Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peckarino-Romano Homemade Raviolis!

One of the items on my 2012 to do list was to make homemade ravioli.  Why? I don’t know I just really wanted to try to make them.  I guess I watched too many cooking shows when I was writing that post. 

Sunday it was Operation "Peckarino-Romano" at my house.  Heather picked the name.

We had no plan, no recipe and come to find out, not all the ingredients.  After we determined our recipe and ran to the market for a few items, we started cooking.  We figured we would mix the flour half all purpose and half wheat.


For whatever reason the different flour or using the mixer – it didn’t work.  The dough never formed a ball. We tried to kneed it anyway and look at this:


So we dumped it and started again.  First we went back the recipes I had pin on Pinterest.  We found a recipe that had a video!!! HELL YEAH SCORE!

As we started this 2nd batch we decided that we would do 3 cups of All Purpose flour - no Wheat, and we would mix it by hand.  Then we noticed we were out of eggs.  Thank god we have 16 chickens in our backyard.

003Hot right??.  Don’t you love my cute barn boots, my old TPC apron from back in the day and my crazy pulled up hair!  So Dunkin and I get out to the coop and we need 3 eggs, there were only 2.  But 2 hens were sitting in 2 boxes.  I pushed her out of the way and found 3 more eggs.  She was not happy with me.

Finally we could cook again!

We mixed everything on the counter and believe it or not it formed a dough ball! 


I had to kneed it for 10 freaking minutes. so much for it being a non workout day.  But really I am not complaining about building up my arms.  Who knows, maybe a few ravioli making sessions could lead to big girl push ups!

After 10 minutes my final product:


We let the dough rest, while we started the filling. Heather was the mixer this time!


Italian women must have amazing arm strength.  Because now it was time to roll out the dough to be very thin (photo by tyler) 028

I free handed the size of each ravioli


This part was not without it’s comedy time:


Slowly but surely we started to make progress!


Miss Emma was very interested when she woke up from her nap:


We were not ready to cook them so we wanted to cover and refrigerate them, wouldn’t you know that the clear wrap kicked my a$$.


Here's the final product ready to go in the boiling water:


Finally, it was time to eat our homemade Raviolis with canned sauce from my garden last summer, some roasted turkey and a fresh green salad.


I really liked them.  They tasted so much better without the tomato sauce – I am just not a tomato person.  You could really taste how fresh this pasta was.  I will defiantly make pasta again but not ravioli.  Doing the filling, the egg wash to seal the edges and crimping them takes some time.  

Seriously to make some Fettuccine with a great vodka sauce would take amazing with this pasta!

So there you have it!  Mine and Heathers first pasta making experience.  We may only have 2% Italian in our family tree (you have to go back 100+ years) but we were able to get in touch with those ancestors. 


We are so cute, Heather made me take off my apron (She was jealous she didn’t have one)


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FS {food sucks} update as of (3-16 Feb 2012).

I was really hopeful that I could actually only spend $200 a paycheck for groceries.  After 4 weeks I am not doing all that well!  But I am not giving up.  Here is the break down for the last 2 weeks.


So there you have it, over executed my budget 26% these 2 last weeks {again}.  I keep reminding myself that I am not spending what I was before.  I have decreased my spending by 51%.

I want to state that I am including everything in my budget: Food, pet food, cleaning products, medicine.  I have been following a lady website that did it on 125 a week for organic food.  She did not include paper products (aka TP and tissues), household cleaner and goods, or medical items.

I am sitting here looking at my sales slips.  There is a few things I could save money on..#1 I have a coffee addiction that could be scaled back, I am purchasing a lot of Kcups.  #2 Buy more frozen produce vs fresh.  #3 put the dog on a diet! lol

Basically I am trying to live off of $14.28 a day for a family of four and one large dog.  The ironic part is that if my family were to receive SNAP assistance we would have a $167 a week budget or $23+ dollars a day to spend. 

I am bound and determined to spend only $100 a week during this challenge.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Beef and Quinoa-Vegetable soup:

In the last 24 hours I have seriously considered ordering a straight jacket. After publishing last nights blog post I was going to make my soup only to remember I never thawed my beef. So I woke up this morning and made it. I turn on the crock pot and let it do its thing. About 6 hours later at work, I couldn’t remember if I ever plugged in the crock pot. Thankfully I did and the soup turned out great!

