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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Homemade Cavatelli

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Homemade cavatelli on a cloth

We've been making home made cavatelli for years; I swear every time we make them they get better.
Cavatelli are easy to make and we really enjoy spending a little extra time to have something home made.
If you like pasta you're going to love cavatelli. There is always something special about fresh homemade pasta.
You may not know what cavatelli are. So let me explain right from Wikipedia. Cavatelli is a type of pasta. The most common meaning is small pasta shells that look like miniature hot dog buns.

Ingredients, flour, ricotta, egg, and salt

Here we have four simple ingredients for the cavatelli.
Ricotta Cheese
All Purpose Flour
Salt
Egg
You can use the whole ricotta cheese but we prefer use the part skim.

Mixing in the kitchenaid stand mixer
Here is the Recipe:
2 1/2 to 3-Cups of flour
1-pound of ricotta cheese (You buy ricotta in 15 oz. containers) this is okay
1-Egg
1-Tsp of salt
Combine all ingredients into the bowl, set your KitchenAid on the lowest speed and let it work until the dough binds together.
You'll probably have to take it out of the bowl and work it with your hands until its smooth.
If you don't have a KitchenAid stand mixer that's okay.  You really don't need one. You just have to mix the dough with your hands. Just work the dough until it all comes together and it's smooth and forms a ball.


Here you see the dough formed into a ball.
This recipe yields 2 lbs. and we call this one batch of cavatelli. I don't know why but that's what we call it.

Place the dough under a bowl

Now cover this with a bowl and let it rest for about 1/2 hour. While you’re waiting you could mix up a second batch.

The dough rolled into 1/2 inch logs

Now you'll want to spread some flour out onto a cutting board or your counter. Form the dough into one large log, as you see in the picture.
Then cut 1/2" slices which you will then roll into smaller 1/2" logs. Roll them in the flour because you don't want the dough too be wet.
As you can see in the picture here, I have made three batches. We like to make cavatelli for some family events.

Cranking out the cavatelli

Attach the cavatelli machine to your counter. Cover a cookie sheet with wax papper and spread some flour over it.

Start feeding the logs and crank out those little beauties onto a floured cookie sheet.
Keep adding some flour to the rollers of the machine so they don't stick. If adding flour doesn't prevent them from sticking, just let the logs set a while, as they are too wet.

Pictured here is our grandson Bobby cranking out the cavatelli. He was 7 years old in this picture and he is the greatest helper.

My grandmother used to make these without a machine; she would cut the logs and sort of flip them with two fingers. I never could master that so I opted for the machine, it is much faster.

cavatelli on the cookie sheet


This is what they look like ready to go in the freezer. Now just place the pan in the freezer in about 30 to 45 minutes they will be frozen.

cavatelli in the freezer bag
Fill up your freezer bag, and now you can have homemade pasta whenever you want to.


You will need a cavatelli machine to make these, unless you're related to my grandmother. As always thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Bakers Basket

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Agift basket with baking supplies


I would like to talk about Gift Baskets; my daughter recently went to a local school play at Southwestern Central in Western New York.

She won this beautiful gift basket, and when I saw it I just knew that had to write about it.  On the tag they call this a Cupcake basket, but I call it A Bakers Basket. I don’t know who made this basket, because I would love to give them credit.

I have a passion for gift baskets, as I made and sold them when I was out of work. I thought what a great idea if you have somebody in your family or a good friend that just loves to bake.

Gift Baskets are so versatile, and really not difficult to make at all, you can create a themed basket for any occasion. All you need to do is buy the products and supplies and you’ll be off and creating a wonderful gift.



Bakset tag with all of the baking supplies listed
This is the tag that was on the outside of this beautiful gift basket listing all of the contents. 

If you're not sure of how to make a gift basket the following video will help you get started. Making gift baskets is creative, fun and not hard to do at all.

