Archive for April, 2012

Recipe: My Ricotta Gnocchi

|April 29, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

My Ricotta Gnocchi

approx. 15 oz. ricotta – I say that because that is the approximate amount I get from making my homemade ricotta
2 large eggs
about 1 c. flour – enough to make a soft dough
pinch salt

Combine and work as my potato gnocchi.

repost from my potato gnocchi –

Add about a cup of flour and couple eggs, pinch of salt. Using a pastry scraper for this makes it easy.

As far as adding the flour goes, you don't want a tacky dough and it all depends on the weather, humidity, etc.

Once my dough is ready I cut off a piece and roll by hand into a long rope, cut in about 3/4-inch pieces.

Many shape the dough pieces using the tines of a fork – my family has what we call "gnocchi thumbs" that do a fabulous job without the fork.

Cook in boiling water (like any pasta – boil the water, add salt and return to a full boil) in batches if necessary. They will float when done. Drain and continue to use in your recipes.

Recipe: How to clean and peel mushrooms –

|April 29, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Okay – everyone has their own opinions on washing mushrooms, cleaning mushrooms, peeling mushrooms and so on.

First of all, many say that if you were to wash mushrooms they would absorb the water and become soggy. Well, I for one wash EVERYTHING – including mushrooms. Cool running water with my mushrooms in a fine strainer and using my fingers to clean each one has never ruined anything I have made – so I continue to wash. I certaining do not SOAK them to give them a chance to absorb what little water they may absorb to begin with – considering they grow outside and there are rainstorms! (bathtub, Mr. Bubble and mushrooms! scrub-a-dub-dub – I don't think so) Transfer to paper towels and that's it – it's that simple.

Would I ever BRUSH my mushrooms clean? Never. My choice. Nor would I use a clean towel to rub the dirt off and right into the mushroom – once again – my opinion.

Now for the peeling part – do you HAVE to peel mushrooms?

NO.

But many times I do. Especially for stuffed mushrooms. If frying with onions and adding to gravy – why peel? To each his own.

After cleaning and patting my mushrooms dry, I simple press my finger into the stem (which by the way I first cut the very bottom of the stem off – habit – a little "trim". I press my finger into the stem to remove it. Once the stem is removed, I just grab on to that little ragged edge where the stem once was and peel away the top layer of the mushroom cap. So easy. It comes off in strips with no problems. And perfect for stuffing your mushroom caps! Makes them extra tender!

Happy peeling!

Recipe: My Potato Gnocchi

|April 22, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Gnocchi has always been one of my favorites – and it is so easy to make –

I love them in sauce, soups, casseroles and salads!

Once again, forgive me for the measurements, I never learned to measure – unless of course you call using a coffee cup and and dessertspoon measuring like mom, gram, great-gram, etc.

Boil about 2 pounds potatoes in salted water – russets are nice for this, peel, mash while hot.  Don't over-mash – just remove the lumps.  Allow to cool a bit (you don't want to cook your eggs when you add them).

Mash – yes, mash and not with a potato masher – use a fork – no I do not like the "ricer routine" – to us it's a waste of time.  

Add about a cup of flour and couple eggs, pinch of salt.  Using a pastry scraper for this makes it easy.

As far as adding the flour goes, you don't want a tacky dough and it all depends on the weather, humidity, etc.

Once my dough is ready I cut off a piece and roll by hand into a long rope, cut in about 3/4-inch pieces.

Many shape the dough pieces using the tines of a fork – my family has what we call "gnocchi thumbs" that do a fabulous job without the fork.

Cook in boiling water (like any pasta – boil the water, add salt and return to a full boil) in batches if necessary.  They will float when done.  Drain and continue to use in your recipes.

Recipe: the edging –

|April 1, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

When mom and I use the granny square to make a blanket or a coverlet, we always put an edge on it to make it look even better.

This edging is very simple – a real no-brainer and always looks nice.

You can use a nice contrasting color, you can use a larger needle than you used on your finished product to make it look more "ruffled" and you can do a "drag" of a second color of yarn to make every other stitch a different color.  There is a lot you can do with it.

So it's back to my use-for-show square that has come in handy for showing stitches – ignore the colors – just odds and ends and I am certainly not doing anything with this square except using it for show –

the following 2 pictures are the usual rounded shell that is made –

after completing your last row of your granny square blanket (or bedspread) start your edging by chaining 3 stitches and turn (just as if you were adding another row) and do 2 dc (exactly like beginning another row – EXCEPT in the next space you will do 6 dc and continue that until you hit the corner.  Don't worry about only having 3 dc (2dc and the ch 3) in the previous stitch – we will get to that at the end of the edging row.

for each corner you will work just like you did your normal corners except you will be using 6 dc, ch 1, 6 dc in each corner

when you work all the way around to where you started, add 3 more dc to your chain 3, 2 dc at the very beginning (gives you your 6 dc) and slip stitch together at the top of your first chain 3 when you first began the row

it's that simple!

 

 

Now – if you read my previous post about another  no-brainer crochet stitch you will find that it's a variation of a shell stitch with a bit of a point to it (caused by the ch 2 between each 3 dc).

So what I did was edge half the square in the "normal shell" and the other half I did in the "pointed shell" to show you both edges.

When using the pointed shell for an edge you would begin as you would for a normal row with a chain 3, turn and do ONLY 1 dc, in next space you will do the pointed shell stitch – 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc – and continue that until you hit the corner.

Your corner stitch will be your pointed shell stitch, chain 1 and another pointed shell stitch.  Continue around until you return to the chain 3, 1 dc you did to begin your edging row.

Now do 3 dc, ch 2, 1 dc (which including the ch 3 stitch will give you the pointed shell stitch) and join with a slip stich at the top of your ch 3 that you used as your first dc for your edging row.

Ta-daaaaa!

Recipe: another no-brainer crochet stitch –

|April 1, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

To my surprise, I got quite a bit of interest in my last post showing my easy way of making a granny square!

Yes, there is more to life than cooking, baking and cleaning.

I love to crochet and knit and I love to come up with different patterns for different things.

Having an overabundance of yarn from past projects that mom and I made, I decided to put the leftover Antique Gold that I have from my "Nefertiti" coverlet that mom made and I wanted to use a no-brainer stitch of some sort. I've got a bit of some of the other colors as well which I will incorporate.

This is what my brainstorm looks like – I've got about 16 rows on it right now and when I get to the 21st row I will switch to another color to use up those colors of yarn –

(someday I will learn something about cameras and picture taking – just don't hold your breath waiting – I know me!)

It's a very simple pattern –

multiples of 6 plus 4

row 1 – sc in 2nd ch from hook and each remaining ch – chain 3, turn

row 2 – skip next 4 sc –

in next sc work (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) (shell stitch)

*skip next 5 sc

in 6th sc work shell stitch

repeat from * to last sc

dc in last sc

chain 3, turn

row 3 – THIS IS YOUR PATTERN TO CONTINUE WITH THROUGHOUT YOUR WORK

make shell stitch in each ch-2 sp of each shell stitch to turning ch

dc in 3rd ch of turning ch-3

chain 3, turn

That's it!  Easy as pie!