Thursday, May 8, 2014

Homemade Ravioli and Pasta Sauce ~

 I was asked to do a demonstration of Homemade Ravioli tonight and while I was at it I figured I would take photos of the process and add the recipe here on my blog.  This is a big family treat and often requested for birthday dinners. Even if you don't make the Ravioli you will have to try the pasta sauce. It is so good and will even dress up store bought pasta.  The full recipes are at the end of the blog and here are the step by step photos.

 These are the tools I use. Pasta machines are really handy to use and not too expensive. Or you can use a rolling pin and a knife. Either one works.
 These are the simple ingredients needed for the dough.
 Add your olive oil to the eggs, then beat them and stir into the flour. Knead into a ball. 
 It will be a hard ball, not soft like bread dough. Keep the dough covered or in a plastic bag while you make the filling.

Brown the sausage in a pan and when cool, mix it with the other ingredients for the filling.

Add the cooked and drained spinach.
 Cut your dough ball into 1/4ths and work with one at a time. Run it through the pasta machine set on 1 for a few times to get a smooth rectangle and then start running it through the machine to make it thinner.
 Lay your dough out on the ravioli form of your counter.

 Add the filling. Put water on the dough between the filling to ensure a good seal.
 Cut with a knife or use a rolling pin to seal the ravioli.
At this point, you can refrigerate the ravioli, or freeze and bag to cook later.
 Let's begin the best sauce you've ever tasted.
 Brown the meats in a large pot. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
 Add 2 quarts of good quality crushed tomatoes.
 Cover and simmer for an hour.
 Add the tomato paste and basil and oregano if desired and simmer for another hour.
 You may need to add a cup of water at this point. Cook your ravioli from either fresh or frozen in a pot of boiling water. It should just take 3 to 4 minutes if fresh and a few more minutes frozen.  Serve with pasta sauce and top with grated cheese.

Pasta Dough

2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil                                           
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup water
Mix ingredients and knead until dough is hard in consistency. Cut dough into 1/4ths. Keep the rest of the dough covered while you work. Use a pasta machine or rolling pin to roll the dough into thin sheets. This can be cut into thin noodles or used to make ravioli.

Ravioli Filling

1 pound pork sausage                                           
15 ounces ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese                          
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
¾ cup chopped frozen spinach
Fry sausage until well browned. Drain. Thaw and drain spinach. Mix all ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Pasta Sauce

1 pound ground beef                                             
1 pound pork sausage
2 quart cans crushed tomatoes                         
1 small can tomato paste
Chopped parsley – optional                                 
Chopped basil – optional

Fry meats until well browned. Add canned tomatoes and cover pan. Cook meat and tomatoes slowly for one hour. Add tomato paste, parsley, basil and salt to suit taste.  Allow to boil slowly for another hour. This will make the sauce thick and ready to serve.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

These are such a good side dish, and so much better for you than regular fries.

Peel your sweet potatoes and cut into fries.

 Put them into a bowl and sprinkle with good olive oil and a spice mix.  I used Garlic Salt and Chili Powder.
Pour out onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes in a 425 degree oven.  Turn half way through baking.

 They are delicious served with a dipping sauce made of ketchup and thai sweet chili sauce.

Baked Chicken Strips

This is my version of Baked chicken Strips. It comes from a few different sources, and this is how I've changed it for my family.  (adapted from Little b's healthy habits.)
 I mixed an egg with about 1/4 cup of Almond Milk in a container.
 Then I took two slices of good whole wheat bread and put them in the food processor to get fine crumbs.
 To the bread crumbs I add 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, garlic salt, chili powder and onion powder.
Combine these dry ingredients and dip chicken strips into the egg mixture then into the dry mixture. Do this again to double dip the chicken.  Put on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Spray the tops of the chicken strips before you bake them. 
 I baked them in a 425 degree oven for about 18 minutes.  About half way through baking turn the strips over, it helps if you use a pancake turner and not just tongs.

