Premeditated Pasta

Ravioli with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

The other day I was craving ravioli.  Toothy, substantial ravioli.

Out came the rolling pin, flour, olive oil, eggs, and salt.  The camera?  I glanced at it from across the kitchen counter but didn’t feel compelled to record a step-by-step.  When my hands are communing with the most basic of ingredients, it borders on spiritual.  (And if you hadn’t already gathered, my lil’ ol’ blog ain’t Martha Stewart, but I’ll give you some good ideas.)

Earlier, I roasted a small stash of veggies.  When I pulled them from the oven, their heat-altered beauty was breathtaking.  Garlic glowing like topaz.  Cherry tomatoes with garden-fresh goodness in every wrinkle.  Mushrooms in hues echoing their earthy origins.

Out came a Chianti bottle and a rustic-looking bowl.

(That’s about as Italian as my props get.)

As I snapped away, a rapturous aroma propelled my menu “plan” in ten different directions.  To chop or not to chop?  (Apologies to Shakespeare…)  Tomato sauce or filling?  Garlic-y Alfredo sauce?  Mushroom and tomato sauce?

The plus side of photographing dinner-in-progress is that it generates more ideas, which intoxicate me as much as aromas.

Maybe even more.

Ravioli art

Pasta Its Whats For Dinner

Once everything cooled down (including my inflammatory food imagination), I opted to make the filling out of freshly-made ricotta (another near-spiritual experience without photographic evidence), basil, oregano, half the garlic, an egg, a good amount of grated Parmesan, and one mushroom slice per pasta packet.

By the way, ravioli “rectangles” taste just as good as square ones.

As for the cherry tomatoes, I tossed ’em on top.  (Cherry tomatoes — self-explanatory.)  After a drizzle of olive oil, some additional Parmesan, and a grind of the peppermill, dinner was served.

Well… photographed (quickly) and served.

I don’t mind taking pictures as long as dinner’s still hot when I eat it.

Has food photography changed the way you cook — or eat?

Enjoying premeditated pasta,

~ Kimby

In The Middle Of Things (Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches)

It’s not unusual to find me in the middle of things; I’ve been that way my entire life.  But as time marches on, some things become more important than others.

Recently, I began feeling the pull of my multi-faceted interests — a battle between the “want-to’s” and the “have-to’s” — and frankly, the have-to’s were winning.  Time to regroup.

After some serious soul searching (and budget crunching), my heart decided I needed to be HOME to make the best use of my God-given talents.  The Man Of Few Words agreed, I gave notice at work, and the transition began.  And guess what?

I’m still in the middle of things!

(Somehow I suspect I always will be, but the want-to’s and have-to’s are only a month or so away from marching together — from home, sweet home.  Hooray!)

The occasion called for something capricious to celebrate dreams in the making… homemade ice cream!  The only problem was… we don’t have an ice cream maker.

Not one to be daunted by minor details, I set out to make Isabelle At Home‘s luscious ricotta ice cream.  (Thanks, Isabelle!)  Technical difficulties aside, I plunked the mixture into a Ziploc-bag, threw it in the freezer, and smooshed it by hand every 30 minutes until it was “ice cream-y” consistency. (Bear in mind, I left out the chocolate chips… between smooshing I made cookies.) :)

Although the resulting “ice cream” tasted wonderful, it was a tad unscoop-able (due to the lack of churning.)  I pondered the dilemma with a cookie in hand.  Hmmm…

Why not make ice cream sandwiches?!

After softening the ice cream a bit, I spooned it onto sheets of plastic wrap, rolled them into tidy rolls (ala the compound butter maneuver), and threw them back in the freezer.  Then the process began…

Slice… slide… SAMMICH!

There are some merits to being in the middle of things.

Enjoying sweet victory,

~ Kim