Food

Homemade Pasta

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I love pasta and all things Italian. I have been making homemade ravioli for several years but recently expanded my pasta skills to fettuccine and spaghetti. My pasta machine makes this quite easy but you do not need any fancy equipment to make fresh pasta. I have made a lot of ravioli with a rolling pin and you can too.

You can very easily use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment to mix your pasta dough. I prefer to knead the dough by hand. I can feel exactly when the dough is ready and it gives me a great upper arm work out.

Fresh pasta is not difficult to make, and it’s so delicious. It is a bit time consuming and does make a mess with all of the flour, but so worth it. Speaking of flour, there are several options for pasta.

Types of flour:

All-purpose flour is fantastic for pasta and most of us already keep that stocked in our pantry. Semolina flour is a preferred choice for pasta. Double zero flour is very fine and another excellent choice for pasta. I like to mix half semolina and half all-purpose flour for my pasta. I have also just used all-purpose flour and it’s still very good. Experiment. Maybe start with all-purpose flour before you venture out into the many flour choices for pasta. Don’t get me started on all the Italian flours.

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If you don’t have a pasta machine:

I mix my pasta by hand and then use my pasta machine to cut into whatever shape I need. If you do not have a pasta machine just use a rolling pin and a sharp knife. Roll the dough to the desired thickness, then cut into four pieces. Take each section of dough and roll it up like a flat log. Slice into desired width and voila, you’ve got bite sized pieces of dough.

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Mix your dough right on the counter if you’re doing it by hand. A mixing bowl will work just fine too.

Pasta

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour (half AP flour and half semolina flour)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix the two flours and salt with a whisk until combined.
  2. Carefully pour the flour mixture on your counter. Make a well at the center.
  3. In a measuring cup beat 2 eggs. Add the water and olive oil to the eggs and mix.
  4. Pour at least half the egg mixture into the flour well.
  5. Use your hands and combine. Slowly add the rest of the egg mixture.
  6. This will be messy at first. It’s Ok. Just keep combining the flour and egg until it’s all incorporated. It will be sticky.
  7. If the dough is too sticky add a small amount of flour. If the dough is too dry add a small amount of water.
  8. Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  9. It should be smooth and elastic. Not wet and not dry or crumbly.
  10. Form the dough into a ball and tightly wrap it in plastic wrap.
  11. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Use the dough immediately, or refrigerate up to one day.
  12. Roll out the dough to desired thickness and cut by hand or use a pasta machine.

Using a pasta machine:

  1. Divide the ball of pasta dough into 4 sections. Wrap up the other 3 sections of dough you are not using to keep them from drying out.
  2. Use a floured cutting board or flour your counter and place the dough ball on the floured surface. Gently press the dough into a flat disk.
  3. Feed the dough through the pasta machine set at 1. Fold the dough into thirds and feed the dough back through the widest setting. Slowly decrease the setting on the pasta machine as you pass the dough through each time. I like to go to 7. Make your pasta as thick or thin as you like.
  4. Now feed the long thin dough sheets through the pasta cutter to make fettuccine or spaghetti. You can cut the dough sheets in half and make shorter pasta or leave them long.
  5. Hang fresh cut pasta on a pasta drying rack or pile up the cut dough into little nests. Place each nest on a floured baking sheet to dry out.

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Cooking fresh pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fresh pasta and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Carefully separate your dough nests before placing them in the boiling water.

Al dente will be slightly firm. Cook the pasta longer if you prefer it more tender.

Keep an eye on your fresh pasta when cooking it. Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried.

Storing homemade pasta:

Let your fresh pasta stay on the drying rack or baking sheet for about 2 hours at room temperature to dry out.

Refrigerate the fresh pasta for up to 2 days in an airtight container.

Freeze the fresh pasta for up to 2 weeks. Thaw it out before cooking.

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Food, mustard seed sentinel

Parmesan and Panko Crusted Flounder

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Fish is a great lean protein. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acid which reduces inflammation, and helps protect your heart. Fish is also high in vitamin D which aids in calcium absorption that is necessary for bone health. Fish can boost your immune system, promote healthy brain function, and help your body produce new red blood cells. There are so many scientific studies showing the many benefits of regularly consuming fish.

