The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Tortellini: This is how we do. February 10, 2012

Filed under: Main Dishes — Meg @ 8:42 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Tonight, I decided to make some Ravioli. I made Tortellini instead…

Bloggies, if you want to make it, I assure you, you can. If I can do all of this in under an hour, AND take a low-grade cellphone photo of it to boot, take the plunge and try it as well! I used my old hand-crank pasta machine to get the dough, and yes, I made the dough with my Kitchen-aid, but we can all take a little help here and there!

End result:

(I still can’t find the Olympus, sorry!)

To make the dough, mix together and knead 1 cup of flour and 2 eggs. If you’re using a machine, knead with the dough hook for 8 minutes on highest kneading settting (2 on a Kitchen-aid). Jamie Oliver has a nice method using a food processor, as well, but you can do the same by hand, kneading till firm, very smooth and somewhat dry. No sticky! Put it in a plastic bag or cling wrap for about 15-30 minutes, whatever you’ve got. Cut it in two, and use a pasta machine (I went down to 6 of 7 thicknesses) to roll it out. You can do this on a floured board with a rolling pin, too. Shoot for about 1millimeter or so. Or thicker, I don’t care! Cut into 2″ squares, flour, and let it sit under a damp tea towel as you work.

While the dough rests, mix these ingredients until combined and slightly sticky:

  • 1/2lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan, if you want)
  • 1 egg

    Now, when everything is ready, prepare an eggwash (just mix an egg up very well. Add a splash of water, if you like), and have a brush on hand. Line up a bunch of your squares, and eggwash the edges to make a 90 degree angle on each square. Add 1/2 tsp or so of filling to each square (you may need a little less to avoid ‘splosions). Fold over, seal tightly and remove air pockets. With the point up, wrap the bottom edges around your pinky finger, and squeeze them together to seal. Take it off your finger, and fold the top edge down. You can also fold the whole top over (edges) if you want a little more pizazz to your tortellini. That’s it!

    Now all you have to do is cook ’em! I think the best way is just to cook in boiling, salted water, until they float to the top. Check by cutting into them to see that the meat and pasta are cooked through. Serve these however you want, and keep in mind, they freeze very well. Make sure, if you do freeze them, do it on a floured board, keeping them separate. Then transfer to a freezer bag.

    That is all I want to say! Make some and enjoy!


Lima Bean Busy February 6, 2012

I’ve decided to make a feeble attempt to post something. It’s been a rather shame-inducing length of time since I actually did anything around here, so I think it’s due time that I get your bellies twist’n’shouting with something perhaps a little unexpected. Unless you’re one of those intriguing anomalies who doesn’t like anything legume-y, well!  I have just the ticket! My affinity for lima beans reigns supreme, once again, and I have a nice little soup that has passed inspection!

Oh yeah, Jon and I moved, so I’ll just let that take the blame for my extreme posting leave of absence. Can we just call it a leave of absence? Anyhoot, yes, Jon and I bought our first house and have been here for exactly 8 days now! I’ve gussied up the kitchen to my liking (including a glorious rolling wooden kitchen island from Ikeeeeeeeeea), and am seriously enjoying my recent cooking endeavors. We kicked off our first (non-takeout/fast food) meal here with Red Beans and Rice. Everything else has been pretty damn great! Now, I do apologize for a lack of pictures in this post, but you’ll have to forgive me because I haven’t yet located my camera, amongst the slew of boxes.

This is my idea of a real superbowl, and it doesn’t leave the most unsavoury aftertaste of Madonna’s pigskin-esque body shaking around, afterward. Now that your appetite is raring to go, let’s do this.

Ritzy Lima Bean Soup (I’m sorry, I’m Mad Men-ing again)


  • 4 (or 5?) strips of bacon, sliced 1″
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (I removed half the seeds and ribs)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed 1″
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup corn niblets
  • 2 cups frozen (or fresh, if you’re lucky) lima beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • water (or stock)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (whatever kind you want)
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste


First things first, fry up that bacon. It’s fine right in your cooking pot, which doesn’t have to be too huge, medium-large is good. Once it’s brown and crisp, drain the fat (save it, save it!), and add butter. Yes, this is what you’re doing. Add carrots, onion, celery, jalapeno, potatoes, and garlic, and saute until lightly browned. Add corn and lima beans, and bay leaf. Stir and add enough water or chicken stock to cover all ingredients about 1″. Add basil, paprika, a little salt and pepper (to season the vegetables as they cook). Let it come to a boil, and drop the heat to a simmer, around medium-low. Cook for 25 minutes or so, until the lima beans are soft and buttery. Add cream, stir, check seasoning and serve!

