Mushroom Cheese Ravioli with Rosemary Butter Sauce

Say “hello” to your next date night in dinner.  While I love going out to dinner and traveling to fun new cities, there’s something about a cozy evening in with a delicious home cooked dinner and a bottle of wine.  And while we haven’t had one in a couple weeks and I’m not really sure when our next one will be, I couldn’t resist sharing with you the dinner we made during our last date night in.

And don’t be scared of this recipe.  We made homemade pasta but it is NOT necessary.  In fact, the recipe called for wonton wrappers that you find at your grocery store and we made the decision to make the recipe more difficult.  So there is no excuse not to make these raviolis.

The ravioli filling is a mixture of sautéed mushrooms, thyme, ricotta cheese, fontina cheese and parmesan cheese.  The filling is so simple but it really makes the earthiness of the mushrooms shine through.

The sauce is light (aka not full of cream) but still FULL of flavor.  The butter is browned before adding in some garlic and rosemary (is there any better smell?).  Then add in some chicken broth and/or some white wine plus salt and pepper and let it reduce.

The combination of the mushroom and cheese ravioli plus the rosemary butter sauce is magic.  We did not even miss the meat in this dinner.

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Oh, date night, you’re my favorite.

Pimento Cheese Ball + Sweet Potato Mezzaluna

Christmas week is here!  I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.

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Like  mentioned the only social plans we had this past weekend was Supper Club on Friday night.  We had a blast with our friends and enjoyed seeing everyone during this crazy time of year.

On Saturday evening, after getting a few things done around the house, it was time to simply relax and enjoy some Christmas music.  As an appetizer, we had a pimento cheese ball.  For some reason, the only time I really think about cheese balls is during Christmastime.  They’re such a retro appetizer, in my opinion.  This cheese ball was stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, some habanero Monterey Jack cheese, pickles (!!!!), garlic and of course, pimentos.  The entire cheese ball was rolled in roasted pecans which gave great texture and nuttiness.

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This is an awesome appetizer option for the coming weeks because you can totally make it in advance.

The real show stopper of the night was our dinner – homemade sweet potato mezzaluna with a garlic and sage cream sauce.  Honestly, it’s the best homemade pasta we’ve ever made.  We were still talking about it this morning.  The pasta is stuffed with a simple mixture of mashed sweet potatoes, Parmesan, rosemary and salt and pepper.  Once the pasta is cooked, it’s tossed in a rich and savory cream sauce that was loaded with flavor thanks to a head of roasted garlic, shallot and lots of fresh sage.  Incredible!

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The pasta was topped with toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

By far the best bite of the weekend!

I know everyone has a busy week ahead and I can’t wait to see my family in a matter of days.

6 days…

Greek Marinated Flank Steak + Hummus Platter

This is my new favorite plate of food.  So many flavors.  So many textures.

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We put together this plate last Saturday and every bite was epic.

On the platter:

Greek Marinated Flank Steak

Homemade Pita Bread

Roasted Red Peppers

Tzatziki

Garlic Hummus

Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad

I prepped a lot of the food the day before so it really came together fairly easy.  I prepped the salad the day before (added the feta the day of); I marinated the flank steak overnight (it uses the same dressing as the salad) and I made the tzatziki the day before (super easy – simply throw it all in the food processor and whirl).

The key to homemade hummus is tahini and peeling the chickpeas.  Yep, peeling the chickpeas.  If you follow me on SnapChat, you know this already.  It takes a little time, but it’s totally worth it.  I added a bunch of garlic to the hummus because I heart hummus.

The pita bread is a lot like making pizza dough.  The big difference is how you cook the pita.  The dough is split into smaller pieces and rolled as thin as possible.  Once you’re ready for the pita, heat up a cast iron skillet and cook until bubbly, flip and cook for about a minute and flip one more time until browned and crispy.

I am now obsessed with homemade pita bread.

I can’t even pick my favorite part of the plate – it was all amazing!!!!!

I’m looking forward to many more bites like these when we’re in Greece.

 

Roasted Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese and Herbs

First of all, I am 100% aware that most of you will never recreate this date night dinner at home.

BUT my hope is that perhaps we can make homemade pasta together sometime or you’ll come over and let me make it for you.

Consider that an open invitation.

Big Guy and I have had homemade pasta on the mind lately and when I saw this gorgeous roasted beet ravioli, I knew it was the one.  And too be completely honest, it wasn’t all that difficult though we did learn a few lessons.

