Archive | February, 2011

We’re lookin for you, we’re gonna find you…

27 Feb

So I appear to have taken a blogging break. I don’t think that it was entirely intentional, although I must say that I have felt that there were two things keeping me from updating:

– A big backlog of posts to catch up on – all which seem very long and involved

– The injury I alluded to in my last post :(

First off, I’d like to say that my Recipe Challenge is going swimmingly and I’m enjoying creating and following recipes each week. I’ve definitely tried a lot of different dishes that I haven’t either cooked before, or in some case, even eaten before! I had someone ask me, if that’s all I cook during the week, my one (or two, or three) recipe for my Challenge. Ummm, no. I make all sorts of things! Some of which is just all thrown together so doesn’t seem recipe worthy to me, and some are recipes I’ve been making for forever (or, re-making the same one’s I’ve already discovered through this challenge!).

The one thing that I didn’t think about when committing to this challenge, was just how much time it would take to blog about the recipes! Perhaps I’m too involved in my descriptions and instructions? Although I no longer blog my daily eats, I like to blog about any new recipes, whether for the Challenge, or not. With the amount of time I’ve set aside for blogging, this just hasn’t been working! …And part of this is that I’ve been in kind of a funk lately, which brings me to point number two.

4 weeks ago I hurt my foot. I went for a run and oh, how it was a great run. That run and the one before were the first runs where I felt that I was finally starting to feel my mojo come back. They were the type of runs where you got in your groove and it just felt natural.  I haven’t felt that way in MONTHS.

Anyway, I got home, took my shoe off, and immediately felt pain.  I knew that there was something wrong, but not sure what, or why.  I hadn’t undone my tightly-laced, doubled-knotted shoe to take it off (nature was calling!!!) and thought that perhaps I pulled something in my foot, by pulling my foot out of the shoe.  The pain would come and go as I walked on it – the further I walked, the more it would hurt and I would limp (ridiculously, I must say.  I looked so silly!).  However, I continued to run on it for the next week.  I know this sounds crazy as I was a limping mess, but I didn’t find there was really any pain when I was running on it.  The consequence though, was that walking was starting to become quite an ordeal and very painful.

And then everything changed.  I went to a park that had a nice walking path that would be very snow-covered, but a traffic light-free place to run 6 miles.  By mile one I knew that things with my foot weren’t good; my foot was VERY sore (it hadn’t really hurt running on it until now…).  I managed to finish up one more mile on sheer determination, but was in severe pain, so called it a day.  I know that this sounds a little crazy, but at the time, I was pretty sure that I hurt my foot by not untying my shoe before taking it off…

The pain was intense enough though that I went home, looked in the phone book for walk-in clinics that had on-site x-rays available and went straight to the one I found. Unfortunately, when I got there, I found out that being a Sunday, their x-ray wasn’t open (burn!), so I just left and decided to go after work on Monday.

Well on Monday, I waited an hour to see the doctor and it was a complete waste of time. SERIOUSLY.  When he came into the room, he asked what happened, had me walk 3 (3!) steps, declared that my feet are ‘flat’ and I needed orthotics. “Get orthotics, take advil and come back in a week if it still hurts.”  And then he left the room. !!!!

Excuse Me???   Seriously, what just happened?

Ummmm, you think I have this major limp because I need orthotics? Ya, I already have them and that’s irrelevant, I can tell you that….

*Run and tell dat, Homeboy, homeboy, homeboy….*   oh how I love Antoine Dodson  :)

He actually didn’t touch my foot at all and barely looked at it.  I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to do.  I ended up going home and then decided that I’d give it a couple more days to heal; if it was still a problem by Friday, I’d go to a different clinic. Well, by Thursday I realized it wasn’t getting better and I couldn’t wait any longer.

This time the doctor actually listened to me!!!!   Yaaaayyyyyyy!!!  He said that he thought it was a stress fracture.  Booooooooo!!!  I asked him if he really thought that it was necessary to get x-rays and he was pretty adamant that it was.  I think that in my eyes, if I didn’t get x-rays that it meant that I was really ok and that there wasn’t really a possibility in the fracture department.

