooey, fudgy, chewy, smooth and crunchy all at once. Make this for someone you love and they’ll love you twice as much forever. promise 😉

I hate this picture, but the others were worse!

I really hate this picture, but the other ones were worse.

Is a gorgeous cookie base, then a layer of smooth ice cream, a soft but sturdy chocolate cake, more ice cream, more cookie, more ice cream, a final layer of cake and a thick ganache covering the whole thing (phew!) I’m breathless. It’s been over a year since this cake and everyone remembers it. It makes me smile. I have made variations of this cake several times and they are less intensive. I’ll share them with you eventually, but don’t let this cake intimidate you, is GREAT and if I could do it, anyone can. Trust.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cake
Recipe From: Sugar Plum

Ingredients:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate

Chocolate Cake Layer
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream

1 quart chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, softened. (I used the homemade Vanilla Ice Cream I made)

Ganache
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 teaspoons corn syrup (I don’t like to buy those things, so I used honey and it worked perfectly!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
To make the chocolate chip cookie layers, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; continue to cook the butter, whisking frequently, until it starts to brown and foam, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat browned butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well combined and grainy, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined; stir in chocolate with a wooden spoon until combined. Chill dough in the refrigerator, lightly covered, for 1 hour. (You could speed up this process by placing the dough in the freezer for about 45 minutes.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans.

To make the chocolate cake layers, in a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together oil, butter and granulated sugar until well combined and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in egg, vanilla and yogurt until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until combined, about 1-2 minutes.

Divide batter into cake pans. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cakes comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; run a knife around outside edges and invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Butter the cake pans again, and line with parchment or waxed paper circles; butter paper.

Divide cookie dough and pat evenly into pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan before running a knife around outer edges and lifting out paper-lined cookies; remove paper.

Spread the ice cream evenly between cookie and cake layers; freeze for 10 minutes before covering with ganache. Meanwhile, to make the ganache, bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Cool to a good consistency before pouring over ice cream cake.

Makes 12 servings

Note: If you’re using homemade ice cream you might need to refrigerate more. I recommend making the cake at least one day before you’re planning to serve it. Enjoy!

You might get a sugar comma from this. But also a pleasure comma so everything is worth it. I really need to make this again and take better pictures of it.

Go listen to some Decemberists. Their fabulous song and video Sixteen Military Wives is so real and true. America can say no.

Have a lovely week!

PS. I have been featured in Food Porn Daily! I am so excited they liked my photo! That site makes me drool all over my computer. Sorry for that image. I’ll stop now. Bye.

(:

The time of my life.

This is my best friend’s eye. I love him, he completes my life, and he is one fo the most beautiful people I know. Inside and out. He’s in the top 5 persons I’m gonna miss the most when I leave this country.

If you click in the picture, it gets so much bigger. And better, because… I love this shot and you know what I see in it? I see him. I see my hand, I see myself. And in the background I see my school’s patio. I don’t go there anymore and is one of the best places on earth. I love it because it shows everything I’m gonna miss the most.

My favorite people.

My favorite places.

Myself. This version of myself right now.

Cause I will change when I leave.

And this. I went to their concert yesterday and I cried to this song, because everything it says is true, because it’s real. Because I’m going.

And now it wont leave my mind. The song, the thoughts, the people and the places. It all makes this version of myself the best I’ve known, and I’m sad to see it let go. Please listen to this song, don’t let their punk-boys image throw you off, they are incredible musicians.

For what its worth, it was worth all the while…

I hope you had the time of your life.

Take a break…

Is hard to find a balance. I used to read all these scrumptious bake blogs and think “How do they even fit through the doors?” Cause seriously, all that butter, flour and sugar had to go somewhere. But is not like that…is not like they eat what they post for breakfast, lunch and dinner (okay, maybe one day they did 😉 that’s allowed in my book too) Healthy eating has become a huge part of my life, as much as baking…

So I got inspired from the AMAZING blog Heather Eats Almond Butter (love, love, love PURE love) and decided to make some savory pancakes for lunch today. What’s more, these are gluten free and really nutritious. But amazingly tasty, like really, this couldn’t get any better for me. Start by cutting up a small sweet potato into squares. Now, you could bake them, but I was lazy so I nuked them in the microwave until really soft.

