All posts filed under: Pasta

Lasagna!

Okay, you all know me. I don’t usually endorse any product. Like most of you, I have my favorites – and barring some natural disaster that wipes out their factory… and their delivery trucks… and every single case of product distributed across the country, it’s not likely that I change my buying habits. And, most of you feel the same way – I get that. I particularly like Red Gold Tomatoes, and over this past year, Red Gold  has approached me several times to do a sponsored post including themed recipes for their products. Unfortunately, It’s always been something that just wouldn’t meld with the way I cook. Call me snobbish about my recipes, call me.. well, whatever…. it just didn’t work out. Until this month. I love lasagna… I mean, make a pan and eat the whole thing kind of love. However, My own recipe is long, drawn out, and involved. It takes forever to make so I never get around to making it very often. With this month’s promotion, they sent me a ridiculously …

Kitchen Fodder Guest Test – Micro Pressure Cooker Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Bah! Humbug! Alright…. I’m not the happiest elf this time of year – and getting my chops in gear to do anything other than just exist, is damned near impossible… (I’m just not your holiday food guy.) Luckily, in talking to my sis today, I found out she was using her Microwave Pressure Cooker to make… of all things… MAC n CHEESE! I roped her into doing a guest post (slash) recipe test on it for Plate Fodder. So… Go grab a bowl of popcorn and get ready to be amazed! (I’m going to go steal the neighbor’s inflatable snowman…. again…) ______________________________________________________________________________ After seeing Toby demo his microwave pressure cooker several times, I had to get one for myself. This seemed like such a marvelous gadget! I have cooked many different things in the pressure cooker… Pot Roast, Chili, Rustic Bolognese Sauce, Lemony Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Olives and Oregano. Everything so far has turned out well. I had a couple of lamb shanks hanging out in the fridge that I thought I would take for …

Kitchen Fodder ~ Gettin’ all PC (pressure cooker) on some sauce

 Test #1 of the CooksEssentials 4.5 Qt. Microwave Pressure Cooker First of all, I’m going to do a bit of housekeeping and apologize to Jane. .. the rest of you can look at the picture for a bit. You’re absolutely right… this isn’t your exact recipe. The spice blends are there.. and basically, it’s the same.  However,  I had to make a couple of alterations in order to keep it from turning to just mush in the pot, and a couple of things had to change to cope with the shorter cooking time.  The vegetable chunks are larger, but generally, it has the same feel, taste, thickness, and richness.  And… We’re back. So, like I said yesterday, you’ve got to futz with the settings a bit to sync the temps and times up to your own microwave. For example –  I use a 1200 watt micro, so the bulk of what I do is at 60% power  and 10 less minutes on the unit for any of the recipes in the provided cookbook. Because of that, …

Baleful Bounty ~ Sauce Rustica

With Summer in full swing, the garden should be producing to beat the drum. However, after the issues I had earlier in the season, I’ve played it safe on the tomatoes; I only planted one plant of a single variety ( Mountain Pride). And, since it’s a late season tomato… there isn’t anything resembling a ripe fruit on the vines yet.  Thankfully, friends are seeing to it that I have more than enough extra ripe tomatoes to go around. Here’s the thing with being gifted with a dozen tomatoes that are ready to eat NOW – like it or not, some are going to go bad. And the only way to combat all that spoilage is to either cook it down to sauce, or can them (which I don’t do), or zipper bag them up whole – and freeze them (as it happens, I’m all over that action.) Freezing and thawing fully ripe tomatoes allow you to keep that fresh picked flavor that you don’t get with a processed product. Granted, they can’t be used for …

Baleful Bounty ~ Melanzane al Funghetto

With the garden production winding down, there’s been very little in my little hay-bale heaven to harvest. Except for eggplants. Typically, I get 2 to 3 decent sized aubergines out of my one plant… and that makes me happy. This year, I decided to plant 4 plants: 2 Gretel White Pencil Eggplants – similar to Asian style aubergines, only less sweet and a firmer bite 1 Black Beauty – the green grocer standard you find in the market 1 Juliette – a striped, amethyst  jewel-toned, egg shaped aubergine The Juliette fell early victim to the overly wet spring and cut worms devastated the remaining 3 plants off and on throughout the summer, so I really wasn’t expecting much of a harvest at all. However come August, I was awash in eggplant. I ate Eggplant Parmesan until my ears bled. I  made casseroles and terrines. I named them and drew Sharpie faces on them… I gave them away by the dozen… and still my plants produced. Even now (in late October) there are another 2 Black …

