Jalapeno Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns

Photo Mar 19, 8 53 51 PM

 

Photo Mar 19, 8 53 51 PM

My sis-in-law Cheryl recently told me that she was really loving making spaghetti squash hash browns.  I love spaghetti squash and have been trying to reduce the number of carbohydrates in my meals of late so I was intrigued.

Jalapeno spaghetti squash hash browns

This past week on spring break, I had one-half of a spaghetti squash leftover from the previous night’s dinner so I decided to fry some up.

FACS:

  • 1 cup baked spaghetti squash – 7.8 net carbs
  • 1 cup baked and peeled potato = 28.4 net carbs

Now that we are empty-nesters, I am trying to cope with leftovers as they are a foreign entity to me up until now.

To make the hash brown patties, simply scoop out the innards of the baked spaghetti squash. For a tutorial on how to bake spaghetti squash you can visit here.   If you don’t think you’ll like spaghetti squash (like I did once upon a time), I encourage you to try it. It is not mushy and stringy like other winter squashes, but the strands are firm, in a way like a thin pasta noodle. I love the stuff now.

You’ll also need to squeeze some of the water out of your squash by placing it in a thin towel and wringing the towel to squeeze out the water. I tried pressing mine through a fine sieve and I think it would be worth the extra effort and mess to use the towel as mine were still too moist.

spaghetti squash hash browns

Like everything I make now, I had to spice it up a bit so I fell to my old favorite way of making potato hash browns by adding peppers and onions. Usually I add chopped poblano peppers and onions but I didn’t have any lurking in my refrigerator so I used a half of an onion and half of a jalapeno that I removed the seeds and ribs from.

jalapeno onion spaghetti squash hash browns

I just tossed it into a bowl with my squash and a pinch of salt and pepper. stirred, and formed about one-half cup sized patties with my hands.

spaghetti squash patties

You can still see the moisture in this one.  Remember, the less moisture you have, the crisper the outside will fry up for you.  I also will make the patties thinner next time so they have more surface space to crisp up. Cheryl said she just smashes her flat with a spatula like you do regular shredded hash brown potatoes.

I fried my patties in a tablespoon of extra-virgin organic coconut oil in my iron skillet. I would recommend a well-seasoned iron skillet or a non-stick skillet for these. I have truly been loving cooking eggs and other items in coconut oil not only for the health benefits it brings, but also for the slight addition of coconut flavor it lends. Simply fry them for  around three minutes over medium-high heat and then flip them over for the same amount of time on the other side.

Jalapeno spaghetti squash hash browns

I really enjoyed these and the great part is that they fill you up like a regular potato hash brown without loading you up with carbs. I felt very satisfied eating these with a couple of eggs and some turkey bacon!

spaghetti squash hash brown final

So next time you have that leftover spaghetti squash and need a use for it? Try these Jalapeno Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns!

Jalapeno Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ½ large spaghetti squash, baked (about 2 cups)
  • ½ jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped
  • ¼ t. salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 T. coconut or olive oil
Instructions
  1. Scoop out spaghetti squash from shell with large spoon. Place in center of thin dish towel and draw corners of towel up and twist until liquid squeezes out of squash, then remove squash to mixing bowl.
  2. Add jalapeno and onion and salt and pepper and mix
  3. Form thin flat patties with your hands to make four patties, using about ½ cup each of mixture
  4. Place heavy bottomed skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium high heat and and oil and heat up.
  5. Place patties in pan and fry around 3 minutes then flip and fry an additional 3 minutes, checking to make sure they don't burn a few times.
  6. Remove and serve!

If you loved this recipe check out what other great food bloggers are making for Food Network’s Comfort Food Fest using anything “smashed”.

The Wimpy Vegetarian: Mashed Celery Root with Blue Cheese and Watercress
Creative Culinary: Leek, Bacon, Garlic and Thyme Smashed Potato Cakes
Dishin & Dishes: Jalapeno Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns
Weelicious: Mashed Potato Cakes
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Spicy Roasted Eggplant Mash
Taste with the Eyes: La Purée de Pommes de Terre de Joël Robuchon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Carrot, Onion & Garlic Mash
Red or Green: Cauliflower & Beet Mash with Chile Infused Olive Oil
Swing Eats: Italian Style Smashed Potatoes
The Mom 100: Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Daily*Dishin: Mashed NotPotatoes Cauliflower
FN Dish: 5 Crazy-Good Ways to Do Up Mashed Potatoes

I’m a Navy Mom -Hooyah

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3f46b657df0edf26c024cddfbc0b2a0f

It’s official.

I’ve now entered into another phase of life for one of my children.

The Navy mom life.

Warning!  While I usually post tons of pictures with each blog post, you’ll see none here. That’s because while my son is in bootcamp, I have received only very very tiny bits of information…and NO pictures. Thus, said, I have also entered into some supportive group rooms via Facebook and the web that have warmed my heart, enriched my soul and enlightened me of other moms just like me.

Thanks to a few friends who have had kiddos go thru the Navy experience, I, as usual, have obsessed over learning about what my one of my children are now embarking on..this time..something WAY different, and they have schooled me and helped me in the path of those who have wondered before me.

I confess, that while I’ve always had a love for our soldiers instilled in me, I’ve known virtually nothing about their actual lives.

I am learning.

I am now in Facebook rooms, and on a website solely for moms of navy soldiers and every day I learn something new.

And every day I am prouder and prouder of my son and what he is going through on a daily basis to become a better person, Sailor and protector of our country.

I am also pretty darn impressed with our Naval system and how I can see between the proverbial lines on how each week builds them into independent men and women which is exactly where they need to be to properly serve us in times of war or protection for our country.

Hooyah.

“Hooyah” is but one expression I’ve learned, along with traditions like Naval exchange coins, or what a “rack” is or what “Breaking Blue” is or “Marlinspike”, just to name a few…

All of these are things I’ve never heard, of but are involved in the day-to-day lives of a sailor in the Navy who is protecting you and I.

How have I missed this…these men and women who train, who live eight weeks of life under cut-off- from family intensive training, leaving behind of their homes, and safety and all they’ve know …for you..and for I …and our country?