While that happens, fry up some bacon (this one is really lean) cut up some goat or feta cheese and slice an avocado (by FAR my favorite…uh, what is this, a vegetable? well whatever it is, is my favorite). You can choose any toppings you like, this are really HEAB inspired 😉 without the mustard!

Now, get your blender and throw in one egg white, 1 tablespoon of raw oats, a little salt (I added cinnamon cause I’m a weirdo, but you don’t have to) your sweet potatoes (I didn’t use them all, a little more than half) and a splash of milk. Blend all together until it looks like pancake mix, If its too thin, add more sweet potatoes, if its too thick, add more milk.

In the same pan where you fried up your bacon (If you have too much fat you can discard a little, I barely had any) pour the batter to make a pancake. Keep it in medium heat until you see bubbles in the surface (like a regular pancake) and flip it over. Mmmm, look that browned beauty. I love the color sweet potato gives it. My favorite starch is DEFINITELY sweet potatoes. And bacon my favorite…meat? This is all about your preferences here, you can choose any toppings.

I served it warm with all my toppings. One was enough for me to feel happy, but I had a little extra batter for another smaller pancake. I just saved it for dinner! This without a doubt one of the best healthy inventions I’ve come up with. I loved the fluffy and light texture of the pancake, but the sweet potatoes gave it enough structure not to fall apart. And it was so fast and easy to make! Change it up a little today and make these (Hey! They even work as sweet pancakes! Just add a little sugar to the batter or sweet toppings, like almond butter 😉 )

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Pancakes

Recipe by Me

Generously serve 1 person.

3/4 small sweet potato, cooked and chopped (I microwaved it)

1 Tablespoon raw oats

1 egg white (or whole egg if you prefer, just add less milk)

Splash of milk

A pinch of salt

1/3 teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Heat a skillet or pancake grill in medium heat. Grease a little with bacon fat, butter or oil.

Make sure your sweet potato is nice and soft and throw in your blender along with the egg white, the oats, the salt, the baking powder and the cinnamon. Now, add a small splash of milk and blend until smooth. If the batter is too thick, add a little more milk until is fairly pourable like regular pancake mix.

Pour batter in heated skillet or pancake grill and cook until it looks firmer and you see bubbles all over the surface. Flip and cook  the other side  until golden brown. Serve with whatever toppings you like. Experiment! Make it sweet, or sweet and salty, or spicy and let me know what you think! 😉

HEY did you know that my blog has 1,529 views! I feel so happy, thank you guys, I’m in love 😀

Home. On a special night.

We made pasta. Homemade pasta. And it was some of the most satisfying cooking experiences, you feel so accomplished after you try your own.

Ravioli! big raviolis…so yummi and full of goodness. My mom has an old pasta machine, so we cleaned it up and got it to work! The recipe comes from a really cool pasta cookbook my mom own and it’s called “The Classic Pasta Cookbook” by Guilliano Hazan. I remember always looking at the pictures as a little girl (I couldn’t read english back then) and now I’m the one reading it to my mom in order to translate the recipes.  Learning english really opens a lot of doors for you…anyway…back to the raviolis…

Actually, I’m a little confused…The book calles this Tortelloni. But if I google tortelloni I come up with what the book calles tortellini. Or with cappelletis. And if I google ravioli, I come up with something more similar to what we made. All I know is that these are a kind of square stuffed pasta. If someone knows about those names and the pastas, I would love to know!

The dough was super easy and it came together in a few minutes. And the filling was even faster!  And since is fresh pasta, all it takes is a couple of minutes to cook. The part that takes the longest is rolling out the dough and filling it, but that is the fun part!

I love this picture

Not the most perfect looking or square raviolis ever, but I love how rustic they look. I love getting my hands on flour and creating something like this…is beautiful, is simple, is the way pasta is supposed to be. My best friend in the whole world made these ones. Aren’t they lovely?

The filling is a very simple ricotta and parsley mixture. We didn’t want it to be too much cause we were going to serve them with a salmon and cream based sauce. It worked perfectly.

