Homemade Ravioli, Marinara, and Cheesy Garlic Bread

Last night, I made some homemade Beef Ravioli (with homemade Marinara Sauce), and homemade Cheesy Garlic Bread. My wife said “you have guts” – to which I said “either a lot of guts, or no brains, the verdict is still out, lol.” It was a lot of work – but, yet fun. Everything turned out good – with one exception – the Cheesy Garlic Bread did not rise. I used the Instant Yeast, but for some reason it did not rise – but, it was very good.I started out by cooking the meat for the filling – I used 1 pound of Ground Beef, Salt, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Tomato Paste – then I let it cook down, then let it cool while I started the dough for the Ravioli.

Now, I started working on the pasta dough for the Ravioli. I started with the All Purpose Flour, 4 Eggs, Olive Oil, and Salt. I mixed the Flour and Salt, then – with the mixer on – I poured in 1 Egg at a time, let it get mixed in, then continued until all 4 Eggs were mixed in. Then I added the Olive Oil, and mixed until smooth. Then, I wrapped it in plastic wrap, and let set for 30 minutes.

Then I divided the dough into 2 half, and rolled out the dough to as thin as I could reasonably do (I don’t have a Pasta roller for my mixer). Then I spooned the cooled Ground Beef mixture onto one sheet of the rolled out dough. Then I took an egg and beat it – then brushed it on the Pasta layer around the edges and in between the filling mounds. I then placed the 2nd sheet of Pasta Dough on top of it – then ran my finger in between the mounds of dough to seal the 2 layers together. I cut the Ravioli apart using a Pizza cutter, then crimped the edges with a fork.

Now, with the Ravioli finished, I left it to dry. Now, it’s time to make the Marinara. I started with a 28 ounce can of whole, peeled Tomatoes, Dried Oregano, 2 cloves of Garlic, some Olive Oil, and 1/2 of an Onion. I heated this up, then reduced to a simmer for around 45 minutes. Then, I removed the Onion, crushed the Tomatoes and Garlic Cloves, and with the Immersion Blender, I blended the Marinara.

Now, it’s time for the Cheesy Garlic Bread. I started with some All Purpose Flour, Instant Yeast, Salt, Sugar, Olive Oil, and Water, and mixed it in the Stand Mixer until smooth. Then, I let it rest for an hour – with the intent for it to rise and double in size. Well, it did not rise, lol. I am not sure why it didn’t, but the bread tasted absolutely amazing, so I will definitely make this again – hopefully it will rise next time.

Then, I rolled the dough out so that it would fit on a rectangle cookie sheet. I sprinkled some Corn Meal on the cookie sheet, then spread out the dough. I minced a clove of Garlic and mixed it in some melted Butter, and brushed it on the dough, then sprinkled on some Grated Parmesan Cheese. I topped it off with some shredded Colby/Jack Cheese, and put in a preheated oven at 375 for about 18 minutes.

While the bread was baking, I started cooking the Ravioli. I dropped 10 of them in the salted, boiling water and let them cool for about 10 minutes – then repeated for the other 10. Then I poured the Marinara Sauce over the cooked Beef Ravioli.

Then, I served the Beef Ravioli, the Cheesy Garlic Bread, and some Whole Kernel Corn. The Ravioli came out very tender, flavorful – and the Marinara had a bite to it – but was very good. As I had mentioned before, the Bread did not rise, but otherwise, it was some amazing Bread. You could smell and taste the flavor from the Minced Garlic Cloves, and the cheesyness of the bread was incredible.

So, the answer to the question – a lot of guts, or no brains – as good as everything turned out – the answer is evident – a lot of guts. It was an amazing amount of work, but we’ll worth it.

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#homemadebeefravioli #beefravioli #homemademarinara #marinara #scratchmade #cheesygarlicbread #garlicbread #goodfood #foodie #homemadebaking #homemadebread #homemadepasta

Air Fryer Fried Chicken (bone-in)

Last night, I made some traditional Fried Chicken – with the bone – in the Air Fryer. We had a lot of Chicken to cook – so I actually fried some of it in the Deep Fryer, with Peanut Oil – otherwise, it would have taken too long to finish. I have cooked Chicken in the Air Fryer in several different ways – but not with the traditional “Fried Chicken” manner. I recently watched an episode of Rachel Ray, with her guest Curtis Stone @curtisstone. I have always enjoyed watching Curtis Stone but, he said some -not so pleasant – things about the Air Fryer. He obviously is not a fan of the Air Fryer. I totally understand that – because anyone that has followed what I am doing – knows that I have not always been an advocate of the Air Fryer – I am a convert, lol. I would venture to say that Curtis has not had food that has been cooked well in the Air Fryer.

