In Purrsuit of Flavors ~ November 2020

With autumn in full swing these days it’s time to start thinking about “tummy warmers”…or what I like to call, comfort food. Today we join our co-hosts, those wily Weimaraners…’da Phenny and da Nelly’ and their feline buddies, The Canadian Cats, ‘Tyebe and Master Chef Shoko,’ for this month’s recipe share.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love recipes that are adaptable, tasty and super easy to prepare. Emphasis on the easy part. I’m a big fan of Italian meals, and lasagna is a big favorite but frankly hate all the rigamarole putting it together. Enter this easy and delicious layered spinach ravioli that comes pretty darn close to the favorite dish with a minimum amount of work and cleanup.

This dish is so easy to make and, at least around the Ranch, I always have these ingredients on hand. It can be assembled in less than 10 minutes and that includes dragging out the baking dish from the cupboard. Let’s put this baby together, shall we?

I purchase my ingredients from the neighborhood Costco store but you can outsource yours wherever you shop. And the beauty of this recipe is you can  substitute or add ingredients (like meat for all you flesh eaters).

Recipe

Recipe

Ingredients

1 uncooked package spinach ravioli
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese (I tend to go heavy with the Parm over the Mozz)

The best part of this meal is how quickly and easily it can be whipped up. Spread some of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Add a layer of the uncooked ravioli over the sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and/or parm. Continue to layer the ravioli, sauce and cheese. Stand back and admire that beautiful dish and savor the wafting scent of marinara and parmesan. It’s one of my most favorite scents in the kitchen.

Recipe

 

Recipe

At this point, it’s probably a good idea to open a nice bottle of red wine as you clean up (which is minimal I might add with only one spatula used for the marinara jar). Let your wine breathe then pore yourself a glass as you pop that baby into a 400ºF (204ºC) oven. I baked mine for about 40 minutes since the ravioli was frozen, less if it’s not. You’ll know the right amount of time by that heavenly smell.

Once finished baking and the cheese is nice and all melty, set your table and  enjoy a lovely meal. Add fresh bread with a tossed salad and a glass of wine to complete. Buon appetito – enjoy your meal.

Recipe

Mangia!

Purrsuit of Flavours

Live, love, bark! 🐾

In Purrsuit of Flavours ~ August 5, 2020

Happy August to all you cooks out there. This month’s  edition of “In Purrsuit of Flavours” is all about a “light summer dinner.” Not sure if this is a ‘light summer dinner’ or not but we’re sharing it nonetheless with our hosts, the Weim boys over at Easy Rider and the great chef cats over at Canadian Cats.

Purrsuit of FlavorsLet me start out by saying I am not a fan of cooking in the best of times, let alone when it’s summer. Eating out in summer seems preferable, yet I do enjoy baking but since (wo)man cannot live off cake alone. It seems necessity cooking becomes the mother of invention when one needs to prepare a real meal. Since temperatures around the Ranch have resembled walking into a pizza oven around here, why not share an easy to make pizza today? When in Rome, right? Besides…who isn’t a fan of a tasty pizza?

This meal is quick, easy to prepare and uses whatever ingredients you have on hand, an absolute must in my books. Since I’m a vegetarian, I use whatever veggies I have on hand (usually artichokes, olives, onions, bell peppers) but you can add your favorites including pepperoni or whatever kind of meat you like to your list of ingredients. When I don’t want to make crust from scratch (which is pretty much 100% of the time these days), I have no problem using frozen cheese premade pizzas to which I then add fresh ingredients topped with a nice handful of Parmesan over the whole kitten-caboodle. These days  you can often find cauliflower crusts for pizzas, and they can be quite tasty and more healthful than usual crust. Last night I opted to make Margarita pizza since there’s more than enough basil from the garden and I finally had a tomato I could harvest from the potted tomato bush planted this spring (“Bush Early Girl” for curious gardeners). My attempts with tomatoes have been hit and miss over the years, but this year I’ve been well rewarded. Oh. my. gosh. What a tasty treat! Coupled with a purchased Roma tomato, I sliced up these babies and laid them all over the top of the plain frozen cheese pizza. Then I snipped off leaves from a potted basil plant and laid them all over. Last but not least, fresh snack-sized  Mozzarella balls were added. Bake according the package instructions and in less than 15 minutes, voila…supper is ready!

Food

Add a frosty beverage, a tossed salad and you’ve got a nice, quick and tasty meal. A perfect way to end yet another dry, hot day. In my case, I topped the meal off with a Stanley Cup game and didn’t feel one bit guilty about not eating take out. This still being pandemic time and all and despite some folks continuing to bemoan the wearing of masks when out or not being able to nosh at their favorite jammed restaurant or bar like they did months ago, I’m quite happy to pull up a cushion on the floor, have a fur beast on either side of my lap and savor a tasty easy to make meal while savoring my favorite sport (finally!).