 

I know they say seafood pasta isn’t supposed to have cheese, but we decided it tasted perfectly fine for us and forget those rules. Food isn’t always about rules or guidelines…is about making what works best for you. We all loved this! Even Boy…and Boy is a very picky eater. Everything was very simple, even the salmon sauce, but it all worked together. And the pasta is a great option for a lot of people cause is really filling. With 4 raviolis I was more than satisfied. Of course, after it I had a lovely piece of Apple Blondie with Ice Cream 😉

 

Here’s a close up…I’m it was so sublime, delicate, yet decadent. I don’t have the exact measurements for the sauce, But I’ll explain it in a minute, first, make your lovely dough and filling.

 

Pasta Dough

Recipe from: “The Classic Pasta Cookbook” by Guilliano Hazan.

We tripled this recipe cause we were quite some people, still, we had leftover and made spaghetti. Is easy to double if you’d life.

3 large eggs

2 1/4 cups of AP flour (or Italian “00” flour”

Pour the flour in a mound on a wooden or other smooth work surface and make a well in the center. Break the eggs one by one into the center of the well. Beat gently the eggs with a fork until the yolks and whites and mixed together. With the same fork, gradually incorporate the flour in the eggs until no longer runny. Do not break the wall of the flour well or the eggs will escape.

Now is time to knead the dough. This had to be done fast in order not to lose any of the egg mixture. Using both hands, swiftly bring the remaining flour over the egg mixture so that is completely covered. Begin working the mass with your hands until all the flour is mixed with the eggs. It should be moist but not sticky. If it is sticky, add a little more flour. When it’s right, form a flat ball or disk and cover in plastic wrap.

Wash your hands, scrape any dough in the work surface and start kneading the dough. Hold it with one hand while folding it over itself with your other hand. Use the heel fo your hand to push down the dough away from you. Rotate a quarter turn and repeat this process two times. Continue until uniform and smooth. Cover in plastic wrap for at least 20 minutes before using.

You can roll it according to your machine’s instructions like we did, or by hand with a rolling-pin. All you have to do is work on stretching the dough slowly, rotating and pressing with the rolling-pin. Continue rolling until is pretty much transparent and let it drape over the edge of the worktop. Let the dough over a kitchen towel to dry.

To make raviolis, take a strip of the rolled pasta and place the stuffing (a spoon works fine) on it at 2-inch intervals. About a rounded teaspoon is okay (we used more for larger raviolis). Now moisten the edges  with a  little water and cover with a similar strip of pasta and press together in the edges. Cut with a fluted or pizza cutter between the fillings. Pinch the edges to seal. You’re done!

 

Ricotta & Parsley Stuffing

Recipe from: “The Classic Pasta Cookbook” by Guilliano Hazan.

1 1/2 cups of whole milk ricotta

1/2 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley (or use curl if that’s what you have)

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.

Salt and pepper to season.

Mix together all the ingredients until completely combined. Fill the pasta with it and make your sauce (recipe coming)

When the sauce is ready, boil a pot with water and salt generously. Add all the pasta at once and stir right away. Stir periodically and begin tasting at 2 minutes, this doesn’t take long and you don’t want to over cook pasta. You will die if you will. You’ve been warned. It needs to be firm to the bite but chewable. At this point, drain the pasta completely and if your sauce pan is beg enough, add the pasta to it. If not, add the pasta to a big bowl and add the sauce to it, combining it so you have a pasta/sauce ratio that you like.

 

The sauce was very simple. Grab fresh or canned salmon. It needs to be chopped in small pieces. Heat a skillet with a little olive oil (not much, salmon is oily enough) and brown it a bit. Now, throw in some finely sliced leeks and stir them around. Cook for about 2 minutes and then pour in enough heavy cream to make a slightly thick but pourable sauce.  Cook for 5 minutes. Add fresh of dried sage (wonderful with salmon). Season well with black pepper and salt. Serve with pasta and top with more black pepper and freshly grated parmesan.

Devour.

I hope is helpful and that you decide to make your own pasta sometimes, is so so easy, fun and much better than dried store-bought pasta. You’ll feel amazing! Let me know if you decide to do it 😉

Oh and watch this. One of my favorite pieces of dance. So touching, so real, so true.

 

I love Emily Shock. Can I marry you?

Ps. Do you think I post too many pictures? Do you think my posts are too long? How can I improve this blog? I appreciate all your comments and ideas, please share. Love you all (:

Impossible.

Hi beautiful…so, you come here often?

