Tips on making ravioli

For Christmas I made mushroom ravioli from a recipe I got from FoodGawkers. They came out great, but I learned a few things along the way that may be useful for you if you are trying ravioli for the first time. Here they are:

  • It is important to get the right dough consistency. Make sure it is not too wet or dry. Keep a towel over the dough in the bowl while you are rolling out some of the other dough.
  • Do not overfill the shells.
  • Press down very firmly on the top sheet with a rolling pin.
  • If you do not cook right away, do NOT wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Separate sheets with parchment and allow air to flow, otherwise the ravioli get very wet and are hard to handle.
Filling ravioli form

Filling ravioli form

Drying pasta sheets

Drying pasta sheets

Rolling ravioli

Rolling ravioli

finished ravioli

finished ravioli


Chocolate Zucchini Cake

zucchini cakeI am glad now that I froze some of that extra zucchini this summer. Now I can use it for this wonderful cake!

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded zucchini
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a round 10 inch springform pan with parchment and butter sides of pan. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil, mixing well. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition. Stir in zucchini. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients to zucchini mixture alternating with yogurt and vanilla, a third at a time. Stir in chocolate chips. Turn into pan. Top with additional chips if desired. Bake 50-60 minutes.


Making Kimchi

making kimchi in a glass jar

making kimchi in a glass jar

After making a successful batch of sauerkraut, I tried making a batch of kimchi. It came out  fantastic! To make it, follow the sauerkraut recipe in my previous post and add the following:

  • 1-2 teaspoons of shredded or finely chopped fresh ginger
  • Use napa cabbage, 2 heads
  • 4-5 scallions, chopped
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Korean chili powder
  • Add salt to taste. About 2 tablespoons.

Do not add the caraway or other seasoning used in the sauerkraut.

Homemade sauerkraut

Michael Pollen talks about the benefit of fermented foods in his new book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. According to Pollen, we can all benefit from eating more fermented foods, like sauerkraut because it contains large numbers of probiotic bacteria, which can help us stay healthy. So I made my first batch of sauerkraut and am waiting for the final result. Here is the recipe:

Raw Sauerkraut

Makes 1 gallon of Sauerkraut

6-7 lbs. of cabbage

4-5 tablespoons salt

1/8 cup caraway seeds, dill seeds or juniper berries

1 gallon crock or jar

Wooden mallet

  1. Clean all equipment and the crock.
  2. Wash and chop cabbage by hand into medium sized pieces
  3. Measure salt and seeds into separate dishes.
  4. Put a layer of cabbage in a clean crock and sprinkle in salt and seeds. Smash with mallet.
  5. Taste as you smash. Don’t over salt.
  6. Press down until liquid comes up over cabbage. Place a clean plate on top of cabbage and clean put a clean-filled, lidded quart jar to weight it down. Secure a pillow case on top to keep out flies. Keep in a cool room, less than 65 degrees F.
  7. Check on crock every few days. After four to six weeks, the batch will be done.
Mashing the cabbage

Mashed Sauerkraut

Mashed Sauerkraut

What to do with all those Roma tomatoes

Roma tomato tart


Do you have Roma tomatoes that you have brought inside to keep from freezing? If you don’t know what to do with them, here is a delicious recipe I found (The Oregonian, 8/27/2013) that will impress your guests.

Roasted Tomato Tart

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 18 medium-size Roma tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon mixed dried or fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, basil
  • 3 medium size onions, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • Butter pastry crust in a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, partially baked

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over the otto of a rimmed baking sheet.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Rub the cut sides of the tomatoes in the oil in the baking sheet, and then arrange them, cut side up, on the baking sheet. If the tomatoes look dry, drizzle a little more oil over them. Sprinkle salt, pepper and the dried herbs over the tomatoes.

Roast for 1 hour, turning the pan around halfway through cooking to ensure that they cook evenly. The cut sides will have browned a bit, but not charred. Set aside.

Slick a medium-large skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and warm it over medium heat until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add onions, reduce heat to very low, and partially cover skillet to speed cooking. Cook, stirring occasionally, making sure onions do not stick to skillet until they are tan with a jam-like consistency and are reduced to about 1 cup, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Spread onions over the bottom of the partially baked tart sheet. Arrange tomatoes, cut side down ina single layer of rings, starting at th outside. Overlap so they fit.

Place the tart ona baking sheet. Bake until crust is set and golden brown and tart is heated through, 30-35 minutes. Serve hot, war or at room temperature, but not cold.

Pumpkin Muffins

I grew pumpkins for the first time this year

I grew pumpkins for the first time this year

These are the best pumpkin muffins I ever made

These are the best pumpkin muffins I ever made

This is the first year I’ve grown pumpkins. Now I remember why I haven’t grown them before: they take up so much room for so little results! I got only three pumpkins from one huge plant. But they are good! Here is my favorite recipe:

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.
Oil 2 muffin tins.
Wisk flour, baking powder, cinamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk sugars, pumpkin, butter and eggs.
Add flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
Add chocolate chips.

Put into muffin tins.
Bake 30 min or until done.

Wild Mushroom and Bean Burger

Pinto-mushroom burger. Made with dried orange-capped bola mushrooms

Pinto-mushroom burger. Made with dried orange-capped bola mushrooms.

I used the mushrooms I foraged in these bean burgers. The mushrooms gave an earthy flavor and chewy texture that complimented the mashed pinto beans.


  • 3/4 cup diced fresh mushrooms
  • One 15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Sautee the onions in oil until soft. Add green onions, cumin and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have released their liquid. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Set aside.
  • Mash the beans with a fork or potato masher until well mashed. Add the mushroom mixture to the beans, salt and pepper and stir until well mixed.
  • Shape into patties. Heat two tablespoons of oil in pan and cook each patty until brown, about 3 minutes.

Eat & enjoy!