I wouldn’t exactly know what to serve with this, as it’s extremely good on it’s own, and that’s how I enjoyed it. However, it’s one of those cute, yet elegant dishes, where you feel like Melba Toast should be in the picture somewhere. I don’t know, whatever that guy at the Maidstone Club is having with it?


Dass all I have for now, I hope that you are enticed, despite pictures, and that unabashed jab at Madonna. I promise you though, it is beautiful and serves up very attractively. Even if you have unattractive dinnerware!

Happy trails then,


Hearth Soup August 22, 2011

I honestly had no idea what to call this recipe. There is so much going on in this soup, but it all fits together so, so nicely. It’s the kind of soup that makes you feel cozy, warm, and just comfortable in general. It makes you feel good about everything. The same kind of feeling you get when you drink from your favourite old, chipped pottery mug, and the coffee is the best you ever tasted. That feeling. Home. The hearth. If I had to give this recipe a name based on it’s ingredients, however, it’d be Brown Rice, Lentil, Sweet Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup. That’s a mouthful, nawp.
Anyhow, I’m sharing this recipe with you now, and I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a coon’s age! I don’t even think I have a legitimate excuse, just laziness, I guess. If it’s any consolation, if you continue to scroll after this post, I’ve posted several recipes that I’ve come up with in the past little while (and believe me, there are lots more beyond those). Buttermilk-blueberry pancakes with maple-lime blueberry syrup, zucchini bread with cashews and cranberries, and some tasty maple granola that is CHOCK FULL of little treats. I haven’t stopped cooking in my posting absence! So, please take a look at those, they aren’t as carefully laid out as most of my posts, and they don’t all have pictures, but they’re there, and I promise they’re good!
Moving on with this one though!
Hearth Soup

6 oz bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1 sweet potato, in 1/2″ cubes
1 carrot, in 1/2″ cubes
1 leek, (washed) sliced in half and cut in 1/4″ pieces (moons)
1 stalk celery, sliced lengthwise and in 1/4″ dice
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed and sorted for any stones
1/2 cup brown rice (basmati brown, if possible, amazing aroma)
6 cups water or chicken stock
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper (not too fine)
1 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp dry oregano
3/4 tsp dry basil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
In a large saucepan or pot, saute bacon until browned somewhat (I like to start it out with a little water, to sort of cook it through and evenly bring out the fat, and let it evaporate). Add sweet potato, carrot, leek, celery, and saute until browned, maybe 4 minutes or so. Add garlic, and cook till fragrant, a minute or so. Add water (or stock), a little at a time, stirring on the bottom to de-glaze the pan (collect the brown bits for flava-flav). After it’s all in, bring to a simmer, add lentils and brown rice, along with all remaining ingredients. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until lentils are soft, and broth is well-flavoured. Adjust seasoning to your tastes, and serve with some crusty brown bread, and then feel the sudden urge to call your parents and tell them you love them.
Now scroll!
(I’ll try to keep up with the frequent posts, sorry again!)


Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes with Maple-Lime Blueberry Syrup

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — Meg @ 10:10 am

1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all dry ingredients well, then add wet, and stir until moistened, mixture will still be lumpish. Ladle a small amount into skillet, frying in butter over medium-high heat until bubbles appear, then flip and cook till browned. Transfer to a plate.

To make the syrup, combine:

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup water
6 Tbsp maple syrup (the good stuff)
2 tsp lime zest, 1 Tbsp juice

Let it bubble away for a few minutes, then mix 1 Tbsp of cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water, stirring until no lumps are present. Add to bubbly hot blueberry mess, and stir, letting it thicken. Take off the heat, pour it all over dem pancoo, and enjoy, whilst feeling super-duper Canadian!