And then they move on…to schooling, ships that travel across oceans…and more that I don’t even know yet?

Our soldiers…our sailors, marines, air force and army guys…

Why don’t I think of them other than major military holidays or randomly once in awhile when I see a war movie?

I now will light a Navy candle frequently….why?

Because the sacrifice is now my flesh and blood. It is my blood that now protects and serves. It would be my loss felt.

And I am so unbelievably proud.

So “hooyah!” Conner….I love you.

Natural Grocers in OKC

Photo Jan 10, 1 51 21 AM

Photo Jan 10, 1 51 21 AM

 “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  ~Hippocrates

Recently I was fortunate to be invited to a get together to learn about Natural Grocers that opened in Oklahoma City on May Avenue (7013 N. May Avenue).  Mr. Wonderful and I attended and our meeting was held in the community room that houses a demo kitchen and setup of chairs for classes.

Photo Jan 10, 12 09 38 AM

This was also a chance to get that precious time spent with some of my favorite Oklahoma bloggers  that I already know, but also see  some faces for the first time in real life that I’ve only known through social media outlets and through the Oklahoma Women Bloggers site connection.

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(From left to right –  Me, Dee, Marie, Rose, Mari, Jen, Mae, Stephanie, & Ashley

I am a fan of all the great healthy grocery stores going making appearances in OKC. I just wish one of them would open up closer to me! I have to drive clear across town to get to Sprouts, Whole Foods or now, Natural Grocers. Why they all opened up within a half mile of each other is beyond me!

Speaking of other stores, what I really like about this store is that their philosophy can be summed up pretty simply – “Sharing Nutrition”.  I believe that what sets Natural Grocers apart from other stores is their desire to get food facts in every consumer’s hands.  At the previously mentioned Community Room, they have all sorts of interesting nutrition classes that range from classes on Gluten Free eating to Detoxing the Home. You can view the May location of Natural Grocers classes on their events page located by clicking here.  Also located on this page are some past recorded events that you can view for free as video.

Natural Grocers also believes in making the healthy eating lifestyle affordable to the average Joe.  I appreciate the fact that they sell bulk quantities of things like almond flour, coconut flour and raw nuts.

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These are prepackaged in bags so you don’t have to mess with bins (that everyone’s had their hands in!) and their brand products are WAY less expensive than most I’ve seen in some brand name products.

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A blurb from Natural Grocer’s website will tell you more:

Founded in Colorado by Margaret & Philip Isely in 1955, Natural Grocers was built on the premise that consumers should have access to affordable, high-quality foods and dietary supplements, along with nutrition knowledge to help them support their own health. The family-run store has since grown into a successful national chain with locations across Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas,Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming and employs over 2000 people.  Although the company went public in July 2012, Isely family members continue to manage the company day-to-day, building on the foundation of their parents’ business. Natural Grocers’ popularity and success can be traced back to its founding principles: dedication to providing science based nutrition education, exceptional customer service, the highest quality natural and organic products at affordable prices, supporting their communities and providing great jobs with excellent benefits and a living wage to their employees.

Another thing I love about Natural Grocers is that their entire produce section is Certified Organic 100%. This takes any guess-work out of searching for the organic section of broccoli, etc. Sometimes that drives me crazy at other stores.The produce is also promised to have no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or hydrogenated oils.

I like my vegetables to be vegetables, and preferably pesticide free so I appreciate this.

One thing I should note here is that when you head to the check-out line, you need to BYOB.

Bring your own bags or Natural Grocers will supply you with packing boxes, much like at Sam’s Club.

Perhaps the best thing I love about the store is that they supply you with an on-site Nutritional Health Coach.

Photo Jan 10, 12 09 59 AM

Here is Jessica (on the right), one of the coaches at the May location, talking to Marie from The (not always) Lazy W. Hi Marie! Hi Jessica!

I have been in several times, and anytime I need a question answered I go ask Jessica. Like “Hey Jessica, what is the best gluten-free pasta you’ve found?” or what is the best gluten-free flour you’ve found to cook with and Jessica is a wealth of information. And you know what my bill is for the information?

Nada.

She is there for free to answer your questions. You can even set up appointments with her. That’s not all that is done generously at Natural Grocers. That room that we were in? It’s available to the community for free if it’s not being used by the store for classes. And, something else that speaks volumes to me, is the way they treat their employees. Each employee gets one in-store-buck put on a charge card to be used to buy groceries for each hour they work each week. That’s how strongly they feel about their employees being able to eat healthy food and become healthier folk.  I mean, you tell me a company treats their employees good and I want to shop there just because.

A few sites you’ll see at the store:

organic produce natural grocers

A beautiful organic produce section.

Bulk spices natural grocers

A huge bulk aisle of their own line of spices, grains, legumes and more.

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Oh yes, and don’t forget they are VERY inexpensive for their size.

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Truly healthy protein and energy bars.

Raw nuts and trail mixes. We adore the tropical trail mix.

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A lineup of Amy’s Burritos. My son could live on these.  Need I say more?

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Vitamins, supplements galore abound.

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And there’s much, much more!

I love that they are now a part of our community as I believe our community is a better place with Natural Grocers in it!

Photo Jan 10, 2 14 53 PM (1)

Natural Grocers
7013 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
405-840-0300
Website

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie 1

Cottage Pie 1

Cottage Pie is an English/Irish dish that is kin to the more well-known Shepherd’s Pie, the difference being that Cottage Pie is made with beef, whereas Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb or mutton (Get it? Sheep?). Many folk make the pie with beef and call it Shepherd’s Pie, but today we’re going to try and be correct (for once), so we’re making it with beef and calling it by its proper name.

The term “cottage” originates in the late 1700’s when the potato was introduced as an affordable vegetable for the poor “cottage” folk thus the name “Cottage Pie” was created. And while it’s technically an English dish, MOST people make it with beef in America so we’re going to go ahead and use it to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day ok?

Confused? Me too!

Both the variations are topped with luscious mashed potatoes, and often cheese, and then broiled and browned as well.  Today I’ll tell you about the Cottage Pie and how I made it.

You will thank me after trying it. It’s so delicious.