You might appreciate the obvious health benefits of fish but you don’t enjoy eating it. This simple delicious recipe for white fish just might change your mind. I used wild caught flounder but you can use whatever white fish you like. Cod, tilapia or grouper would work well for this dish. 

This recipe comes together easily and cooks fast. It would make a great weeknight supper. Add some rice and vegetables, and you’ve got a nutritious dinner. Fish lovers will be pleased with this delightful dish, and new fish converts will be made, at least I hope. Make this moist, flaky, flavorful fish dish and add some variety to your cooking.

Happy Eating!

Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

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Parmesan and Panko Crusted Flounder

Ingredients

16 oz. wild caught flounder (5 fillets)

3 tablespoons salted butter (room temp)

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

½ cup panko bread crumbs

½ cup grated parmesan cheese (powdered or fresh) 

zest of 1 lemon 

juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons of fresh chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment. If you use aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl add panko, parmesan, and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
  4. In another small bowl mix softened butter and crushed garlic.
  5. Pat each fillet dry with a paper towel.
  6. Spread about a teaspoon of the garlic butter mixture evenly on top of each fillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper over all the fish.
  7. Place each buttered fillet in the panko/parmesan bowl one at a time, and press the bread crumb mixture evenly onto the top of each piece of fish. Then place the fillets on the baking sheet.
  8. Lightly spray the tops of the fish with cooking spray. This will help brown the panko.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Drizzle with lemon juice and fresh parsley before serving.

Go to Mustard Seed Sentinel for this recipe and all of my recipes at Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-parmesan-and-panko-crusted-flounder

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Kool-Aid Pie

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My childhood included consuming large amounts of Kool-Aid. With five children this was an inexpensive way for my mom to give us a fun drink, and we drank a lot of it. So I was very excited to find this Kool-Aid pie recipe. 

One of my favorite childhood drinks in the form of a pie. The nostalgia. The wonderful memories. I had to try this fun dessert, and it did not disappoint. I made cherry for my first attempt, and it packs a punch just like the Kool-Aid Man. It is a bit on the sweeter side but still very good.

Kids will absolutely love making this easy no-bake dessert. Choose any flavor you like. It comes together within minutes. No special equipment is required. You just need a large mixing bowl and a rubber spatula. 

Only four ingredients are used for this delightful pie that will make you feel like a kid again. The flavor options are plentiful. I have also made a tropical punch flavored pie and that too is a winner. Kool-Aid pie will add a little sunshine to your day. Who doesn’t need more of that.

Happy Eating!

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 

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Kool-Aid Pie

Ingredients 

1 (14oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 packet of Kool-Aid (any flavor)

1 (8 oz.) container whipped topping

1 store bought graham cracker pie crust

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl pour the sweetened condensed milk. Add Kool-Aid and mix with a rubber spatula until combined and the color is uniform.
  2. Fold in the entire container of whipped topping until everything is mixed evenly and there are no streaks of color. 
  3. Spread mixture into graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Notes

  • You can use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. 
  • Reduce the amount of sweetened milk to bring down the sweetness. 
  • Freeze the pie during the summer for a cool treat.

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You can find this recipe and all of my recipes that I share on Mustard Seed Sentinel, Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-kool-aid-pie

Food

The Best Sugar Cookies

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These are the best sugar cookies, ever! You may not believe me. A sugar cookie is a sugar cookie. I disagree. I have had many beautifully decorated sugar cookies that taste quite bland with a dry texture. This amazing simple recipe is full of flavor with a nice soft texture.

My family absolutely loves these cookies. I usually make them for holidays and special occasions. I have zero decorating skills. My cookies are very homemade looking. But, they taste so good. 

A lot of the fun of homemade sugar cookies is the decorations. My boys always helped when they were little. Each cookie was a tiny canvas for them to express themselves with icing and sprinkles. If you have kids they will love creating their own edible masterpieces.