If you do like to cook meals, don’t forget to click on the links above to see what else is cooking around Blogville. There are some very clever cooks out there and no doubt they’ve whipped up some really terrific recipes. Now I just need to decide what kind of cake to make next. I’m thinking something chocolate will hit the spot. Sheer Bliss.

Purrsuit of Flavours

Live, love, bark! 🐾

In Purrsuit of Flavors ~ July 2020

Purrsuit of FlavorsWe’re back today for the July edition of Blogville’s recipe share, “In Purrsuit of Flavour” with today’s selection being ‘your favorite summer dish’ and joining our hosts, the Weim boys over at Easy Rider and those great chef cats over at Canadian Cats. Truth be told my favorite summer dish is anything someone else cooks. I pretty much loathe cooking in general and the last thing I want to do is fire up the kitchen in summer and then spend loads of time cleaning it up afterwards but one should probably not live on cake and wine alone. #Sigh

Recently my sister shared a recipe with our family that is simple and easy to fix. Because its main ingredient is pasta, it may be more suitable for cooler temps, but it’s easy to throw together [heavy emphasis on the throw part]. Like all my shared recipes, there are ‘optionals’ to suit everyone’s taste or whatever is in your pantry. Martha Stewart no doubt despises cooks like me with our devil-may-care attitude but I’m more of a this-and-that kind of gal and work with what’s on hand. Yo, Martha…it’s called adaptation and that makes sense these days. Anyway, this recipe is one of those “dump” recipes where all the ingredients get dumped into a dish, then baked and served in the same dish. It’s perfect for serving a large crowd and easy to clean up afterwards.

Purrsuit of FlavoursOk, cooks…let’s get started making a batch of “Firehouse Spaghetti.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground meat (may be omitted for us pesky vegetarians)
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • Minced garlic (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cans (10 oz.) Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 2 cans (10 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 jars (5 oz. size) Old English Cheese (a processed cheese product found near the Chees Whiz and comes in small jars)
  • 12 oz. spaghetti or linguine noodles
  • Optional: Parmesan or shredded cheddar if desired on top (Parmesan is never optional at the Ranch but feel free to do your thing)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 13×9 inch dish with cooking spray. Brown ground meat with garlic and onions in large skillet. Drain fat and return to skillet. Set aside while you prepare noodles according to package instructions. At this point, I recommend opening a nice bottle of wine to drink when assembling breathe. Drain noodles (reserve some liquid in case you need to thin when assembling all ingredients). Add Rotel, cheese, and soup to meat mixture, heat over medium-low heat just to melt the cheese and soup. Pour meat mixture over the cooked noodles and mix well (add reserved liquid to thin if necessary). Sprinkle Parmesan/cheddar on top and bake for 20-25 minutes in large baking dish. Pass the wine and serve with a garden salad and crusty bread. Molto bene!

While I neglected to photograph our dish, here’s a photo from the ‘Net. This dish has a bit of a kick from the Rotel for a nice change of pace. Did I mention it’s easy to throw together and works great for a crowd?

Recipe

Now if I could just get Norman to do all the cooking, I’d be happy as a clam at high tide. Till then…I’ll just have to kiss the cook-look alike.

Norman

Live, love, bark!  🐾

In ‘Purrsuit’ of Flavours ~ June 2020

It’s time for another edition of “In Purrsuit of Flavours” where Blogville shares its favorite recipes. This month, the category is salad. Please join our hosts The Canadian Cats and Da Phenny and check out just what’s cooking around Blogville.

Purrsuit of Flavours

Like a lot of peeps, I prefer eating lighter when temperature rise and lately it’s been hot, hot, hot around the Ranch. Last thing I want to do is to cook over a hot stove. When something is tasty, quick and easy to fix, well count me happy. Here’s my take on Italian pasta salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of tri-color rotini pasta (or whatever kind of pasta you have on hand)
  • 1/2 to a whole cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
  • Thinly sliced strips of red and green pepper (I didn’t have green and used yellow)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • Garbanzo beans (can be optional-I used about a third to a half a can)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Italian salad dressing (or to taste-I tend to use less dressing, only coating the ingredients-there’s no need for salad to swim in dressing unless you like it that way)
  • If you’re a meat-eater, feel free to add Genoa salami or pepperoni