Start out by browning one and one-half pounds of ground beef in a large heavy-bottomed pan.

Photo Mar 09, 1 15 56 AM

I like to use my potato masher to break up the meat. It does a wonderful job. I think I use it more for this purpose than for potatoes.

Once your meat is fully browned (about 6-7 minutes), remove it to a bowl and drain most of the grease out. Add in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Chop up three medium-sized carrots and three celery stalks and also one onion.  Also chop up 2 garlic cloves. I like my vegetables in this to be pretty finely chopped.  Add everything but the garlic into the pot and stir them for another 5 minutes or so or until the vegetables have softened.

vegetable collage cottage pie

Stir in two tablespoons each of flour and tomato paste and go ahead and toss in the garlic.

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Stir again for a minute or two and then pour in one cup of dark beer (like Guinness).

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Of course you’d use Guinness right? It’s IRISH.

An interesting fact – the first time I made Shepherd’s Pie for Mr. Wonderful, I almost killed him and he accused me of poisoning him. For you see, he’s allergic to dark beer and I forgot I had added it into the dish.

He’s been distrustful of me ever since and I can’t say that I blame him. However in my defense I was thinking about how alcohol cooks out when you cook it and I figured that applied to whatever made him allergic as well.

My bad.

Also pour in one cup of beef broth.

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Bring this to a light simmer and let it cook down a bit until it’s nice and thick, kind of like chili.

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When it’s nice and thickened up, add in a cup of frozen peas and some fresh or dried thyme (1 Tablespoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried).

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Let this cook for about 2 minutes, then spoon it into a square 9 x 9 greased or sprayed baking dish.

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Now add a tablespoon of salt to a large sauce pan and bring it to a boil.  Add in two pounds of peeled and cubed (about one-inch cubes) yellow potatoes.

potato collage cottage pie

Let them return to a boil then reduce the heat to gently simmer them for about fifteen minutes, or until you can stick a fork very easily into them. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot and place back on the hot stove for just a minute or two to evaporate out any remaining liquid (stir!). Add in 2/3 cup of milk and 3 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and then mash away at them.

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Spoon the potatoes evenly over top of the meat mixture in your pan.

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Spread all the way to the edges to “seal” your pan so the filling won’t bubble up on top of your potatoes.

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Bake this in a 400º for 25 -30 minutes or until the edges brown and the top crisps up.  Alternatively when I’m in more of a hurry I turn on the broiler and pop the pan onto the top oven rack and let it broil, watching it closely until it begins to brown on the swirls and edges of the potatoes.

Cottage Pie 3

Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

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The filling is SO hearty and rich and the potatoes are crispy on the top and soft and creamy underneath.

This dish is just comfort food at its finest.

Make some Cottage Pie this week!

Cottage Pie 1

 

 

Cottage Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
FOR THE MEAT BASE
  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped finely
  • 3 medium to large carrots, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 bottle dark beer (like Guiness)
  • 1 c. beef broth
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 c. frozen peas
FOR THE MASHED POTATO TOPPING
  • 2 lb.s (about 5 large) yellow potatoes
  • 3 4 T. butter
  • ⅔ c. milk
  • 1 T. salt
  • ¼ t pepper
  • Thyme leaves (for garnish)
Instructions
FOR THE MEAT BASE
  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot add ground beef and turn heat on medium-high. Use wooden spoon or potato masher to break meat up and cook until it's totally browned. Remove meat from pan.
  2. Add olive oil (leave the meat bits and browned bits in bottom of pan)
  3. Add in celery, carrots, and onion and saute for 5-7 minutes until vegetables soften
  4. Add flour and tomato paste, garlic, fresh thyme
  5. Saute 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently
  6. Add in beer and beef broth. Bring to simmer and cook 5 minutes until sauce has reduced
  7. Pour meat mixture into sprayed 9 x 9 pan
FOR THE MASHED POTATO TOPPING
  1. Peel potatoes and chop into 1 inch cubes
  2. Bring medium sauce pan of water with the tablespoon of salt to a boil
  3. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until fork tender
  4. Drain and return to pan on stove to dry out, stirring for a minute
  5. Add in milk, butter, salt and pepper and mash
  6. Spread over meat mixture sealing edges
  7. Turn on Broiler and broil about 5-7 minutes until top gets brown peaks and edges and crisps
  8. Sprinkle more fresh thyme on top for garnish

Do you love potatoes? Check out what other fantastic food bloggers made this week for Food Network’s Comfort Food Fest!

 

Feed Me Phoebe: Mexican Sweet Potato Hash with Black Beans and Spinach
Creative Culinary: Smashed Potatoes with Lemon Garlic Scallions
WeeliciousYukon Gold Potato Fans
The Mom 100: Potato, Leek and Dill Frittata with Crème Fraiche
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mexican Style Potatoes with Chorizo
Red or Green: Spicy Sweet Potato Gratin
The Heritage CookIrish Hash Browns Eggs Benedict (Gluten-Free)
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Crispy Pan-Fried Potatoes
Swing Eats: Healthier Twice Baked Potato Skins
Daisy at Home: Marriage Mashies
Taste with the Eyes: Baked Sweet Potato, Salted Caramel Puffed Rice Noodle Topping
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Spiralized Sweet Potatoes and Apples in Browned Butter
Virtually Homemade: Loaded Baked Potatoes
FN Dish: For the Love of Heavy Cream: 5 Scalloped Potato Recipes to Indulge In

 

Avocado Egg-in-a-Hole-Toast

avocado egg in a hole toast rec ipe

avocado egg in a hole toast rec ipe

Because I love egg-in-a-hole on a Saturday morning where the sun is shining and the week has gone from white and wintry to spring in the matter of a day.  The bright glimmering glory of that sunny egg yolk nestled inside of a piece of nutty and toasted bread brings happiness like the balmy air of spring does when it chases winter away with its birds singing and daffodils reaching through the dirt to find the sun.

And, because there can never be too many reasons for another avocado recipe, I bring you Avocado Egg-in-A=Hole Toast.

You’re welcome.

Start off by taking your favorite bread and then find a glass in your cupboard that will cut a nice hole in it. You want enough bread left around the hole to make the toast stand up on its own but also enough room for an egg to fit without running out onto the toast too much.

