Alyssa and Carla http://www.alyssaandcarla.com A blog full of recipes, food, DIY and favorites for lovers of all things fun and delicious. Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:02:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.6 58077061 Chocolate Caramel Milkshake Pops http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/06/20/chocolate-caramel-milkshake-pops/ http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/06/20/chocolate-caramel-milkshake-pops/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:48:42 +0000 http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/?p=9004 I’ve probably mentioned my family’s summer trip to Lake Tahoe before, but this is probably the first year we’ll be hitting the beach while the ski slopes are still open.  (!)  Thanks to a LOT of snowfall (great for the drought, somewhat insane for vacation planning purposes) we might be a little colder than usual.

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I’ve probably mentioned my family’s summer trip to Lake Tahoe before, but this is probably the first year we’ll be hitting the beach while the ski slopes are still open.  (!)  Thanks to a LOT of snowfall (great for the drought, somewhat insane for vacation planning purposes) we might be a little colder than usual.  Still, we head to the lake this weekend for the usual summer fun: water fights, s’mores, flashlight bedtime stories, and lots of popcorn-fueled family movie nights.

In the spirit of all things summer, we’re partnering with Dreyer’s to share this easy Chocolate Caramel Milkshake Pops recipe featuring Dreyer’s Slow Churned Caramel Delight light ice cream.  These pops are creamy, easy to make for a crowd, and full of chocolate-y caramel deliciousness.

As I was dreaming up how to make this recipe perfect for summer, I couldn’t stop thinking about a reality of the season: things just have to be easier overall.  That’s why these pops are made in Dixie cups- easy to find, even if you’re away from home and have a whole cabin full of people wanting dessert.  Instead of looking for popsicle molds, just grab a box of cups and a bag of popsicle sticks at the market and you’re in business.

You’ll also want to grab a few containers of Dreyer’s Slow Churned Caramel Delight light ice cream.  This flavor is seriously the secret ingredient to these pops- a better-for-you light ice cream made with wholesome ingredients that tastes AMAZING.  Check out these caramel swirls!

These swirls are honestly the secret to these pops’ success- combining them with chocolate milk creates a sweet frozen treat that’s JUST like a milkshake, but on a stick!

In order to combine my ingredients, I used a food processor.  This step is easy though- you can also use a blender, or even a hand mixer!  

It’s a short recipe list that’s big on yummy: Dreyer’s Slow Churned Caramel Delight light ice cream, chocolate milk, chocolate chips and a tiny bit of shortening.  That’s it!

Chocolate Caramel Milkshake Pops
Yields 10
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups Dreyer’s Slow Churned Caramel Delight Light Ice Cream
  2. 1 cup Nesquik chocolate milk
  3. 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  4. 1 teaspoon shortening
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine ice cream and chocolate milk and blend until combined.
  2. Spoon ice cream into small Dixie cups, leaving a half inch of space remaining in the cup.
  3. Freeze for one hour, then insert a popsicle stick in the center.
  4. Freeze overnight, or at least eight hours. Once frozen, cut a small slit in the side of the Dixie cup and peel your pop out.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening until smooth.
  6. Coat or drizzle your pops!
Alyssa and Carla http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/

While you’re waiting for your pops to freeze- let’s chat a bit more about that Dreyer’s light ice cream.  Slow Churned is special because it has 1/2 the fat and 1/3 less calories than full fat ice cream, but it’s still made with fresh milk and cream with non GMO ingredients.  Most importantly, it’s super tasty.

If you’ve never made Dixie cup pops before it might seem a little awkward to get your pops out, but don’t worry!  It’s super easy.  Simply cut a small slit into the side of the cup with a pair of scissors and peel off the wrapper around the pop.  

Voila!  I shared these pops with my two nieces as a pre-summer vacation treat and we all agreed they reminded us of our favorite parts of a milkshake.  Let us know what you think!

