Category Archives: At Home

How Many Small Kitchen Appliances Do You Own?

This was a question that I posed on one of the Food Forums that I belong to.  Interesting.

For those of us who cook and do so often, we have a lot of “toys” that we play with.  Some more often than others, but we love them all equally.

I couldn’t resist; I just had to break out all of mine.  😀

We have two Keurig Coffee Makers.  The behemoth black model stays at home, while that Chili Red little cutie comes with us on our car trips.  We’ve gotten hooked on a certain brand of K-Pod coffee (thanks Mary Elizabeth 🙂 ).  We get a consistent cup of Joe every single time, DE~LI~CIOUS!!

In this group photo, two of my toys are used regularly, can you guess which ones? DING DING DING!!! My Rice Cooker is used probably every-other night and then the scale comes out multiple times in a day.

Now these guys are not utilized nearly as much as they should be, but such is life.

My husband saw the Espresso Machine and exclaimed, “HEH!  Where’s that been?  Can we have a cup?”

Sure!

Boy, it took me a minute to remember how to work this small kitchen appliance, it’s been so long.  o_O

Now, mind you, these kitchen toys did not just appear in my cupboards last night.  I accumulated these workhorses over many years time.  Some as gifts (Thanks Mom), and some I purchased over time.  A friend of mine suggested that I start looking in the thrift stores for some new acquisitions.  HMMM …

 

How many small kitchen appliances do you own

AND

How often do you use each of them?

Please let me know in the comment section below
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What Do You Put In Your Easter Baskets?

At lunch the other day, my mother reminded us that Easter is coming early this year. WHAT? Sure enough, I pulled out the calendar and Easter Sunday falls on March 31st. Last year, rather than make up baskets of candy for my DH and mom, I made Iced Sugar cookies.

Easter Cookies instead of Candy

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

This was the absolute first (and probably last) time that I will undertake such a long, drawn out project. I should say though, it was fun and I was quite pleased with the outcome. These are just the cutest cookies I’ve ever made. I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart and the FoodNetwork Magazine, morphing the two together. I probably should have rolled out the dough a touch thicker, it was a fragile final product. The royal icing was a challenge, as I’d never done this before. It took driving all around town to several places to find the meringue powder. I used just plain ‘ole liquid food coloring from the supermarket to tint the icing. I piped it using simple sandwich baggies with the corners snipped.

I was on my feet for most of the day and my back was aching! Normally, if I know I’m going to be in the kitchen standing for periods of time, I put on my walking sneaks. I was so excited to get this ball rolling that I was in my bare feet and didn’t think about it until it was too late. But it was a blast and both DH and mom were impressed, they thought I bought them at a fancy bakery.

 

Homemade Cheese Raviolis

*Edit*

Originally this post was published back a year ago.  I had been looking through my recipe binder to make a batch of ravs and decided just to pull this up instead.

WHAT!?

I messed up on this recipe guys, big time!

Please note that the filling is missing EGGS!  I’ve rectified this and would like to re-post this with the correction added below.  This really is a wonderful dish that is time consuming, but well worth it, ask my husband 😀

 

One of my long time followers, Krystle, who also blogs at Pictures And Plane Tickets (please check out her blog) requested my recipe for Cheese Raviolis.

Ya know, I could have sworn that I’d posted this recipe previously, but I guess not, just mouth watering photographs of the end product… sorry, my bad.  So with no further ado, here we go.

Auntie’s Cheese Raviolis

Dough:

3 1/2 – 4 C. All Purpose Flour (or Semolina)

1 1/2 tsp. Table Salt

4 large Eggs, beaten

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Water

Filling:

1 lb. Ricotta Cheese (I get the Whole Milk, go for it I say 😉 )

1 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated (buy the best quality you can find)

3 large Eggs, beaten

1/4 C. Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

Now, let’s get to it.

For the dough:

In a food processor combine the dry ingredients; with the machine running add the Eggs and Oil. Pulse in enough Water for the dough to JUST come together, you don’t want it too wet or sticky but firm and smooth to the touch.  Turn the dough out to a large piece of plastic wrap, bringing all bits together into a ball; cover well and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 24 hours, it turns a funny looking grey, unappetizing color.

For the filling:

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Take a zip-top baggie, fill about half way (not too full as it makes it unyielding when it comes time to fill the raviolis).  Snip a smallish hole in one corner, this makes the filling process much easier; close up the bag and place in a small bowl to keep everything contained for now.

