I received the nicest compliment the other day from a cashier at my local grocery store who asked if I was a chef.
This, based on the interesting array of food items I had in my cart.
"I'm just a food blogger," I said, backing away from the till, truffle oil and wasabi paste in hand - thinking she should have been here for the tuna noodle casserole last week - but flattered, nonetheless, that she recognized the cook in me.
I walked away grateful for this outlet to express my own creativity.
When I'm shopping at my favourite thrift store looking for just the right vintage table setting, or hunting for specialty wines, this wacky hobby gives me joy and a place to play when the everyday world of being an adult closes in with its responsibility and drama.
It was something we all did as children.
I can still remember Christmas when I was eight years old - being shocked that my older cousins were happy with gifts of clothes or cologne instead of toys.
Sad on the day I realized, one day at fifteen, that I was there too.
Because we all need a little magic in our lives.
A chance to use our imaginations, throw our hands in the air, and rejoice in the moment.
I find that sense of fun through blogging, while others find it through art, or sport, or travel - the point isn't what you do to play, just that you do it.
That you are constantly committed to finding things that give your life a sense of joy and purpose.
Even if it's something as simple as this...
One of my aspirations this year is to begin experimenting with making my own pasta, but until I get there, I have to admit I was intrigued by the butternut squash ravioli pictured above.
In the same way I had been a few weeks prior with the dried porcini mushrooms that made their way into my shopping cart.
And the result of the two together...
One of the most beautiful, comforting, healthful, and all round super yummy meals I've made in a long time.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Porcini Mushroom Sauce
For printable recipe click HERE
- 1 1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine or a sweet red wine
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
- 1 cup beef stock or canned beef broth
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 package butternut squash ravioli
- Combine porcini mushrooms and 1 cup warm water in small bowl. Let stand until mushrooms soften, about 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms from liquid, squeezing excess liquid from mushrooms back into bowl; reserve liquid. Place mushrooms in another small bowl.
- Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion browns, about 15 minutes. Add Marsala and white wine. Increase heat; boil until most liquid evaporates, about 7 minutes. Add rosemary, mushrooms and both stocks. Pour in reserved mushroom liquid, leaving any sediment behind. Boil until liquid mixture is reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.
- Mix butter and flour in small bowl to blend; whisk into mushroom mixture. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Prepare ravioli according to package directions and then toss with the porcini sauce. Let the ravioli sit in the sauce for five minutes before serving to incorporate. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you enjoy...
Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.
Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.