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There are two ways to make egg-in-a-hole.  There is the quick way – where you crack the egg into the toast and toast the bread on one side…

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Then you flip the bread over and the top of the egg fries on the other side. However, unless your bread is thicker than your egg, it gets kind of ugly. I happen to LOVE Ezekiel bread with this recipe. It toasts up crunchy on the outside, is a bit nutty as well, and the inside stays nice and soft. But any bread you have will do!

Photo Mar 06, 9 03 20 PM

My preferred way is to put a little coconut oil, or butter or even cooking spray in a nonstick skillet. Let it melt completey and swirl it around to coat the pan.

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Crack your egg into the pan and turn the heat down to low, letting it toast with the lid on so the egg cooks from the steam of the lid covering it.

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Let it slowly toast over low heat until the egg white sets and the yolk is getting a tiny bit of white over top of it.

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OH! And that hole you cut out with your glass? Toast that up as well. That way there will be more bread for the avocado to be spread over.

Now, while that’s cooking, take one avocado and scoop it out of it’s shell.  Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and take a fork and mash it to your liking. I still like some chunks in mine. You could add some chopped cilantro or cumin if you want to flavor it up but I kind of like the purity of just the avocado.

smash avocado toast collage

Spread it around the edges of the bread and over your toasted round center piece of bread as well.

avocado egg in a hole recipe

And voila. This is SO absolutely wonderful.

avocado egg in a hole toast

Just like those first few days of spring floating in.

Avocado Egg in a Hole Toast
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pieces sliced bread (I like Ezekiel)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ripe medium avocado
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 T. coconut oil or butter
Instructions
  1. Take a glass and cut holes in two pieces of bread
  2. In a non-stick skillet, melt coconut oil or butter over medium-low heat
  3. When melted, add toast and holes (the circles you cut out)
  4. Crack an egg in the center of each hole in the bread (very gently!)
  5. Cover and let toast over heat until the steam causes the whites of the egg set and the yolk gets a tiny bit of white forming over it.
  6. Flip toast holes (pieces you cut out) to other side after a minute
  7. In a bowl mash avocado with part of salt and pepper
  8. Remove toasts and holes and sprinkle eggs with remaining salt and pepper
  9. Spread avocado around edges of toast around eggs and on toast holes
  10. Alternately, and to speed things up, you can flip the toast to cook the other side of the egg, but it's prettier not to.

 

 

 

A Rant on Kindness

kindness

kindness

I was on goodreads last night updating my reading status.

I am reading a book and hopped on to read a few reviews about it.  I frequently do this to get a feel for what I may or may not want to read. I like to get a broader spectrum overall about a book before I invest precious time in reading it.

I may need to stop doing so. I found myself getting a little upset.

I saw many good, but also many negative comments about the book, all the time thinking, how could so many people have such an opposing expanse of thoughts?!!

I continued to read, getting a little upset over how people spit out hatred at each other over opinions,  and then, I continued to ponder….

We are VASTLY different, this world of people. Two of my best friends detest seafood while it is my go-to choice at restaurants.  I love a get-a-way at a cabin on a lake and a cup of early morning coffee sitting in the midst of mountains and pine trees,  while my daughter prefers a high-end hotel with lots of city buzz.

But here is the thing.

We are a diverse set of people. That means what works for me may be repulsive to you. And what you may thrive on, I may be completely disinterested in. And throw in beliefs and opinions and morals, and, have mercy, people can get downright disrespectful and hurtfully mercenary. I have seen people literally tear someone down on a Facebook post for misspelling a word or forgetting a comma in a sentence.  Sharp darts thrown to wound and belittle over nothing.

Why?

I mean, just toss the words Republican or Democrat out in a conversation, and watch people bristle. Oh, and please, for all that’s good and righteous, don’t post these two words on Facebook. People will come out of the woodwork with their teeth and claws extracted to tear…

So what is it that makes the nature of people turn to disrespect so ferociously, especially on social media forums?

Is it the ease of the written word with no expression or tones to caution the pain inflicted?

I read the reviews of the book I was reading and was astounded at the arrogance, the meanness and the fight that ensued on and on. Those I could literally imagine through my iPad screen shouting, pounding their first, or worse – looking disdainfully down on another with the air that they didn’t even matter.  Horrible fights happening over beliefs, opinions and morals in a comment to a complete stranger from perhaps another country…

I see this all the time on restaurant review sites. Remember that your word on a site could be the straw that breaks a restaurateur’s back…or their career or means of living.

And I loved the book.

Negative comments were about style and prose and poetry and that’s fine, if done respectfully. But this just wasn’t the case.  If you don’t like poetic writing, for gosh sakes, don’t read those kinds of books, and don’t accuse the author of being a Satanist. I mean, seriously…fight nicely kids.

I watched a video the other night about a man who blind folded himself and put up a sign asking for a hug. And I was touched when, particularly men, stopped and offered a hug to a complete stranger. It warmed my heart and I wish I could say it is warmed like this from witnessing life on a daily basis.

I think there should be a required course in high school where everyone has to learn about how to be nice.

Because when you are rude, disdainful, condemning and mean, you are really just saying someone else’s life doesn’t matter.  You aren’t operating out of love, and gratefulness and honor for someone else whose story you don’t even know.

And I’ve found out stories about people. And I’ve repented for my initial uneducated judgements. And I am trying to become a better person at living life with other humans. I am not completely innocent of this in life.

Because believe me, I have strong beliefs, and opinions and moral judgments of my own.

I get it.

I just don’t get people not being kind.

Am I alone?

Kindness is free.  And you and I may need it from someone soon.

Gardening …and Snow

Photo Feb 14, 5 26 53 PM

 

Welcome again to unpredictable Oklahoma weather.

Two weekends ago, Mr. Wonderful and I spent all Saturday in the yard. He made a pretty need DIY composter for us.

DIY Compost bin

The trash can has a hole cut in the lid and bottom and a cut off old broomstick is stuck through it and into the side posts to where it twirls, thus solving the problem of “turning” the compost. He also drilled about fifty 1/4 inch holes around the trash can for ventilation.

