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Three Cheese Ravioli 

 There aren’t many meals that everyone in the family goes crazy for but ravioli is one of them. Last week I shredded a crockpot beef roast and mixed it with ricotta. This week a cheesy version went over just as well.   

When making pasta, I try to work with as dry of a dough as possible if I’m rolling it out by machine. This is just so the machine doesn’t get gummed up. If I’m doing it by hand, a little wetter dough is necessary otherwise I find it impossible to roll out.   

I found I was overfilling my ravioli and it would stretch the dough and sometimes break. Less is more for this job.   

 A fancy mixer attachment is certainly not needed for this job but it sure does look neat!

 
Three Cheese Ravioli

1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 t black pepper

2 T fresh chives

2 onions, diced and slowly sautéed (almost caramelized)

1 recipe pasta dough, below

Mix all filling ingredients together well. Fill pasta according to machine instructions or by hand, being careful not to roll the dough to thin. Crimp edges well if doing by hand. 

Cook immediately for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Serve immediately, or pack into your children’s lunch boxes. (They loved it cold!)

Yield: about 120 ravioli (1 1/4 inch)

Pasta Dough

1 cup white bread flour

1 cup whole spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat bread flour 

1 t salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup water

Mix all together, using more water if necessary. Knead well and roll out to the thickness of a dime. Fill immediately if using for ravioli. 

  
Hey look! I menu planned. 
Monday: pork and sour kraut, mashed potatoes, green beans, pickles

Tuesday: homemade cheese ravioli, salad, the first (small) picking of asparagus

Wednesday: meatloaf, oven fries, green beans 

Thursday: turkey veggie pot pie, pickles, applesauce

Friday: venison sausage stir fry, rice

Saturday: baked potatoes with broccoli cheese sauce, stewed tomatoes, applesauce

Sunday: waffles with pudding and fruit

Desserts: Cherry cobbler 

Odds and ends: grapenuts, hard boiled eggs, whole wheat bread, sourdough bread

Simple Rice Pizza

This idea is not new but is a little different than this casserole. Mostly it’s just simpler and doesn’t require me to remember to thaw some beef.  Today it also happened to use up rice and spaghetti sauce that needed eaten. 

Gotta love an easy lunch that empties the fridge of food threatening to spoil! 

Simple Rice Pizza

3-4 cups leftover rice

1/2 up cottage cheese

2 eggs

1/2 t oregano

Salt/pepper to taste

3/4 cup spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup sautéed onion

1 cup grated melty cheese

Mix rice, cottage cheese, eggs, oregano and seasonings. Press into the bottom of a greased 8″ baking dish. Spread sauce on top and sprinkle with onions and cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Uncover last 5 minutes. Serve warm or room temp. 

Serves: 4-6

My Favorite Roast

  
Succulent, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. It’s my favorite way to eat a beef roast.  

Sometimes I start with a frozen roast and just cook it for longer. I use whatever cut I happen to pull out of the freezer. Obviously, the fattier the cut, the more flavorful but you may wish to remove some of the fat before serving.  

 Tender Beef Roast

1 roast

1 t salt

1 t pepper

1 onion, diced

1/2 – 1 cup water 

Place everything in the crockpot. Cook on low or high for 6-8 hours or until falling apart. Add water if it looks dry on the bottom. Serve immediately or chill, remove some of the fat, and reheat to serve. 

Chapatis

So I pressure canned some dried beans the other day. I’ve never done that before. Pressure canned, yes. But not dried beans. 

 I did it in hopes of actually getting my chickpeas totally soft because I don’t like eating gritty hummus.  

 Well, it worked. And I made too much hummus. 
 So I need to find ways to use it up. Not everyone in the family loves the stuff. 

 Chapatis were yesterday’s method and how fun! If you have several small children and the same amount of rolling pins, they will happily do most of the work for you. In fact, they had so much fun that I didn’t have the heart to tell them to stop rolling. Chapatis are supposed to be fairly thick. Oh well. Still yummy!  

Chapatis

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 t melted lard or butter 

Pinch salt

1/2 – 3/4 cup water

Butter

Mix flours, fat, and salt. Slowly add water and stir until a soft dough forms. Knead a few minutes to bring the dough together and then cover and let sit 30-60 minutes. 

Divide dough into 10 pieces. Roll each one into 4″ circle. Fry on a hot, ungreased skillet until bubbly and just a bit golden brown, flipping and frying the other side, too. Place in a damp towel after brushing one side with a bit of softened butter. Helps to keep them soft and pliable. 

Serve traditionally with Indian food or with hummus and various toppings, rolled up taco style.

Yield: 10

  
I was asked recently what some of my go-to quick lunches are and I sort of drew a blank. It’s been a while since I visited that subject! 

Here’s a new one. I’ve seen this recipe so many times in the More with Less cookbook and thought it looked boring. Then this morning I realized the only leftovers I had to serve the littles for lunch were noodles and broccoli so I needed to get creative. 

This is such a simple idea but not one I would have come up with on my own. Of course it would have a hundred different variations, using whatever is on hand in your fridge. Add the cooked veg straight to the pan! Throw in some hot sauce!  Sauté a bit of onion in the butter before adding noodles. Etc, etc. 

The recipe suggests tomato wedges to go with it. I think that is a wonderful summer idea! But alas, it’s March, and tomatoes are nowhere to be seen in the windy tundra out there so carrots, hummus, and leftover cooked broccoli it was!   

Scrambled Eggs and Noodles

Adapted from More with Less

1 T butter

1 1/2 cups leftover cooked noodles

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

Salt/pepper

Parsley, fresh or dried 

Heat butter in skillet. Fry the noodles for a minute or so. 

Mix the eggs with milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over hot noodles and scramble until cooked through. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. 

Serves: 3 small appetites

Lemon Curd

Hello sunshine! 

 When we first got married, my husband wasn’t too keen on drinking water. Since I wasn’t too keen on buying gallons of sugary drinks, I took it upon myself to make homemade ones. I figured at least I wouldn’t be bringing home lots of plastic bottles, even if I wasn’t saving him from a sugar overload. 

So I asked my aunt to buy cases of lemons for me every now and then, to turn into lemonade. She gets things super cheap from stores around where she lives. 

Fast forward to now and I no longer need to make gallons of drinks. Occasionally, sure, but not habitually. 

So yesterday I see my aunt and she hands me a bag of lemons. Maybe it was just in memory of what she used to hand me? I don’t know but at any rate, these were discounted ones and they need used as soon as humanly possible. So far I’ve used four of them in this spoon-lickin’ goodness.   

Lemon Curd

Zest of 3-4 lemons (depending on their size), finely chopped

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar 

5 large eggs

Pinch salt

1 stick butter 

Place everything except butter in a double boiler. I just use a glass bowl set over a sauce pot with a bit of water in the pot. 

Heat water and keep at a simmer while you whisk the lemon mixture. Cook and stir until thick, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Chill and serve however you like. I love it on toast or with vanilla yogurt. Tho if I’m being totally honest, a lot gets eaten straight from the jar with a spoon. 

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups 

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