Cat Heads and a road less traveled

“Cat Heads & Gravy / 5 Miles” The sign read. I used to travel a lot on my off days. Occasionally, when you could do such a thing and the airlines were more concerned with filling every seat, I would throw together a light packed bag and park myself in the airport – waiting for that thrilling last minute cheap seat to … where ever. It didn’t matter where, it was just away. I flew to Corpus Christi for $15 once; San Fran for $25; I even got to Bangor for $5… and a promise to bring back a lobster to the ticket agent. But as time passed the workload increased and the airlines became less amused with my patented ” I’ve got 25 bucks … where can I go”? … getting away for 3 to 4 days became more of a myth than a reality. I came to the decision one night that even though I would miss the mystery grab bag plane ride,  just getting away  for 2 days on a drive was enough to restart my …

Curb Market Crawl – Meatier, Meat Sauce

Fennel Dee, Dee… ” I adore thinly shaved fennel tossed with a light olive oil vinaigrette, scattered on a fresh  roasted garlic and white truffle pizza.” … said by – absolutely no one at the Dahlonega Walmart… ever… And I know that because I found  Six – marked down, re-labeled, name changed and marked down again, and a Manager’s Special sticker attached – fennel bulbs at  my local meg-lo-maniacal mart for a whopping 2 bucks… total! Call me crazy – but that’s like finding out your cat makes diamond encrusted, solid gold um.. surprises in the litter box. During my last foray down towards points more cosmopolitan, in places with produce enhancing lighting and pressed green aprons, they were well over $3.00 per bulb! So.. yeah… I was stoked! and I bought 12. Granted – Wally’s isn’t exactly what you’d call a curb market, not by a long shot. But it was just off the main road…. and I did have to drive there…. … and did I mention it was 12? Needless to say – there’s going to be some “fenneling” to …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Mushroom & Eggplant Lasagna

I’ll readily admit it – I’m a carnivore. Meat, meat, meat makes my world go round. And, if this were only all about me, I’d probably only write about meaty food. But it’s not. I’ve got friends that are vegetarian, some that are vegan. There are the lactose, tree nut, gluten, casein, fungi, dairy, GMO, HFCS intolerant… so it takes more than a pile of hamburger meat to make a banquet. And, since the garden is kicking out the goods in high output these days – I’ve got a lot of produce to find ways to use. My thinking was – to finely chop eggplant and porcini mushrooms together, season them with fennel and seasonings (like Italian sausage and add it to a pasta sauce…. Taste-wise, it works. But, eh – textural wise, not the greatest mouth feel. So the next option was use it as the “meat” filling in a lasagna. Dinq! This recipe is Lactose Free, but not Dairy Free – I still haven’t been able to find a suitable substitution for Parmesan or sharper cheeses….yet. The Gluten Free …

Baleful Bounty – Straw Bale Garden Update

Ju-ly… freakin’ hot, sweaty, sweltering July…  and we’re so far behind last year in the garden. At least it feels that way. Maybe it was the late start with the redesign;  maybe I just have nothing else going on right now so I’m obsessing out in the garden – over watering everything, measuring the okra stalks daily with my trusty ruler, counting the cucumber blooms…  and I don’t know – maybe the garden gods just weren’t on my team this year, but it sure feels like things have been progressing unnecessarily slowly. So, where are we… exactly… The okra is up and looking healthy. There are even a couple of tender pods and an occasional bloom. The upside is that there are a multitude of buds in the wings just waiting to do their thing – it’s going to be a good season.. eventually. The tomatoes have finally worked the kinks out adjusting to the new location at the southern side of the garden and have laid claim to the re-purposed gazebo/trellis that was constructed. Sadly, the hybrids are far …

Anger. …and car wreck pasta

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s Jane’s Day Out. Every week, I take mom out to meet her regular group of friends for lunch. As usual, I drop her off, but instead of picking one of the nearby places to have my lunch and wait for them to finish, I had a picky little list of errands to run (light bulbs, sinus meds, phone bill). So, I head off and 2 blocks down the road, this happens… … I don’t exactly remember the particulars. I was driving – she launched into moving traffic – I swerved – she hit me. Period. I could postulate all day as to the hows and whys… but it really doesn’t matter. One accident – two cars totaled… no one seriously hurt. I should have been thankful for that, but… I was Angry… … at the driver for not looking … at myself for not being able to avoid the crash … at the motorists constantly asking what happened … at myself again for totaling Jane’s car … because I didn’t get any of the …