We’ve started making our own pasta. It is SO MUCH fun! And I love that it is something we both enjoy doing in the kitchen. Also, it’s nice to be able to delegate the kneading to an eager assistant. Thank you, Andrew! Our dough was so silky and smooth. We started with one of my favorite pasta dishes ever - beet ravioli - and we also made a mushroom ravioli. The beet ravioli is so bright and pretty, and I love the flavor. It is earthy with a bit of sweetness. It is one of those dishes that will make your friends turn to your partner and tell him or her how lucky they are to get to eat your food everyday. We made our first batch of pasta on a Sunday evening, and by 10:00 am on Monday morning, Andrew had already called me to tell me he couldn’t stop thinking about what kind we would make next.
Speaking of Andrew in the kitchen, he started reading the River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This book has been on my shelf for a couple of years, but I’ve only ever used it for reference and just skimmed the manifesto part. Andrew has been delving into it and reading me passages, and I really like this philosophy about meat. It is a topic that we’re exploring at our house, and I think it will take some time to work out what choices we make. In the meantime, we’ve started eating vegetarian. So far, the part that is sticking with me the most is the question, Is the meat you're eating good enough to bring you pleasure every time you eat it? Could it, should it, be better?
The other day, a coworker asked me what kinds of food I don’t like because she is planning a menu for a work party. This got me to thinking that in order to be a better cook, I may want to try to like some of these foods. I made two lists: foods I don’t like that I want to like and foods I don’t like that I’m ok not liking.
First List: Foods I want to Like
Chocolate and fruit, such as chocolate and orange, chocolate and cherry, etc.
Second List: Foods I don’t want to learn to Like
Bugs of any kind
I think I can like all of the things on the first list if I try. I mean I’m surely missing out on some good stuff, and if I set my mind to it, I can make it happen. There was a time when I didn’t like dark chocolate, red wine, bourbon, camembert, oysters, sushi, and lots of other food that I now consider to be amazingly delicious. Sooo, I’ll start with endives. Should be easy enough, huh? If you have any ideas about the best ways to prepare endives, or any of the items on the first list, please let know.
Continuing with more lists, I’m also making a list of cooking challenges for myself. I want to try at least two new things a month. This month was pasta, and this weekend I’m going to make Eggs Benedict with homemade English muffins and hollandaise. I’m not sure what kind of benny to make, but I think I’ll check the menu from Snooze for inspiration.
I haven’t been able to find veggie cream cheese that is veggie enough so I’ve started making a batch every week to eat on our morning bagels. Easy, peasy and much better than store bought.
Veggie Cream Cheese
2 packs cream cheese, at room temperature
3 celery stalks
2 green onions
½ red bell pepper
Freshly ground pepper to season
Coarsely chop veggies and put in food processor. Pulse until veggies are desired consistency. Mix in a large bowl with cream cheese. Season with pepper.
So, what's been going on in your kitchen lately?