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June 30, 2011 • Comments (3)
My hand is all betta and I’m cooking & baking like crazy!

My hand is all better and I’m back to my old cooking and baking ways…Although it didn’t take long, it felt like an eternity.  Anyway, the second I healed, I started roasting chickens…

And simmering stews–then rolling out pasta– 

And filling the pasta with leftover stew!!! (Small pasta pockets called ” agnolotti.” Actually, these tiny ones are further refined with the name “agnolotti dal plin”–plin means “pinched”–for little pinched pockets of filled pasta.)

 

Filled with braised rabbit, vegetables and Parmesan…

 I also did this with sheets of spinach pasta—these are filled with a mixture of cheese and sauteed vegetables.

Then, last weekend, in celebration of Jen’s birthday …

I made my ice cream cake! (To see the video of me making this cake, click here).

Jen is my son Ben’s wonderful girlfriend and since her favorite is gnocchi, WE ALL made gnocchi together (me and the kids)–Although my husband Jon didn’t get his hands involved, he very happily ate! The detailed photos and instructions will all come to YOU in a separate gnocchi-lesson-blog  (coming…) But, just to get you in the mood…

 

I was also, of course, aching to bake! (Even after being SO exhausted from shooting my new baking TV series–It’s coming this fall!)

So, as soon as I was able, there I was, in the kitchen–working on these delish cinnamon buns so that I can teach YOU an easy way to make them first thing NEXT Christmas morning!)

I know, I know—you must be thinking “this girl is crazy–summer just started and she’s busy making holiday desserts!”

Yes, it does seem a bit strange—but this is what we do–those whose mission it is to teach! We spend the months when nobody is thinking of these things to create. That way, when holiday-time is here, we’re ready to help you to take care of  yourselves and those you love in a way that will make you proud.  

Here’s a linzertorte–before being dusted with powdered sugar (a holiday must!!) …I created this torte years ago for my brother Richard–On June 18 (in celebration of his birthday) I brought this (below) to him as one of his birthday presents.

Such tender nut-filled pastry, filled with raspberry jam. It’s a great edible gift because it’s easy to transport.

Since we were children, the smaller version (cookies called linzertarts) have always been Richard’s favorite….but they’re more delicate, thus harder to transport.

Here is what the cookie version looks like.

 

I made these (above) with strawberry jam because my kids aren’t crazy about raspberry–See, that’s the beauty of home cooking–things are custom made to make “individual” people happy!

Yesterday, I cradled one in a napkin and gave it to a neighbor (Bruce) who stopped by with two huge Great Danes (Val and Leo–who happen to be my dog Mango’s best friends). You should have seen him (Bruce)–walking down the street–attempting to hold two leashes that were attached to two dinosaurs–He was determined to eat this huge cookie while walking. I was watching him walk down the street… it was SO FUNNY!

Also yesterday,  my computer consultant was here (also named Bruce) and his mom just passed. I gave him one of these giant cookies–which seemed to make him feel a bit happier internally–which made me feel happy, too!

And here’s is my kid’s favorite bread (absolute favorite)….made this past weekend.

 

My “no-knead” bread, with sauteed onions and olives. It’s baked in a cast iron pot (in a very hot oven) and cradled in parchment.

Below is a simlar loaf  made without the onions and olives–and the liquid component (in the bread below) is all beer (that’s right…beer).

I just wanted to connect and to say a BIG “thank you” to all of those that were worried about me and my hand after my little mishap while making corn fritters…The burn is all better and, as the photos convey–I’m just fine and dandy!!

Love, Laur…

3 Comments »

  1. I must say Lauren, your cooking skills are amazing. Every one of those photos made my mouth water! Do you cook much Indian food? Also, do you have the recipe for the nut filled pastry?

    Comment by Dubstep Samples — August 15, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

  2. Your cooking skills are amazing and inspiring! How do you do your spinach pasta filled with cheese and sauteed veggies? I’m always looking for new ways to fix and serve veggies.

    Comment by Annette — October 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

  3. Oh, thanks so much, Annette! The pasta recipe is one that is coming in a blog very soon…essentially, though, I take any chilled leftover stew–and remove all the bones from any meats–(or take cooked vegetables) and then chop very fine (close to a puree) in the food processor (stewed foods would also have the surrounding sauce and cooked vegetables added). I add some best quality parmesan and, if using cooked vegetables alone, I would add some ricotta and parmesan. Then I fill a pastry bag with the filling (with a tip that’s between 1/3 and 1/2 inch wide). I roll my pasta strips (only roll dough for one strip at a time so that the rest doesn’t get brittle before you need to work with it. Roll the pasta strip– and lay it out on a table. I pipe the filling down the length of the strip (going just up 1/2 inch from the bottom edge (that’s closest to me) and I roll the bottom dough up over the filling and pinch to seal (at the top. Then, i use my index fingers and thumbs(on each hand) to press down from the top and up from the bottom, at 1/2 inch to 1 inch intervals–creating small pockets of filled pasta. Then I use a fluted wheel to cut off the strip (just above the pockets–which will leave the rest of the strip of pasta to be filled in the same way)…Then i use the wheel to cut in between each pocket– releasing little pillows. (I learned to do this in a recent trip to northern Italy–and It’s a very visual process, when trying to explain–I will do a step-by-step blog soon, since I do think that will help to instruct you in the best way for your success. I will also include in that blog, the recipe for my spinach pasta dough–which is also in my first cookbook. Thanks for writing–sorry if this explanation seems confusing–it’s almost midnight here and I just got off a plane!!

    Comment by Lauren — October 31, 2011 @ 3:24 am

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