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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

It's a beautiful day out, I hope you're all enjoying it with someone you love. 

XO-Wife of Wright

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Piece number one is up! Isn't my hubby cute? To be continued... Xo-Wife of Wright

Thresholds, and molding, and ceilings oh my!

Happy Saturday everyone!  Today we are doing all things domestic at W.O.W.  Blake and I are working around the house and waiting on his parents to arrive to help us poor souls out.  We have been in our house six months and our kitchen lights are still bulbs hanging from wires out of holes in the ceiling.  Lovely right?  Today Blake's dad is going to help him put up the bead board material we bought for our kitchen ceiling, and if all goes well we will have actual light fixtures installed by tonight.  Hallelujah!  We're going to celebrate with a warm soup buffet, cheddar bacon drop biscuits, and rice crispy treats for dessert.  After the little ghouls and goblins have visited to collect their treats I plan on sitting by our fire pit in the backyard and relaxing with nice glass of Italian Amarone.  This might not be the wildest Halloween I've celebrated, but it certainly is the most productive! 

Here is a picture of our kitchen ceiling and lights right now.

Gosh that compressor looks lovely in the middle of the floor...

Soups for tonight are Asparagus Bisque and Turkey Mini Meatball with Gnocchi Dumplings, recipes to follow!

Have a wonderful day!  xo-Wife of Wright

Friday, October 29, 2010

Butt-ernut Squash

See what I did there?  Don't ask.  I'm in THAT kind of a mood today.  Let's blame it on Halloween, or how I like bathroom humor, whichever you feel more comfortable with.  Anyways...Below I posted a picture of the Butternut Squash Ravioli that I made on Wednesday evening.  I know this recipe seems like it would be complicated and you're thinking "I would rather just buy it pre-made."  But please don't!  It is really borderline easy, and with a little time you can have homemade ravioli on your table tonight. 

Butt-ernut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce and Pancetta

What to buy:

  • 6-8 thick slices of pancetta(sometimes they carry this already diced at Target, however I would recommend going to a deli that carries it fresh and having them slice it to your preference.  I use Falcone's on N. May for you OKC people)
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 1 package of won-ton wrappers (this is where the easy comes in, no rolling out fresh pasta required!  The won-ton wrappers are in the refrigerated section usually near the fresh herbs and tofu)
  • 1 cup of Chicken Broth ( I use reduced sodium to control the salt)
  • 1 tbs. dry sage 
  • 1 tsp. each S&P or salt and pepper for those who don't get down with abbreviations
  • 1tbs. olive oil
  • A stick of un-salted butter
  • 1 shallot, 2 if they're really small
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • One gallon size ziplock or piping bag
Start by cutting the pancetta into cubes.  I like mine nice and chunky, but if you like more of a dice go crazy.  Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat.  Drop in the pancetta and cook until nice and crispy, about 5-6 minutes.  While the pancetta is cooking mince the shallot and garlic and dice the butternut squash.  Remove pancetta and put on a paper towel lined plate to drain.  DO NOT drain off the pancetta fat!  The next ingredients are going to go right in and get groovy with all that yummy pork fat.  I get the squash to about dice size pieces.  You want the squash to all be uniform in size once it's cut so that it cooks evenly.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot and garlic to the yummy pancetta fat that is still in your pan.  Add a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper to season.  After the shallot and garlic have softened, about 3 minutes, turn the heat back up to medium high and add the butternut squash. Add 1/2 tbs. of sage.  Stir to combine.  Let these things continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes and then add the chicken broth.  The broth is going do two things.  First deglaze your pot.  You want all of the yummy pancetta bits that were left at the bottom of your pan to come un-stuck and combine into the mixture.  Two give the butternut squash liquid to fully cook in.  Once the broth comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it go for about 15-20 minutes.  Make sure you do not have your stove too hot during this step.  If your broth is boiling too hard it will reduce too quickly and you will have not so soft squash.  Simmer is the key word.  When the simmer time is up remove the pan from the heat and get ready to puree.  I have a handheld immersion blender that works wonders, but it is just as easy to puree the mixture with a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Add half of the grated parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Empty the yummy stuff into a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Put a large pot of water on the stove for your ravioli.  When it comes to a boil add salt to season the pasta itself.  When the squash has cooled some add the mixture to your ziplock or piping bag.  I use a cookie sheet to lay out my won-ton wrappers and a small bowl of water to seal the edges.  When you have the wrappers ready cut the corner of your bag and let the piping begin!  Only put about 1 tsp. of puree on each wonton wrapper.  If you overstuff them they won't seal properly and will fall apart when you add them to the boiling water.  I place it just off center to make them easier to seal.  Some people prefer to use a pastry brush to wet one side of the wrapper, however I think it is easier and much less messy to use your finger tip.  I think pastry brushes make the wrapper much too wet and it gets very goopy, very fast.  Simply wet two sides with your finger and fold over to make a triangle.  Press to seal making sure to get out any air bubbles and set aside.  When all of the ravioli are stuffed set them to the side and put a medium to large size saute pan on the stove.  Turn it on to medium heat and add the butter.  Once the butter is melted add the remaining 1/2 tbs. of sage, some fresh ground pepper, and the garlic powder.  Let this cook very slowly over medium heat while you boil your ravioli, about 10 minutes.  Add the ravioli to the boiling water about 8 at a time.  Do not overcrowd your pot or they will stick to one another.  The ravioli only take about 2-3 minutes to cook.  Once they float to the top they are done.  As they come out of the pot add them to your brown butter sage skillet and coat them generously.  Plate your ravioli, add some diced pancetta and top with grated parmesan and more ground pepper if desired.  Now...and this is the most important part.  EAT IT!  Don't worry about the butter all over your face, no one will notice, they're too busy with their plate.