Recipes

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to directions. When done, drain and rinse with cold water so the noodles can cool.
  • Combine veggies (and meat is that’s your jam), then add dressing over top and mix together.
  • Can be eaten right away or refrigerated for a few hours before serving.
This recipe is highly adaptable-so feel free to substitute your preferences (i.e. artichokes, etc.) or whatever you may have on hand. Served with bread topped with melted Parmesan with a nice red and it makes for the perfect summer meal. Salud the salad!
Recipes
Live, love, bark! 🐾

In Purrsuit of Flavour

NormanWe’re back today for the second edition of Blogville’s recipe share, “In Purrsuit of Flavour” with today’s selection being “dough.” Once again we join our hosts, the Weim boys over at Easy Rider and those great chef cats over at Canadian Cats.  Since I may have moaned and whined mentioned that many baking ingredients have been in short supply around our neighborhood, we stretched the rules for our recipe this month and went with…Scones since they contain no yeast or whole wheat flour which are as extinct as dinosaurs around here. I’ve gone to 7 different stores recently in search of these mythical ingredients and they all laughed me and my mask out of their stores. I did manage to find a small amount of  whole wheat late yesterday so there’s no need to cry for me now but didn’t have enough time to make a no knead cranberry/walnut bread which was the original plan.

SconesI’ve made this recipe for ages because it’s easy to make and always turns out yummy. Since I can barely operate a mixer and spatula with my paws, I did not include photos while preparing but did include the website’s video for a professional touch where disasters don’t show up on video like they would if I took photos while baking. Click here on this link to see the video as to how these are made.

Prep & baking time: 35 mins. total; servings: 8 (depending on size); yield: 8 scones (again, depending on size)

Ingredient Checklist:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl (for the record, I never sift dry ingredients, instead whisking them together). Cut in butter using a pastry blender or rubbing between your fingers until it is in pea sized lumps. Stir in the currants. Mix together 1/2 cup milk and sour cream in a measuring cup. Pour all at once into the dry ingredients, and stir gently until well blended. Overworking the dough results in terrible scones!

With floured hands, pat scone dough into balls 2 to 3 inches across, depending on what size you want (I formed the dough into a large ball, flatten it, then cut into triangle shapes rather than balls). Place onto a greased baking sheet (I use parchment paper instead), and flatten lightly. Let scones barely touch each other. Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of milk, brush tops of scones with egg wash and let them rest for about 10 minutes.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in preheated oven, until tops are golden brown. Serve with butter or clotted cream and a selection of jams and enjoy. Even plain, they’re still quite tasty.

In Purrsuit of Flavours

Live, love, bark! 🐾

In Purrsuit of Flavours ~Inaugural Post

Have you heard…a new blog hop called “In Purrsuit of Flavours” debuts today. Norman wanted to do the honors so he donned the chef’s toque and apron. I’ll let him share our recipe with the international hosts, Chef Shoko from The Canadian Cats, and French Chef Phenny from Easy Weimaraner. Don’t forget to check out all the links for some pawsome recipes. Take it away Norman.

NormanHello mates, today I’m super chuffed to share this tasty and easy to prepare dish that would be pawfect for Easter brunch. Mum calls it the Kitchen Sink Quiche for reasons you’ll understand from the ingredient list.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (half of one a 17.3-ounce package),
  • Cube bits of ham for meat eaters or chop vegetarian sausage for the vegetarians (or whatever kind of meat or substitute you have on hand)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese. We always add grated Parmesan to the jack, because, well it’s Parm and nothing tastes better
  • Small chopped zucchini, red and green peppers, broccoli, mushrooms or whatever veggies may have on hand
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary which will make this quiche  gobsmackingly tasty
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Unfold pastry sheet on a pie dish or lay it flat on a baking sheet and create a rectangular quiche.
  3. Place meat (or substitute) first on the pastry sheet.
  4. Pour your egg, cheese and yogurt mixture over toppings over the puff pastry. Bake until pastry is golden brown and toppings are set, about 18-22 minutes.
  5. Start licking your chops while you wait for this tasty concoction to be served

Tips:

  • Meat and veggie ingredients are dependent on what you have on hand or what you prefer in your quiche ~ remember the name-use whatever you have-be creative.
  • If the edges start to brown but the quiche is still jiggly, cover the edges with foil until fully cooked and firm. Nobody likes jiggly-wiggly eggs.
  • Mum’s all about this dish looking ‘rustic’ (a fancy way to say it looks like you meant for it to look less than pretty) and rarely bothers with fancy crust edges.

Now how simple, quick and versatile is that? Feel free to substitute or add whatever meat/vegetable ingredients you have in your pantry. No dog hair was served on the side with this ‘kitchen sink’ meal.

Recipes

Happy noshing, mates!

In Purrsuit of Flavours

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Live, love, bark! 🐾