Monday, May 10, 2010

Ravioli & Running Away

RECIPES: Here's a keeper. I love homemade/handmade real fresh Ravioli. This is an entirely different experience than the canned stuff we sometimes ate as kids. Pictured is a plate of assembled but uncooked raviolis, a bowl of the spinach & parmesan filling, and Jeff's quick hands preparing another strip of pasta dough for assembling. Thanks for making this, Jeff! (It was my Mother's Day request for dinner). Beware: the only problem with this is it is pretty time intensive.

Ravioli Dough:

4 C. flour (semolina is great, bread flour is good, AP flour is fine)

4 Eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

Just enough water to make a firm dough (about 3/4 cup).

Combine above to form a ball (we use the food processor, stopping when it just begins to come together). Let chill an hour or more in fridge if you have the time. If you have a pasta roller, use that to begin to flatten out dough (this is not shaping the dough, it is kneading it). Otherwise, put on a muscle shirt, use the heaviest rolling pin you have, put on a good show to watch, and spend the next 20 minutes or so trying to flatten the dough. Hard work, but worth it.

Roll until the doug is about 1/8" thick. Make long strips about 3' long, 6" wide. LIGHTLY mark the center lengthwise w/a knife but don't cut (this will be where you fold the stip in half). Place a spoonful of filling (see recipe below) every 3" lengthwise, then cut dough cross-wise between each spoonful (so you now have rectangles with filling on one side). Moisten the edge of each rectangle with a little water, fold empty half over the filled half, pinch dough together around edges, then crimp with a fork. You want the dough to be sealed tightly so filling doesn't seep out in the water.


Blend or mix the following:

1 box frozen chopped spinach (or freshly cooked and squeezed dry spinach - about 3 cups, I guess).

1 egg

1 C. parmesan cheese (the long, flakey real stuff is best, but powdered works fine, too).

Bring a large pasta pot of salted water to boil. Boil in batches (don't crowd the ravioli) for 15-20 minutes, depending on how firm you want the ravioli. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. Serve with red pasta sauce (marinara - yummy).

It is DELICIOUS! But it takes time, and serves 4-6 people. Any dough left over (if you run out of filling) can be cut and shaped into pasta noodles (we like Farfalle/bowtie shapes), and boiled in the salted water.

Running: I escaped my dungeon run and fled up the hill at 5:30am for a marvelous outside run. I was thrilled that the weather was mild, the birds were singing, the sun was rising, and the wind was still. It was wonderful to be out when the world was waking, and to run into (ha-ha) friends who were also out. The marathon is on Saturday so this is my tapered week. According to my schedule, this should have been a 3 mile run, but I couldn't stop and did 5 1/2. And I don't regret it. Then I came home for some core work and a few more fake pull-ups. I think I'm getting stronger. Maybe. Maybe not.

Reading: I had some really great insights as I listened to the Book of Mormon on my run (with the sound turned down enough that I could still hear birds and oncoming cars in the background). Very touching, eye-opening experiences. But unfortunately they were at 5:30 am and it is now 9:30 pm and I can't remember a single thing. I did carry the feeling with me, though, so perhaps that counts for something? And I'm almost done with "A Mercy." I don't want to be done, though. This always happens when I read a good book - I get near the end and I just want to s-l-o-w way down, maybe even start over, just so it won't end just yet. But the end is imminent, so I'm now looking for my next book. I feel like this should be done sneakily, though. I don't want "A Mercy" to feel like I've already buried and replaced it before I'm even done... :)

Ruminations and Relations: Do I dare say this? For a little while this evening I just wanted to run away (thus this picture of me running away) and not be a mom for a while - like, an hour or so. The kids had been great all day, but the 5 o'clock witching hour was especially vicious tonight, and nobody was being nice to anybody, and I had spent way too much time trying to put together dinner, was sick of cooking (really, I started cooking dinner at 1pm and finished at 5:30pm). I spent all morning (well, at least two hours) doing laundry - playing catch-up from the days I skipped last week. The house was untidy so that took all my other free time, and all plans of just playing with the kids blew out the window with the annoying Rexburg wind. Not the greatest of days (except my morning run).

Some days are like that.

Lessons I learned? It doesn't save time to make homemade hamburger buns instead of going to the store. Sure, they taste great (recipe will be posted another day). But was it worth it? Nope. Not today anyway. And husking corn with kids is messy, even when done outside. Was that worth it? Well, yes, I guess so. Hmm, other lessons... oh - don't let Charlotte get her hands on the watermelon - she won't eat anything else on her plate. Also, tapioca pudding is fabulous (I LOVE it warm), but it's one more thing that takes up time. And finally, next time remember to put the egg in the hamburger bun dough. Life would be a lot less complicated if I didn't like cooking. Well, today I DON'T like cooking.

Being the happy gal I was today, I even chewed out my brothers for something they might do but haven't yet done! I gave them a hearty lecture about not over-eating this week in preparation for the marathon on Saturday (some people approach an upcoming race with the idea that now is the time to splurge - it isn't. You do need good glycogen fuels for your muscle, but beyond that, you don't need extra food to be stored as fat unless you want a sluggish race). As if they aren't grown men and can't decide what to eat! I very sheepishly apologized a few hours after the first email. They were gracious. I guess they're used to me. Poor guys.

Jeff thinks training makes me grouchy. It doesn't. It makes me happy and I feel fulfilled and I love the gratification of running well. The high sticks with me all day - except when quashed by naughty kids when I'm (still) in the kitchen and (still) trying to make dinner. Sometimes I just want out of the kitchen, and out of the house. Lovely as it is, it can be confining. To illustrate: we actually had sunshine today. I could NOT stay inside this morning. I was thirsty for sunlight. So I set out a large blanket on the driveway, handed the girls their sidewalk chalks, and proceeded to fold four laundry baskets full of clothes (I told you I'd put it off) while the girls drew flowers, ladybugs and rainbows. And caught bugs for the bug house. I hoped people driving by would be too busy to notice a crazy lady folding clothes on her driveway. I did try to be discreet...

Don't you think it's healthy to have a good, grouchy day once in a while? (Please say yes!) Maybe it's the spill-over of Mother's Day and all the guilt accompanying the nice sentiments... Or maybe I just need a cookie, a hot bath and a good sleep.


  1. I have been writing a blog post in my head about "running away." I am a runner- not like you are a runner, but every once in a while I have this strong desire to run away. Sometimes I want to take my family with me, and sometimes I want to get in the car, all by myself and hit the highway. I know it will never happen, but I think about it every so often. I've always been that way. So I get it. I totally get it. And by the way, in reference to your previous post, my kids love Hawaiian Haystacks too! They are in dinner rotation every couple weeks!

  2. I have to admit I feel like I'm betraying my family when I say I need a break. But a happy mom is a happy family, and so it's worth it (if, indeed, a break ever does happen to happen...) :)