I have used buttercream frosting, and a corn syrup based frosting. The best decorating icing is royal icing. It sets up perfectly for stacking and the decorating possibilities are endless. My cookies in the picture have corn syrup icing. It sets up similar to royal icing, but it’s much runnier. It’s not the easiest icing to work with, but I didn’t have the ingredients for royal icing so I had to make do. 

You can find the recipe for royal icing here: Gingerbread Cookies

Enjoy this easy, no refrigeration required, sugar cookie recipe.

Happy Eating!

 

 

 

Sugar Cookies 

 

Ingredients

1 cup butter 

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups flour

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375° 
  • In a small bowl add salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Whisk together.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add vanilla, almond extract, and eggs. Mix on medium high speed until combined. It will look lumpy from the eggs. That’s OK.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on medium high speed until combined. 
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Use your favorite cookie cutters and transfer to a baking sheet, and place them about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. The sugar cookies should be light in color. If the edges are brown they are over-cooked. 
  • Leave the cookies on the trays for about a minute before removing them to a cooling rack. 
  • Cool completely and decorate.

Notes:

  • If the dough is a bit sticky, just place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
  • Oven temps vary so keep an eye on the first batch or two of cookies until you see how your oven cooks.
  • Place your oven rack in the middle so the cookies bake evenly.
  • Line your baking sheets with parchment for easy clean up. You can also just bake the cookies directly on your ungreased cookie sheets. 
  • I always use salted butter for all my baking. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Cookie Icing

 

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons milk

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

¼ teaspoon almond extract

 

Directions

  • In a medium bowl blend sugar and milk until smooth.
  • Add corn syrup and almond extract. Beat until smooth and shiny.
  • Use food coloring to make whatever colors you prefer.

 

Notes:

  • This is very runny icing. The texture reminds me of white school glue.
  • Use a small amount on each cookie. If you put too much of the icing it will run over the edge of the cookies.
  • It will set up overnight.
  • If the icing is too thick add more milk and corn syrup in about the same ratios.
  • I usually just play around with the texture until I get the consistency I want.

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Homemade Granola

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Walk into any grocery store and there are numerous varieties of granola. Some are good and some are not so good. The taste of homemade granola is superior to store bought. You can customize the granola with your favorite oil, fruits, and nuts. This basic granola recipe is a great foundation to build upon and make it your own. 

Granola is calorie dense and loaded with all kinds of goodness like vitamin E, iron, folate, magnesium and a host of other vitamins and minerals. It tastes so delicious that it doesn’t seem possible that it’s packed with so much nutrition. This is my kind of healthy eating. Good tasting and good for  you. 

Granola is a versatile food. It’s a great snack all by itself. Mix some granola into your favorite yogurt. Have granola with milk for a real breakfast of champions. Add granola to a smoothie, or pancakes, or muffins. Be as creative as you like. No matter what you do with this delightful granola you will enjoy every morsel.

Making your own granola is cost effective compared to the high priced store bought stuff. There is no stirring involved with this granola recipe. Just press it into the pan and bake. So simple and so tasty. You will save money, have a nutritional snack, and feel great. 

Happy Eating!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 

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Homemade Granola

 

Ingredients

½ cup vegetable oil

⅓ cup maple syrup

3 teaspoons vanilla

⅓ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

5 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups slivered almonds 

2 cups dried fruit

 

Yields 10 cups of granola.

 

Directions

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the vegetable oil, maple syrup, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in the oats and almonds and mix until evenly coated. 
  3. Spread the oat mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Use a spatula to press the mixture firmly until it’s compact. 
  4. Bake for 40 minutes until lightly browned. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through for even browning. 
  5. Cool for 1 hour until the granola reaches room temperature. Break the granola into pieces and mix in dried fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to one month.



Notes 

  • Spray your cooking utensils beforehand with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Add-ins: flaked coconut, any dried fruit you prefer, chocolate chips, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Use chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts, or any nut you like.
  • Use coconut oil or olive oil if you prefer. 

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Go to the link below for this recipe and many more of my recipes on Mustard Seed Sentinel, Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-homemade-granola