We also had Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Green Beans, Dinner Rolls, and Salad – with Banana Splits for desserts.

Let’s start with the Fried Chicken – I didn’t have any Buttermilk, so I made my own by adding 1tbsp of vinegar/cup of milk, and let set for about 10 minutes, then stir. This is a simple way to create Buttermilk – if you don’t have any. Then, I took some All Purpose Flour, and added Cummin, Cayenne Pepper, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Olive Oil. I wisked all of these ingredients together.

Once everything is mixed together, I first put the Chicken in the Flour mixture, then into the Buttermilk, then back into the Flour mixture. Then I sprayed the basket of the Air Fryer with cooking spray, and placed the battered Chicken into the Air Fryer – and set it at 360 degrees for 20 minutes – flipping the Chicken halfway through.

While the Chicken was cooking, I started boiling the potatoes for the Mashed Potatoes. Once the potatoes were cooked until “fork tender” I drained them, and Mashed them. I added some Butter, Sour Cream, Milk, Black Pepper, and Garlic Salt.

As I stated earlier, since I was frying more than 20 pieces of Chicken, I also remembered something else that Curtis Stone had said on The Rachel Ray Show – he said that when he makes Fried Chicken, he only Fries it for a few minutes – then puts it in the oven to finish it. This was very helpful, because since using the Air Fryer – I don’t like frying Chicken in the Deep Fryer because the outside seems to be over-cooked by the time the inside is done. So, I fried the first batch in the Deep Fryer, didn’t like the way it turned out – so, I took Curtis’s advice, and finished the rest of the Deep Fried Chicken in a 350 degree oven. This did make some amazing Fried Chicken – actually comparable to the Air Fried Chicken. The biggest difference is in the health effects – with only 8 pieces cooked in the Deep Fryer, and approximately 15 pieces cooked in the Air Fryer – the amount of grease that drained off the Chicken was astronomically different. There was a minimal amount of grease from the Air Fried Chicken – but, there was approximately 1/4 cup of grease from the 8 pieces fried in the Deep Fryer.

Then, I made some Green Beans – we like Schwan’s Micro-Steam Green Beans – then add some Butter and Montreal Steak Seasoning. These make some of the best Green Beans I have ever had.

Then, there was a Green Salad (which I did not eat), and some amazing Dinner Rolls (store-bought).

The Fried Chicken was absolutely amazing – crispy on the outside, yet tender and juicy on the inside – with a slight bite from the Cayenne Pepper. The Mashed Potatoes were very creamy, the Schwan’s Green Beans have a crunch to them – and the Dinner Rolls would nearly melt in your mouth.

Then, to top it all off – my wife made some homemade Banana Splits – with all the toppings – for dessert. What a way to cap off a Sunday evening.

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#curtisstone #rachelray #airfryer ##powerairfryer #airfryercooking #powerairfryerxl #friedchicken #deepfriedchicken #mashedpotatoes #schwansmicrosteamgreenbeans #dinnerrolls #bananasplit #foodie #foodporn

Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Dogs

Last night, I made some Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Dogs, with some Homemade French Fries. We started with some large Cheddar Sausages, wrapped each one with a piece of Bacon (everything is better with Bacon, lol). I had not yet cooked anything quite like this in the Air Fryer – so, here we go. I am constantly hearing from different people regarding their struggles getting things to turn out right with the Air Fryer – but, for me, it’s mostly just a case of experimenting with different Temps and Times. There is definitely some differences when cooking with the Air Fryer, but once you figure it out – it is an amazing appliance.

We also Sautéed some Mushrooms, Onions, and Bell Peppers to top the Bacon Wrapped Dogs. I put 5 of the Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Dogs in the Air Fryer, set it at 360 degrees for 15 minutes – flipping the Dogs at the half-way point. The Cheddar Sausages were browned nicely, and more importantly, the Bacon was cooked well – it was not over-cooked (or burnt), but had a nice crispness to it – which is what I look for in a Bacon Wrapped Dog.

