'Tis the beginning of another week and I am looking forward to seeing what wonderful things are going to happen. Hear that optimism? Ooh, I need it as I've been studying on and off for my first big exam tomorrow afternoon.
Friday was a major studying day and then Saturday I felt a little burned out so I decided to make some homemade pappardelle pasta. Here was the dilemma: I had a pound of Sweet Italian Sausage in the refrigerator and had made a turkey and artichoke lasagna during the week. I didn't want soup and I didn't want pasta again. However, my feelings about homemade pasta are different. So, there I stood at the counter kneading away at the pasta dough for some time before I went out to get some other ingredients, like the rapini.
Rapini is a great green! It is also known as broccoli rabe and this was the first time I cooked with it. I'm not sure why it took me this long because it's great! It's slightly bitter but I think that's one its great qualities. Chock full of vitamins and minerals, it's healthy for you and is wonderful in sautés, soups, or even purees. Ooh, now I'm thinking of it stuffed in a ravioli. Lightbulb moment! Anyway, doesn't that dish look spectacular? Nothing beats homemade pasta.
Knowing yesterday was going to be my last full day of studying, I decided to make myself breakfast. Trader Joe's never fails with their turkey bacon. I'm not a bacon person but I am a fan of theirs. So, I cooked up some turkey bacon and had it alongside this ridiculously awesome frittata! I started with sliced potatoes and then added some caramelized balsamic onions I had made for burgers one night. Add in large handfuls of arugula and then top the whole mix with goat cheese? Yeah, you know what I'm having for breakfast in a few minutes! It's wonderful. Who doesn't like frittatas?
My friend, Christina, asked me if I'd made pumpkin spice bread before and I have, but I couldn't find the recipe I used. So, I scoured the internet for recipes that seemed tasty. After reading so much about them I decided that I wanted to whip something up myself. I tried the recipe from Taste of Home and what I liked about it was that it was so easy to put together. It was a two-bowl operation. You mix everything together, bake the loaves, remove them to cool, and you're done. It was the first pumpkin-anything of the season that I made and you know it won't be my last. The result was a dense bread, with lots of pumpkin flavor and the spices that you associate with pumpkin goods--cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves. However, I felt it was a touch on the dry side and a little on the sweet side. This was me following the recipe to the T except for bumping up the spices. I'll definitely be experimenting more when I have the time.
Oh, since my weekend begins on Fridays, I can't forget my new neighborhood coffeeshop! It's an Italian espresso bar in Huntington Beach and it just reminds me of my time in Italy. It's called Caffe Caldo and I discovered it last weekend. They serve awesome coffees and I have to say that my favorite one so far has been the pumpkin latte--so smooth and tasty. Nothing acrid or bitter. I love it! They serve some breakfast dishes like lox and bagels, frittatas, and some pastries. You'll see I had the almond croissant, which was okay... not the best I've ever had. That honor goes to a bakery that I purchased from at the Palo Alto Farmers Market. I'm so sad I don't remember their name!
And so, that was my weekend. Quite tasty, don't you think? You're wondering how there was studying involved with all these good eats but trust me, there was. I hope it was a good one for you, too! Now, bring it on, Week 3! Have a great week, everyone!