 So what are you waiting for? Be creative, have some fun, and make somebody happy with your beautiful creation.
The Perfect Basket is a wonderful guide to making all kinds of themed baskets
As always Thanks so much for stopping by


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Classic Reuben Sandwich

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Ruben Sandwich on a plate


This Reuben sandwich served with a salad and some fruit makes a great lunch or dinner. I call this classic because it was made with Corned Beef, Swiss cheese, Sauerkraut, and creamy Thousand Island dressing,

My daughter made these and served them with a nice salad, some grapes and strawberries. Well I ate the Reuben and a few grapes, the kids had Mac and Cheese and fruit. The Reuben is not difficult to make, and you can serve it cold or toasted, we made ours toasted, that’s the way I like it.

This is what you need:

  • 6 or 8 slices of Corned Beef
  • 6 Slices of Swiss Cheese
  • 1 bag of sauerkraut
  • 1 bottle of thousand island dressing
  • 6 slices of marble rye bread
  • Some butter
Here is all you need to do:

  1. Brown the sauerkraut in a skillet
  2. Heat up your griddle to medium heat, butter one side of a slice of bread and place it butter side down on the griddle.
  3. Now begin to build your sandwich, place 1 or 2 slices of cheese, and then the slices of corned beef, now heap on the sauerkraut.
  4. Butter another slice of bread and place it on top, now all you need to do is grill your sandwich to perfection.
  5. Now open it up and pour on the dressing and serve.
This was enough to make 3 delicious sandwiches. As always thanks so much for stopping by, and don't forget to drop a comment to say hi.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

How to make Homemade Pizza

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Homemade Pizza right out of the oven


This mouth watering homemade pizza recipe is handed down from my grandmother. My grandma Liz made the best pizza in the world. Whose grandmother didn't?

When I was a kid and knew she was making pizza I would make a dash for her house, which was easy because she only lived two blocks away.

Oh the wonderful smell and the anticipation waiting for it to come out of the oven. This is my recipe for home made pizza; it's probably not as good as my grandmother's but close and besides its home made what more could you ask for?

Here is what you need to make the dough:

· 2 pkgs. active dry yeast
· 2-1/4 cups of warm water, not too hot
· 1 tsp salt
· 3 tbsp of Crisco or oil
· 5 to 6 cups of all purpose flour

This how you make the dough:
  1. In a measuring cup, add the yeast to the warm water and let it stand.
  2. In a large bowl or your KitchenAid mixing bowl, add the flour, Crisco or oil, salt.
  3. By now the yeast should have mostly dissolved in the water. So pour it into the bowl with the flour.
  4. Mix by hand, or set your KitchenAid mixer on the low setting using the dough hook
  5. Mix until the dough is smooth, let the dough rise for one hour
This will yield about 3 pizzas 12” to 14” depending if you like thick crust or thin. I like thin crust.

Mixing the dough in my kitchenaid stand mixer
Mixing the dough in my KitchenAid


Now we can make the sauce:

· 2 Can (28Oz.) of crushed tomatoes
· 2 or 3 tbsp of light olive oil or vegetable oil
· 1 glove of garlic Finley chopped (you can also add garlic powder)
· 1 Tsp. of oregano or Italian Seasoning
· 1 Tsp. salt - a little pepper

I like to cook my sauce first. Pour the tomatoes into a 1 quart pot, add all of the ingredients. Stir and bring to a boil, not a roaring boil, as soon as you see it start to bubble turn off the burner.

Pizza sauce cooking on the stove
My pizza sauce on the stove


Preheat your oven the 450 degrees, spread the dough in your pizza pan, add your sauce, sprinkle some Italian seasoning, and Romano cheese. I bake two pizzas at a time for about 20 minutes, one pizza on the middle rack and one on top. After 9 or 10 minutes switch the racks.

Now you'll notice that I don't have any other topping on my pizza because this is the way my grandmother made it and I like it this way. 

The greatest thing about pizza is that there are so many toppings. Here are some that I do like to add sometimes:

Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Italian Pork Sausage, Anchovies (not my favorite), Green Peppers, Hot Peppers, Mozzarella Cheese. To add your toppings shorten your bake time by about 2 minutes, take them out and add your favorite topping and put them back in the oven for 2 minutes.