 

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Healthy Living with Tropicana Probiotics http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/05/01/healthy-living-tropicana-probiotics/ Mon, 01 May 2017 20:00:43 +0000 http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/?p=8966 We partnered with our friends at Megan Media and Tropicana for this post. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. A few weeks ago I was out of town for work and I got The Work Cold. You know the one–you’re flying in an airplane, taking taxis, opening a lot of doors that

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We partnered with our friends at Megan Media and Tropicana for this post. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

A few weeks ago I was out of town for work and I got The Work Cold. You know the one–you’re flying in an airplane, taking taxis, opening a lot of doors that other folks have been touching, etc. The germ overload is REAL. Ever since I returned, I’ve been fighting alternating bouts of Hurts-When-I-Swallow and/or Why-Am-I-Coughing-So-Loudly-I’m-Scaring-People. Which made it an extra excellent time to partner with Tropicana Probiotics on their #BelieveInYourGut campaign!

(What? TROPICANA makes a probiotic juice? I didn’t know either! But it’s true–AND the juices are delicious.)

I’ve long heard that keeping your gut healthy is the key to overall health. Ever since I’ve been incorporating probiotics into my diet, I feel better and healthier overall. It’s pretty remarkable!

I love so many of Tropicana Probiotics’ benefits: a whole day’s worth of Vitamin C (key for nixing The Work Cold), no added sugar or artificial flavors in 100% juice, and over ONE BILLION live and active cultures. ONE BILLION. That’s a lot of little tiny gut helpers.

If you’re not super familiar with probiotics and their benefits, here’s a little primer about what it might mean for your health: Probiotics boost your immune system and help with digestion. Probiotics are already in your body naturally, but taking additional probiotics will help to boost this “good bacteria” so that your body is able to balance out “bad” bacteria. I’ve been vaguely familiar with this concept for a long time; my mom used to always set out yogurt when I had an antibiotic prescription as a kid with the intent of replacing the “good” bacteria the antibiotic might kill. My mom–a probiotics pioneer!

Since I especially crave juice when I’m sick, the three fruity flavors provide some excellent variety. Choose between Strawberry Banana, Pineapple Mango, and Peach Passion Fruit I sincerely could not pick a favorite. Not gonna lie: having delicious juice that I know is good for me that tastes great, is nutritious, and super convenient to pick up just makes tackling wellness BETTER. And EASIER.

It’s so easy that I’ve continued buying this juice in the store even though I’m finally feeling better. It’s right next to all the other juice in my local market–I mean, wouldn’t YOU grab the juice with the one billion live and active cultures when you know it’s yummy and helps contribute to your overall wellness?

Thanks again to Tropicana for sponsoring this post and thank YOU for supporting the brands who support us.

 

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Triple Berry Overnight Oats http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/04/27/triple-berry-overnight-oats/ http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/04/27/triple-berry-overnight-oats/#comments Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:50:43 +0000 http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/?p=8924 This post has been sponsored by The Dannon Company and The J.M. Smucker Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Somewhat unbelievably, there was a time in my life where my mom worried I didn’t eat enough.  Yes, I know- hard to imagine that this food blogger once inspired conversations about meal replacement shakes

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This post has been sponsored by The Dannon Company and The J.M. Smucker Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Somewhat unbelievably, there was a time in my life where my mom worried I didn’t eat enough.  Yes, I know- hard to imagine that this food blogger once inspired conversations about meal replacement shakes and secret spoonfuls of peanut butter, but it’s the truth.  The one exception?  Dannon Vanilla Yogurt.  I LOVED IT.  I could eat it (and often DID eat it) all day long.  This yogurt has amazing texture, perfect slightly sour notes, and a fantastic vanilla-y taste.

That story is the whole truth whether you asked me today or ten years ago- and it’s what makes Dannon such a perfect natural partner for this recipe.  In addition to yogurt, Smucker’s also provided their delicious Fruit & Honey Spread to top off this hearty, delicious overnight oat breakfast that is ready in a jiffy.

You know all about how much I love Dannon yogurt by now, but we should also talk about this Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Spread.  When they say Fruit & Honey, well, that’s EXACTLY what they mean.  The jar is full of ripe fruit and honey to sweeten, giving it a great, balanced flavor.  We’re using the Triple Berry flavor in today’s recipe- it is thick and full of berry chunks, so good!  You may also find a Strawberry or Blueberry Lemon flavor in the store – these are equally yummy and would be easy substitutions.

If you haven’t tried overnight oats yet, you really should get to it.  Not only is it an easy method for a quick breakfast, but the finished oats are so soft and smooth- a completely different texture than cooking them!  The below recipe is a perfect starter: creamy and flavorful, but won’t overpower the addition of Triple Berry spread.