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The hinged door, he cut and mounted the hinges and fastener by screwing them into a small piece of wood inside.

I have been planting cool weather plants in the greenhouse mostly but did get over ambitious and started tomato plants and a few flowers like my beloved zinnias.

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Mr. Wonderful also built these awesome raised beds for us. I am very excited about these, as our soil (purchased at Minick Materials here in Oklahoma City) HAS to be an major improvement on our ground garden area with its red clay base.

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It took two TONS of dirt to fill these 4 x 8 foot beds. Can you believe that? Mr. Wonderful can’t either as he trucked them all from front to back yard with a measly wheelbarrow.

And then – within a day.

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We went from 75º to 21º or something….

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I spent some time carrying all my greenhouse trays up a flight of stair to place them on a tarp in our upstairs living room.

Today it’s 48º and sunny. And by Friday, we’re supposed to get another round of snow.

You just never know around here.

 

Omelet Muffins

Mini Quiche Crustless

Mini Quiche Crustless

I am not a huge breakfast bar, processed-food person, so I am always looking for things I can make ahead and take with me on the fly. These little Omelet Muffins (sometimes called mini frittatas or mini quiche)  are perfect for that and give you a huge punch of protein in the morning along with some veggies added in for an extra plus. And, they are so simple to make!

Photo Jan 30, 10 54 17 PM

I made 2 pans of these this weekend. One I left in the refrigerator, and the other dozen I flash-froze by placing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. I put them in the freezer for about four hours and then popped them into a gallon baggie so I could remove them easily one at a time and microwave them when I wanted one at a later date.

If you’re watching your waistline, you can actually use a refrigerator egg white product like Egg Beaters (I recommend the Southwest ones!) or if you’re into whole food, just buy organic eggs and whip them up with a bit of milk or almond milk.  Add a sprinkle of cheese on top or leave it off, the possibilities are endless with these!

For the first pan, I sauteed 1/2 pound of turkey breakfast sausage and mixed it in with the eggs along with 1/2 cup of chopped green onions and 1/2 cup of chopped red peppers. The beauty of these little darlings is that you can add anything you want to the mix. Options could include switching the meat for ham or  adding chopped mushrooms, jalapenos for a kick, chopped asparagus or you even bump up the flavor with chopped fresh herbs like thyme, basil or rosemary- anything goes!

For the second pan, I microwaved 4 slices of turkey bacon until crisp, then chopped it into bits and added it along with chopped tomatoes and green onions.  This one was delicious and became my favorite.

Spray a muffin tin and fill each tin half full because when you bake them, they puff up and rise over the top like a souffle.

Let them cook for a minute or two then remove them quickly so they don’t stick to the pan.

mini quiche

My microwave is pretty strong so I only have to remove them from the refrigerator and microwave them for 30 seconds (for two).  From the freezer, I extend that time to one minute. These are great to have on hand for a quick breakfast, or even a late night snack!

Omelet Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 12 eggs
  • ¼ c. milk or almond milk
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
TURKEY BACON MUFFINS:
  • 4 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped
  • ½ c. chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ c. chopped green onions
  • ½ c. shredded swiss cheese (optional)
TURKEY SAUSAGE MUFFINS:
  • ½ pound turkey sausage, browned
  • ½ c. red pepper, chopped
  • ¼ c. green onion, chopped
  • ½ c. shredded swiss cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Beat eggs and milk together with whisk
  3. Add remaining ingredients (pick one of the two options - if making both, double the number of eggs to 24).
  4. Mix well with large spoon then pour into sprayed or lined muffin pan cups filling only half full (i'm not crazy about using the liners)
  5. If using cheese, sprinkle some over each muffin evenly
  6. Bake for 18 minutes or until middles are no longer wet when you stick a fork in the largest one.
  7. Let cook 2 minutes then remove to a platter
  8. Allow to fully cool then store in air tight container in refrigerator

 

As You Walk Away

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Photo Feb 17, 3 36 04 AM

I watched you walk to your car, a bounce in your step, that cap on your head.

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Don’t you know you’re walking out of my world? A thousand long miles away.

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You go, into your new world, a world of adventure and learning and sweat and possible danger.

And I am bursting with pride, but also a slow sad grief burns its way up from my belly….until it floods my eyes and, my throat hurting, I slowly turn and walk inside to dry my face.

Earlier today I watched as you stood straight with your arms at your side, and raised that snappy salute to that perfect stranger, and pledged to honor and defend your country, and I felt the same. now-familiar pride and pain while all the while knowing it was the right thing for you to do.

Photo Feb 18, 9 40 02 AM

I’d spent a wonderful two full days with you, watching movies, eating your favorite foods and all the things a mother offers in those last days together that mean so much to her and might mean a little bit to you.

Will you miss these things? The bright, brick-red hue of the achiote-spiced chicken you beg me to make, the steam of the crab boil as it is poured onto the newspaper on the kitchen table we’ve dined at so often together, or the comfort of a quilt on a leather chair kicked back while we watch all three Hobbit movies?.

My eyes flicker over my grandma’s Bible on the fireplace hearth as I walk heavily into the living room. Will you make God your own, now that you’re far away from the confines of parental authority?  I am comforted knowing that the one possession you were allowed to take besides your cell phone was that small pocket Bible I saw in your backpack at the swearing-in ceremony.  I saw your fingers caressing the cover as you kept it out and handed us the rest of your modern gadgets to bring home, and my heart soars now remembering it.

I walk slowly up the carpeted stairs and through the upstairs living room where your X-box sits blankly looking up at me, as if it knows it’s finally been bypassed for adulthood, and into your room with its un-made bed.

I think about how early tomorrow morning you will learn how to make crisply-tucked hospital corners on the cold metal bunk that will be your new home and I smile through the wetness of my eyes at what I know will change you for the better. I make the bed and feel the emptiness of the now-neat room. I would give one thousand un-made beds to have you here again.

So do you know as you walk away…

Just how much I love you?

Photo Feb 18, 9 41 46 AM

 

 

 

The Best Homemade Ravioli Ever

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Ravioli

A few months back, I traveled to Michigan to stay with my Mom for a week who had just had surgery and help cook and clean and generally help Dad with whatever we needed to do to keep her planted on the couch all week.