I’m here to tell you a story. I’m not proud of it, but I don’t regret it either. You see, the other day I made this cake for a family gathering, but in the process, something went wrong…horribly wrong. I fell for this cake. It caught me with its lovely caramel-y charm and buttery personality (I would KILL to have a buttery personality by the way) and I couldn’t help it, I was in love, and it was so, oh so wrong. It wasn’t meant to be.

I knew what it was made of, I knew it very well, and I wanted it just for me (love makes us selfish) but that would end in disaster. I loved you, but you would have hated me. In the long run, you would have made me sick and by then, it would have been too late. You would leave me, and what was left for me? Just ache. Besides, a beauty like you had to be free, for everyone to enjoy. I ha to give you up. I’m sorry it couldn’t be.

And then you do this to me. How could you? After all I did…it was for the best. Our relationship would have killed us both. You return more beautiful than ever, dressed in your best clothes and condemn me for a life of misery. I was weak and still hurt from our previous departure, and your soothing nature promised me everything would be alright. And I caved in…I couldn’t help going back to you. And that was it. If I didn’t run away now, it’d be over forever.

I left with only a piece of you, I couldn’t go without something…and the memories. You were so easy to make, yet so hard to forget. Within 10 minutes of my leaving, you were already seducing someone else, and oh did they love you. But I warned you…they were not as strong as me, and before you had time to chill, you were gone too. I’ll miss your chewy kindness, your nutty intelligence, even your spicy humor.

I HAD to show you this…look at that backsidesee why I was smitten?

I was sad, but I knew it would have been impossible either way…We’re not the same type and I had to move on with my life. But I’m sure, eventually it will come back to haunt me. I’ll try to stop myself but is useless…don’t resist either.

This is my story…all I have to say now is that…it wasn’t meant to be. Like so many great love stories.

All stories aside, you need to make this Upside Down Apple & Walnut Blondie. And perhaps you’ll hate after wards, but the pain is worth it.

Upside Down Apple & Walnut Blondie

Recipe by Me.

For the apples:

4 or 5 apples depending on size (I used Granny Smith)

6 Tablespoons of regular salted butter

1/2 cup of white sugar

For the blondie:

1/2 cup of butter

1 1/2 cups of brown sugar

1 1/2 cups of AP flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

A pinch of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of walnuts, chopped

Start by toasting the walnuts (you can do this after of before chopping them, but watch them so they don’t burn) in a 350° oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let them cool while you prepare the rest.

Peel, core and slice apples in slices, not too thick, but not overly thin. Now, heat a skillet or frying pan on medium high heat and throw in the butter, letting it melt and perhaps take a little color. Sprinkle half the sugar over the butter without stirring and then throw the apples in. Cover with the rest of the sugar and lightly stir to coat the apples. Let them cook for 5-10 minutes. We don’t want to brown them, just get them started in the cooking process.

At this point, preheat the oven to 350°.

Meanwhile, melt the butter for the blondies in a pan and let it brown (Click here if you don’t know how to brown butter) After that, transfer all of it to a medium bowl and let it cool slightly. Dump in the brown sugar and  (stand mixer or hand mixer are best, but you can always do it by hand) until fluffier and lighter in color. Beat in the eggs, one at the time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in flour, baking powder and salt (you could sift this but I almost never do) and mix until just combined.

Grab a 9-inch round pan (or similar) and if you’ve had bad sticking experiences with it, grease and flour it. I didn’t with mine because I used a silicon pan and the recipe had enough butter as it is. Start by layering the apples and caramel syrup in the bottom of the pan. You can arrange them in a  pretty pattern if they’ve cooled down and is easy, but I don’t worry for such things. Now, sprinkle the walnuts all over the apples and next, pour the batter on top of it all and spread evenly.

Pop in the oven for around 25 minutes (always check before) or until the top looks set and golden brown. You can let it cool for a while, or, if you’re like me, you can turn it upside down in a cake plate immediately after the oven (is hot! be careful).

When you’re ready to serve, make sure you have vanilla ice cream handy! Is the only way dear friend, to enjoy such a beauty. Don’t let it get to you, but just know that, it will…

Oh, how it will…

While you’re at it, listen to this…an impossible love story, so beautiful it might break your heart. In a good way, I promise.

This band is as gorgeous as this dessert, I fell in love with them too. Maybe its me the problem…