Blackened Sweet Potato, Peas, Pasta, and Pecans

Blackened Sweet potatoes, Peas, Pasta, and Pecans
Blackened Sweet potatoes, Peas, Pasta, and Pecans
Fast! Simple! Delicious!

This is what we had for Christmas Eve dinner. We selected something that would be fast and easy, yet hopefully tasty, and a dish that would give us a chance to try out a new pasta dough. Originally, we weren’t going to bother writing this one up, so we only have a few photos, but we thought it turned out well enough that it deserved a shout-out.

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Sweet Potato Pasta Dough

shaping pasta
shaping pasta
A simple shape, for a simple pasta dough.

With the farm crew on vacation, we don’t get our weekly CSA share of produce. At first, that’s not so bad; we just eat what we have in the house in a creative way– today’s recipe is an example. In fact, this is part of what we had for our Christmas Eve dinner. Today, we’ll show you how to make the pasta dough, and, next week, we’ll present a simple pasta dish that’s good enough to serve for a holiday dinner. At least, we think so.

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Tempering Chocolate in the Microwave

chocolate covered bear paws
chocolate covered bear paws
Even with tempered chocolate, it seems to get everywhere.

Do you ever melt chocolate to coat something, perhaps caramel, or to use it to dip other items (say, sugar cookies), and are disappointed in how it doesn’t seem to harden? Instead of a hard shell, it stays soft and messy, melting onto your fingers as soon as your touch it. Well, if you’re like us, you’ve researched the matter, and found that your chocolate wasn’t in “temper.” And, you probably found difficult instructions on how to temper chocolate. We know we did. We’ve even tried it and told you about it. But, in that post, someone mentioned an easy way to temper chocolate. Really easy. So easy, it seemed as if it wasn’t true. However, we tried it, and found that it’s really easy to have perfectly tempered chocolate without double boilers, thermometers, or immersion blenders. Really!

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Mini-Muffins

Mexican Hot Chocolate Mini muffins
Mexican Hot Chocolate Mini muffins
Mexican hot chocolate in a mini muffin!

The day before we went up to the Grand Canyon, we volunteered at our downtown walk, Meet Me at Maynards. It’s a lot of fun, and we really like helping out, because it encourages people to get out and see downtown Tucson. When we volunteer, we like to bring just a little something for our fellow volunteers. We know we don’t have to, by any means, but we think it’s a nice thing to do, and it gets us to try new recipes.

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Lemon Dill Fettuccine

lemon dill fettuccine with peas and Parmesan
lemon dill fettuccine with peas and Parmesan
An easy, fast, and tasty meal!

Since we liked the Lemon Dill Risotto with Peas so much, we decided that we’d try doing something similar with pasta. Specifically, a Lemon Dill Fettuccine that we had the other night along with some peas and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. It made for an easy, flavorful dinner that took only a few minutes to whip up. You can make it, too; it’s not difficult to make pasta dough.

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Lemon Dill Risotto with Peas

Lemon Dill Risotto with Peas
Lemon Dill Risotto with Peas
Perfect! We can’t say any more.

If you make risotto as often as we do, you’ll know exactly what to do from the title alone. You’ll know the basic ingredients, and all the steps to make a Lemon Dill Risotto. Even so, we suggest that you continue reading, because we have a small culinary trick that you might not know about. We don’t normally use this particular trick, because we almost always have some sort of broth on hand, or at least the vegetables to make some quickly. This time, when we decided on risotto, we’d just had some soup, using all our vegetable stock. What did we do?

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Walnut Cranberry Compound Butter

molded cranberry walnut butter
molded cranberry walnut butter
Perfect for that holiday table!

Since Thanksgiving is coming up and we know we’ll be having some nice crusty bread, we decided to make a compound butter — basically, butter with other ingredients incorporated. What better to mix in for T-day than cranberries? Plus, perhaps some walnuts. So, we looked around, with the goal of finding the proportions of each ingredient.

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