Hello 2014!

It has been a crazy couple of weeks for us but they were some of the best times of 2013! It started on December 19th when my husband took me to New York for my birthday…best birthday so far! NY was amazing, as expected, and we had two of the best meals we’ve had in a really long time…highly recommend Telepan and/or Scalini Fredelli if you are ever there! From NY we headed straight to Michigan for Christmas, finally reunited with our puppy, then headed back to Illinois for a second Christmas spent at my parents! Finally returned home to spend a night in our own bed for once, only to wake up early, head to work Monday the 30th, then back to Michigan straight from work for New Years Eve and the Winter Classic hockey game in Ann Arbor! We drove straight to work Thursday morning and finally returned home for good that evening! Whew, I’m exhausted just writing all that but it was all well worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing if we could do it all over again!


The first thing we did when we got home was get right back in the kitchen! We whipped up an amazing homemade spinach and porcini stuffed ravioli with truffle cream sauce and lamb chops for dinner Friday night! Dessert was a dark chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting, pure decadence! Breakfast the next morning consisted of a shaved Brussels sprout and potato hash topped with poached eggs, divine. Cooking and baking was our way of relaxing and enjoying being home!


Homemade Spinach and Porcini Ravioli:


2 cups flour

2  whole eggs and 1 yolk

1 T olive oil

1 t salt



1 package porcini mushrooms, chopped

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T olive oil

1 T butter

2 cups spinach, roughly chopped

1 container ricotta

1/3 – 1/2 cup parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 t truffle oil


1/3 cup reserved mushroom mixture

1 T olive oil

1 T butter

2 T flour

1 pint cream

1/3 cup parmesan

1 t truffle salt

Pepper to taste

1-2 truffle oil


For the dough, mound the flour and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs,.yolk, salt and olive oil, gently beat with a fork, gradually incorporating more flour from outside the well as you go. When dough comes roughly together, start kneading with your hands until incorporated and no longer sticky. Knead for 7 – 10 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit 20 minutes. Meanwhile make the filling. Heat the oil and butter in large saucepan. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add in spinach, cooking another minute or two until wilted. Keep about 1/3 cup of this mixture in the pan and mix the rest in a large bowl with ricotta, parmesan, salt, pepper and truffle oil. Set aside. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter to the reserved mixture. When butter melts, add 2 tablespoons flour and let cook for 2 minutes or so. Begin adding cream slowly, whisking the entire time until smooth. Let boil, then simmer, add in parmesan and simmer until desired thickness. Add in truffle salt, pepper and oil.

After 20 minutes, heat a large pot of heavily salted water to boiling and unwrap dough and cut into 4 equal sections. I used my kitchenaid mixer attachment and rolled the dough out to a 5. If you don’t have one, roll out each section as thin as you can with a rolling pin. I also used my ravioli maker attachment to make the ravioli, following the instructions in the manual. If you don’t have one, place teaspoons of filling an inch apart on one rolled out sheet of dough. Top with a second sheet, seal edges and cut out squares or circles, sealing edges as you go (or you can use a ravioli cutter/stamp if you have one of those). Once all are cut, place in boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until they begin to float. Drain and add to truffle sauce, tossing to coat. Top with more parmesan cheese and dig in!


Dark  Chocolate Cake (adapted from Ina Garten):

1 3/4 cup flour, sifted

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder

2 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1 t salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup oil

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

1 cup fresh coffee

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and mix well. In a other bowl,combine buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add tge wet to the dry until combined. Slowly add in coffee, batter will be thin. Pour into two greased 8-inch cake pans. Bake 30 minutes.


Salted Caramel Frosting:

1 cup sugar

4 T water

2 T light corn syrup

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 T butter

3/4 t salt

Then: 2 sticks softened butter, 3 cups powdered sugar and 1 cup salted caramel

Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in saucepan over medium heat. Heat until sugar dissolves, stirring with a woodenspoon. Once dissolved, turn heat up to medium high and let boil without stirring. Cook until mixture turns a deep amber color, remove from heat and add in heavy cream, butter and salt. Careful, mixture will bubble up and is very hot. Mix until butter melts and cream is incorporated, pour into bowl and set aside to cool and thicken. Meanwhile, whip butter until creamy, add in powdered sugar and whip until fluffy. Add in caramel, whipping until fluffy and incorporated. Frost cake any way you’d like, sprinkling top with more coarse salt! (I cut each 8-inch round in half so I had a 4 layer cake and drizzled the frosted top with a dark chocolate ganache, letting it drip down the sides and didn’t frost the sides of the cake at all, just between the cake layers).



1 very large or 2 medium potatoes, diced

Diced pancetta (I use Trader Joes pre-packaged diced)

10-15 brussels sprouts, shaved

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

4 eggs

1 t vinegar


Boil potatoes until softened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat pancetta in olive oil in a large saucepan until crispy. Add onion and brussels sprouts. Cook until softened, add in softened potatoes and garlic. Season to taste. Cook until potatoes are browned. Meanwhile, bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan. Add in vinegar and use spatula to swirl water, creating a pseudo whirlpool effect. Crack eggs into individual dishes and gently slide into swirling water. Cook about 3 minutes, they should still be jiggly! Scoop hash into bowls, spoon eggs out of water using a slotted spoon and place atop hash. Crack eggs and use yolk as sauce for hash. Poaching eggs is now our favorite way to eat eggs, we’re obsessed…and it’s all thanks to Locanda Verde in NY!

It’s good to be home!

P.S. New Years resolution is to be better at taking pictures to post!


About valuptuousvittles

I am a chiropractor with a passion for eating, baking and wine! It seems that my life is consumed by food, whereas most people eat to live, I live to eat!

Posted on January 7, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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