As always Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed my recipe.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Roasted Pheasant or Rabbit

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Walking through the open fields on a cool fall day, or a snowy winter morning, in the fall the grass has grown tall and turned an amazing amber color.

In the winter you'll be walking through the fresh lily white snow. This is small game hunting season in Western New York.

This is a recipe by Mary Jane Rumbaugh, now handed down to her family. I'm just lucky enough to work with Mary Jane’s son Randy, and have tasted delicious dish myself.

 This is a family of hunters, Mary Jane included, Mary Jane; took great pride in her cooking, especially when it came to her family and friends.

So if you're a hunter, like Mary Jane and her family you have to give this recipe a try, I'm sure you're going to like it.

Photo By: CAFREL, Thank you for the use of your photo, you can view more of her work by following this link.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=21405947%40N04&q=Pheasant%20with%20mushrooms

Here is what you need:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red cooking wine
  • 1 stick of butter, divided in half
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped
  • Garlic cloves or garlic powder
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Pheasant or rabbit cut into pieces
 Here are your Instructions: 
  1. Melt 1/2 sick of butter in frying pan or electric skillet, stirring in olive oil, garlic, and pepper.
  2. Add the pheasant or rabbit in the pan and brown
  3. Fill a roaster pan with 1/4 cup of water, and carefully place the browned meat in the roaster
  4. Add chopped onion, garlic cloves, and the remaining butter cut into slices
  5. Pour the remainder of the oil mixture from the skillet over the meat
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until done, the meat is ready when the liquid in the bottom of the pan is caramelized
  7. Check frequently during the baking, and baste as needed
  8. Now pour the wine over the pieces cover and turn off the heat
  9. Leave in the oven for 20 minutes to allow the absorption of the wine.
As Always thanks for stopping by, and Happy Hunting

Monday, March 2, 2015

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

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Raspberry white chocolate cheescake


What a delight, raspberry white chocolate cheesecake. This makes my mouth water and taste buds tingle just saying the words.

This recipe is from my son; the chef, he developed this recipe from several tries by experimenting. He made this several times until he was satisfied with the results.

He has brought this recipe to perfection, and that makes it his own. This is a very complicated recipe so I've divided the ingredients and instructions by the three aspects of the recipe.

Don't let this scare you off, just take your time because this baked raspberry cheesecake is oh so delicious.

I hope you find it easy to follow. Although time-consuming and complicated you'll be very happy when you taste this delicious desert.

Here is what you'll need:
Raspberry Sauce:
  • 1 bag frozen or 2-3 pints of fresh raspberries
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp. of cornstarch, mixed with 1 tsp. of water
Filling:
Here is what you have to do: 
  1. For the crust: Break the graham crackers in a plastic bag, cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bag, smash until you have crumb
  2. Spray your pan with nonstick spray, push the crumb mixture over the bottom and up the sides of the pan
  3. Raspberry Sauce: In a small pot add raspberries and the 1/3 cup of sugar (Save some raspberries for the garnish later)
  4. Bring to a boil for 10 to 15 minutes, strain and return mixture to the pot
  5. Heat over medium heat and mix in the cornstarch and water, keep stirring until this thickens and set aside for later use
  6. Filling: Beat cream cheese sugar, and cornstarch in large bowl on medium speed, while scraping down the sides, beat until smooth
  7. Beat in eggs 1 at a time until blended.Now beat in sour cream, vanilla, and melted white chocolate until blended
  8. Pour the filling into the crust. Drop evenly spaced puddles of the raspberry sauce on top of the filling
  9. With a sharp knife swirl through the puddles of raspberry sauce in a circular motion.
  10. Refrigerate the remaining raspberry sauce to serve later with the cheesecake
  11. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees and reduce heat to 250 degrees. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, Until the center, jiggles
  12. Turn the oven off and leave the door closed for another hour. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and let it cool completely
  13. After cooled remove from the pan by running a knife around the edges, and place on a serving plate
  14. Now you can add the raspberries you saved on top for garnish. Refrigerate for 4 hours and serve.   

As Always Thanks for Stopping By and I hope you enjoy.


Here are some handy tools for your baking needs
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