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Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

We tend to make a lot of pizza at home. We make our dough using a Jim Lahey no-knead recipe and cooking method.  We typically cook our pizza under broiler for about 5 minutes.  On Joel's birthday, we had a few friends over and everybody made their own pizzas.  After about 8 pizzas, it must have been too hot because our pizza stone cracked! It was about time for a new one anyway, because the old one was getting kind of grungy looking. A cute little kitchen boutique opened up around the corner from us, and while we were browsing one day, we came across a nice new Emile Henry pizza stone, which we ended up buying in red. We tried it out with this recipe from Cate's World Kitchen. We had some goat cheese in the fridge, and we always have onions, so it was a perfect recipe. How delicious!

1 recipe Pizza Dough
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
4 ounces Goat Cheese
1 Egg Yolk
A few sprigs Fresh Thyme (I used dried)

In a wide skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Add a few pinches of salt, stir well, and set aside. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, goat cheese, and egg yolk until smooth. Divide your dough into 2 8-inch pizzas. Spread the cheese mixture over the dough. Top with caramelized onions.  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 500 degrees until the crust is slightly golden OR under the broiler for 5 minutes, watching carefully. Sprinkle the top with some thyme and allow the pizza to cool before serving.


Homemade Mushroom, Spinach, and Ricotta Ravioli with Rosemary Olive Oil

Ravioli is something that I have been wanting to make for a while now.  I've seen cheater style homemade ravioli that use egg roll shells as the dough, and I just assumed I would do that and call it a day.  But then, I found this recipe on Cheeky Kitchen, and it just seemed way too easy not to make!  I whipped these up on a Wednesday night and it was such a great dinner.  Now that I have seen how easy these were, I plan to make a double or triple batch a weekend sometime soon, and put them in freezer bags for quick weeknight meals!

For the Dough:
3 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs.  Then, stir in the flour and salt.  Add water as needed, until a soft dough is formed.  *Be careful not to add too much water here.  I did at first, and I had to start over! Knead the dough several times, then separate it into two large pieces.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough into a very thin rectangle.  Spoon your filling by the teaspoonful at 1 1/2 inch intervals on top of the piece of rolled out dough.  Moisten your fingers with a little bit of water and wet the dough slightly around the circle of filling, to help the dough stick together when you top it.  Take the second piece of dough, roll it out into another very thin rectangle and carefully drape it over the top of the filling.  Slice the dough into individual raviolis, securing the edges with a gentle press.  At this step, the ravioli can be frozen or cooked immediately.  To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Gently slide the ravioli one by one into the boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes.  Serve immediately with your favorite topping.

For the Filling:
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 package (8 ounces) Mushrooms, finely chopped
1 package (6 ounces) Baby Spinach, finely chopped
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Ground Pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic for about one minute.  Add the mushrooms and spinach, and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the ricotta, parmesan, salt, and pepper.  Spoon into the ravioli as a filling.

For the Rosemary Olive Oil:
2-3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, torn into pieces (I used a few pinches of dried)
3-5 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup Olive Oil

Place the rosemary, garlic, and pepper flakes in a bowl. Pour the oil over the herbs and spices. Set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Drizzle over freshly cooked ravioli in place of sauce.


Roasted Cauliflower Risotto

Risotto is something we love to make during the colder months. It is such hearty and warming dish. I saw this version of a risotto recipe from Pink Parsley a while back and was intrigued by the simple ingredients.  I do enjoy cauliflower very much, but when I showed Joel the recipe, he wasn't too sure because he didn't think that cauliflower had that much flavor. I still went ahead and made the recipe, because anything I've made from Josie's blog in the past has been very good, so I knew this would be too. Sure enough, it was. Joel took his first bite and was amazed by how flavorful it was. I can see this being a variety we make often this coming winter!

1 head Cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
Olive Oil
6 cups Vegetable Broth
1 tablespoon Butter
1 Shallot, minced (I just used half of a small red onion)
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper
1 cup Arborio Rice
1 cup Dry White Wine
1 teaspoon Thyme Leaves, minced (I used dried)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Toss half of the cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the cauliflower on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through, turning once.  Steam the remaining cauliflower, then puree it in a food processor until smooth. Season with sat and pepper, and thin with about 2 tablespoons of broth; set aside.  Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottomed skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, reduce heat to medium, and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice, and stir constantly, until they are opaque around the edges, 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it is mostly evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the broth into the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until most of the broth has been absorbed.  Repeat with the remaining broth, adding it 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the rice is tender but still al dente and the sauce is creamy, about 20 minutes.  Add the cauliflower puree, thyme, and parmesan and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Divide between plates, top with roasted cauliflower, and sprinkle with additional parmesan. Serve immediately.


Cranberry Cornbread

Last weekend, I felt the urge to bake...surprise, surprise! I had some cranberries in the freezer leftover from our holiday salad, so I thought of things I could do to use them up. I can't remember how, but I ended up on I Will Not Eat Oysters, and decided to adapt this recipe to suit my needs. Paired with a big mug of tea, it was a delicious way to start the day. With the rest of our beautiful Saturday, we took a trip to walk around the shops of a nearby village. I got my first candy cane of the season from a Santa who was walking out of a pet store!

5 tablespoons Butter, melted
2 Eggs
1 cup Buttermilk
1 1/3 cup Cornmeal
2/3 cup Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cup Cranberries

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, and buttermilk until well combined.  In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix until it looks uniform. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon. Add in the cranberries and gently mix them into the batter. Lightly grease a 8x8 inch square pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. Let the bread cool for about 15 minutes before serving.


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