Thursday, 29 September 2016

Baked Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli


we are officially in the thick of sweater weather and casserole season.  which if you think about it go hand-in-hand perfectly; know what i'm saying?

one of my favourite dishes in fall and winter is lasagna.
however, lasagna on a weeknight can be overwhelming & time consuming; between bus stop picks-ups and evening activities.

what's not time consuming?
baked ravioli.


all the flavours of lasagna in half the effort and time.
thursday night dinner for the win...

...and fridays leftover lunch win.

cheers.xo.



baked spinach & ricotta ravioli

ingredients:
1 {600g} package fresh spinach & ricotta ravioli 
2 cups favourite spaghetti sauce 
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
fresh basil for garnish, sliced thin.


method:
preheat oven to 350F.  spray 11 X 7-inch baking dish with non stick spray.  set aside.
in medium saucepan, heat spaghetti sauce with cream cheese until warm and cheese is incorporated evenly into the sauce.
cook the ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2-3 minutes.  drain.
add ravioli to the sauce, mix and transfer to prepared dish.  top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  cover and bake until sauce bubbles and cheese on top melts.  about 25-30 minutes.
garish with fresh basil.

serves 4-6
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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

How to Blind Bake a Pie or Tart

{via}

we have officially entered into autumn, the season that reminds us change can be beautiful.  it also brings with it chunky sweaters, plaid, crisp mornings, and pie, i mean thanksgiving....

{via}

obviously as of late i've had galette on my mind.  the rustic, slightly less pretty cousin to pie.  but thanksgiving is all about pumpkins & sweet potatoes, and with those you need pie.  you also need to break out your skills of blind baking, to avoid the dreaded soggy crust conundrum.

blind baking quite simply, refers to prebaking the crust before adding the filling.  it helps to prevent a soggy crust for pies that have moist fillings, like pumpkin or lemon meringue.  it's a simple process and one that any pie devotee should have in their back pocket.

happy baking. 
cheers.xo 

 {via}

to blind bake a pie or tart:

preheat oven to 375 degrees F, or according to your recipe.
place your dough in a pie plate and crimp edges.  use a fork to prick the bottom of the pie shell to prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes.  line the dough with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights, dried beans or even pennies.  
transfer to refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.  this helps stabilize the butter and will prevent shrinkage from happening.
bake for 20 minutes.  remove pie from the oven, and lift out the paper and weights.  prick the bottom of the crust once again with the tines of a fork.  return the crust to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes for a pie that will continue to be baked in the oven {pumpkin, sweet potato, or custard} and 15 to 20 minutes for a pie that will have a cold filling.
allow crust to cool.






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Monday, 26 September 2016

Rustic Apple Galette


confession: i have a new vice in life {like i needed another} move over cycling, wine, hiking, and tacos, it's really galette i want.  although at this rate i will probably need to keep cycling and hiking to offset the galette consumption.

last weekends blackberry-nectarine concoction was amazing, quite simply, my new favourite, however, i'm taking a cue from the recent change in seasons and going for a fall inspired dessert.  
apple galette.  
cinnamon infused, perfectly autumn-like, and the best way to end another sunday spent with football and family.

life is pretty sweet these days.





Apple Galette

ingredients:

pate brisee

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water


filling

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons ground almonds
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/2 lbs granny smith apples, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1/4 cup apricot preserves, strained if chunky


vanilla ice cream & caramel sauce for serving {if desired}



method:


make the pate brisee:  put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and process for 5 seconds; the butter should still be in pieces.  add the ice water and process for 5 seconds longer, just until the dough comes together; the butter should still be visible.  remove the dough from the processor and gather it into a ball.  on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 16-by-18 inch oval 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick.  drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a large, heavy baking sheet.  chill the dough until firm, about 20 minutes.

preheat oven to 400F

make the filling: in a small bowl, combine brown sugar with the ground almonds, flour and cinnamon.  spread this mixture evenly over the dough to within 2 inches of the edge.  arrange the apple wedges on top.  dot with butter and sprinkle all but 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar over the fruit. fold the edge of the dough up over the fruit to create a 2-inch border.  {if dough feels cold and firm, wait for a few minutes until it softens to prevent it from cracking.}  sprinkle the border with the reserved 1 teaspoon of sugar.