Triple Berry Overnight Oats
Yields 2
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for the overnight oats
  1. 1 cup old fashioned oats
  2. 1 cup milk (your favorite variety or milk substitute, I used 2%)
  3. 1/2 cup Dannon Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/8 teaspoon salt
for the overnight oat cups
  1. prepared overnight oats
  2. 4 tablespoons Smucker's Fruit & Honey Triple Berry Spread
  3. 2 tablespoons Dannon Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt
  4. 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  5. 2 teaspoons hemp seeds
for the overnight oats
  1. Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar, stirring thoroughly to combine.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
for the overnight oat cups
  1. Add 1/2 cup of prepared overnight oats to the bottom of a bowl or shallow cup. Top with one tablespoon of Smucker's Fruit & Honey Triple Berry Spread and one tablespoon of Dannon Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt.
  2. Repeat another layer of oats and the remaining Triple Berry Spread.
  3. Top with a teaspoon of chia seeds and a teaspoon of hemp seeds.
Alyssa and Carla http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/
The assembly on these little breakfast treats turns the overnight oats into a simple parfait.  I loved the idea of getting some crunch right on top from chia and hemp seeds.  Many recipes add chia seeds to the overnight oat process and allow them to expand and add creamy texture to the oats themselves.  This is obviously a great idea, but adding them on top of the oats in this recipe lets chia keep its earthy crunch.  
Hemp seeds also have some great benefits.  While not as crunchy as chia, hemp seeds have lots of protein- just what you want in a morning meal.  In this recipe, they’re slightly nutty and sweet- offsetting the creamy texture of the oats nicely.

Of course, this recipe is also really flexible.  Like a little more Fruit & Honey spread (like me)? Go for it.  A bunch more yogurt?  Yes, sir.  Layer it up to suit exactly what you’re looking for in a simple breakfast.

If you’re searching for Dannon yogurt and Smucker’s Fruit & Honey spreads, head to your local Kroger store-  I found mine at Foodsco.  

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A Simple Earth Day Celebration with IZZE http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/04/21/simple-earth-day-celebration-izze/ Sat, 22 Apr 2017 00:00:23 +0000 http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/?p=8951 Earth Day is almost here!  We’re partnering up with IZZE this month to give a few celebration suggestions that will get you outside, encourage some creative recycling, and help save our planet! This Earth Day, gather some friends for a sweet celebration! Since Earth Day is specifically intended to support environmental protection, here a few ideas to get you

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Earth Day is almost here!  We’re partnering up with IZZE this month to give a few celebration suggestions that will get you outside, encourage some creative recycling, and help save our planet!

This Earth Day, gather some friends for a sweet celebration! Since Earth Day is specifically intended to support environmental protection, here a few ideas to get you and yours started saving our planet and honoring Mother Nature just a bit at a time:

  1. Look for community clean-ups in your town and attend!  Here in California, beach and coastal clean-ups are regular occurrences.  On Earth Day, many communities offer volunteer opportunities to pick up trash, execute trail maintenance, and more.  It’s a great way to show up for the local outdoor spaces you use and enjoy!

2. Throw a Garage Sale! Recycling is more than newspapers and bottles- reusing household goods, furniture and clothes reduces our environmental impact since less new goods have to be made.  Gather some items around the house, post a few signs, and get ready to share items that you’re no longer using with your friends and neighbors.  Extra credit points if you share your earnings with your favorite Earth-focused organization!

Thinking that a garage sale seems too involved?  Purge the items and donate them to a local charity instead so they can be used again!

3. Stop the flow of junk mail! Data suggests that over 100 million trees are cut down annually just to product junk mail you don’t even want to read.  Visit earthday.org at this page to learn how to reduce the junk mail you receive

4. Recycle your IZZE bottles… twice!  Rinse out your empties, fill them with water and make an easy, colorful centerpiece!

All you need to get started?  5-ish clean IZZE bottles, scissors and some bright flowers!  I used sunflowers and gerbera daisies for maximum joyful hues, but definitely feel free to pick your favorites.  A sturdy flower is best so that the blooms last all night!

I elected to use 3-ish blooms per bottle.  To measure the stems, hold them up next to the bottle and approximate how much you’d like sticking up out of the bottle’s neck.  Then just snip!