While I was there, Mr. Wonderful made homemade ravioli.

Without me.

Seriously? I cook all week, every week for the man and he chooses the week that I’m away to make homemade ravioli?

Hmph.

Well, ever since he sent me those gloriously wonderful cell phone messages with photos of his homemade ravioli, I’ve wanted to make them again.

Ravioli_with_pesto_and_tomatoes.JPG
You know, as in, make them again since I would be AROUND to taste them?

So yesterday after church we knocked out a TON of them and they were SO good.

I have been wanting to play around with a ratio of semolina flour to regular flour since we first made pasta. I really like more of a “bite” to my pasta than the regular flour recipes offered and I believe I found the perfect ratio yesterday. Since we were making ravioli, we added in some olive oil to help it be pliable for filling and sealing and I played around with the filling recipe as well which turned out fabulous!

This brand of semolina flour is widely available at most stores and it is what I used.

red Mill Semolina flour

I made a double recipe as well, because if you’re going to go to all that trouble, why not freeze some for later? We laid them out on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and froze them solid then popped them into freezer bags for an easy but delicious meal another night!

I also tried out a new toy I’d ordered, and I can’t tell you how convenient this Ravioli mold turned out to be.
Norpro ravioli mold

It is the perfect width for the noodles that rolled out of our KitchenAid pasta rollers. You can absolutely positively make ravioli without one of these but it’ll be a bit more work.

I just used a large bowl to make my dough in but you can start it on the counter.

Flour eggs pasta dough

I used one cup of semolina flour and two cups of all-purpose flour and whisked them together then cracked in two eggs (I doubled the recipe this time). Using a fork, mix the eggs together in the well they are sitting in, then add in 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup of water right into the same well.

Pull the flour into the egg mixture with the fork a little at a time while mixing.

Continue to mix with the fork until it becomes workable for your hands then roll the dough around to get any loosed flour. If you need a tad more water, add it one tablespoon at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky.Turn it out onto a floured cutting board or clean counter top and knead it several times until it becomes smooth. Flatten it into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit for thirty minutes to let the glutens relax.

Follow this post for rolling out the dough.

 

We used our KitchenAid pasta roller attachment, but you could use a countertop roller or even a rolling pin, if you’re feeling ambitious. We first cut our disk into 4 equal sizes pieces and rolled out each one. The width of our pasta roller was absolutely perfect for the ravioli mold, and we only had to cut square corners (work the cut off sections back into the next piece of dough you use.

Ravioli makers

Roll the dough thin but not too thin. On our KitchenAid pasta rollers, we stopped on the #4 setting (On KitchenAid #1 is the thickest and #8 is the smallest).

We laid our ravioli mold (we have this one) next to the dough and leaving about ½ inch extra on the ends, we cut two pieces to fit.

Ravioli molds come in different sizes. The one we have makes the smaller ravioli (1 ½ inches each) but you can also buy them in larger sizes. I prefer the smaller ones for nite-size purposes, but I may have to buy the larger size as well!

Here is how a ravioli mold works. You lay your first layer of dough over top of the metal side.

The metal side has teeth outlining each ravioli square and all the way around the entire thing.

After the first layer of dough is on the metal piece, you gently place the plastic mold (with the round bubbles on the bottom) right on top of the dough and again, gently press down.

 

The plastic bubbles press the dough through the holes in the metal piece to form indentions in your dough for you to uniformly fill your ravioli.

I also put my herbed ricotta and spinach filling into a pastry bag to pipe it into the ravioli dimples I created with the plastic mold to help make the filling uniform in volume on each square. You could use a baggie with the corner cut off or even a spoon though.

To make the filling, dump a 15 ounce container of whole milk ricotta into a mixing bowl. Take about 6 cups of fresh spinach leaves and chop them up. Also, chop up about 8 basil leaves.Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and bring it up to medium heat. Add the spinach for only about a minute or two until it begins to wilt but is still bright green.

Remove it to the mixing bowl with the ricotta and add in the basil along with one cup of grated parmesan cheese, one beaten egg , a clove of chopped garlic and some salt and pepper.Mix it up really well and then spoon it into your baggie or piping bag.

Pipe it into the indentions on the bottom layer of pasta.

Take a pastry brush (or just use one finger) and brush water in between each line of ravioli, or anyplace that will be sealed for each ravioli.

Lay the top layer of dough over top.

Use a rolling pin to go over the entire thing, pressing down firmly.

This will cause the teeth to cut the ravioli through the dough. Don’t worry about flattening out the filling because the top that you are rolling over is going to be the BOTTOM of the ravioli and it should be flat.

Once you can clearly see the teeth all the way through the dough, Pull off the excess dough from the edges.

And then flip the metal piece upside down and give it a good shake a couple of times to dislodge the ravioli from the mold

A few of ours had to be helped by gently pressing them out but it left a little dent in the top of the ravioli.

Ugly ravioli makes me upset!

Not really. It still tastes fine.

To cook these, bring a large pot of water to boil. They only need about 3-4 minutes tops. I used a spider to gently stir them to make sure they didn’t stick to each other and then to lift them out into a bowl afterward. I also only boiled about a dozen at a time because you don’t want to overcrowd the pot.

We tossed them with homemade pesto I had in the freezer due to the enormous amounts of basil I grew last year. While the ravioli was in process, I added about 20 cherry tomatoes into my small iron skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil and cooked them until they were soft and the skin was blistering in places. It leant just the perfect amount of acidity to the richly filled ravioli and the pesto.


I am so excited to start experimenting with new fillings now like mushrooms, butternut squash, roasted vegetables and seafood.

