Cooking Blog

Welcome to the Ladies Recipes Cooking Blog! Post those things you want everyone to know about here. It's as easy as typing in your post title in the box on the right and telling us what's going on! Enjoy.

Fresh Pasta

06 Feb 2011 17:02
stacitastacita

Amanda and I made the best meal of our lives. Thank you, Mario Batali.

Because it was a bleak, snowy, sleety, rainy day, we realized we were compelled to make pasta from scratch. We followed the guidelines laid out in Mario Batali's Molto Italiano. To encapsulate the process, suffice to say that after making the pasta, we both agreed we would never in our lives make fresh pasta again. After eating the pasta, we decided we would make fresh pasta as soon as possible.

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Maltagliati, a roughly cut flat noodle, seemed like a good starter pasta. While making the dough was easy, Amanda and I nearly lost our lives putting it through the machine. We clamped the pasta machine down on Amanda's highly unstable table. After putting only one hunk of the pasta dough through the machine the full number of times, one of the table legs became so unstable that we feared permanent damage. The crank would fall out of the machine every 20 rotations. The pasta dough repeatedly tore.

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To deal with these problems, one of us would hold the pasta machine down and feed in the dough while the other would desperately crank the handle and guide the dough out. We soon realized that rolling it through quickly resulted in a smoother texture. Ladies, we put our entire bodies into the endeavor. We screamed wildly. This was bearable only because we were together and because we switched off in the role of handle turner. I think in the future we would both recommend a very good pasta maker with a strong, secure clamp attached to a very, very, very stable work surface. And turn that crank quickly!

We were so exhausted after making the pasta that we sat for awhile on the couch, drinking a glass of wine and eating arugula salad. This restored us greatly. We headed back to the kitchen to complete the sauce and briefly boil the pasta (1-2 minutes). The delicious sauce consisted of oven-dried (or in our case, roasted) plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, fresh whole basil leaves, mascarpone, and freshly-ground pepper.

I think this photo says enough:

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Tags: italian mario pasta

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Vietnamese Cooking Blog

11 Dec 2010 19:28
stacitastacita

I came across this attractive Vietnamese and Asian cooking blog today I thought to share with you all. It has a nice index with recipes sorted by date and by category, as well as short reviews of other cooking blogs. Each recipe has lovely photos. The cook/writer, Andrea Nguyen, has written a bunch of cookbooks and is a contributing editor to Saveur magazine.

http://www.vietworldkitchen.com

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Indian Recipe Book Suggestions

08 Nov 2010 22:58
stacitastacita

Hello all. I believe it is time for me to invest in a good Indian recipe book, but I'm not sure where to turn. The book does not have to be vegetarian. I already have Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian (although not an Indian recipe book), so I'd be happy to try someone else.

What are your thoughts?

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Tags: cookbooks indian reviews

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Fabulous EASY jam

16 May 2010 15:44
ClaireMereClaireMere

Wow - the STRAWBERRIES.

Here is the recipe and my comment on the now famed Preserved Strawberries with Chiles. I love this and plan to make it whenever we fatigue on the big batches of local strawberries we're inundating ourselves with these days.

This is the easiest thing ever and you will feel, and be treated like, a genius!

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I Tweet Preserves

16 May 2010 14:06
ClaireMereClaireMere

So I'm on Twitter. Tweet.

And I've set up a TwitterFeed in my Kitchen since at least 60% of my tweets are cooking-related! This morning I'm making Preserved Strawberries with Chiles, due to a glorious excess of local strawberries. Follow along!

I'll post results of the jam-making when all is done. It smells heavenly right now.

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Lists

24 Apr 2010 20:31
stacitastacita

I've been inspired by Amazon's Listmania and other book networking lists that allow users to string together their favorite books around a certain theme. Why not have that for Ladies Recipes? I've created a Lists page for that purpose.

Lists might be a collection of recipes and ingredients for a favorite meal, a list of recipes most fitting to a particular theme, holiday, season, or purpose, or a group of favorites. For example, I created lists for my favorite recipes on the web, good summertime meals, and a menu for Eggplant Parmesan.

The link to the Lists page is under the "Cooking" heading at the top of the page.

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Lunch rut

22 Apr 2010 12:47
ClaireMereClaireMere

Lunch. Sigh.

Ladies, I am in a big lunch rut and could use some of your suggestions! Tasty leftovers are always good - but sometimes there are none. Since Isaac keeps me busy I can't really cook anything on the spot - other than microwaving? - so I need more of an assembly sort of lunch?

So share your favorite quick lunches, or even things to read the night before. I can't face another week of Boca burgers and random veg from the fridge!

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Drink for an elegant - and blotto? - summer

19 Apr 2010 00:28
ClaireMereClaireMere

Wow. Ice cream & dessert chef David Lebovitz tweeted this amazing summer drink. It sounds, elegant, delicious and refreshing. And best drunk sitting down. Imagine the leftovers of lime-vodka sorbet!

Please someone let me know if you attempt it - something tells me this will not be my summer to make this drink. I will more likely be making homemade banana-orange juice popsicles for a hot toddler.

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Fresh garlic

18 Apr 2010 02:21
ClaireMereClaireMere

So our All Local Farmer's market is starting to heat up. For the last few months only the Italian guy in the toga (his son goofily and dutifully helping while dressed as a centurion) selling Roman cheese & dried pasta and the artisan baker have been holding court with the honey guy and the vine-woven-baskets guy. The greens are starting to come in!

And today we made friends with a new couple who were selling big bulbs of fresh garlic. The garlics looked like medium sized leeks but with bulbous ends. They were bursting with health, firm and shiny and smooth as glass. We got one after chatting with the couple a bit. With our southwestern lunch, I shaved off the end and put thin slices on as though it were a large and potent scallion.

The flavor was fascinating. The texture is exactly like a scallion and the outer layers are indeed as mild as a scallion, crisp with hidden water. But the inner layers were indeed garlicky, but were, again, crisp and wet as only fresh produce can be. It was very puzzling and wonderful to the tongue - it had some of the heat of dried garlic but without the final punch that can make you regret adding to much raw.

I have plenty left and I don't have a plan yet what to use it in. I'm definitely going to sauté it in place of dried garlic for something I make this week to see how the flavor survives cooking. It may be too delicate and fresh to add much once cooked.

Anyone ever had this? At $4 a head it's a bit pricey to buy every week but was totally worth the exploration. Any suggestions for how I handle the rest of it?

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A Weekend of Decadence

01 Apr 2010 00:15
stacitastacita

Claire came to town, and we had ourselves a delightful reunion of the ladies. We threw ourselves into all kinds of innocent but wretchedly wasteful activities: ladies night, lunching, and gallivanting about shopping centers. Here's the menu for Ladies Night (all of the old standards were trotted out):

  • Goat gouda
  • Chevre with honey and a dash of salt
  • St. Agur's (it has it's own Wikipedia page!)
  • Olivada
  • The best bread ever
  • purple grapes
  • Amanda's asparagus soup
  • Cannellinni bean salad
  • And the molten chocolate cakes, less molten than chocolate, with raspberries and vanilla ice cream, which led to both immediate and long-term illness.

All served with vinho verde.

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Tags: appetizers entertaining

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