Then, we made some Homemade French Fries, and I “double fried” them, allowing for a more crispy Fry – with a more Golden Brown color. In this instance, I fried them for about 3 minutes – then pulled them out of the and let them cool – then dropped them back in the Oil to finish frying – that helps give that crispy exterior, while the inside of the French Fries are soft and tender. Then we put a light sprinkle of Sea Salt on the French Fries. We cook the French Fries in Peanut Oil which gives them a bit different flavor than with Vegetable Oil.

As for the Bun, we used a “Sweet Hawaiian” Hot Dog Bun. I’m not a big “bread” guy, but I really like the sweet flavor of these buns and rolls. I finished off my Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Dog with some Ketchup (yes, I said Ketchup – I definitely think that Ketchup DOES belong on a Hot Dog) and some Sautéed Mushrooms. The rest of the family added the Sautéed Onions and Bell Peppers to their dogs.

This is a very simple supper, but yet, a very good supper. I have always been a “Hot Dog” kind of guy. I have heard all of the stories about “how Hot Dogs are made” – but, I like them anyway, lol. For me, it’s hard to beat a good dog!

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#bacon #baconwrappeddog #baconwrappedcheddardog #cheddarsausage #sauteedmushrooms #sauteedonions #sauteedbellpeppers #sweethawaiianbuns #ketchup #heinzketchup #frenchfries #airfryer #powerairfryer ##airfryercooking #airfriedbacon

Taco Salad Casserole

Yesterday I continued my food adventures, lol. I am always on the lookout for recipes that sound interesting – and I came across this “Taco Salad Casserole.” I am not a big fan of Taco Salads, so I was a bit hesitant on this one – but, it did sound good. Since I am such a picky eater and, I actually made two separate batches of this taco salad casserole. I started off by browning a little over a pound of hamburger in each of two separate pans.

Then I cut up and green bell pepper, some cilantro, and some green onions and put in one pan and in the other pan I simply added some green onions. I also added some salt and pepper to the Ground Beef mixture. After the hamburger mixtures were completely cooked, I drain them, and put it back in the pans.

Then I stirred in some Taco Seasoning and the little bit of water, and well that was cooking, I shredded the cheese and prepared the other items.

I took to square glass baking dishes, and sprayed them was cooking spray. I took some store-bought 20 and chips, crushed them up on the bottom of the glass baking dishes. Then I follow that up, by putting some refried beans in each of the baking dishes.

After the refried beans, I added the hamburger mixture and to each of the two pans. The big question now, was to remember which pan had which mixture in it, lol.

I talked these two bowls with a mixture of shredded cheddar cheese and Colby jack cheese that I had shredded earlier. You just can’t have too much cheese.

I put them in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees, for a 15 minutes. We then topped it with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, olives, etc – and whatever typical taco extras that we like.

Like I stated earlier, I’m not a big taco salad fan, so I wasn’t sure how this would turn out. But, it turned out absolutely amazing. One of the things that amaze me about this dish was that the chips were still a bit crunchy after being in the oven for 15 minutes. This is definitely something that I will making in.

#tacosalad #casserole #tacosaladcasserole #tortillachips #salsa #olives #lettuce #tomatoes #cheddarcheese #colbyjackcheese #groundbeef #refriedbeans

Shepherd’s Pie

We had a lot of Mashed Potatoes leftover from our Mother’s Day Supper, so I decided to make a Shepherd’s Pie. I put a little bit of a twist on it – by adding Sautéed Mushrooms and Cheddar Cheese.

I started by cutting up the Carrots, and Sautéing them in Butter – and when they were nearly finished, I added the Mushrooms to it, and Sautéed them as well.

Then, I browned 1 1/2 pounds of Ground Beef, drained it, then I added the Mushrooms, Carrots, Worchestershir Sauce, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, frozen Whole Kernel Corn, frozen Peas, Beef Broth, and Green Onions. I let this cook on the stove for about 20 minutes.

After this Ground Beef mixture cooked for about 20 minutes – to cook off some of the liquid – and to marry all of the ingredients together.

