The weather is finally turning where I am at. Spring is in the air and I feel the need to get out and garden. I happily admit that as much as I like to cook, I like to play in the dirt too. If I can combine the two even better. Today was spent getting my pots on my back deck ready for planting fresh herbs. Making my list of herbs and seeds to purchase. Who doesn’t like to have fresh herbs while they cook. In the past my two favorites have been Rosemary and Basil. Every time I go out there during the summer I would run my hands on the plants and then smell my hands. Silly I know, but how can you not like the fragrant bouquet from these two plants. However last year after making compound butter, Tarragon has become my new favorite. I have been trying to figure out dishes to use this tasty herb. Surprisingly I think eggs are favorite paring with Tarragon. This year I hope to be able to harvest and dry herbs which I usually never get a chance to do. What is your favorite herb? What is your favorite dish to use it in?
Made mushroom ravioli with a creamy mushroom sauce. Made a quick and easy caprese salad for the side. This was not an all homemade meal but more a Semi-homemade one. While at Trader Joe’s I picked up some Mushroom and spinach premade ravioli. I wanted to try out the flavors before making homemade ravioli which I have made several times with my pasta machine. Admittedly it was rather tasty and think I will be making homemade more ravioli in the future. The sauce I made from scratch and altered a recipe I had found online. The caprese salad was made from fresh basil from my garden, mini heirloom tomatoes I found at Sprouts, little mozzarella balls and an aged balsamic vinegar I found at Trader Joes. Salad was fantastic as fresh herbs from the garden are always a delight. My mushroom sauce could go with any ravioli you have or even on chicken. It is light and very simple.
10-12 oz of Mushrooms-I used cermini and brown, my family loves mushrooms
Splash of red wine-I used some that was in the fridge
Heavy cream-3.5 oz
Butter & olive oil
Slice mushrooms, sauté in a little bit of olive oil and two pat of butter. Add in splash of red wine while cooking. When mushroom are tender add heavy cream and cook down a bit. Toss in pasta and add Parmesan Cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
Typical luck would be that I get all set up to cook and then something happens. Realizing this is what real life is like for most. The thing we intend to do is not always what we end up doing. Two weeks ago I was ready to cook after dropping my daughter off at college. I had spent the day shopping at Trader Joe’s and Kroger. Then the following day I spent with a dear friend. We went for our morning walk, then went shopping for the day. Her air conditioner was out at home and I thought that perhaps a trip to the Mall, lunch and check out the new Sprouts grocery store were in order to keep cool. We had a lovely day and Sprouts was so overwhelming. Unfortunately that evening she got sick and I ended up taking her to the hospital. So while she was there I spent the rest of the week spending time with her at the hospital. Thankfully she got to come home but that meant I did not cook until Friday of that week. This past week I have been playing catch up around the house. Of course I am in the middle of my Fall Cleaning, that by no means is done overnight. I like to deep clean in the fall before I put up all my holiday decorations out. Now I am finally back into the kitchen and cooking again. I have a lot to post and there will be several post over the next couple of days as I catch up. Also look for my cookbook reviews post as well. I have been working on several new updates to the site and now how direct domain name registered for the site. You can now just go to www.Journeyinfood.com to get to me. Yeah! I have also ordered business cards with my name and web address because I found out that several people were wanting cards after talking to them. Yes I have been a very busy girl.
Wow, I have not been on my blog in a while. I have to admit that this summer got away from me and this took a back seat. My daughter is now in college and settling in nicely, which now lends to more time for my cooking pursuit. So up this week I will blog several new recipes. Today I was at Trader Joe’s and bought artichokes. While I have never cooked them before, Julia Child has a recipe I have been wanting to try. Also because it is going into fall I will be attempting some new bread recipes. Have made a few loaves but never anything I can really say has stuck out in my mind as fantastic. So look for several blogs this week on all the new stuff I will be trying.
Tonight’s dinner was Chicken Marsala. A dish that I have only had once at the Cheesecake Factory. Feeling creative and daring I attempted it today. Served over noodles and with a nice garden salad, I am completely full from dinner and very happy how it turned out.
Since I was crazy busy last week I didn’t make anything and was very upset that I had not. So I will be making several new recipes this week. Tomorrow will be Beef Bourguignon which I will be going back to Julia’s Child’s recipes.
I will also trying out a Pinterest recipe for eggs cooked in muffin tin for breakfast sandwiches.
Today my daughter and I made our first mug cake together. A nice yummy treat made in under ten minutes. The recipe I had was from my new Mug Cake Cookbook. We tried the first one listed, a yellow cake and added some homemade whip cream and fresh raspberries to top it. It was so simple and quick to make. The mug we used was my daughter new coffee dorm mug. The recipe we used was for two mug cakes but will fill one extra huge mug just fine. It was so nice to try something that I know my daughter will most likely make for herself in the future while off at college and get to spend that quality time with her. Cake was tasty. Happy all around as we shared.
Recipe follows: ( yield 2 regular mugs or one large)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons self rising flour
Melt butter in mug. Add in milk, egg , sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir with fork. Add flour last. Bake 1 1/2 minutes to 2 1/2 min in microwave. Time will vary depending on wattage of microwave. Mine took 2 min. Look for it to rise and be firm to touch in mug. Cool a little and add topping.
My homemade whip cream was a spoonful of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Beat on high for a few minutes to you have soft peaks.
Top off with fresh raspberries. Yum!
How many courses do you serve with your dinner? I find that today most people only eat one course when they cook at home. The exception seems to be a holiday meal. I know that I fall into that category. Usually something along the lines of a protein, vegetables and maybe a starch is my typical fare for dinner. Has American society lost the art of fine cooking? We seem to love to eat out but even then do you have more than one course? Questions I seem to ponder. While searching for this week’s recipe to try out. There are several I want to try and I am finding scheduling to be a problem. Wanting something quick and simple for convenience. Which led to the pondering of courses in a meal and where had they gone. While I would love to serve the equivalent to my Thanksgiving dinner, I certainly can not spend all day in the kitchen everyday. Have come to the conclusion that I only spend really 3 days that I cook to a large magnitude and should be doing it more but just not everyday. So while on my journey to learn new recipes, I will also endeavor to cook large (several courses) meals once a month. This means of course I will need to invite people to eat. If dear reader you are lucky enough to be one of those guest, please comment on my meal here and let others know how it was.
This weeks delight will be something simple, fun and falls into the quick convenience category. I am making a mug cake. I have never had one and have seen many recipes out there for them. My new cookbook I picked up had several easy and delicious sounding ones. While this is not fancy and not dinner, it is practical for dorm life. My daughter is off to college in the fall and we are experimenting with things that can be microwaved. So we thought we would give it a try. I will let you know how it works and taste with pictures. If it’s a huge success I will post the recipe.