To assemble:

Divide the dough into about 12 pieces, being sure to keep the dough covered in the plastic so that it doesn’t dry out.  Dust your counter top with a small amount of flour, then with a rolling pin, flatten out 1 piece of dough into a rectangular shape, thin enough to go through a Pasta Sheet Roller on the first setting. Dust the dough lightly and run it through as many settings as you like, I go from #1 to #4 on my KitchenAid attachment.  Set aside and repeat a second sheet.  Using a Ravioli Mold makes life easy.  Place one sheet over the flour dusted mold, make the rounded indentations and fill by squeezing that baggie of goodness in to that spot, not too much though; very lightly moisten all edges of the form with your finger dipped in some water.  Place the second sheet over the top, starting from on end and gently pressing out any air.  With the rolling pin provided (or your own) seal and cut all edges well (you’ll see the metal edges come through), peel away the excess dough (save that under the plastic wrap) and turn the Raviolis out on to a floured sheet pan.

Repeat

I get anywhere from 6 to 7 dozen Raviolis with this recipe.  Allow the Raviolis to rest for at least 3 hours on the kitchen counter, uncovered.

To Cook:

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the appropriate amount of salt and stir.  Gently drop your desired amount of Raviolis into the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes or to your preferred doneness.

Now that’s just one technique of assembly Raviolis, you could go without the mold and simply roll out the sheet of pasta, squirt on some filling, fold over the dough and cut as desired.  I have a hard time with that, they wind up exploding in the boiling process, not good eats.

I like to make a large batch of Raviolis and once dried, I pop the entire sheet pan into the freezer overnight, dust off the flour and place in a zip-top bag for later consumption… I mean 84 Raviolis are ALOT!!! 

*Added bonus – if you like, this dough makes wonderful fresh Fettuccine or Spaghetti or really any shape you like.  I do this with the leftover scrapes of from the Raviolis.  I gather them all up into a ball, sheet it out and cut as desired.  I roll the sheets up into a “cigar shape” and use my parring knife, unfurl each strand into that sheet pan of flour, toss to coat in the flour and allow to dry a bit.  You can freeze the fresh pasta for next Sunday’s Supper.

homemade pasta

ENJOY!

Baked Disco Tots

You’ve heard of Disco Fries, Right?  Well, here’s my spin on it.

This dish couldn’t be easier!  I baked some Trader Joe’s Trader Potato Tots, following the directions on the package; sprinkled loads of shredded Cheese over the top and put them back into the hot oven for like 30 seconds, just to melt the Cheese.

Now plate and enjoy.  I like mine with Kewpie Mayonnaise, you choose your own dipper, but it’s really not necessary, these gems are perfect just as they are.

 

My New Floor Cleaner

I did say that we moved right?  My husband and I purchased a new home and some of our things I got rid of and bought new once we got into the new house, almost A YEAR later.

One of my new toys is a Hoover® FloorMate® Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner.

Hoover® FloorMate® Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner

When we lived back in Hawaii I had the older model, the FloorMate®SpinScrub®, but it didn’t come with us back then… and for some reason, I never bought another until now.

Our new house has wall-to-wall Ceramic Tile and this puppy is a whiz at getting it CLEAN!!

Hoover® FloorMate® Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner

Can you see that yucky, nasty, dirty water tank?  ACK! emoticon-yuck   They said that the construction crew hired someone to clean our house just before we took possession.  The first thing we did when we got here was to clean the place from top to bottom, really.  My husband helped me, and we cleaned EVERYTHING!  The ceilings, walls, and then lastly the floors.  This baby makes cleaning hard surfaced floors a breeze.

*Disclaimer: I do not represent Hoover® or any other companies in anyway.  I do not attach any advertisements to my blog (now I find out that WordPress does, so sorry for that).  I do not receive any compensation for my own personal views of any products that appear on my blog posts.  I just like ’em and want to share, that’s all.  😉

More Food As A Gift

PIE!!!

Actually it’s Apple Crostata

Apple Crostata

Just a follow up to Food As A Gift the other day…

Food As A Gift

When I was a kid, our family would exchange gift certificates with one another.  I have carried on this tradition with my husband.  For Christmas one year, I made up the cutest coupon book with all of DH’s favorite dishes.

Gift Coupon Booklet

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned this in a previous post… The other day, my favorite guy came up to me with his hands behind his back.  “What do you have there?” I asked; he whipped out his Ravioli coupon.  I could have sworn that he had cashed that in long ago, but I must honor my gift.

Ravioli ready for the deep freeze

Homemade Cheese Raviolis in mass

I can’t recall if I’ve posted my recipe for Cheese Raviolis, Hmmm.  I’ll need to look for that, `cuz these are tasty indeed!!

ENJOY!