Frozen Shortcuts: Baked Ravioli “Lasagna”

I have been incredibly busy and will have a post soon with the newest book details. So much fun because it includes some of the favorite recipes from this blog.

Meanwhile, I promised you a lasagna shortcut. How this came about: I had in my freezer mozzarella and sauce leftover from the Christmas Eve lasagna and frozen Spinach Ravioli. Continue reading

Woot! Finally, I Can See The Finish Line

The newest book is ready to go to the publisher – just finalizing the cover and figuring out how best to format the recipes.

A sneak peek of Chapter One can be found here.

Meanwhile, in my kitchen, I’ll be making Frozen Spinach Ravioli Lasagna tonight. Part of my Frozen Shortcuts. Everything doesn’t have to be gourmet, but it does have to by yummy.  I’ll post photos and recipe tomorrow.

In other news, in the odd kismet that happens sometimes with JeffreyW and myself – I’ve been making Smash Burgers all week for lunch. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial this week on how best to achieve that crispy thin burger.

Until then…

National Ravioli Day…NO I’m Not Kidding You

JeffreyW's Ravioli, photo by JeffreyW

Who comes up with this stuff? The Ravioli board? Anyway it is national ravioli day so I thought we’d celebrate with some of JeffreyW’s great photos and one of my favorite recipes.

JeffreyW's homemade ravioli, photo by JW himself

Ravioli w/ Rosemary Basil Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup heavy cream*
  • 1 tsp crushed dried rosemary (or one sprig fresh)
  • 4 – 6 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 20 oz frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp green onion tops, chopped
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 saucepans

Combine cream & spices in saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer until reduces to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and return to pan. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper & cream sauce. Toss. Add scallion tops and parmesan.

*You can absolutely substitute whole or non-fat milk for heavy cream and mix well with 1 tbsp flour

Dish TV HD Upgrade Update, and other stuff

The satellite tech finally made it to the house at about 3PM and I knew he wasn’t going to be finished at any normal hour.  I was right, he finally left at 9PM after installing a new dish, running the coax (3 leads from the dish), trying to use some of my existing hardware, failing to get it to work, adding instead a newer multi-switch with more power (or something), unboxing 4 new HD satellite receivers and programming all of those, setting up the remotes, getting everything registered and authorized, the various HD settings made, a quick explanation of the programming quirks and several “how do I do this” answers and demonstrations.  He was unfailingly polite and in  much better humor than I would have been after all of that.

I have to say that the true HD pictures are really something.  The latest “King Kong” was playing when the pictures started coming in and I was amazed at how detailed things looked.  Later we watched local news and weather in HD.  Some folks just don’t have faces for HD, all I’m gonna say.

So we were up late, we still need to program all the  channels we actually might watch into a list so that we don’t spend too much time flipping through the program guide.  And all those shows that we were recording on an ongoing basis have to be found and re-entered into the DVR.  Hate to miss anything.  LOL  Alas, there must have been a hundred hours of stuff on the hard drive of the old DVR that we surrendered as a trade in.  There’s probably a way to get that stuff off of the drives in these boxes but I don’t know of it.

Not much going on here today, trying to digest and recover from all the excitement yesterday.  I’ve been making a sauce for some cheese raviolis Mrs J pulled from the freezer.  Baked a couple loaves of bread.  Pancakes for breakfast  were good and welcomed by all.  Jack particularly favors my pancakes.  Annie jostles herself to the front of any line but Buddy will turn his nose up at any that are offered sans butter.


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Homemade Ravioli with Chicken in Awesome sauce

I made and froze a batch of cheese stuffed ravioli a few weeks back, and I was afraid I’d forget about them so I promised myself I would cook them up today.  Decided to go with chicken in a tomato sauce to go with them.  Pretty simple recipe for the sauce, sweat some onions in olive oil, brown some chicken in the oil, deglaze with some red wine,  then simmer all afternoon in tomato sauce.   Added the usual stuff-oregano, basil, more garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.

I picked the chicken out of the pot to cool, then boned it and tore it into chunks before returning it to the pot.  Seemed a tad dry so I added a pint of my world famous Awesome Sauce™.

I dumped the still frozen raviolis into salted boiling water and gave them a few minutes after the water returned to a boil.  Plate em up and top with the tomato/chicken sauce, grate some parmesan on top, and serve with some nice bread on the side.  Yum yum yum.


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Spent a good part of the morning making cheese stuffed raviloi.  Much fun was had by all.  The cheese filling was 1 cup riccota, 4 oz parmesan, 2 oz romano, and about 4oz diced white American cheese.  The parm and the romano were grated in.  Used a bit of dried parsley for color, added an egg, and a quarter cup or so of heavy cream.  The dough was 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup seminola flour, 2 eggs, a tablespoon of olive oil, and enough water to make it work-I think I ended up using ~8 tablespoons.

Broke out the pasta rolling machine and got more practice using it.  Figured the best way to go was using just enough dough to make one layer across the ravioli form-a piece of dough roughly 3″x10″.  That much was fairly easy to handle.  I’d roll out one sheet, lay it over the form, dot the cheese filling in and then roll out another sheet for the cover.  As the individual raviolis came out of the form I arrayed them on a baking tray, and when full I stuck it into the freezer.  By the time the next tray was full, the first had frozen enough to handle.  I bagged the frozen ones in a zip lock and stuck them back into the freezer.  Ended up with around 100 total in three bags.  We’ll be having some tonight with my Awesome Sauce.

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Toasted Ravioli

And by toasted I mean breaded and deep fried.  Got the pasta machine in today, along with a ravioli “press”.  Pics in the slide show.  This was my second attempt at making pasta.  The first was hand rolled and didn’t turn out the best.  The machine takes some practice-I’d like to say we turned out perfect pasta from the start but the truth is we ruined at least half of our dough learning how not to use the ravioli press.  Here’s a suggestion, read the instructions.  LOL

I used 1.5 cups of all purpose flour, 1.5 cups of seminola flour, 4 eggs, and 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil for the pasta dough.  Stuffing was sausage, spinach, and shredded parmesan.  The sauce was store bought-Emeril’s “Roasted Gaaahlic”.  Lottsa garlic in there, be warned.

Slide show follows, captions where needed.

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