"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, February 28, 2010


It's Cy's week to make dinner, and he has decided to make pirogi. They were such a hit when I made them on Super Bowl Sunday that he decided to make them again so we could blog about it. For those of you who grew up or have lived in the mid-west or eastern Europe you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who don't, pirogi (plural is the same as the singular) are traditional Polish dumplings, they are stuffed with a cheese/potato mixture and are served in golden-brown onions (fried in butter! yum!) with kielbasa, (keel-baasa) a Polish sausage. So, after a wonderful day of middle-earth style capture the flag (Cy is always Legolas) we came inside and Cyrus began making pirogi dough and filling. As I write this, Dad is dumping the onions in the butter to fry and Cyrus is stuffing the pirogi dough with the pirogi filling. Cy will add the kielbasa to the sauerkraut soon not to mention our pirogi water (like pasta water) is almost at a boil. It'll be good eatin' tonight!

The food is ready and we are about to sit down with our Grandma, eat and watch Apollo 13. The pirogi look very good! Tucker out.

Robin here. Dinner was fantastic and we made it half way through the movie but now it's time for the kids to be heading for bed. Our whole meal was pirogi, kielbasa with sauerkraut and a lovely salad with blue cheese dressing.

Ben received a whole wheel of Rogue River Creamery's Crater Lake Blue cheese from a grower he does business with. It's an embarrassment of riches, but I'm not complaining. Our dressing recipe is adapted from the Gourmet cookbook.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cup blue cheese
and a splash of milk to thin to your desired consistency

Mix it up and it's totally insanely delicious. Keeps well in the fridge too.

Another successful Sunday meal, thank you to Cyrus!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Pasta Dough
3 cups unbleached flour
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2-3 Tablespoons water
1 Teaspoon salt

Combine flour, eggs, water and salt in a food processor and blend until mixture just begins to form a ball, adding more water drop by drop if dough is too dry. The dough should be firm and not sticky. Process for 15 seconds more to knead it. Transfer to floured surface and let stand, covered with a bowl, for 1 hour to relax the gluten.


1 and 1/2 lb. ricotta
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely grated paremesan
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsely
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Tucker split the pasta dough into six pieces. He then rolled it out using our hand crank pasta machine to it's narrowest setting. Each sheet was cut in half crosswise and laid on the floured counter top and covered with a clean dish towel. He then dropped 2 tablespoon mounds of the filling 1 and 1/2 inches apart on the dough strip and brushed around each mound with an egg wash made of 1 large egg white beaten with 2 teaspoons of water. Then a second dough sheet was placed on top and he pressed down firmly around each mound, forcing out any air. Then he cut the ravioli apart into about 3 inch squares. He let the ravioli dry on floured baking sheets for about 30 minutes. The ravioli was boiled in a large pot of gently boiling salted water for about 6 minutes. We sauced them with a simple tomato sauce of canned tomatoes, oregano, garlic, onion, parsley and a bay leaf.

What a delicious meal we had.

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Ravioli a Success!

The ravioli was a success! We made the sauce right after our last post. The recipe (Gourmet Today's new green cookbook pg. 207) was an amazing accompaniment to the ravioli, which amazingly didn't burst! Not one! Which, as any Italian Grandma will tell you, is extremely rare! Speaking of Italian Grandma's, I have discovered a newfound respect for them.
In addition to the ravioli (with homemade ricotta and pasta dough) I made a loaf of Garlic Bread (Everything Kids Cookbook pg. 83) and a glorious salad which can only be found in the cookbook of my heart, which incorporated; lettuce, diced apples and a carrot. Now I have to sit down to a Star Trek episode from season two and digest. Here's some pictures!

cheesecloth speeds process

The cheese is coming along quite well and we are about to start on the tomato sauce. A few hours ago we decided that we really needed a cheese cloth, and this time we found one. Thanks to this the cheese is coming along even faster. Dad has taken over as sous chef. And the ricotta is nearly done.

Chef's Post!

The ricotta for tonights ravioli is draining and will probably take longer to drain than it's supposed to because we're using coffee filters instead of a cheesecloth (we couldn't find any.) I think its going to be awesome in the ravioli. The ricotta recipe can be found in Gourmet Today's new green cook book, (page 231) for those of you who don't have this cook book here's the recipe:

Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh) cheesecloth or dampened paper towel (we used coffee filters) and place it over a large bowl. Slowly bring 2 quarts whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. Pour he mixture into the lined sieve ad let it drain for 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Tucker out!

How It All Began

Sunday night dinners had become a drag. Due to some medications that I'm on, I always feel like I have the flu on Sunday nights and it was getting harder and harder to get dinner together. Ben rarely felt like cooking by the time Sundays rolled around either. A solution was sought, and so six weeks ago our family decided to institute Kids Cook Sundays, and I don't mind bragging, it has been a wonderful thing.
As a family we decided that the kids would take turns cooking Sunday dinner. The meals would have to be delicious and well balanced. Tucker, our 12 year old and his brother Cyrus, our 9 year old have stepped up in a way I could never have imagined. To date we have enjoyed for our main courses Spaghetti with Meatballs, Spinach Sausage Lasagna and Pierogis from Tucker and Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup), Fish and Chips and Chicken and Potato Enchiladas from Cyrus. All of those meals included various sides and the kids really do do most of the work.
Tonight is Tucker's turn and he'll be making Ravioli with homemade pasta and ricotta accompanied by his newly famous garlic bread (not heart healthy but oh so good) and a big green salad. As things progress, we'll keep you posted!