Monday Inspiration

Here’s what’s inspiring me/getting me through this week.

Clockwise:
Chicago in Winter – I can’t wait to be there in 3 months (from Pinterest), I know this is old but Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Album The Heist, Edgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock at the Door; short and sweet stories, this amazing scarf from Athena Procopiou

Green Pea Pesto Ravioli

Writing one of these blog situations is hard, because obviously on one hand, you want people to read them; but at the same time you kinda definitely don’t want your friends to read because it’s embarrassing/strange for the to read all of this stuff. Awkies. The best way is to pretend all of your readers will never ever meet you.

This ravioli is something I actually made ages ago, but never got around to posting. But now I have no times to cook delicious things and too much homework, so out come the lost-in-time recipes. And actually it’s been warm recently and this is super fresh and lemony. The warmth has also led me to believe that I should be spending all day in a beer garden, but I can’t do that either. Sad times.

If you like cheese and lemon this is the recipe for you. If you don’t like peas, well, I’m not sure we can be friends. This is total week night dinner, made to be eaten hanging out with your boy/girl/dog/imaginary friend Troy.

Granted folding up the ravioli takes time, but it’s time that can be spent also discussing life and painting your nails; actually you can’t paint your nails. Bummer.

I stole this from Joy the Baker.

1 package prepared wonton wrappers

1 16-ounce bag frozen peas, blanched until just cooked through

1-2 small cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons diced shallots

1 tablespoon lemon zest

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/3 cup bread crumbs ( just toast some bread and crumble it up)

1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add a bit of salt.  Boil the frozen peas for about 3 minutes, until just warmed through.  Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, combine, peas, garlic, shallots, lemon zest and juice, parsley, bread crumbs, and cheese.  If your food processor is small, you may need to do this in two batches.  That’s fine too.  Pulse until peas are broken down and the mixture is well incorporated.  With food processor on, drizzle in the olive oil until you have a thick and glossy pesto.  Remove from food processor and place in a bowl.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the ravioli you’ll need the wonton wrappers, a bowl of the pesto, a small spoon, a small bowl of water, and a bit of time.

Place a square in front of you so that it shapes a diamond.  Place a generous teaspoon of pea pesto on the bottom half of the diamond.

Dip your finger in water.  Run your wet finger along one bottom edge of the diamond and the other.  You’re moistening two edges so they act as glue when the ravioli gets folded over.

Fold the top half of the diamond over the pesto dollop.   Use your fingers to press the triangle edges together.  Make sure that the triangle is not filled with air, and well sealed at the edges.

Grab the two farthest points and bring them together in the center.  Use just a bit of water to seal the two points together.

Set ravioli in a single layer on a plate.  Marvel at your work as your ravioli numbers increase.

Ravioli can be cooked immediately in boiling, salted water, for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.  Drain and serve with spicy tomato sauce and more cheese.

Ravioli can also be placed in the freezer, in a single layer until frozen.  Once frozen, they can be sealed well in a plastic bag until ready to cook and serve.  Cook in boiling, salted water for about 7-9 minutes, or until warmed through.

*ps how good is spell check? Apparently Wonton is not a word. Go Spell check!

Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread

Fears are irrational but phobias are disabling, that’s one of the tabs I have open right now. Phobias suck. You know what doesn’t suck, summer and friends. But what does suck is having a preoccupied mind, it makes it hard to be hilarious… which I totally am. Usually.

This bread is amazing, the smells while it’s baking are amazing, the way it tastes is amazing. Maybe we just agree to call it amazing bread. You have to enjoy it with your favourite people that’s a must.

I didn’t have time to take photos of the process but when I make it again i’ll add the photos to this post.

Also coming up this week is two birthday cakes, crazy town.

Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread adapted from Joy the Baker

2 packages (about 5 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (about 50 degrees C)

3 cups of flour, divided into 1 cup increments

3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup thinly sliced strawberries

coarse sea salt for topping

feta for topping, feta is origin controlled, I used Dodoni, real Greek feta.

good quality balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

1 tablespoon fresh mint, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.  Stir to dissolve.  I use a fork so I can mash and stir any yeast clumps.  Add the flour and blend together until smooth.  Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

After the mixture has risen, remove the covering and stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sugar, and orange zest.  Add one cup of flour and stir to blend.  Add the remaining cup of flour and salt and work together into a dough.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  If the dough is too sticky, add up to 1/3 cup more flour and knead.  Dough will be slightly sticky, and that’s alright.