Group the bottles together or line ’em up!  Super cute either way.  And don’t forget to set out some IZZE Sparkling Water and Sparkling Juice on ice- you’ll need it after your day of helping the Earth!

This post was created in partnership with IZZE.  Thank you for supporting the brands who support us!

 

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3 Things I Always Eat When I Go Back to Japan http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/04/06/3-things-always-eat-go-back-japan/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 23:30:47 +0000 http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/?p=8902 I lived in Tokyo for about three and half years, and have been really fortunate to return a few times since we left. It’s tough to play tourist when you lived in a city because you’re faced with a difficult decision: do you go back to all of your favorite restaurants, or do you try

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I lived in Tokyo for about three and half years, and have been really fortunate to return a few times since we left. It’s tough to play tourist when you lived in a city because you’re faced with a difficult decision: do you go back to all of your favorite restaurants, or do you try new places? I usually end up falling back on my old favorites, and probably because they never disappoint. Since Japan is such a hot travel destination right now, I thought people might find my food perspective helpful when planning their own trips!

These top 3 are probably not terribly surprising, but I hope some of the specific details will be useful. Please forgive the iPhone photos – I just can’t bring myself to pull out the massive DSLR in restaurants (especially nice ones). Bad food/travel blogger, I know, but it feels a little rude to me and I hate drawing that much attention to myself! Introvert, much? But when you live somewhere, you’re not super excited to be known as “that annoying foreigner who always comes in here with her giant camera.” I prefer “that annoying foreigner who fails miserably when trying to speak Japanese.”

1. Sushi. Obviously. There are so many different sushi experiences you can have, but I try to do at least one of EACH of these three versions of sushi every time we go back:

Sushi lunch. Most of the mid-range sushi restaurants will serve a lunch set of about 8-10 pieces of nigiri, sometimes a small roll, miso soup, and green tea for $15-$50 (depending on the joint). It’s the best way to get high quality sushi on a budget. Even the REALLY nice places will usually have a sushi lunch for about half of what you pay for a dinner. It’s a completely different experience than dinner, of course, but if getting delicious fish into your mouth is your main goal then you’ll be very, very happy.

Supermarket sushi.
Step 1: Find a higher-end supermarket. There is usually one attached to the depachiko, which are those elaborate food courts in the basements of any major department store. Or they tend to be one level below the depachiko in major train stations like Shibuya.
Step 2: Seek out the refrigerated case for sushi.
Step 3: Buy an embarrassingly large container of sushi, one that is perhaps meant to feed 4-6 Japanese people.
Step 4. Take it back to your hotel, put on your stretchy pants, and go to town in the privacy of your own room where no one can judge how much sushi you’re eating.
You can spend as much or as little money on this as your budget allows. Depending on my mood, I’ll get a platter of various cuts of incredible tuna or assorted fish for about $25, or just a few pieces of beautiful sashimi for about $10. The tuna assortment pictured above was about $15 and was basically heaven.
In Shibuya Station, follow signs for the Tokyu FoodShow and then find the grocery store that’s a level below it. Good luck trying to decide which sushi you want from their case – it’s completely overwhelming and magical. Also, shop for sushi early, because they tend to be picked over by about 6pm.

The high end sushi experience. The omakase set at a higher-end sushi restaurant one of the most special dining experiences you can have. Period. The amount of time and effort that goes in to every single detail is absolutely incredible, from the lighting to the choice of dishes and, of course, the food itself. I strongly encourage you to do some research so you know what to expect and what to do, and you can be a good ambassador. Eating sushi is almost as much of an art as preparing it, and it’s possible to be unintentionally disrespectful if you’re not informed about the ritual and art. But don’t let that stop you! Do some research, ask questions, and observe the behavior of the diners around you.

Also fun: conveyer belt sushi. It’s more of a novelty and the fish is usually not very high-quality, so I don’t seek it out when I go back. But if it’s your first time in Japan, it’s a great experience and you should definitely try it.

