Posts Tagged ‘ricotta’
With my dissertation behind me and only 21 days until I graduate and get hooded for my Ph.D. you’d think I would be care-free and excited. Not so much, more like the same old stress and anxious. I am still working on a couple last experiments per reviewers comments on my paper, job hunting, and worrying about what I am going to do if I don’t have a job lined up by the end of January when my lease runs out. With any luck that last item won’t become a reality, but in the meantime it’s a good time for some comfort food.
Stuffed shells are great comfort food. Those big shells hug in their cheesy goodness of a filling while being wrapped up in a warm blanket of sauce. Sounds like the life, doesn’t it? This sauce happens to be extra special because it is a pumpkin alfredo sauce with sage. Now wait, don’t get discouraged thinking you have to make your own alfredo sauce (but you can if you want). This recipe uses a premade jar of alfredo mixed up with pumpkin puree and a couple other flavor additions to create a great fall pasta dish.
One year ago: Individual Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Two years ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
Every day is a battle to actually prepare a meal at dinnertime for myself instead of opening a blue box of mac and cheese or swinging by Taco Bell. I am actually impressed by only caving once thus far. Oddly enough I spruced up that blue box by topping it off with some lentil soup and fried okra. That is what happens when you are hungry and rummage through the pantry and freezer for random items. Oddly enough it was quite delicious and I may have to do it again the next time I cave.
But on the days I do manage to cook it is rarely anything that takes more than 30 minutes of preparation. And yes, this recipe today falls into the category. It may look fancy and difficult but the hardest part is slicing the eggplant, unless you’re smart and pull out your mandoline (I own one but always forget). The next hardest part? Not eating the entire pan by yourself in one sitting. The creamy pesto was freaking amazing and I wanted to bathe in it.
It is a rare day to find flights for under $300, even more so under $200, but yesterday was one of those days and I snatched it up as fast as I could confirm the time and place of events for that weekend. This flight purchase was for my friend Amber’s wedding in October, another of which I am a bridesmaid! The flight actually ended up being free because I had accrued enough miles to do so. I should have signed up for the Amex Delta Skymiles CC a long time ago. Imagine all the free flights, free 1st checked bag, and group 1 seating I could have been enjoying all these years!
But anywho, to go along with the theme of frugality, here is a pizza taco recipe that I was able to make almost without a trip to the grocery store. Lately I have been trying to cook more with the items I already have stocked, and surprisingly for this meal I had every ingredient on hand except for the ricotta. That goes to show how well stocked my kitchen is for a girl living with no one else besides her cat. Sometimes I try to estimate how long I could survive without leaving my home, and appreciate that I do not need to test it for real because I covet fresh fruit far too much.
P.S. This recipe is a great, quick weeknight meal!
One year ago: Easy S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches
There are times when I go to the grocery store and somehow leave without actually getting everything on my list. And then there are times when I cross every last thing off, only to get home and realize I didn’t buy enough of something or forgot to put something on the list in the first place. Enter improvisation. When making these stuffed shells, I substituted broccoli for shredded zucchini because I failed to buy any, and also some of the ricotta for Greek yogurt because I didn’t buy enough! Some people say you shouldn’t admit to screwing up and instead say it was all planned out from the beginning. However, I prefer admitting how awesome my creative skills under pressure because these shells were still awesome.
Happy Valentine’s Day!! What do you have planned today? I am going to the Brooks Museum with some friends for a visiting internet cat video film festival! It’s going to be absolutely ridiculous and I cannot wait. After all, I don’t need to do anything mushy today because I already celebrated Valentine’s Day over the past weekend when I was visiting my boyfriend. We actually made the ravioli I am sharing with you today!
I packed my ravioli press in my luggage, but unfortunately my stand mixer + pasta rolling attachments were unable to come with me. So the BF used his muscles to roll out this dough by hand with a rolling pin. Serious dedication. He even got creative and made a little heart ravioli for me out of the last pieces of dough (which you can make out on the top of the pile).
So stay at home tonight with your favorite person, and make this dish for/with them. Serve with some roasted brussels sprouts and a nice glass of wine. Oh and don’t forget dessert! How about an easy jumbo cookie stuffed with a 5 ounce heart-shaped Reese’s? Scroll down for that lovely treat.
In mom news, her MRA had to be postponed yesterday due to some minor things and as a result was not able to go home yesterday. But I talked to her and she sounds good although still tired. Best part is her vision has already started to improve!
