Sunday, September 13, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert Ravioli

This post is sponsored by REESE Canada

You guys, I have great news!  Not only does REESE now make a spread that tastes exactly like a spreadable Reese's peanut butter cup (seriously, this is a thing!), it's now available in Canada!

If you're looking for a sweet, salty, decadent treat, then this spread is definitely for you.  Incredible on it's own, accompanied by your favourite cracker, pretzel, or cookie, (or really, just licked off of a spoon) this spread is downright dangerous to have in the kitchen.  So dangerous in fact, it should be hidden, so you don't accidentally eat it all in one day - it's really that good.

It also makes for the perfect filling and topping for the dessert ravioli I've had dancing around in my head for quite some time now - a product that serves two completely separate purposes in one recipe?  I think I'm in love!

Before we get to the actually recipe however (trust me, it's worth the wait) I have a bit of a funny story to tell you all today.

You see, the hashtag associated with this campaign is #DoYouSpoon.  Literally as soon as this campaign started appearing my friends started sharing it on social media and tagging me in it.  Why do you ask?   It all started 4 years ago, when I was interviewing for a contract.

The woman who was hiring me texted me to ask "what time can you come in today?" and I replied "I can be there soon if you like".  At least that's what I meant to text.  What actually sent was "I will be there to spoon if you like".  Cue the most embarrassing moment of my life.  After what seemed like an excruciating amount of time, but was only a few seconds, my potential new boss texted back "as long as I get to be the little spoon".  I knew right then and there we would get along just fine. How right I was, because 4 years later, I consider her amongst my very best friends!  Spooning has always been an inside joke between us, and needless to say this campaign rejuvenated it big time!  You can image how ecstatic I was when an opportunity to be a part of this campaign came my way!

Anyways, now that I've told you the most embarrassing moment of my life, I bring you back to the recipe:

Recipe makes 12 individual raviolis

- 1 recipe for pie crust (here's my Gramma's recipe!)
- 3/4 cup REESE's Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread, divided
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- flour, for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Roll out pie crust and cut into 1.5 inch squares. 

In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese, and 1/2 cup REESE Spread.   Put 1-2 tsp into the centre of 1/2 the squares, then brush the remaining 1/2 of the squares with whisked egg (this will act as an essential glue to seal your ravioli together). 

Place an egg washed square over a filled square, pressing down lightly to seal the pieces together.

  Using a fork, crimp the outer edges of the ravioli (alternatively, you can use a ravioli stamp if you have one).

Place ravioli on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with the remaining egg wash.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the ravioli are golden brown. 

Spoon remaining (about 1/4 cup) REESE spread into a small sandwich baggie and cut off the tip.  Warm between hands, then drizzle on top of cooled ravioli pieces. 


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Garden Borscht

This recipe appeared as my September Column for my local newspaper, The Hinton Voice
[The first year I tried my hand gardening, I killed green onions.  Not only did I kill green onions, I killed THE green onions that my Grandfather passed on to me from the plants that his father had passed on to him (sorry about that Gramps & Great Gramps!).   Thankfully there were plenty more where that came from and I didn’t kill the only plants in existence (whew!). 

If you know more about gardening than I did at that moment (which is pretty much any knowledge of gardening whatsoever) you’ll realize that green onions are practically the easiest vegetable you can possibly grow.  In fact, you could likely plant them and forget about them and they would flourish on their own and take over your entire garden.   Somehow however, I still managed to kill green onions.

  The second year I tried gardening, not only did my green onions live, I was incredibly excited that I was also able to grow tomatoes (another fairly easy starter plant for the novice gardener).  Every year I learned a little bit more, through trial, and error, and several FaceTime sessions with my Gramps. Not only was I actually growing things, I started to get smart about the way that I planted my garden.  Last year I devoted an entire garden to salsa where I grew tomatoes, onions, cilantro, green peppers, and jalapenos.  This year I have a backyard garden filled to the brim with beets, carrots, green onions, and dill.

One evening after picking a fairly decent august bounty from this particular garden, I posted a picture on social media, commenting about how great it felt to be able to “go grocery shopping” in my own backyard that evening.  Someone mentioned that I had all of the necessary ingredients for borscht, and once that idea was in my head, there was no getting it out until I made it. 

While green onions don’t traditionally go in borscht, they certainly earned their place in this recipe – after all, I think we can all agree that I’ve put my green onions through entirely too much to exclude them.]

Recipe makes 8 servings

- 2 L beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups beets, peeled and cubed
- 2 cups potatoes, cubed
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups cabbage, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter or oil
- 1 cup green onions, sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup dill, chopped
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- pepper, to taste
- sour cream to garnish

Bring broth and bay leaves to a boil over medium heat. 

Add beets, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage.

In a separate pan, sauté green onions and garlic in butter over medium heat. 

Add to broth along with fresh dill and tomato sauce.   

Continue boiling until veggies are soft.

Just before serving, stir in vinegar and brown sugar.

Pepper to taste, then garnish with sour cream and a few sprigs of fresh dill.

- Nutritional Info (per serving) -
Calories – 84    Fat - 2    Carbs – 15     Protein - 2   Fibre - 3

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