Archive for October, 2011

Just set it and forget it!

October 28, 2011

I am not one to get wooed by informercials and usually my husband isn’t either. But apparently he saw the one for Ron Popeil’s new pasta machine and before you know it I saw it appear on our AMEX bill. Next thing you know the UPS man brought me a massive box and I am the proud owner of a new pasta maker. My hubby knows how much I love to make fresh pasta by hand but he also knows how much work it is and my limited 2 selections on my hand crank pasta machine. So I was pretty stoked to get this machine with 12 shapes available. To test it out we made homemade tagliatelle on Wednesday night and it was delicious – and this was just our pre dinner snack! Last night he wanted to make rigatoni so I pulled out an old favorite, Rigatoni & Sausage, a recipe my mom added to my awesome recipe collection she made for me. Let me tell you the homemade rigatoni fresh from the machine really made the dish! If you can’t make your own (seriously who can, this machine is just ridiculous) then opt for some imported Italian pasta, it does make a difference, or use some sort of fresh pasta from the grocery store. Here is the recipe:

Rigatoni and Sausage

1 Jar roasted red peppers

6 Tb olive oil

1 lb mushrooms, sliced

1/2 c fresh Italian Parsley or 2-3Tb dried

1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tb fresh

1 tsp dried thyme or 1 Tb fresh

2 garlic cloves minced

1 lb italian sausage removed from casings (Johnsonville sells it already removed, just ground up)

1 lb Rigatoni or Penne cooked (save 1/4 cup of pasta water to toss at end)

Chop herbs and garlic and set aside. Heat 3 Tb olive oil and cook mushrooms till tender and golden. Add red peppers chopped up and herbs and garlic and cook for about 2 mins, sprinkle with S&P. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out skillet. Cook ground sausage in skillet on medium heat till brown, drain. In large bowl combine sausage, mushroom/herb/garlic mixture, red peppers and pasta. Toss with 1/4c pasta water reserved from straining and sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese, and manga!

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My buns sure are looking good!

October 11, 2011

Been meaning to post this, made these for Saturday breakfast. My hubby wanted some cinnamon rolls and I figured I would stick with my not from a can kick. My mom gave me this Pecan Cinnamon Bun recipe a while back and I have been meaning to make it. I really like it because it is quick and easy and you don’t have to wait for any dough to rise or possibly not rise and ruin the recipe. here it is:

Pecan Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients:

Mix filling:

¾ c dark brown sugar packed

½ c pecans, toasted and chopped

¼ c sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

2 Tb melted butter

Dough:

2 ½ c flour

2 Tb sugar

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 ¼ c buttermilk

9 Tb butter melted, divided (6Tb in dough, 1Tb on rolled dough, 2Tb on tops of cut rolls before baking)

Preheat oven to 425F degrees, spray 10” cake pan with 2” high sides with pam

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Stir in buttermilk and 6Tb butter into dry ingredients. Blend and transfer to a floured surface and knead, add more flour if too sticky. Knead 8 turns.

Roll dough onto floured surface into 12”x10” rectangle. Brush with 1Tb of butter and sprinkle filling over dough, leaving 1” plain border on long side. Press filling gently into dough. Beginning at long end opposite plain border, roll up dough jelly roll style. Pinch border to seal. Cut crosswise into 8 slices.

Place 1 bun in center of pan, surround with the rest, spacing apart, allowing for expansion. Brush tops with 2Tb of melted butter, bake till golden brown, about 22 mins. Cool 5 mins and drizzle with icing of: 1 c confectioners sugar, 2 Tb mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, 2Tb of cream or buttermilk, blend well.

Two Tara tips: the buttermilk make the frosting taste funny to me, next time I would just use cream. I didn’t have the right pan and used one too large and they spread out too much and were sort of flat, so make sure to use the right pan.

If you have company and want to throw together a quick tasty treat or you just want to spoil your hubby, try this recipe and make some cinnamon buns from scratch that will knock his socks off!

Just say NO to biscuits from a can!

October 5, 2011

I know you can’t resist that cute little pillsbury dough boy with his infectious chuckle and mouthwatering commercials, but please try. Even if you get a coupon for .40 cents off of two cans doesn’t mean you should splurge. Especially when you can easily make your own homemade biscuits from scratch that taste even better than the canned ones. I don’t know why people are intimidated by bread and biscuits. Biscuits and scones are easier than you think and they don’t have yeast so that makes them foolproof. My husband likes to email me recipes as little hints for stuff he might like to appear on his plate. This one for the biscuit recipe that can’t be beat was in my inbox the other day. I whipped up some biscuits for breakfast and they were amazing. This was the first time I made them from scratch and they were incredibly easy. Sorry dough boy, you can’t woo me any longer, next stop homemade cinnamon rolls…

Just say NO to biscuits from a can!

October 5, 2011

I know you can’t resist that cute little pillsbury dough boy with his infectious chuckle and mouthwatering commercials, but please try. Even if you get a coupon for .40 cents off of two cans doesn’t mean you should splurge. Especially when you can easily make your own homemade biscuits from scratch that taste even better than the canned ones. I don’t know why people are intimidated by bread and biscuits. Biscuits and scones are easier than you think and they don’t have yeast so that makes them foolproof. My husband likes to email me recipes as little hints for stuff he might like to appear on his plate. This one for the biscuit recipe that can’t be beat was in my inbox the other day. I whipped up some biscuits for breakfast and they were amazing. This was the first time I made them from scratch and they were incredibly easy. Sorry dough boy, you can’t woo me any longer, next stop homemade cinnamon rolls…

Biscuits
Makes 10 to 12 biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (1 stick)
3/4 cup half-and-half or buttermilk
Cooking Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a baking sheet or cast-iron skillet.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Cut the stick of butter into pieces and work it into the flour mixture with your hands or pastry blender until it resembles pea-size crumbs. Add the half-and-half or buttermilk, mixing until the dough is a bit loose and sticky.
Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute. Dough should be smooth and no longer wet. You can sprinkle more flour on the surface if you find it’s sticking. Make the dough into a ball and hit it with a rolling pin, turning it and folding it in half every few whacks. Do this for a couple of minutes.
Roll out the dough until it’s 1/4 of an inch think, then fold it in half. Using a round biscuit cutter (you can use a glass or a cup if you don’t have a biscuit cutter), cut out the biscuits from the folded dough. Place on a greased baking sheet or in a cast-iron skillet close together, about 1/8 of an inch apart (so they rise up not out), and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.