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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Christmas, Food

Gingerbread Cookies

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You can’t help but smile when you see a gingerbread cookie smiling back at you. I have been baking all kinds of cookies for years, but I never made gingerbread cookies until now. My youngest son loves gingerbread so this was the year to make them. I’m so glad I did. 

These gingerbread cookies are chewy, slightly crisp on the outside, with a nice soft interior. I do not like super soft cookies. I like my cookies on the crisp side. This gingerbread cookie is a good combo of both. The spice is not overwhelming, and there is just enough to know you are eating gingerbread. 

Any child would have fun making these little people, and decorating them. I used a very simple royal icing, but you could just as easily use buttercream icing. Even big kids will enjoy decorating these cookies. Everyone will love this sweet spicy gingerbread cookie. They are really good. It’s a nice addition to your Christmas baking. You’ll be smiling too.

Merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Cookies 

Ingredients 

¾ cup butter softened

1 cup brown sugar

¾ cup molasses

1 egg

2 teaspoons ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

3 ¾ cup all purpose flour

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° 
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment or just leave them ungreased.
  3. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer, using the paddle attachment until it’s creamy and fluffy.
  4. Add the molasses and the egg. Mix on medium speed until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and flour. Mix with a whisk.
  6. Gradually add the four mixture to the wet dough. It will be thick and sticky. Mix until combined.
  7. Divide the dough in half, and wrap in plastic. Flatten the dough into disks. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, up to overnight. 
  8. Roll out prepared dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately ¼ inch thick. It can be crumbly. Press firmly with the rolling pin but not hard. Cut out shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Be careful as you transfer to your baking sheet. The dough can crumble easily. 
  9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your cookies. Larger cut outs will take about 10 minutes, smaller sizes will take about 8 minutes. Shorter bake time means softer cookies. Longer bake time means crispier cookies. They should be slightly brown and a little firm. 
  10. Leave the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a cooling rack. They will continue to bake as they sit. 
  11.  Once the gingerbread cookies are completely cool, decorate with royal icing and sprinkles. 
  12. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days. 

Notes:

  • Spray your measuring cups with cooking spray beforehand and the molasses will come out much easier.
  • It’s OK if your dough is crumbly. Just push it together when you roll it out. It will still bake nicely.
  • Adjust the spices and add more or less to your liking.
  • This recipe makes approximately 30 medium size cookies.

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Royal Icing 

Ingredients

6 tablespoons (3 oz.) pasteurized egg whites

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

4 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, add egg whites and vanilla. Mix using whisk attachment for about 30 seconds until it’s frothy. Add powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Switch to high and mix until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks have formed. This will only take a few minutes. Add any food coloring and place icing in a pastry bag to decorate cookies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Tips:

  • Add water if your royal icing is too thick.
  • Add powdered sugar if royal icing is too thin.
  • Let the icing sit out at room temperature for a bit after it’s been refrigerated.
  • Royal icing should completely dry in about 2 hours.
  • You need to work pretty quick when using this icing because it starts to harden up right away. 
  • Add a different flavor like peppermint or almond.

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Food, mustard seed sentinel

Turkey Pot Pie

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You may have some leftover turkey in the near future, and you may want something new to do with all that meat. Turkey pot pie is a great way to use up leftovers from your Thanksgiving meal. It comes together easily and is so satisfying. A flaky, buttery crust wraps the savory turkey filling like a delicious present. 

Meat pie is a very old food with roots as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. I think they were on to something pretty fantastic all those years ago. Many cultures around the globe have their own version of meat pie. We love meat in a pastry shell in America too. Pot pies have stood the test of time. Turkey pie is a classic.

This turkey pot pie recipe is absolutely scrumptious. There’s plenty of meat, and the sauce in the filing is creamy and flavorful. The delectable crust brings all the flavors and textures together beautifully. My family gave this recipe their stamp of approval. I think your family will love this savory pie too. Turkey pot pie is good old fashioned comfort food.

Happy Eating!

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

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Turkey Pot Pie 

Ingredients

1 double pie crust – homemade or store bought

1 medium onion – diced

2 carrots – diced

2 ribs of celery – diced 

4 cloves crushed garlic

6 tablespoons butter

⅓ cup flour

2 cups chicken stock

½ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon fresh thyme 

3 cups cooked shredded turkey 

1 cup frozen peas

1 egg – beaten for egg wash

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook the veggies until they are soft, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the flour, and stir continually for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until it’s thickened. Stir constantly. Add salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and thyme. Taste, and adjust spices as needed.
  5. Stir in cooked turkey and frozen peas. Remove from the heat. Let that sit while you prepare the pastry.
  6. Roll out one pie crust disk into a 12 inch circle. Roll up the pie dough onto your rolling pin and transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Carefully let the dough fall into place. Gently press the dough into the pie pan. 
  7. Add the turkey pie filling to the prepared pastry filled pie pan.
  8. Roll out your second pastry disk into a 10 inch circle. Use the rolling pin to transfer the dough on to the top of the filled pie. 
  9. Cut the top and bottom dough ½ an inch beyond the pie plate. Pinch the top and bottom crusts together to seal the pie. Crimp the crust. Place a finger against the inside edge of the pie dough, then use the thumb and index finger of the other hand to press the pastry into flutes.
  10. Cut 4 to 6 two-inch slits in the top of the pie to vent. Brush the prepared pie with egg wash.
  11. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust on top is golden brown.
  12. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • You can use both white and dark turkey meat. You can also use chicken.
  • Use green beans or other vegetables if you prefer.
  • If the crust is getting too dark while cooking, cut a 4 inch circle in the center of a square piece of aluminum foil. Loosely place on the pie while it finishes cooking. 
  • You don’t have to crimp the edge of the pie. It just looks prettier crimped.

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Homemade Pie Crust 

Ingredients

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup cold butter, diced

1 cup cold water

1 egg

 

Instructions 

  1. In a large mixing bowl add flour and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the cold butter. Using your hands mix the butter and flour. Grab the mixture and rub it to break it into smaller pieces until it’s a coarse crumb.
  3. Combine the egg and water in a measuring cup. 
  4. Pour about half the egg mixture into the flour and butter. Using your hands combine until a soft dough forms. Add more of the egg and water as needed. It will come together quickly. Do not over mix. Do not knead the dough. Just bring all of the ingredients together. It should not be crumbly, and it should not be wet. 
  5. Once it’s combined divide the dough into two portions. Flatten each portion into a disk shape and cover in plastic wrap. 
  6. Refrigerate for an hour. Leave the dough on the counter for 20 minutes to soften up a bit before rolling it out.

 

Notes

  • Pie dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 48 hours and freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  • Do not stretch pie dough when placing it in a pie pan. Stretching the dough causes shrinkage while baking. 
  • I always use salted butter. Use unsalted if you prefer. 
  • Keep butter and water cold.     

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For this recipe and all of my recipes go to Mustard Seed Sentinel, Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com

Faith, Family, Food, Uncategorized

It’s Only a Pound

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I am very happy to share with you my latest article on Mustard Seed Sentinel. I love to bake, and this pound cake is easy and delicious. I came across this fantastic recipe several years ago in Southern LivingInstead of a bundt pan, I prefer loaf pans. I use three regular size pans, and freeze at least two of them. They thaw quickly, and it’s nice to have a dessert on hand.

This new column has been so much fun for me. Baking and cooking are a passion of mine. Pound cake came to mind right away for June. It made me think of summer when topped with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. Give this simple, yummy dessert a try. You’ll get a lot of smiles from this one. Make your life sweeter with some cake now and then.

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your support.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-it-s-only-a-pound