The dough is a simple mix of flour, eggs, a little salt and beet puree (nothing fancy – just roasted beets whirled in the food processor).  Once the dough was made, Big Guy took over with rolling the pasta.

beetdough

The key to not having red hands at the end of it all is to wear gloves.

The ravioli were stuffed with a goat cheese mixture of whole milk ricotta, goat cheese, thyme, chives, garlic and a little salt.

The first two lessons:  roll the dough a little thinner and use more filling.  Next time we want our ratio of dough to filling to be more equal.

Once the ravioli are formed, all that need is a quick dip in the hot tub (boiling salted water) to cook.  Fresh, homemade pasta takes only a few minutes to cook.

After they were cooked through, the raviolis were topped with browned butter and more herbs.

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There is nothing better than a bowl of homemade pasta, stuffed with cheese and then drowned in brown butter.

Am I right, or am I right?

And while the process is a little time consuming, we love being in the kitchen together.  Especially sharing a bottle of wine and laughs.

But don’t think that the “homemade pasta” obsession is gone…we’re ready for our next pasta night in!

Cabernet Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta

Want to impress your husband?

Make short ribs.

Like tomorrow night.  Or the next.  Or Sunday.

It’s not super fussy but it’s super impressive in taste.

And your house will smell amazing.

So pour a glass of red, red wine and have a date night at home.

shortribs

And to be honest, you’ll love this dinner as much as your husband.

It’s rich and decadent and totally over the top.  But the gremolata on top adds a pop of freshness thanks to some raw garlic, chopped parsley and the zest of a lemon.

The grits are rich and creamy and I made them using a mix of milk and beef broth (instead of milk and water).  The small amount of parmesan stirred in at the end adds so much flavor.

They say a way to man’s heart is his stomach – and I totally agree.

Seared Flank Steak with Parmesan Polenta and Broccolini

Sorry about the disappearing act!  I totally checked out on Sunday (from my lap top, that is) and refused to let Monday ruin half of my weekend.  I sit here on Monday evening typing this up after a 10 plus hour work day and I can’t help but smile.  “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.”

So today I bring to you a recipe that’s fancy enough for a weekend and a good bottle of wine but also simple enough that it would make a great week night dinner, too.  The key is quality ingredients (I know, I can be a broken record sometimes).

The recipe is from Cooking Light, but I jazzed up the flank steak with a recipe in one of my cookbooks.  (seriously – one of my favorite cookbooks ever.)  I let the beef marinate overnight in a marinade made up of tamari (or soy sauce), rice wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, ginger and honey.  Once it was time for dinner, I let the steak come to room temperature (sit out for an hour or so) and then cooked it in a hot cast iron skillet for about 3 minutes on each side and allowed it to sit in the pan until it reached the desired temp (medium-rare).  Allow the beef to rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board before slicing.

With the beef, I served parmesan polenta (simply grits cooked in milk with parmesan and chives stirred in at the end) and sautéed broccolini that were finished with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

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And now I’m off to brainstorm my Super Bowl menu.  And yes, it’ll take all week to make those big decisions.

Lamb Kofta Lettuce Wraps

I love it when a recipe surprises me.  When I planned our Friday night dinner last week, I wasn’t expecting anything over-the-top.  But the end result was absolutely incredibly and quite possibly one of the best things we ate all weekend long.

I was also pleasantly surprised by a bottle of French wine that was really delicious.  I typically don’t love French wines but this wine (for the label click on over to yesterday’s post) paired perfectly with a low-key Friday night and even better with the lamb wraps.  

I sipped a glass of wine while we prepped food for the tailgate on Saturday.  Big Guy and I shared the rest of the bottle while sharing a platter of lettuce wraps.

lamb

I made a few changes to the recipe – but nothing too crazy.

Instead of using a mixture of lamb and sirloin – I used local lamb that came to us through SoCo Farm to Door delivery.  I also went a little heavy on the cinnamon and allspice because I love those flavors with lamb.  I also used an ounce of gluten-free bread crumbs to save me from having to pull out the food processor (trust me – there was enough going on in the kitchen).  I cooked my own rice but the addition of the olive oil and paprika was magical.  The rice was absolutely amazing – and rice isn’t something that typically impresses me.  And my favorite part of this meal – we were able to use home grown lettuce for the wraps.  The sauce is a mixture of 2% Greek Yogurt (so thick and creamy!), cucumber, red onion plus some salt and pepper.

These lettuce wraps were fantastic.  There was so much flavor in the lamb koftas (meatballs!).

Savory, a little sweet, tangy and herbaceous.

And perfect with a glass of red.