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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Making My Own Pasta

Imperia Ravioli Maker - 36 At a Time - Made in ItalyLast year for my birthday my sister sent me a ravioli mold to make home made pasta.

I think tonight's the night, where I will take the plunge and try my hand at it. I still have to decide on what kind of filling I would like. I've been thinking about "Salmon/Ricotta" and then serve that with a lemon butter sauce? Sounds good doesn't it? I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm also going to try and make edible salad cups out of parmesan cheese this week. Hopefully I'll get a good step by step guide together.

Check back soon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Semi-Homemade Chocolate-Banana Cake

Let me start by saying that I always have good an healthy intentions when I buy bananas. I love to eat them, but I'm a bit picky and as soon as they start getting brown spots, I'm not into it anymore. I hate throwing stuff out so making a quick and easy cake came to mind.

I didn't have much time and had been working at the stable all day, so I went for a Betty Crocker cake mix. I usually make my cakes from scratch but if it has to be quick with not much effort, one should always have some cake mixes at home, as you can always dress them up by adding your own twist to it. So I did just that!

I added the following:

1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/2 cup almonds (chopped)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2.5 mashed bananas

Prepare your cake mix just like it's written on the box, then mix in your additional ingredients so they are well incorporated in the batter.

Pour in a prepared cake pan and bake in accordance with the box, the cake might need an additional 5 minutes, because with the mashed bananas we're adding additional moisture. At the end of the baking time, test doneness with a wooden skewer, if it comes out nice an clean, without any batter sticking to it, the cake is done.

Remove cake from the oven, and turn upside down on cooling rack. Once cool, decorate any way you like.

There you go... easy and quick Chocolate Banana Cake, all you are missing is a nice cup of coffee!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jamaican Jerk Burgers with fried Plantains

As I said before my mom brought me an oldfashioned meat grinder from Austria and I just had to try it out. I got a nice beef tenderloin from Costco and it had to be trimmed and cut in portions anyway, so I used some of it (some trimmings and the pieces to small to keep as steak)  to try out my new toy and ground it.

I like to play with different flavor combinations and thought why not use the traditional Jamaican Jerk flavor for a nice and juicy burger. So off I went on my search on which spices to use for the Jerk seasoning. I found a couple of variations online and took it from there, but every recipe had Allspice as the main ingredient for Jamaican Jerk seasoning.

You'll need the following spices for the Jamaican Jerk mix:

This obviously makes more than you need for the burgers, so just keep the rest for later use.

So now here are the other ingredients you need for the burgers:

1 hand full chopped parsley
1/2 medium size onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (unseasoned)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Worcstershire Sauce

In a large bowl mix the ground beef with all the ingredients and two tablespoons of the Jamaican Jerk mixture so the spices, onion, breadcrumbs and egg is nicely incorporated in the meat. Divide into four large burger patties.

Preheat your grill so it's nice and hot, grill the patties about 4 minutes on each side (depends on how you like your burgers). Don't press down on the patties, it makes them dry as the juices will come out. Then serve on a nice slice of toasted fresh bread, some fried plantains and a side salad.

Bon Appetit!

Barbecue Burger on Foodista

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oven baked Salmon, easy and delicious

Yesterday evening I wanted to keep our dinner light and easy. This recipe is just what the doctor ordered. It is so super easy, everyone even the most cooking challenged can do this.

You need the following (two portions):

1 lb salmon fillet
1 medium onion (cut in rings)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
handfull of chopped parsley
salt & pepper
Olive oil
soy sauce

baking dish
aluminum foil

Start off, peeling and then slicing your onion
then finely chop garlic and gather all your other ingredients

There, the chopping and preparing is done already. Now just line your baking dish with aluminum foil (use enough foil so you can make a tent over your fish).

Lightly sprinkle the baking dish with some olive oil, then layer in about half of the onion and the garlic. Lay the salmon on top, season with salt and pepper, then top it with the remaining onions, garlic and the chopped parsley, sprinkle on some more olive oil and a couple splashes of soy sauce. Close the foil over the fish and bake in a preheated (400 F) oven for about 20 minutes, depending on how thick your fish is.

Serve with a fresh salad and some rice! There you go, a easy, healthy dinner everyone can make.

Bon Appetit!

Baked Salmon on Foodista

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mutu's Italian Kitchen, Durango, Co

Mutu's Italian Kitchen is the 3rd restaurant we went to during our stay in Durango. My friend Ulani had recommended it to me and as I LOVE Italian Food, I convinced my mum and her husband to go there. Oh what a good choice that was.

The restaurant interior is greatly designed, airy and warm, which creates a super nice atmosphere. Live Jazz was being played in the bar area, but it wasn't too loud so you could carry a nice conversation in the dining room.

Mutu's has a great menu, but it's not too big so you have a good choice of items and you're not being overwhelmed by having to choose from a menu the size of the latest Steven King novel.

To my delight Mutu's had "Beef Carpaccio" on the appetizer menu and I just had to have it. It's been a while since I had that dish and I just haven't found great Carpaccio in LA. Let me tell you it was delicious, perfectly sliced and arranged on a beautiful plate, it came with nicely shaved Parmesan, Arugula and Capers, as well as some nicely toasted fresh Italian bread. YUMMY! I couldn't have asked for more.

As my main course I ordered the Lobster and Crab Ravioli with Lemon Butter Sauce..... DELISH! I should have taken pictures! The plate was super pretty to look at and it just tasted DIVINE!

I had a nice glass of "Gewuerztraminer" with it, just cause I love sweet and fruity wine and for dessert we ordered the home made Vanilla Ice Cream! Oh man, I didn't think you could make something usually boring like Vanilla Ice Cream that good.

If I ever go back to Durango, I'll definately pencil in a visit to Mutu's!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Annual Easter Get Away, this year Durango Colorado

Every year around Easter time, I get a little get away at the courtesy of my Mom Chris and her generous husband Stefan. They spend some time in Moab, UT each year for Jeep Week and I get to either join them for a few days there or, like this year, we're going somewhere else to explore different things.

The choice this year was Durango, CO after we had to abandon the idea of going to Yellowstone, as the park is pretty much closed from mid March to the end of April for repairs and to prepare it for the summer season. So we were looking at other places to go and someone told us to check out Durango, a beautiful old school Western Town up in the Rockies. What a good choice! The town is very pretty, hospitable, the people are friendly and the restaurants were EXCELLENT. For a town that small, the culinary offerings are spectacular.

I'm going to tell you about all the places we ate and what I liked most about each restaurant. There were so many to chose from. So many were highly recommended but we only had 4 nights for dinner so we had to chose a few.

Ken & Sue's, Mutu's, Francisco's and Serious Texas BBQ were our choices. All great, all different and all being reviewed a bit in the following posts.

Oh don't let me forget, my mom brought me an old school meat grinder, so I think I'm soon gonna try what I can do with that toy.

We did different things each day and as soon as I have all my pictures downloaded and caught up on my sleep, I don't do so good after only a few hours and a plain ride. I'll get back to this blog and let you all in on my Easter Trip to Durango.