The Doc sent me down the hall for x-rays and when I came back, actually read them with me.  Unfortunately they showed a stress fracture on the head of the fifth metatarsal – exactly where my foot hurt – imagine that…

This isn’t my foot, and actually it’s a right foot, and my issue is with my left, but to give you an idea as to where the stress fracture is…

Night and day between the two Doctors, I tell you. So 6-8 weeks off of any weight bearing exercise. Boo. I’m glad that I hadn’t signed up for my next Half Marathon yet, because it’s on April 2 and clearly that’s out now.  Maybe I’ll be able to do a couple of 5ks in the spring before the humidity gets to be too gross.

I certainly won’t ever take being able to run for granted anymore…  I miss it so much!

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Butternut Squash Ravioli w Parm Butter Sauce

12 Feb

I started  writing this post 2 weeks ago and just haven’t felt like blogging.  I’ve had a running injury and just haven’t wanted to be sit down to write.  I’ll let you know what’s going on with my injury in the next few days (I’m going to live…).   But without further adieu:

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This started out as a post about some Jalapeno Black Bean Patties and as you can tell by the title, it didn’t finish up that way.  Not to say that I started to make them and they suddenly morphed into ravioli, but I made two recipes this week and chose to use the ravioli one as my recipe challenge entry this week  ;)

The patties and their story will appear on the blog soon, but until then, let’s get onto the much delayed (as in, I actually made this January 26th!) Butternut squash ravioli!

Last year around this time (coincidentally), I made a butternut squash ravioli recipe of Bobby Flay’s, but it involved chipotle peppers and hazelnuts, so was nothing like what mine was.  Therefore, this qualifies for my recipe challenge :)

Since I made Bobby Flay’s recipe, I’ve been wanting to make something similar to it (meaning ravioli and butternut squash involved), but not that same recipe or ingredients (waaaay too rich).  And here’s what I came up with…

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First up, let’s make the ravioli dough.

Now this is a very hearty pasta (which I love, more bang or your buck), if you don’t want hearty, sub out the whole wheat flour with AP.

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Put your eggs in the middle…

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And be sure to rescue any that run away!

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Beat the egg with a fork (or just use your hands) and slowly incorporate all of the flour bit by bit.

Once you have incorporated the egg, add your water small amounts at a time, until the dough comes together, but isn’t sticky.  If it feels sticky, just add a little bit more flour.

Speaking of flour, lay some down on your counter in order to roll out your dough and not have it stick to the counter (duh.)

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Roll, roll, roll your dough.  You want to make it as thin as you can.  Remember that it will be ravioli, so it will be twice as thick (top and bottom) around the edges.

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Find something to cut out your ravioli circles.  Todd and I have found that this little tupperware dish is the perfect size for making large ravioli.

IMG_0460 IMG_0461IMG_0462Oh, isn’t that pretty…

Now put it aside and let’s get the filling started…

Mash your roasted and peeled butternut squash in a bowl.

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Take your onion slice and mince it.  You want the onion flavour without the chunks.  To do this, I diced my onion and then ran it through my garlic press.

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Add in your Italian seasoning,

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2 pinches of salt (note that this is only about 1/8 tsp!),

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And your crumbled feta.

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Mix all together well.

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At this point, fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil (for the ravioli to eventually go in…).

Meanwhile, grab a ravioli circle and turn it upside down (the underside will be more moist) and place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle of it.

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Continue this for half (duh) of all of our circles.

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Use a little dish of water and your finger to moisten the edges (all areas not covered by filling).  Next take another ravioli circle and stretch it a little (in order to fit over the filling) and place on top.

Press the edges of both pieces together, using your thumb and forefinger to pinch the dough together.

Do this around the entire ravioli until you have this:

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And continue until all of your ravioli look like this,

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Place your raviolis in your pot of boiling water.

And onto the sauce!

This looks like a lot of butter, but it’s only 4 tablespoons worth, and it’s for alllll of the ravioli (and I actually reserved some for leftovers…and used some for some garlic shrimp!).  Melt the butter over medium heat.

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Add your veggie stock

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Stir in your parmesan, oregano, garlic and pepper.

