Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bloody Eyeballs

Halloween Week is here and I love it!! We are trying to eat Halloween-y all week so here is what we made last night. They came out so cute and the boys loved calling their dinner "bloody eyeballs" with questions like this all through dinner: Where did you get the bloody eyeballs mom? The graveyard? Mmmm...these bloody eyeballs are really yummy. Is there blood inside? Let me check. Are these eyballs sitting on top of brains? Mmmm, I love to eat brains.

Okay so super easy recipe which is perfect for this hectic week. I'm sure everyone has their favorite meatball recipe, so use that or feel free to use mine. Thank you to Monica at for inspiration!!

Bloody Eyballs (Turkey Meatballs in Sauce)

1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 pkg. ground turkey

1/4 c. chicken broth
1 egg
2 T grated onion
1 t. minced garlic (or a frozen cube from TJ's)
3 T. parmesan
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
1 T. fresh chopped basil (or 2 frozen cubes from TJ's)

Mix broth through basil until well blended. Then add turkey and gently fold with your hands until it is evenly mixed. Make into meatballs.

First put the sauce in the pan, about halfway up. Add an olive to each raw meatball, pushing it down a bit. Plop them in the sauce and voila! Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. It's actually much simpler than the browning process I do for regular meatballs.

Nom nom!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

My parents were here helping me out while Tall Guy was away on a business trip the past 5 days. I really don't think I could have gotten through that time without them here. Seriously. Even with all three of us, taking care of these kids and their messes sometimes seems like shoveling the driveway while its snowing. The good part though, is that when the grandparents are here, kids hone in on the fact that any pleads to read a book, play tickle monster, "jungle", puzzles, Transformers or even "night soccer" will be happily obliged. So, thanks again Mom and Dad. We are already missing you!

With the extra arms in the house, I had some free time for a little cooking and decided to make some pumpkin ravioli in honor of Halloween Week. I actually used Kabocha Squash, which has a dense pumpkin texture and sweet flavor when roasted. I looked at some recipes, but ended up just eyeballing the filling mixture. I was really happy with the way it turned out and I think everyone else enjoyed it too! The picture does not do it justice - these early dark nights are bad for photography!

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

1 Sugar Pumpkin or Kabocha Squash
1 T. olive oil
2 T brown sugar
salt/pepper to taste

1 small container Ricotta cheese
1 clove minced garlic
2 T. grated onion
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 T. chopped herbs (basil/thyme/parsley)

1 package wonton wrappers

1 stick butter
12-15 sage leaves, coarsely chopped
squeeze of lemon

Heat oven to 400. Cut squash in half horizontally, drizzle with oil, salt, pepper and rub in the brown sugar. Roast on baking sheet, cut side down, for about 30-40 minutes, or until very tender. Scoop out flesh into a bowl and mash down until the lumps are gone.

Add ricotta, parmesan, egg, onion, garlic, brown sugar and salt/pepper and mix until smooth.

Lay out the wontons on a large work surface and add about a teaspoon of the filling to each. Use water to seal the wrappers in half, taking care not to squish the filling out the sides. Really press down the edges!!

Okay, so now you are ready to roll. Get that water boiling.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once it is all melted, add the sage and cook on high until the butter is brown and the sage is crispy. Turn off heat. Add the squeeze of lemon juice and stir in.

Gently place the raviolis into boiling water. Watch close, you only want to warm them up. Once they rise to the top and get a bit translucent, about 2-3 minutes, take them out with a slotted spoon right onto your serving plate. Add the sauce.

Get ready for a party in your mouth (as Giada would say)!

This makes a TON of ravioli. I only boiled half and also had a bunch of leftover filling. The rest is now in the freezer ready for another gourmet meal. Hopefully Tall Guy will appreciate that when I pull it out next week!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Best Banana Bread

I don't have any stories about this recipe except that it comes from my mom and that I've been eating it for 30+ years. Sometimes perfection does not need to be messed with! (Oh, okay, I DID add the cinnamon to her recipe because I LOVE cinnamon!!) Thanks, mom. Someday we will get that cookbook put together!

Best Banana Bread (my mom's recipe)

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs well beaten
2 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sour milk (add 1 tsp vinegar to milk)
1 cup banana pulp (about 2 large bananas)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
4. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with sour milk and banana pulp. Don't overmix.
5. Stir in nuts.
6. Bake in greased loaf pan for 50-60 minutes.

For 4 mini loaves, bake for 25 minutes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Risotto Cakes

It's a rare day when we actually have leftover risotto, but today happens to be that day. I've had these little puppies on the back of my mind for quite some time after seeing them on a recent episode of The Next Iron Chef. Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside....delish.

I did not follow a recipe so here is what I did:

Risotto Cakes

Leftover Mushroom Risotto (it was about 2 cups)
1 egg
2 T. flour
2 T. Parmesan
1 T. grated onion
1/2 clove minced garlic
salt/pepper to taste

Mix everything together and form patties. Fry in oil until the sides are crispy and brown, about 5 minutes per side. Serve hot*!

* Because of the baby, I usually try to cook dinner during the day when she is asleep, so I cooked these in the morning and plan to re-heat in the oven and serve them with Chicken Piccata and a green salad. Bon Appetit!