I love my crockpot, I would love to see congress make a national holiday in honor of it. Last Monday I almost cried when I thought it was broken, thankfully David fixed it.

Now onto the Beef and Quinoa-Vegetable soup:

What I used:
  • 3 cans of beef broth or 6 cups of Beef Stock
  • 1/4 of a cup of Worchester sauce
  • 1 pound of grass fed beef stew meat
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup of Black beans or a 1/2 can of black beans rinsed
  • 1 Can or 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • Chopped fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of oregano
Put everything in the crock pot and cook for: low 7-9 hours on high for 5-6 hours. Yeah that simple!


Okay here’s some additional 411!

Why did I use Beef Broth – because that is what I had, if I had stock I would of used that or a mix of broth and stock.

I really do not know who much Worchester sauce I used. I just poured it in till it looked good to me.
Buying dry black beans are way cheaper. But you have to plan ahead and soak them, which I didn’t do. However since they were going to be in liquid in the crockpot from 530am till after 2pm I really wasn’t worried. To be save, I boiled about 1/2 cup in some water for a few minutes. I then rinsed them and added them to the soup.

Why did I use canned diced tomatoes. Every year we get a decent harvest of tomatoes from my garden, however I typically turn them in to salsa and sauce. I don’t have enough to can as diced or crushed tomatoes…Maybe this year.

Spinach – each week I eat a crap load of spinach. The problem I run into is that I will have a 1/2 bag left on shopping day, it will not last me till the next shopping day. So I buy a new bag and use that for this weeks meals. I take the old bag of spinach and steam it. Then I drain and squeeze out as much water as possible before freezing it. On the days when I am making soups, or a pasta dishes I can thaw my spinach in warm water! This works well on the weeks that its B1G1 free. If you will only eat one bag steam the other, no waste of food or cash.

Quinoa. - this is my new favorite thing! Its described as the following from this website:
Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year.
Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas.
I purchase mine at either the Amish place on route 5 in Kirkland or Tom’s in Clinton. I found some at Price chopper but it was quinoa flakes?? seemed kind of sketchy! I really like it, and my husband seems to like it too. I use it in place of noodles or potatoes in soups. Helps keep them lighter and its as Power food!!!

Seriously try this soup, if not try using your crock pot!! Just cook something!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Meal Plans and Milk delivery

Let’s start off by saying I found an amazing blog tonight.  This lady and her family of four, ate nothing processed for 100 days.  Then after that, she challenged herself to a $125 a week budget where she ate only organic, whole, unprocessed food.  This is the link to her site.  It has a lot of recipes too.  I recommend checking it out. 

One of the things that really sparked me was that she has her milk delivered to her house.   I had a very nostalgic moment in my mind I saw this:

I secretly would love that.  I mean don’t get me wrong I love my supermom skills and balancing that fine line of career woman and homemaker.  The bottom line is I hate Rosy the Riveter, but that is a whole other blog post!

Back to the story, for a moment I was jealous.  I wanted my milk delivered to my house.  Then I saw that she paid $7.56 a gallon.  Yeah I will keep being my own milk delivery gal in my Kia delivery truck!

I will recap week 3 and 4 of the Food sucks challenge next week.  Because we were out of town this weekend I had to shop for both weeks during week 3. I can tell you I am already over executing my budget.

This weeks meals include:


Lunches are pretty much the same old crap!!

Well off to make some soup! God I love my crock pot!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

French Toast by the Loaf!

For those of you that don’t know, we have lots of chickens.  So many its hard to count but I think we have 15 hens and 2 roosters.  You can read about chicken posts here

Our little chickens are quiet the egg factory (yeah our girls have a bad reputation for putting out!).  Tuesday Night we had almost 5 dozen eggs in our fridge.   David took 4 dozen to work to sell.  I eat 3 eggs each morning (1 whole egg and 2 egg whites) so that left me with 9 eggs to use until that afternoons eggs collections.

This and last week Price chopper has had B1G1 Free bread.  I really didn't need another loaf of bread but I have said it before my kids love breakfast.   I hate the options available for a busy weekday morning, frozen processed waffles, french toast stick, sugar laced cereal and what is in a pop tart?