Homemade pasta is so unbelievably delicious.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best Homemade Ravioli Ever
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
FOR THE PASTA:
  • 1 c. semolina flour
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • ½ c. water
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 6 c. fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 c. parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. pepper
TO SERVE:
  • 1 c. basil pesto
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, blistered or ½ c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Instructions
FOR THE PASTA DOUGH:
  1. Using a fork, mix the eggs together in the well they are sitting in, then add in ¼ cup olive oil, and ½ cup of water right into the same well.
  2. Pull the flour into the egg mixture with the fork a little at a time while mixing.
  3. Continue to mix with the fork until it becomes workable for your hands then roll the dough around to get any loosed flour. If you need a tad more water, add it one tablespoon at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky.
  4. Turn it out onto a floured cutting board or clean counter top and knead it several times until it becomes smooth.
  5. Flatten it into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit for thirty minutes to let the glutens relax.
  6. Unwrap your dough and cut it into 4 equal pieces
  7. Cover three of these with a bowl to prevent them from drying out. Then take the fourth one and kind of pull it out into a sort of rectangle. Sprinkle it with flour.
  8. Put your pasta attachment on or use your pasta roller set to the widest setting
  9. Run pasta through
  10. Take it out and fold it in half lengthwise and run it through again. (Fold the two short ends together).
  11. Take it out and fold it in half lengthwise and run it through again. (Fold the two short ends together).
  12. After your fourth time (on that setting), change the pasta roller to the next size smaller (setting 2 on the KitchenAid wheel). Run it through the first time just as it is, then three times more after that folding it in half again long ways after each run. Then change your roller setting one size smaller to 3.
  13. Continue on to number 8 setting.
  14. Cut dough into one foot sections
  15. Place dough over ravioli press and use metal insert to press indentions into bottom sheet of dough.
  16. When filling is done - pipe or spoon into each indention.
  17. Place top sheet of pasta over top and roll a rolling pin over top to cut.
  18. Empty onto cookie sheets lined with cornmeal
FOR THE FILLING:
  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet and saute spinach until just bright green and wilted
  2. Add all other ingredients to large bowl and mix well.
  3. Use piping bag or teaspoon to fill indentions in ravioli
TO COOK THE RAVIOLI:
  1. Bring large pot of generously salted water to boil.
  2. Add ravioli (about 12-18 at a time)
  3. Let cook 3½-4 minutes
  4. Lift out with spider or slotted spoon
  5. Continue cooking until all are cooked
TO MAKE THE BLISTERED TOMATOES
  1. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to hot skillet,
  2. Add about 20 cherry tomatoes and continue to stir until they collapse and begin to burst and brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix pasta with pesto and tomatoes and toss.

If you like this, check out what other wonderful food bloggers are making for Food Network’s Comfort Food Fest below!

Feed Me Phoebe: Sesame Soba Noodle Salad with Cabbage Slaw
The Mom 100: Creamy Goat Cheese and Spinach Linguine
The Cultural Dish: Homemade Pasta and Top 3 Light and Easy Pasta Recipes
Taste with the Eyes: A Unique Pasta Made of Black Beans – Gluten-Free, Lower-Carb
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Ravioli with Asparagus, Green Pea Sauce & Sauteed Scallops
Red or Green: Pasta Cacio e Pepe (pasta with pecorino & black pepper)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Spaghetti Limone
Dishin & Dishes: The Best Homemade Ravioli Ever
FN Dish: 5 Back-Pocket Pastas That Always Have Your Back

How to make ravioli

The Paleo Chef

The Paleo Chef Cookbook

The Paleo Chef Cookbook

The first few words of the book The Paleo Chef are promising…

“I love food!”

Pete Evans take on Paleo cooking is flavorful, ethnically diverse and delicious. His previous cookbooks are pretty popular and his traveling to various cultures to learn their cooking secrets is a plus that he continues to use in this book, although several of the recipes are merely adapted from his other books to the Paleo art form.

It’s always a plus that Evans is a certified chef and health coach, so we can trust that those of us who are looking to make gastronomic creations that feed our body well will receive good instruction from his book.

Oh yes, and the man is a walking billboard for health, cuteness and so something must be truth in this reading right? I mean come on! A barefoot all-American guy in distressed rolled-up jeans and a chef jacketon the cover! Who wouldn’t want to eat and look like him?

Aside from that photo, the food photos (always a plus for me) are vibrant and mouth watering looking and pull you right in.

I appreciate, as a Paleo novice, the instruction Evans gives us in the opening chapters about the Paleo way of eating and from these chapters, I came away with the hope that while I am a major food lover, I can still eat well as well as please my palate.

That said, the recipes look wonderful. Especially appealing to my ethnically diverse-loving taste buds are dishes like Nasi Goreng, (substituting cauliflower rice for rice), Shrimp Laksa, Chorizo & Seafood Paella, Jerk Chicken and Vietnamese Chicken Wings. There is even a dessert section with recipes for Key Lime Tart, and Apple Berry Crumble and oh my – Pumpkin Pie with Bacon Bark!

The only drawback to this book, as I’ve said before in other reviews, would be the search for exotic ingredients (which never deters me), for items like lemongrass, galangal, squid and dried chiles.  However, with the various ethnic markets that are present in my home town and for anyone with an internet connection, they can be found if truly desired.

I look forward to trying the recipes in The Paleo Chef. Most seem simple enough for an intermediate cook….and that Shrimp Laksa is calling my name this weekend!

The Paleo Chef Cookbook

*** Added at a later date – unfortunately, I have now made a few of the recipes out this book. We made the Stir Fried Beef with Basil and it called for WAY too much fish sauce which really made us unable to eat it. We ended up throwing away some pricey grass fed beef.

Also made the Chopped Salad and it was OK but the dressing lacked something.

Espresso Truffles

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Recently I visited one of my favorite baking shops (Sweet Cherry’s Bakery ) and picked up some supplies to make truffles.  Valentine’s Day is approaching so I thought I’d knock some chocolates out ahead of time!

Now, you can use your imagination here – make milk chocolate or dark chocolate truffles.  Add in a flavored liquor or some orange zest to kick things up a notch.  Add in some ground cayenne for a Mexican chocolate kick.  Roll in a variety of ingredients or just dip them in some more melted chocolate (my personal favorite) then sprinkle with colored sugar or (swoon) -sea salt.

Today I decided to make Espresso Truffles, because I’m a big fan of adding anything coffee to anything chocolate.  Coffee brings out the flavors in the chocolate oh-so-well.

Truffles really aren’t that hard to make.  You could actually make them using ordinary stuff you can get at your local grocer. Let me show you how.

