Monday, May 10, 2010

Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter

Thanks to my neighbor, Tricia, for passing on this recipe to me! So, so easy and tastes like a complicated meal you'd get in a fancy Italian restaurant. The longest part of the whole process is boiling the water to boil ravioli. So many different things you can do with this recipe ~ different types of ravioli, add spinach, serve with a salad or veggie ~~ a great base for many possibilities! I halved the recipe as I was only making it for myself.

Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter
Source: Giada De Laurentiis ~ Food Network

18 to 20 ounces store-bought ravioli (cheese, mushroom, or squash) - I used Buitoni whole wheat 4 cheese.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain ravioli onto a large serving platter.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes, turn off the heat. Let cool for about 1 minute. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the balsamic brown butter. Sprinkle walnuts and Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

The very berry month of May! Notice lots of strawberry recipes?? I love 'em! Almost as much as I love using my Kitchenaide Ice Cream Maker! Anyone with a Kitchenaide must invest in the ice cream attachment. Another easy, eggless recipe!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Source: Based on a recipe from Gourmet, August 2009

1 pound of strawberries, hulled and halved
1 ½ cup sugar
¾ tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk

In a large bowl, coarsely mash strawberries with lemon juice, sugar and salt using a potato masher. Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, 10 minutes.
Using a ladle, transfer half of the strawberry mixture to blender along with cream and milk and puree till smooth. Return strawberry cream to bowl with rest of strawberries and chill till cold, 3-6 hours.
Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to maker’s directions. This usually takes 25 minutes to 1 hour. (If this is your first attempt at ice cream, give yourself more time to avoid emotional turmoil before a dinner party.) Transfer to an airtight container and place in the back of the freezer to firm up, at least 1 hour.
Makes 1.5 quarts. Keeps in freezer up to 1 week.

Strawberry & Feta Salad

Always looking for good, fresh salad ideas. Strawberries in season - means all things strawberry! The salad part of the recipe can definitely be doubled based upon the amount of dressing. Make for company, a potluck, to take or just for your family any evening! Our mom's enjoyed for mothers day.

Strawberry & Feta Salad

1 cup slivered almonds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 head romaine lettuce, torn
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the almonds, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and set aside.
In a bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, toss together the toasted almonds, romaine lettuce, strawberries, and feta cheese. Cover with the dressing mixture, and toss to serve.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookies without the rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc.... Brilliant!! Thanks to my friend Jennifer for sharing this recipe! The recipe can be decorated for many different holidays, events ~ or made just because! Sugar Cookies without all of the fuss!

Sugar Cookie Bars
Source: The Repressed Pastry Chef

1 cup butter; room temp.
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla & mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt & soda & stir with a whisk to combine. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased baking sheet (use a 13 x 18 pan). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.

1/2 cup butter; room temp
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
food coloring (if desired)

For frosting combine butter and shortening until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cookie, then cut into bars.