September 4, 2012

Mangio Italiano!


Today, I have a couple of delicious Italian recipes for you. Well, technically, it's one Italian recipe and one bread recipe. But they're BOTH wonderful. Also, please excuse my Italian post title if it's incorrect. I took two semesters of it at Georgia last year, and I've already forgotten most of it. Isn't it so sad how that happens? If ya don't use it, ya lose it.

Now for the recipes. First up is a pasta recipe. Then, some of the TASTIEST bread you'll ever eat. For those of you who automatically run at the word "yeast", don't fear! It's not as hard as it sounds, and when you subtract the time it takes to rise, the prep time is super short. So I challenge you...try it out with your next Italian dish! Maybe some Tuscan Pasta with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce? :)

Tuscan Pasta with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce 

Tuscan Pasta with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

1 (20 oz) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli
1 (16 oz) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Garnish; fresh basil strips

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into medium saucepan. Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well. Stir wine mixture into saucepan. Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish, if desired. 

Copycat Macaroni Grill Bread 

Copycat Macaroni Grill Bread 

1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons butter

1. Place yeast, sugar, and water in large bowl or food processor and allow mixture to become bubbly.
2. Mix in 1 T butter, salt, and 2 cups of flour. 
3. Add 1 tablespoon of the fresh chopped rosemary.
4. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in food processor about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
5. Add more flour if necessary.
6. Oil a bowl, put dough in it, and cover with a towel.
7. Let dough rise in a warm place for one hour until doubled.
8. Punch down dough and divide in half.
9. Let dough rest about 5 minutes.
10. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon of rosemary over the loaves and press lightly into the surface.
11. Let loaves rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
12. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
14. Carefully remove from oven, brush with remaining butter (and salt if desired). 

September 3, 2012

Labor Day Lounging

It has been yet another rainy, gloomy labor day. Doesn't it seem that way every year? It's supposed to be the last hoorah of summer, and we spend it sitting inside. Oh well. Though we didn't get to go to the pool as planned, we enjoyed an afternoon of yummy eating and movie watching. We rented Blue Like Jazz, a movie based on the Donald Miller book, and I really, really enjoyed it. The book is subtitled "Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality" if that gives you a little bit of an idea of what it's about. I think it paints a really accurate, eye-opening picture of the way some people see Christians. I would really encourage everyone to watch it. I can go ahead and tell you this- it's not at all how you're imagining it.

Anyway, this post is more about my thoughts on the movie than anything else, as I only have a few pictures to show you. First, here's the fish cake I promised you when I posted the farm animal cake a couple of weeks ago.

Next, here are some Atlanta Braves birthday cupcakes.

And lastly, some "just because" cupcakes with a glimmer.

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Labor Day holiday!