I hope you enjoy! In the future I am hoping to have step by step photos to help you along the way, and also a printer friendly version of recipes.  But for now, it's all longhand, so stock up on paper and ink people!

Ciao-Wife of Wright  xo

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hello! My name is...

Gena M. Wright.  I am 30 years old and live in Oklahoma City, OK with my husband Blake.  We have a two and a half year old turtle named Pete.  Peter Eugene Wright if you want to be formal about it.  You can call him PEW for short.  Do not misunderstand, he doesn't stink, his initials are just a coincidence that we find hilarious, and now you can join in on the fun too.  That is if you like to laugh at completely stupid, meaningless things, or bathroom humor...You do?  Great!  We'll get along just fine.  Blake and I bought a home last April and have been in the process of remodeling it for the past six months.  Blake took off work for a week after the closing because he thought he could re-do everything and get our things moved in.  W.O.W.(Wife of Wright) moment number one on this blog.  I will use W.O.W.'s to point out my "Wrightness" every now and then...Our timeline has gone a little something like this:  Purchased house, hail storm damages roof, windows and gutters.  Air conditioning goes out.  Fight with home warranty company, fight with home warranty company, fight with home warranty company (Why do we buy these things anyway?).  Strip floors, rip up floors, tear hole in wall.  Paint, paint, stain and paint.  New floor, crown molding, quarter round, furniture, rugs, curtains YES CURTAINS!  Breathe in breathe out...Is it almost November?  It is?  Phew, I'm glad we did this.  The bathroom renovation isn't even happening until after the New Year, we only have one bathroom, this should get interesting come January.  Just to reitterate... W.O.W.

I have been dreaming of starting a blog for over two years.  I have owned the url for the name of this blog for almost as long, yet this is my first post.  I dreamed along with my husband of having a blog with my own website with all the bells and whistles, and although that is still in the works one of my best friends Jacqui called me this morning and said "You have got to get a blog!"  I told her that I am, I mean I was, no I mean I am and she said "No one has time to start a blog, you have to commit, just do it."  (Do I owe Nike money now?  I'm still not sure how this whole blog thing works...)  The fact is, she's right.  If I waited until the house was done, or the website was just how I wanted it, or until we had that nice fancy camera that would take great pictures of things I want to feature it would NEVER HAPPEN.  So beautiful Jacqui challenged me to post my first blog before next Friday, November 5th.  She told me she was going to call me everyday and annoy me and push me and make my life miserable.  So I'm beating her to the punch (or being competitive so that I can say nanny nanny boo boo to her face when I see her tonight, don't tell anyone).  So here it is.  My blog.  And here is what I will be featuring:

Food.  Lots and lots of food.  The exact reason that Jacqui called to challenge me this morning was because I posted pictures of the dinner I made last night.  I have an entire album of pictures of food I make on my personal Facebook page.  She asked "Why are you wasting all this on Facebook?"  No offense Facebook, but she's right.  I LOVE to cook.  I grew up in a family of amazing cooks.  My father is full blood Sicilian, my maiden name is Castellano.  The Italian blood runs deep and as thick as my Nonna's sauce.  My mother's family is Scotch/Irish and cooked and still cook some of the best down home food you can imagine.  It makes your blood thick in a different bacon fat type way.  Everything in moderation right?  I can't wait to share my families food along with all of the other food that I love to cook.  I am not a chef, just a home cook who loves to fill my family and friends bellies and hear the oohs and ahhs dribble out of their mouths. 

Home.  I love my home.  Minus the small amount of moaning and groaning above about what it's like to re-model a house I really do love it.  I would call Blake and I's personal style mid-century modern, but I have an appreciation for so much more and when I find things I love, or ideas that I think are great I will throw them your way. 

Lifestyle.  Sometimes I just want to write.  I have a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and my concentration was Secondary Education-English.  I love to read, I love to write, and sometimes this blog will be just that.  Somewhere for me to update family and friends and anyone else who might care on what is going on in this crazy thing called life.  Blake and I have family all over this country and this blog will be a fantastic way to keep them all updated while also providing an educational (fingers crossed) place to learn about food, home, and the life I love. 

I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I think I am going to.  Please feel free to leave comments and questions.  I will answer them as I can. 

xoxo-Wife of Wright