The process:


Cranbaby-Cashew Zucchini Loaf

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast,Desserts — Meg @ 10:04 am

Lubob gave me a thwack of zucchini and peppers, so I made this. Sans shishito peppers.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar (white or brown, who cares)
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cimmanon
1 tsp vanilly
1 1/4 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup of chopped, toasted cashews
1/3 cup dried cranbabies

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, add sugar and oil and mix well. In another, larger bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Stir cranberries and cashews (it’s nice to leave a little handful of those to sprinkle on top though), so they won’t float to the top only when baking. Stir zucchini into wet ingredients, then add all wet ingredients to dry. Mix until just moistened. Pour into a greased loaf pan, bake for around 60 minutes, or until springs back, or tests clean with a toothpick!


Maple Granolies with Lots of Goodies

Filed under: Breakfast,Desserts,Uncategorized — Meg @ 9:59 am

4 cups oats (not instant!)
1 cup oat bran flakes
1 cup coconut (shredded is nice)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
1/2 Tbsp milk
little pinch o’salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large (LARGE!!!) bowl, or a roasting pan works well, mix ingredients from oats down to nutmeg. Place butter, maple syrup, milk and salt in a small saucepan, and stir to combine over low heat, until homogeneous. Pour evenly over oat mixture, stir very well, but don’t break it up too much (clusterfuck granolie is what you want). If you’re using a roasting pan, just keep it in there. Otherwise, place on a large baking sheet with edges. Place in oven, for 20-30 minutes, stirring about every 10. Be careful for scorching, this recipe is fast and wonderful, you just have to pay attention!

Fall in love with a bearded man, start wearing sandals all year round, and enjoy a bowl with some yogourt and Jerry Garcia.


Homina, homina, hominy. July 4, 2011

Smokey Hominy Soup, my chickens!
Yesterday, Jon brought home this “When Country Comes to Town,” 2011 Brant County Culinary Guide (see here!). Page 9, Three Sisters Soup caught my attention (Jon’s boss, Matt Lee is on page 13 with a soup recipe that looks rather nice too), and I went on this bender trying to figure out what I had and if I could make it. No, I couldn’t. So, I got my friend Laura‘s recipe from her blog, and decided to start with that. Well, it’s Summer. Summer means I like smoky, cumin-y things, and I started to make that soup… And then I got carried away. I couldn’t stop adding things, and here’s what happened.

If you haven’t tried hominy, PLEASE do so. It’s got a really unique texture, nothing at all like normal corn. It is delicious, a bit nutty, and.. agh. Just, love.
Smokey Hominy Soup

3 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz smoked pork belly (or other smoked pork stuffs), diced
1 medium onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, sliced on the bias (small though)
1 carrot, same as celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (Campbell’s soup size, whatever that is) hominy corn, drained and rinsed
1 medium sized new potato, diced
8 cups water (go ahead and use stock if you have it, veggie or chicken, or porkish)
1 156mL can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp hot paprika
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp dry oregano
1 can (Campbell’s size) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper, to taste (lots of both, if you ask me)
Okay, grab a biggish cooking pot, turn ‘er up to medium-high, add the olive oil. When it’s hot enough to saute the veggies (test by throwing a piece of onion in, I always say!), throw ’em in there. By which I mean, the onions, carrot, celery, along with the pork belly. When those are good and browned, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or until fragrant. Then, add all the other ingredients, starting with the water, to deglaze (scrape the brown bits off the bottom, a little water at a time). Bring to a simmer, and drop the heat to low. Cook until potatoes are done, if you’re short on time, but if you want good soup, REALLY good soup, cook it for a long time. The slow-cooker, even, would be amazing for this. I cooked this for 7 or 8 hours (mostly because I was waiting for bread to finish all it’s many risings, and also, because I was really irresponsible and fell asleep for 3.5 hours). Anyhow, serve it with huge hunks of bread and be done with it. So good.
I’m done. Have to eat more of this soup now. Yeaaaaaah. Here’s Laura’s recipe, before I go: Laura’s Three Sisters Soup!
Her blog never ceases to amaze me. She is a wonderful woman.