Monday, May 28, 2012

Flight of the Pancake

Sometimes, it's not about documenting a recipe, it's about sharing an experience.  That is the case with today's post.  It was one of those beautiful mornings when I had the luxury of getting lost in the zen of cooking.  Pancakes were my blank canvas. No ingredient was off limits. I cranked the ipod and got to work, it was experimental bliss.  Just me, my imagination, and big bowl of pancake batter.  First up, bacon and sweet cherries.  Quite delicious, although I believe they would have benefited from something herby... rosemary perhaps.  Next in the queue, granola crunch cakes. With chunky granola thrown in the batter and garnished on top for good measure, they were a nice change from the ordinary pancake texture.  My final (and favorite) concoction of the flight was a layering of plain pancakes with peanut butter and jelly in between. Topped with maple syrup and chopped peanuts, they were gooey, fruity, nutty perfection.  The next time you want to treat yourself, try a flight of pancakes. I believe I'm headed for frequent flier status...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Me vs. The Ravioliera

For Christmas, my dear friend Julie sent me a ravioliera (fancy word for ravioli maker).  The minute I opened the package, my mind went crazy with ideas to fill the pretty little pasta pillows.  As I was jotting down recipes, I remembered there was one crucial kitchen gadget that I didn't own - a pasta roller.  My ravioli conquest would have to wait.  Utterly disappointed, I placed the ravioliera on the shelf, and there it sat, staring at me, mocking me... until today. My lack of gadgetry was no longer going to hold me back!  I had flour, I had eggs, and I had a rolling pin.  It was pasta making time.  Mixing, kneading, and rolling ensued.  After the dust cloud of flour settled in the kitchen, I was left standing with 2 beautiful sheets of pasta, ready for the ravioli maker.  I quickly whipped up a filling of sauteed chard, onion, and garlic that I mixed with ricotta.  After carefully sealing each individual pocket, I dropped them one by one into a pot of gently boiling water and waited for them to float to the surface. They were rustic in appearance but sublime in taste.  One word: Victory.

Lessons Learned in Ravioli Making:
1) Don't be a baby - you don't need a machine to roll pasta 
2) Don't try to contain the floury mess, embrace it.  You can sweep later.
3) Don't overfill the pocket
4) Don't drop them all in the water at once - big clumpy mess