Then I poured this mixture into a 13″ x 9″ glass pan, leveled it out, then I added the Mashed Potatoes on top of the Ground Beef mixture, then topped with Cheddar Cheese.

I put the Glass Pan in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. I took it out, and let it cool for a while before eating. It was extremely good. All of the vegetables were cooked well, soft, but not mushy. The seasonings were mild – but not bland. Everyone enjoyed the Shepherd’s Pie supper.

#shepherdspie #groundbeef #Mushrooms #Sautéedmushrooms #sauteedcarrots #wholekernalcorn #frozenpeas #modifiedshepherdspie #foodie #foodporn

Rainbow Explosion Cake

For Mother’s Day dessert – I made a Rainbow Explosion Cake. We started with making the cake batter from scratch. Then we separated the cake batter into 6 different bowls of equal portions.

Then, we added Food Coloring to each of the 6 different bowls – to creat 6 unique colors.

Then, we got our 6 inch round pans, and sprayed with cooking spray, and poured the Colored Batter into the 6 pans.

I put them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, rotated the pans 180 degrees, then baked for another 8 minutes. After they cooled for about 10 minutes, I took them out of the pan and placed on cooling racks to finish cooling.

Then, we made the Creme Cheese Frosting. The icing is basically just Cream Cheese, Powdered Sugar, Butter, and Vanilla Extract.

Then, we took 5 of the different cakes and cut out the center, and began to build the Cake. I put some of the icing on the plate, put on the bottom cake, then some icing, and continued until finished. I did not cut the center out of the top layer.Then we filled the cavity with M & M’s, then put the top layer on.

Then we applied the Cream Cheese Icing on the sides and the too if the Cake. After I got the Caked iced, I put it in the refrigerator for a while, then added the Sprinkles. Leana put the Sprinkles on – I was having a hard time with it. She did a much better job then I was doing at it, lol.

After supper, when it was time for dessert – we cut the Rainbow Explosion Cake. It was pretty cool to cut the cake open and see the different colors and the M & M ‘s coming out. Also, it was a very good cake – a great end to a great meal.

The cake was amazing, moist and flavorful – and the Cream Cheese Icing was off the chain.

#rainbowexplisioncake #multicolorcake #sprinkles #creamcheese #creamcheesefrosting #m&ms #foodcoloring #powderedsugar #butter #sweetness #sweetdessert #desserts

Cheesy, Bacon Chicken Breast with Honey Mustard Drizzle

Today, for Mother’s Day, I made Cheesy Bacon Chicken Breast with Honey Mustard Drizzle. The Chicken Breasts came out very tender, juicy, and the Honey Mustard Drizzle added such a nice accent to the meal. It was sweet – yet, it had a bit of an edge to it because of the Mustard and the Apple Cider Vinegar. Overall, it was great, and the entire family enjoyed it very much. I did have to make one Chicken Breast for Gunner that was plain, lol.

I sliced the Chicken Breasts in half, so they weren’t as thick, and pounded them out to close to 1/4 inch thick.

Then, I Sautéed some Mushrooms in Butter, and put aside. I also cut up some Bacon and some Green Onions , and Shredded some Cheddar Cheese.

I made some homemade Gravy for the Mashed Potatoes, and cooked the Potatoes for the Mashed Potatoes.

Then, I put a bit of Olive Oil into the Cast Iron Skillet, and put the Chicken Breasts in. I fried them for a about 3 minutes, then flipped them, added the Cheese, Mushrooms, and Bacon. I added a bit of water to the pan, covered, and cooked for another few minutes – until Cheese is melted.

Then, I put the Chicken Breasts on the plate, added some Chives, and drizzled a homemade dressing made of honey, Apple Cider Vinegar, Mayonnaise, Mustard over the Chicken Breasts.

Then, we added some Whole Kernel Corn, Green Beans, and a Salad – for an amazing meal.

#Chicken #chickenbreast #castironcooking #castironcookedchicken #Mushrooms #Sautéedmushrooms #butter #honeymustarddrizzle #wholekernalcorn #greenbeans #microsteamgreenbeans #bacon #cheddarcheese #mashedpotatoes #gravy #greensalad ##homemade #Chives #greenonions