One year ago: Raspberry Hugs Cheesecake Blossoms
Cooking for one is a challenge. Normally I don’t mind leftovers because they are great for lunches, but I find myself overrun with leftovers these days. Both in meals and desserts. I am convinced at times my fridge looks like I am feeding a family of 4. I have been freezing as much as I can but at the rate I’ve been going, soon my ice maker will be filled with non-ice items.
Every now and then I run across a single-serving meal that is quick and easy to make, and it immediately goes on my to-make list. This simple yet delicious pasta dish is great for a busy weeknight or when the thought of adding another tupperware full of leftovers to your fridge makes you shudder.
With cooler temperatures creeping up on me, I am desperately trying to use up all the basil leaves left on my basil plants before they start to freeze off at night. It will likely result in a freezer-full of pesto because new ones sprout up when I’m not looking. Any other basil-utilizing suggestions?
Of course I couldn’t freeze all of the pesto, so I made these lasagna rolls that I had bookmarked long ago. The homemade pesto in this was essential for me. Even though I’ve never made this recipe with store-bought pesto, I could definitely tell that there was fresh pesto rolled up in there. Good thing I have a stock-pile of homemade pesto to last me through the winter so I can make these lasagna rolls again. Maybe I’ll venture into the world of homemade lasagna noodles next time. Look at me living on the edge .
Also, don’t forget to add you favorite brownie/bar recipe to the #BYOBrownies link up party!
Ever since I first discovered the deliciousness that is gnocchi, I was under the impression that they were all created from potato. But recently I discovered they can also be created with ricotta – which sounds like it would be richer and more flavorful. Especially more so if using goat-milk ricotta! So I busted out my gnocchi board for the first time and got to work.
I haven’t made gnocchi in years, but remember the first time I ever made them – it was in my high school Italian class and I thought they were the most precious things ever. We didn’t do anything fancy to make them ridged, just cut them up into little pieces and boiled them, but their freshness was nothing like I had ever tasted before.
This time around I added the ridges, but unfortunately they were not very pronounced as I had hoped for visually. They still did their job holding onto the sauce, but I was expecting deeper, bigger ridges like you see on those you buy in the store. I am not sure why I expected that since I knew how small the ridges were on my gnocchi board. Sometimes my brain doesn’t make sense.
The original recipe said it served six. I do not see how that could’ve been possible without being served alongside some other dish. I barely got three servings out of this, and honestly it took a lot of will power not to make it a two-serving recipe. I could’ve eaten the entire pan in one sitting, it was that freaking amazing. Guess who will never be found buying pre-made shrink-wrapped gnocchi from the grocery store again?
And homemade gnocchi is pretty quick to make, especially compared to other homemade pastas which require the pasta rolling devices. You just roll these up into long logs, slice them up, roll on a gnocchi board (or the back of a fork or cheese grater), let sit in the fridge for a few minutes, then boil in water until they float. Add preferred sauce.
In this scenario I went for a butter sauce complimented by California walnuts and fresh thyme. Don’t forget a nice sprinkle of Parmesan before serving!
Warning: These meatballs require 2.5 hours of baking time. And having the oven on at all, let alone that long, during these hot summer days seems like borderline insanity. Which is why I baked these in the morning over the weekend and had them for lunch, before the temperatures rose up too high for my A/C to successfully ward off from entering my apartment. However, any spike my A/C bill was worth it to produce these tender, flavorful meatballs. And yes, I am still the very broke grad student who just paid a $500 deductible for car repairs. Sometimes I fail at being frugal when I comes to delicious food.
But I am getting a break from the heat this week. The highest high predicted for the next 7 days is 88 which is almost twenty degrees less than what I’ve been plagued by for the past month. Hooray!
In other hot-weather-related news, I bought a slip ‘n slide at Target for $4.91. Best $5 purchase ever?! I thought so too. Now to convince a friend with a yard and hose to let me frolick around…
After admiring many recipes on myassigned blog for the Secret Recipe Club this month, Bewitching Kitchen, I chose this recipe because it uses Meyer lemons since I had yet to try them for myself. However, that task remains to be completed. I am not convinced they exist since they are impossible to find where I live. I’ve been told that they are typically only available in the January/February months, but that did not stop me in my unsuccessful hunt of every grocery store in Memphis. Therefore, this dish was made with just regular lemons. One day, Meyer lemon, you will be mine.
But as luck would have it, this dish was quite wonderful with just a common lemon. I am not sure what it would’ve tasted like otherwise, but the lemon flavor along with the zucchini and ricotta were perfect together. And as Sally suggested, I was not shy with my addition of freshly ground pepper. In case you didn’t know lemon and pepper get along great.