Feature Recipe


After months and months of wanting to make our own pasta we finally got the courage to make it.  We had 1/2 a container of Ricotta and some frozen chopped spinach that we wanted to incorporate, so we decided on ravioli.

After thinking about which recipe to choose, we settled on one by Mario Batali.  If any of you watch the Food Network you know this man KNOWS his Italian food. 

Known best for wearing crocs during Iron Chef America matches, this guy is a tough one to beat when it comes to Italian cuisine!
As far as the filling goes, I just mixed spinach and cheese in a bowl until blended, and added a small amount of salt and pepper.  You can use anything for the filling!

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs


Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated. 

Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.

Note: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta.

Look and Cook!

Ricotta and Spinach!

I was scared to death making this dough

This is a bit blurry because of my motion, but you get the idea

Dough = done... now let's hope it tastes good!

Not sure why there is ketchup in the background, but here I am making our raviolis - they are too thick, I know, but it was our first time :)

I added a little ball of mozzarella cheese on top of the ricotta, too

Boil, my pretties!

The sauce was just a pre-bottled one

Serve with a toasted Ciabatta!

Cross section shot - these were delicious!



We decided that after cooking the empanadas that we were really nervous with frying in a pot on our stovetop, so when small deep friers at Canadian Tire went on sale we bought one.  We  both try hard to stay away from deep fried foods so we will be using this tool sparingly (regular readers can chastise us if they notice us using it too much!)

We waited a week and then made some southern fried chicken strips and onion rings.  We found a rendition of KFC seasonings on the internet and mixed that with a Bobby Flay recipe for fried chicken.  We also did some onion rings!  But I'll focus on the chicken for now...

Marinade for Chicken
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into slices or nuggets
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Few splashes of Tabasco

Herb Mix for Batter (makes enough for 2 batches of batter)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Marjoram
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Half of the Herb Mix (above)
  • 1¾ cup cold water
  • 10 cups canola oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix the milk, sugar, salt, and hot sauce until combined.  Add the chicken and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove the marinade and pat completely dry.  Let chicken let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before frying.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and herb mix.  Slowly whisk in the water and whisk until smooth.  Let the batter sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil to 350°F in a deep fryer.  Saturate each piece in the batter, letting excess drip off, and carefully transfer to the oil.  Fry the chicken until deep golden brown and just cooked through, about 7 minutes for strips, and 5 minutes for nuggets.  Drain the chicken on paper towels and then transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and season with a little fine sea salt. 

Prep Time:   15 minutes (5 hours total)                     Serves:    4

The Batter

In Progress!

The 1st round of Chicken

Fry my babies, FRY!

We used 3 dipping sauces:  Plum, Sweet Thai Chilli and RANCH

You know a meal isn't healthy when all of it is the same color: BROWN!  Haha!  But they were amazing, we wanted more!



For Josh’s 25th Birthday I gave him a copy of Guy Fieri’s Diner’s Drive-In’s and Dives cookbook and he wanted to try out one of the recipes.  We picked the Pork with Sweet Potato Empanada recipe to try out because we had some pork chops in the freezer.  We had a hell of a time making the dough, which we messed up but managed to fix, but it was WELL worth it.  Here is the recipe...

1. Pork:
  • 4 pork chops (bone-in)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

Place the pork in a roasting pan with a lid.  Mix the remaining ingredients and rub all over the pork.  Let rest for 20 minutes at room temperature and then fill roasting pan until pork is just covered.  Turn on stove top and bring to a boil, then reduce heat until it simmers gently.  Cover and set timer to 1 hour and 40 minutes.  When timer beeps, remove pork from the roasting pan and set aside to cool.  I actually left it in the pan with the water to cool, and it came out fine.  Shred the pork with a fork (or in my case, my hands).  Finally add some of the water to the shredded pork for moisture.  Cover in saran wrap.

2. Filling:
  •  1 cup of mashed sweet potato (medium-large sized) 
  •   ½ cup black beans, rinsed 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Mash together and mix with the pork mixture.

3. Empanada Dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 2 ounces white vinegar
  • 2 ounces water
  • 1 egg
Sift the flour, sugar, and salt onto parchment paper.  Place the sifted dry ingredients into a food processor.  Add the remainder of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the dough looks like a ball.  Remove the ball from the food processor and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Transfer the pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll out until it is 1/16-inch thick.  Cut into segments with a 4-inch dough cutter.  Each cut will create a dough round.  Put 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the upper half of each round, and then fold the bottom pastry up into a half-moon shape.  Crimp the edges closed with first with your fingers, then with a fork on both sides.  Repeat this until all the empanadas are closed.

Put about 2 inches of oil into a heavy, deep skillet over medium heat and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add the empanadas, a few at a time, and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

4. Glaze/Dipping Sauce:
  • ½ cup chipotles with adobo sauce
  • ½ cup honey
Finely chop the chipotles until mushy, or use a food processor, then mix well into the honey.  Glaze the empanadas with the mixture, or use as a dip.

Here are some pictures! 

Pork, with Black Bean and Sweet Potato filling

Josh rolling our dough

Filling them up

Just a spoonful!

OMG yum!