What’s Cookin’ in the Country?

Tomato Ravioli
(Cooking Light’s picture)

I love it when I can find a dish that would normally be a pretty high fat/calorie dish and it’s reduced on Cooking Light’s site!  I stumbled across a Tomato Cheese Ravioli dish last week that was so fresh tasting and yet still had all the “yummyness” of cheese and pasta that we all love.  

The recipe was super easy to put together.  


Cheese Ravioli with Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 pound cherry tomatoes
2 shallots, cut into wedges
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces cheese ravioli

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Halve half of tomatoes. Arrange cut tomatoes, whole tomatoes, and shallots on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; toss.
Bake at 425° for 35 minutes.
3. Add 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to pan. Bake 10 minutes.
4. Cook ravioli according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain ravioli, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add ravioli to tomatoes; toss. Add cooking liquid, if needed. Garnish with chopped basil.Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; toss. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes.
3. Add 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to pan. Bake 10 minutes.
4. Cook ravioli according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain ravioli, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add ravioli to tomatoes; toss. Add cooking liquid, if needed. Garnish with chopped basil.

I did my own little bread with olive oil and spices like they serve a Carrabbas. I used a spice mix my daughter brought me for a hostess gift a while back. Wow.  I served fresh broccoli alongside, and it made for a colorful addition to the pasta main dish.  

Now, how about a great dessert?!  
Chocolate-Mint Cake Recipe
Southern Living’s photo

Have you ever cut out a recipe from a magazine and dreamed about making it?  Such was the case with a Chocolate mint Cake recipe I got from a Southern Living Magazine a couple years ago.  I LOVE chocolate and mint anything, so when I saw this cake idea, I could only imagine it like a giant Peppermint Patty.  I was not disappointed!  Since I celebrated a birthday last week and Whitney will be celebrating one in a couple weeks, I decided to make the cake to celebrate both our days while she was home this weekend.  We were both happy!

I made a few alterations to the recipe; you’ll see them in italics.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-ounce) package light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation:  I would recommend baking the cake layers early in the week and freezing them.

Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 30-second intervals until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes total time). Stir until smooth.

Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Use immediately, following directions for desired cake.

Pour batter into 2 9-inch cake pans (or 3 8-inch pans).   Caution:  grease and paper the pans with waxed or parchment paper!  How do I know?  One of my layers is in the freezer to be used for a trifle!  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.  Spread Peppermint filling between cake layers.  Spread Chocolate Ganache evenly on top and sides of cake.

Note:
The addition of hot water at the end of this recipe makes for an exceptionally moist cake.

Peppermint Filling
Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil

Preparation

1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in peppermint oil. Refrigerate this filling to it will get to a spreading consistency.  Otherwise, it will just run down the sides of the cake layers.
Ingredients

Chocolate Ganache
1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons butter
Preparation

1. Microwave semisweet chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a 2-qt. microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Whisk in butter, and let stand 20 minutes.
2. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes or until soft peaks form. I had to refrigerate for a short amount of time.

Assemble the whole cake a day before and refrigerate it and it will slice perfectly and beautifully!

One more thing before we go…how about serving up some encouragement?  

Pastor Encouragement: Ask God to protect your pastor from the evil plots of Satan.  Pray that he will not be corrupted as he rubs shoulders with the world in the course of ministry.

Husband Encouragement:  Does your husband know that you think he is attractive? What was one of the characteristics in your husband that first drew you to him? Was it a physical characteristic or something else? Was it his gentle, compassionate eyes? Kindness or concern for others? An easygoing confidence? A steadiness that comes from trusting in the Lord? Strength of character in a culture that lacks integrity? Do you see at least a glimpse of that characteristic in him today? Whatever it is, tell him! If you still have any of your old love letters, re-read them for clues to deepen your current level of appreciation for your spouse.

How are you doing with your encouragement challenge?  Are you making it a part of each day? Are you seeing the power your words are in prayer for your pastor?  In building your husband?

With love from my country kitchen,

3 thoughts on “What’s Cookin’ in the Country?”

  1. You will love the ravioli, Whitney! Glad you liked the cake. There's a little left…but hurry!

    Jane, the recipe has been updated. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

    Like

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