Baked Chicken Strips


1 egg
1/4 cup almond milk
2 slices good whole wheat bread
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
3 large chicken breasts cut into strips


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine wet ingredients in a shallow bowl.
Combine dry ingredients in another shallow bowl.
Dip chicken into egg mixture then into dry ingredients. Dip a second time.
Put dipped chicken onto a cookie sheet sprayed with cookie spray.
Bake for 18 minutes. Turn once during baking.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Veggie Pizza ~

This is a recipe I have been getting a lot of requests for lately. So here you go. It makes a perfect addition to a holiday buffet, or just a great little lunch. With the colorful broccoli and tomatoes it even looks like Christmas food. Enjoy!!

Vegetable Pizza
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (1 ounce) package dry Harvest Dill Ranch-style dressing mix
fresh broccoli, chopped
chopped tomatoes
chopped red bell pepper
chopped cauliflower
shredded carrots
shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a 13 x 18 inch baking sheet, and pinch together edges to form the pizza crust.
Bake crust for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Once finished cooking, remove crust from oven and let cool 15 minutes without removing it from the baking sheet.
In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and dry Ranch dressing. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange broccoli, tomato, red bell pepper, green onion and Cheddar cheese over the cream cheese layer. Chill for one hour, slice and serve.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Homemade Focaccia Bread ~

This is the bread I like to make for Focaccia Sandwiches. It is really easy and really good too.

You will need two tubes of the refrigerated pizza crust. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with pan spray and roll out the pizza crust to fill the cookie sheet. Poke little indentations with the end of a wooden spoon. Brush the top lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning

Bake at 375' for about 12 minutes.

To make the Focaccia Sandwiches, cut the bread into two rectangles. Spread the Roasted Red Pepper Spread over the bottom and layer with turkey, tomatoes, and spinach as desired. (See photos with the Roasted Red Pepper recipe.) Cut the sandwich into 12 little squares. You can secure the sandwich layers with a toothpick if desired.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo ~

I love Mexican food, so you can bet I won't miss a chance to cook up something yummy on Cinco de Mayo. Yesterday I made fresh homemade Salsa and Chicken Chimies. They were so good and will be a regular on our menu now. First, for the Salsa, I chopped up 4 vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/2 red onion, 3 T cilantro, and a couple cloves of garlic.

I added a couple tablespoons of lime juice, and garlic salt, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes to taste. The tasting is the best part. Cover and let sit for a couple of hours for the flavors to blend.
Serve with chips and over your Chicken Chimies.
Cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I usually boil mine. When they are cool, shred with forks and add to a pan with a couple tablespoons of butter. Season with garlic salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Cook for about 5 minutes.
On a warm flour tortilla put some of the chicken and some cheese. Roll up burrito style and set aside. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil. Over medium heat add the chimies and cook until lightly browned on all sides. This doesn't take long. Put on a pan in a 300' oven to keep warm until time to serve.
We had ours over a bed of lettuce with the homemade salsa and guacamole. Yes, it did taste as good as it looks.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Focaccia Party Sandwiches ~

I love party foods! Even if there isn't a party, it is fun to make fancy sandwiches. I made these sandwiches for a Bridal Shower and every one loved them. I am also doing them for a Relief Society Activity next week. I've found there are always occasions where we have to, or get to entertain, and it is always to have fun new recipes to wow guests with, so here is a new one for your recipe box.

This starts off with making a Roasted Red Pepper Dip.

In a food processor, or blender place about 7 oz. roasted red peppers, drained, 1 T chopped basil, (I used oregano, since that was growing in my window garden), and 1 clove of garlic, chopped.
Blend them and add 4 oz. cream cheese. Put in a covered container in the fridge to chill. You can either make your own focaccia bread, or buy a loaf. Slice your loaf horizontally with a bread knife.

Spread the bottom piece with 1/4 cup of Roasted Red Pepper Dip and top with sliced tomatoes.
Add a layer of baby spinach leaves or a spring lettuce mix.
Add a layer of sliced deli turkey or your favorite meat.
Spread the inside of the top bread with more of the Roasted Red Pepper Dip and put on top.
Slice into about 3 inch party sandwiches and serve.Now you are ready to have a party!

Enjoy, Wendy