Measure out 3/4 cup of heavy cream into a pot.

Now, don’t turn this on high.  You need to heat cream gently, so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pot.  Turn your burner on low to medium-low and just barely bring this to a simmer.

While, that’s heating, dump one bag of dark chocolate chips into a bowl.  I used Ghirardelli.

Now, let me just say – I am NOT a professional candy maker!  You can get as fancy as you want with your chocolate.  I just wanted to use one that everyone could get a hold of locally.

Anyway, dump these into a bowl and when your cream is heated, pour it right over top of these.

Add in 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Use a whisk and gently begin to stir this all together until it gets nice and glossy and smooth.

Add in one teaspoon of good vanilla extract.

And also add in 2 tablespoons of expresso powder. If you can’t find any, put some coffee into a coffee grinder, and grind it into powder.  Or you can order some at any one of these places.

Stir it up again with your whisk, really mixing well.

Then pour it into a 9 X 9 baking dish or pan and pop it into the freezer for about 30 minutes.  Or you could put it in the refrigerator for several hours.

Or you could put it out on my porch for 5 minutes.  Cuz it’s stinkin’ frigid here this week!

I kind of shake it with my hands just to level it out real nice.

What we’ve just made is chocolate ganache.  You could pour this warm over a cake or brownies and it would be fabulous! But we’re making truffles, so let’s get on with it!

Now, there are a few ways to make your truffles – the clean way, or the messy way.

The clean way (which is highly unlike me) is what I did today.  I used a small cookie dough scoop to scoop mine.  But you could just use a teaspoon and roll the truffles in your hands, letting them melt all over your palms and making a huge gooey, but fun mess.

It’s all about what type of personality you are I suppose.

Mr. Wonderful would never, ever want to roll them in his hands.  It goes against the grain of all that’s good and right in his world.  When we eat any finger food, like chicken wings? He only uses one hand so the other can be clean all the time. Not me of course, I tend to grab those babies with both hands and eat away!

Anyway, scoop out a bit of the now-fudgy-like chilled ganache.

Place your truffle on some wax or parchment paper or a Silpat mat lining a baking sheet.

Continue to scoop out balls until you’ve emptied the entire pan.

Then it’s time to be artful (not one of my strong points).

I decided to melt two different bowls of chocolate to dip my truffles in – one white chocolate, and the other milk chocolate.  Melt about one cup of the chips in a microwave safe glass bowl,  starting at 30 seconds, then stir, and if needed, continue to microwave for additional periods of 20 seconds, stirring after each time.

Once they’re melted, let them cool down for a couple of minutes.  You don’t want super hot chocolate melting your truffles when you dip them.

I have this little dipping thing I got from Pampered Chef that works well.

But a fork works just as well, if not better.

 

Now, while the chocolate coating is still wet, you can sprinkle on some sea salt or colored sugar.

You can also put a couple of tablespoons of your melted chocolate into small baggies that zip shut.

Snip off just a small sliver off the corner.

And use this to pipe some pretty lines across the milk chocolate dipped truffle (once it’s cooled from the dipping).

For something different, try using cocoa powder or powdered sugar to roll them in instead of dipping in chocolate.

 

Another option is using colored sugars to roll the un-dipped chocolate in.

Just drop the scoop of ganache right onto the colored sugar and roll to coat.

I used pink and red for a Valentine’s Day effect.

I love having the varieties to display.

Get some different colored little candy liners to display them in to really show off your Valentine spirit.

And for just a quarter or so, you can buy boxes at Sweet Cherry (or your local candy store) to box them up and tie with a red bow for all the people you love.

Your family and friends will think you’re so special.

Try making truffles before Valentines for someone you love.  Bring your kids in for the rolling fun.

And above all else…

Eat chocolate!

Katie

Espresso Truffles
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (12 oz) package Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ c. heavy cream
  • 3 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. expresso coffee (or fine ground coffee granules
Instructions
  1. Bring heavy cream to very low simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and pour over dark chocolate in glass bowl. Add butter and whisk until all is melted and glossy. Add in vanilla and espresso. Mix well and pour into 9 x 9 square dish (ungreased). Place in freezer for 30 minutes or until consistency of fudge. Scoop out in round balls with cookie dough scoop or use teaspoon and roll in hands to make balls. Roll in cocoa powder, powdered sugar or colored sugar.
  2. To dip - melt 1 cup of desired chips for 30 seconds in microwave, stir, and keep microwaving for 20 second increments, stirring after each time. Let cool 1-2 minutes before dipping. Dip ganache ball into melted chocolate with fork and let cool on parchment or wax paper or Silpat mat placed on cookie sheet.
  3. To roll: Roll separately in cocoa powder (don't dip in chocolate at all), powdered sugar, or colored sugars to coat.
  4. Sprinkle: dipped truffles with sea salt or colored sugar
  5. Place finished truffles in freezer for 10 minutes to set. Best served at room temperature

Would you just LOOK at what other great food bloggers are making for Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast featuring chocolate?

The Lemon Bowl: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Creamy Cheese Frosting
Feed Me Phoebe: Dark Chocolate Beauty Bark with Chia Seeds, Pepitas and Goji Berries
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Black & White Brownies with Orange Glaze
Virtually Homemade: Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Coconut
Creative Culinary: Raspberry Boccone Dolce (Pavlova with Chocolate and Raspberries)
Daisy at Home: Mocha Mousse Marshmallow Cake
The Mom 100: Molten Chocolate Peanut Butter Cakes
Dishin & Dishes: Espresso Truffles
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
The Cultural Dish: Moroccan Pots de Creme
Red or Green: Dark Chocolate Truffles- 4 Flavors
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chocolate-Coconut-Cashew Bark with Sea Salt
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Chocolate and Pretzel Bark with Sea Salt
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Fudgy, Chewy Brownies {dairy free}
Haute Apple Pie: Mississippi Mud Pie
Taste with the Eyes: Chocolate Mint Parfaits with Chocolate Hearts
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Everyday Chocolate Granola
FN Dish: Melt Hearts with Handmade Chocolate Sweets — Comfort Food Feast

 

How do you make truffles