Wednesday Morning the puppy had me up at 430, and the kids were up not to long after that.  So mixing my 9 remaining eggs with some milk, cinnamon and homemade vanilla I heated up the griddle:


Looks good right!  Yeah I cooked a whole loaf of it.  Tyler ate 4 pieces and then went to Jodi’s and ate more food.  While I was cooking these I was also grilling my chicken for the second half of the week.  Which is what Ms.Emma wanted to eat.  What a silly girl.

I took my remaining French toast and wrapped 3-4 pieces in wax paper and then in a zip lock bag. Now during the week I can pull out one wax paper group.  I just put them in the toaster for 2 cycles and enjoy. You can do the same thing with waffles and pancakes. 

Have left over rolls from a party? check this bad ass idea out

Remember how I said we were out of eggs till the afternoon collection?  Here’s the results of that egg collections:


Emma kind of missed the counter on deliver!!  Only one out of 12 made it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Over Coming a Super Bowl Disaster

Last night I was cooking for the super bowl. I wanted to make football cakepops.  I have made cakepops before: once for Emma’s bday and again for tylers bday.

It all started when I went to make the cake and could not find my oil, so I used butter.  The cake looked fine.  Then I crumbed it up and noticed it was really moist.  BUT I didn’t process that in my brain!  I kept going and added the frosting.

I went to roll the balls into football shapes before dipping them in chocolate and they were a mess.  They wouldn’t hold their shape nothing.  No way I can dip these in chocolate.  I should decreased my frosting since they were so moist.

I had a few options:

1) make whoopie pies and use this as the filling (Hello calorie fest)

2) try and dip them anyway

3) make something else

My food budget doesn’t have the room for me to go buy more food. So need to use what I have at home.  I am going to make an apple dip and cut up some pineapple but I didn’t let this go to waste. 

I froze it and am going to use it in the spring.  I figure in little cups I will layer this with: graham cracker crumbs, this filling, fresh strawberries and cool whip.

FS {food sucks} update as of (20 Jan-2 Feb 2012).

Here’s the recap of what I spent my $$ on from 20 Jan-2 Feb 2012. 


For the first 2 weeks of my challenge I am over budget by $48.06.  This puts me over budget by 24% but as compared to how I was spending money in the fall this is a 52.3% decrease!


I was planning to report every week but I will probably not report again until after the 3-16 Feb periods (weeks 3 & 4).  I will not have time during the 11th and 12th to shop.  I still have the same budget of $200 for the 2 weeks but I will execute a majority of it on the 4th of Feb.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mini Pancake Muffins

My kids love breakfast.  Tyler would eat breakfast all day!  Well except for when its My idea to have pancakes for breakfast, then he thinks it’s a bad idea.  But if he came up with it, he would be all over them.  Tyler can easily eat 3-4 pancakes in a sitting.  My kids love these:

Over at Food they scored a 47 so they are not good or bad.  They have a lot of “Extras” added to them so they can live on the shelf at your grocery store for months (ick just think about it, would you eat a muffin that is 2months old? then why would you eat these?)  One thing I can tell you about these little processed muffins – they are pricey.  Aldi’s carries them for a reasonable price but most stores around here are 3.99 for 4-5 bags (each bag has like 4 mini muffins).

That is when I came across this:

Mini chocolate chip pancake muffins

Now this is something I can work with!

So I came up with Kristen’s version!!

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Whole Milk ( or you could try the buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of maple extract (I didn’t add this but I will next time, maybe because I didn’t you real maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 24 mini muffin pan
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugars in a medium bowl. Sift together with a wire whisk.
  3. In another bowl, stir milk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips. Reserve a few chips to sprinkle on the tops.
  6. Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Let them cool slightly before trying to get them out of the pan. I used a spoon to loosen the edges and scoop them up. 

I have 2 mini muffin pans, each one makes a different size muffin.  I doubled the batch and it made 43 muffins for me,  24 bigger ones and 19 smaller ones.  I filled the bigger pan first!

Tyler ate 3 while I was trying to get them out of the pans.  So I would say it was a well liked muffin!  I am going to freeze some to take with us on an upcoming overnight trip.  But they will be perfect during the week for breakfast with a yogurt or fruit. 

I know they would appeal to so many more people if they were made with all white flour but its not going to kill you to do half and half.  I think you wouldn’t even taste it if I had used the real maple syrup.

How cute would they be for a bunch??!  Make the batter the night before and just bake that morning!!