Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spinach Ricotta Pansottis

I will share a secret with you; I absolutely love pasta.  Actually, this might not really be such a big secret. The evidence: I think the Atkins diet is a travesty.  My best-loved restaurants are Italian.  At any given time my pantry contains pastas of various shapes and sizes, and in the past I used to keep jars and jars of pasta sauce on hand.  I enjoyed everything from roasted garlic to arrabiata to kalamata olive and onion, my selection knew no bounds.  Now, I only keep fresh or frozen stocks of my favorite homemade sauce based on an absolutely mouthwatering family recipe.  Really, you would want to eat this sauce with a spoon, it is that good.  In any case, this love of pasta goodness had me eating the stuff at least 2-3 times a week for a while. 

Over time, my proficiency in the kitchen expanded, as did my tastebuds.  I allowed more time for cooking at home, and created a larger variety of more exotic dishes.  Consequently, my nights of pedestrian carbohydrate consumption dwindled drastically and I began to appreciate the finer aspects of quality Italian food.  Around this time, I traveled to Italy where I feasted on freshly prepared pasta.  Ah… a culinary revelation! Although I am not an Italian grandmother, I obviously needed to attempt to prepare this deliciousness at home.  I sensed a pasta maker in my future… 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Island Mango Muffins

Now for my first recipe, you might be thinking, why Island Mango Muffins? Yes, I am aware it is the middle of winter, and no, I have not been secretly sneaking away to a tropical hideaway. However, my boss just returned from a 3-week vacation to Guam and I was eagerly anticipating the island-style treats he would bring back for us to enjoy. In my head I was imagining Mauna Loa and Hawaiian Host macadamia nut chocolates, mango-flavored candies and other exotic delicacies. Unfortunately, although he was generous with goodies, there was only some chocolate sorely lacking any taste and none of the macadamia nuts I had been craving. What was a girl to do? To satisfy my craving I invented these muffins.