bake the galette in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, until the fruit is very soft and the crust is richly browned.  if any juices have leaked onto the baking sheet, slide a knife under the galette to release it from the sheet.  evenly brush the preserves over the hot fruit.  let the galette cool to room temperature before serving.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

brown sugar & garlic baked chicken


is it possible for a person to love garlic too much?
not a chance.
although, i'm fairly certain that everyone at the gym in the morning can attest to the fact that i probably eat too much as i'm sweating garlic out of each and every pore during my cardio session, but meh, that is life.
garlic is life.



so in my attempt to cook with it as much as possible and to continue to offend my fellow gym rats, i bring to you brown sugar & garlic baked chicken.
sweet.
garlicky.
perfection.

cheers.xo.




brown sugar & garlic baked chicken

ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

method:
preheat oven to 400F.  
in saute pan set over medium heat.  heat oil and add garlic cooking till fragrant, about 30 seconds.  remove from heat stir in sugar and spices.
divide brown sugar mixture between 4 chicken breasts and bake for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through, depending on size of chicken.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

pesto parmesan roast potatoes



i finally seem to be getting into some sort of rhythm now that we have 2 weeks of school under our belt.  
i have a routine.  
slowly, but surely i'm organizing/decluttering our home in an attempt to live a more minimalist life.  
so, it seems fitting that this weekends BBQ dinner side dish also fit into this minimalistic approach.

4 ingredients
40 minutes
1 delicious potato recipe for the dinnertime win.


cheers.xo.




pesto parmesan roast potatoes

ingredients:
3 lbs baby red & yellow potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons pesto {homemade or store bought}
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
sea salt & pepper

method:
preheat oven to 400F.  line large rimmed baking sheet with foil sprayed with non-stick foil.  set aside.
in large bowl combine pesto, oil, cheese, salt and pepper.  add in potatoes tossing to evenly coat.
place potatoes on prepared sheet pan in a single layer and bake for 30-40 minutes turning a few times throughout, until cooked through and crispy.
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Monday, 19 September 2016

Blackberry-Nectarine Galette


sundays are best meant for early morning walks, mid afternoon football games and family BBQ dinners.
yesterday we hosted an end of summer BBQ and on the menu were all my favourites.

kale salad
roasted potatoes

and this.....


blackberry-nectarine galette.  quite possibly my favourite dessert ever.  
seriously. delicious, devoured and sadly, all gone.


cheers.xo.




blackberry-nectarine galette

ingredients:

pate brisee

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water

filling

1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons ground almonds
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large nectarines; halved pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 1/2 cups blackberries
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1/3 cup good-quality peach preserves, strained if chunky

method:

make the pate brisee; put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and process for 5 seconds; the butter should still be in pieces.  add the ice water and process for 5 seconds longer, just until the dough comes together; the butter should still be visible.  remove the dough from the processor and gather it into a ball.  on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 16-by-18 inch oval 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick.  drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a large, heavy baking sheet.  chill the dough until firm, about 20 minutes.
preheat over to 400F.

make the filling; in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the ground almonds and flour.  spread this mixture evenly over the dough to within 2 inches of the edge.  arrange the nectarine wedges on top and scatter with blackberries.  dot with butter and sprinkle all but 1 teaspoon of the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over the fruit.  fold the edge of the dough up over the fruit to create a 2-inch boarder.  (if dough feels cold and firm, wait for a few minutes until it softens to prevent it from cracking.)  sprinkle the border with the reserved 1 teaspoon of sugar.
bake the galette in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, until the fruit is very soft and the crust is richly browned.  if any juices have leaked onto the baking sheet, slide a knife under the galette to release it from the sheet.  evenly brush the preserves over the hot fruit; brush some up onto the crust too, if desired.  let the galette cool to room temperature before serving.



adapted from my rustic plum galette
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