Clean out the large bowl and coat with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Place dough in the bowl, and flip it over so that it’s entirely coated in oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and knead for just a minute, before pulling and stretching the dough into a flat shape.  I used a rolling pin to help me to this.  Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise for 30 minutes.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 190 degrees C.

When dough has risen, use your fingers to make random indentations in the puffed dough.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Top with sliced strawberries, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Bake bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden, crisp and baked through.  I rotated the pan once, halfway through baking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove from the baking pan, slice into squares with a pizza cutter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, feta, and fresh mint.

Serve.

This bread is best served within 2 days of baking.

Pancakes with Sour Berry Sauce

Summer is hard, you know. You have to deal with that whole, I woke up too late and now I don’t know what meal I’m supposed to eat. And like you’re starving! This is most definitely one of those ‘first-world problems’, but hey it’s still a problem.

These pancakes may not be the solution, but they are a tasty way to avert your thoughts until anything starring Michael J Fox is on tv.

Also they are super-duper easy and the sauce you can make in minutes. You can also add pretty much anything you want and then tell people it’s your sauce. They will think you are a god. Maybe.

Easy Pancakes

188 grams of flour

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

300 ml of milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add the milk (you may need slightly more if it looks too dry/lumpy at the end)

Mix in the milk and add the eggs, vanilla and oil, beat until combined but with a few lumps still visible.

Heat up a pan on a medium heat, if it is non stick add some butter or oil to grease.

As you cook the pan will obviously get hotter and may start to burn the pancakes, metal retains heat well so just take the pan off the heat and continue cooking until it has cooled down again. With your now mad pancake skillz this should be easy.

Simple Sour Berry Sauce

2 handfuls of frozen berries (if using fresh add a tablespoon of water for every handful)

1 lemon

2 tablespoons of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Paste / 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Heat a saucepan on a medium heat.

Add berries (and water if using fresh berries), I used a handful of raspberries and a handful of blueberries, you can use whatever you like.

Add the juice of the lemon, and simmer the sauce until berries soften.

Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla and simmer.

Taste and add more sugar/water/vanilla as you please until sauce is to your liking, heck even add more lemon.

If you want to get rid of the seeds just pass through a metal sieve for a clearer sauce, making sure to press out all the juices.

You cannot mess up the sauce its super simple! Make it your own, grate the zest in for an extra kick, add some cinnamon, fresh apples, whatever takes your fancy!

Salted Chocolate Cookies

I have a confession, that will probably make you doubt whether I even bake any of this stuff. It’s something my friends constantly question me on.

The thing is: I don’t like sweet things all that much (aside from jelly and ice cream, both of which I could eat until the cows come home). But that is exactly why these cookies are amazing!

They aren’t too sweet, which means you can pair them with super sweet things, or just eat them on their own and enjoy the lack of sweetness. They are adult cookies, like the Champagne of the biscuit world.

Also these are the first recipe that I’ve blogged about from Joy the Baker, which is a blog you should check it, it’s pretty awesome. She lives in California which seems to have a perpetual summer filled with strawberries, cocktails and barbecues. Although I thought the same about Australia. How wrong I was.

Adapted from Joy the Baker

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or scraped vanilla beans from 1/8 vanilla pod
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons semi sweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • coarse sea salt
  1. Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Mix in egg yolk and vanilla bean or extract. Gradually add flour mixture; mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  2. Add cocoa powder and chopped chocolate to remaining dough; mix on low-speed until well combined. Turn out chocolate dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a 10-inch log, about 1-inch wide and 1/2-inch tall.  Wrap the rectangle in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Cut log into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If dough becomes too soft to slice cleanly, return to freezer until firm.  Sprinkle course sea salt onto the chocolate cookies.  Press in lightly with fingertips.
  4. Bake until firm to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

 

Summer living

Ahh today was pretty hot here in Adelaide.

Between the lack of summer clothes and far too much procrastination I have totally been designing my entire wardrobe/life for summer. For some reason it’s neutrals and pinks with splashes of glitter thrown in.

1. Bourjois – 10 Days Nail Enamel in French Manicure

2. Martha Stewart – Glitter in .2mm Sterling (for glittery nails!)

3. T2  – White Xmas (totes for iced tea)

4. Reed Krakoff – Boxer 1 leather and shearling tote (Wish list)

5. Lobo Cider – Apple cider (Local Apples from the Adelaide Hills and the best cider I have ever had, check it out here)

6. Zara – Sequinned Miniskirt

Hello Summer!

There definitely needs to be another one in regards to festivals though.