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Mix well and turn up to high heat.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Make sure that your raviolis (Ok, I was wondering if it was ravioli or raviolis, but spell check didn’t pick it up, so I guess this is right!) aren’t sticking together and stir occasionally while they’re cooking.

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Once your ravioli has been in the pool for about 4-5 minutes, you should be good.  Remember, you’re cooking fresh pasta here – not dried – and it’ll still be going in the oven.

Drain the ravioli, but don’t rinse it!  The starch on the ravioli helps the sauce stick! (If it takes you more than a couple minutes to complete your sauce and start assembling, you may need to check that your raviolis aren’t sticking together, or to separate them)

Speaking of starch…  Add in cornstarch to thicken up your sauce.  Add your cornstarch to 1/4 cup of water and stir well, before adding to sauce.

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Turn heat off and stir, stir, stir.  The cornstarch will work its’ magic and the sauce will be much thicker.  Take off the burner, once the sauce sticks to the spoon liberally.

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Look at that gorgeous sauce!

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This is a good time to preheat your oven to 375.

Spoon a little bit of sauce in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish, to prevent the ravioli from sticking.

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Place your raviolis in your dish, spooning a bit of sauce over each one.

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Offset each ravioli layer, so that sauce will drip down :)

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When I had all of my raviolis arranged, I still had this much sauce left.  You could just pour it over top, but I don’t think it needed it.

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Cover your dish in foil and place in your oven for 20 minutes, or until you see the sauce bubbling…  mmmm…. bubbling sauce…

And serve!

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I wish I had a better picture of the finished product, but I just wanted to dig in at this point….   *drool*

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Butternut Squash Ravioli

Pasta

  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup water

Filling

  • 1/2 Medium butternut squash, roasted, peeled and mashed
  • 1 1/4 inch slice from a medium white onion
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled feta

Sauce

  • 4 T Butter
  • 2-3 Cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1.5 T grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 T Cornstarch
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup vegetable stock
  1. Place your flour in a mound on a flat surface (countertop).  Make a well in the middle of it and crack your eggs into the well.
  2. Use a fork (or your fingers to mix the egg, incorporating the flour as you go.  Once the egg and flour are mixed, add in your water, bit by bit, while kneading together.
  3. Once dough comes together into a firm ball (too sticky, ad some extra water; not holding, add extra water), your dough is ready to roll out.
  4. Flour your work surface and use a rolling pin to roll out your dough as thin as you’re able to.
  5. Use an implement or cookie cutter to cut out circles of dough approximately 3.5-4 inches across, using all of the dough.  Put aside.
  6. In a bowl, mash the roasted and peeled butternut squash.
  7. Add in the minced onion, Italian seasoning, salt and crumbled feta.  Mix well.  Set aside.
  8. Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil to cook your ravioli once they are assembled.
  9. Meanwhile, grab a ravioli circle and turn it upside down (the underside will be more moist) and place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle of it.
  10. Use a little dish of water and your finger to moisten the edges (all areas not covered by filling) of the ravioli circle.
  11. Take another ravioli circle and stretch it a little (in order to fit over the filling) and place on top.  Press the edges of both pieces together, using your thumb and forefinger to pinch the dough together.  Continue this process for all ravioli circles.
  12. place ravioli in pot of boiling water, cook for 4-5 minutes and drain.  Do not rinse starch off (in order to encourage sauce to stick to pasta).
  13. At this point, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  14. In a saucepan, melt your butter over medium heat.  Stir in vegetable stock, garlic, oregano, parmesan cheese and pepper.  Bring to a boil.
  15. Mix together the cornstarch and water and pour into sauce.  Turn heat off and stir until sauce thickens.  Take sauce off of burner.
  16. Coat bottom of baking dish with sauce.  Place one layer of ravioli and cover in sauce.  Place another layer (offsetting from bottom layer), and cover in sauce.  Continue until all raviolis are in the dish.  You may not use all of the sauce.  This sauce is rich and should be used sparingly (I reserved about 1/3 of the sauce and used it when heating up leftovers).
  17. Cover with foil, place in oven until heated through and bubbling, approximately 20 minutes.

Whew!  That was a long one!  Next week’s entry will be a much less involved one – I need a break (if only from the posts!).