2. Beef. Japanese beef is life-changing. You’ll never look at a giant slab of American beef the same way again, so be emotionally prepared for that at your next barbecue. This country knows how to season beef, too, and usually serves it with a variety of dipping sauces or salts to bring out the rich flavors. If you have the budget for a really good teppanyaki restaurant, you’re in for an incredible dinner and a show. The chefs at these restaurants have spent years (decades, even) mastering the art of cooking on a flat top, so sit back and take it all in during 4-6 glorious courses.
If you can’t find a teppanyaki restaurant in your price range (dinners tend to start at at least $100/person), there are many restaurants that serve a more à la carte version with perfectly-cooked steaks cut into bite-size pieces and delivered to your table with tiny dishes of salt, soy sauce, ponzu, grated daikon, wasabi, and more. If you don’t enjoy your beef medium-rare, however, this is not the experience for you. It’s frankly not worth spending the money, and most restaurants won’t even offer you options for how you want your meat cooked.
But if well-done beef is more your style, try the grill-at-your-table restaurants called yakiniku-ya in Japan (kind of like a Japanese version of Korean barbecue). They serve fantastic beef as well (and pork/seafood/veggies), but let you control the level of doneness.

3. Ramen. I know it’s old news in The States and probably in a lot of other countries, but I have yet to find a bowl back in the US that truly feels like Japanese ramen to me. And I’ve tried A LOT of ramen in search of that feeling. All of the restaurants I listed have a few locations around Tokyo (Ippudo & Ichiran are in other cities in Japan as well), which may sound off-putting. But I love that they’re consistent and ALWAYS produce an amazing bowl of ramen, so I don’t personally turn my nose up at ramen chains.
You can have absolutely have an incredible bowl at the mom & pop shops as well, or you can not really know what to order and try to ask someone and have them get annoyed at you because your Japanese is beginner-level and you turn bright red and start to regret ever walking into that restaurant and panic and push any button on the machine without knowing what you’re getting and end up with a really lackluster bowl of ramen and…where was I?
 Oh yeah, I’m not messing around when I eat in Japan – I refuse to throw away a single meal, and these three places don’t disappoint:

My personal favorite is Afuri, which has about half a dozen branches around Tokyo (and one in Portland that I intend to try this summer). Their broth is lighter, because it’s made from chicken and fish instead of the more traditional pork broth, called tonkotsu. They also grill the slices of pork belly before adding them to the ramen, which lends a gorgeous smoky flavor to the broth. The pickled bamboo shoots that they use are the best ones I’ve ever had in ramen, and the egg is always perfect. My go-to order is the yuzu shoyu ramen with maroaji, but they have a small selection of other non-ramen dishes as well (and a refreshing tsukemen in the summers). I love that they have an English menu, which eliminates some of the intimidating parts of ordering food in Japan. 

Ippudo is has international locations as well, but the menu offerings vary by country and even by location within the same city. I’ve had it in a few different countries, but Japan’s Ippudo is by far the best. My order is the aka miso ramen with AT LEAST five of their succulent mini gyoza with the most tender, delicate wrappers and a tiny dollop of fiery red yuzu koshio. Can you tell I love their gyoza? Ippudo’s broth is fantastic, and the pork belly is incredibly tender (although it can be a little fatty sometimes).

Ichiran is ramen for introverts that also happens to be delicious, although some of the locations are set up to accommodate groups or couples as well. You order at a machine and can sit at individual stalls with no view of your neighbors, then the food pops out through a window in front of you. There are a lot of different ways to customize your ramen, including richness, spice level, and how you want your noodles cooked. It’s fun to experiment and try different combinations. 

Bonus tip: if you don’t know what to order at a restaurant, the Japanese word for “recommendation” is osusume (o-su-su-meh). Just ask the server “osusume?” and they should get the point, then hopefully point to the house specialty or their personal favorite on the menu. If you have food allergies, be sure to learn how to say them or have a printout with your specific allergies that you can show servers. 

These are just a few of my favorite things to eat in Japan. Honorable mentions include tempura, yakitori, soba, udon, unagi, matcha, onigiri, steam cakes…aaah! Too many things to mention! And there’s some incredible non-Japanese food in Tokyo, especially Thai, Indian, French, Italian, and a few Din Tai Fung locations. Hmm, I think I’ll need to do another post or four of food in Tokyo…

If you’d like any specific recommendations, leave me a note in the comments! I’m happy to help out if I can.

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Ravioli with Ham, Burrata, and Peas http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/03/16/ravioli-ham-burrata-peas/ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 19:00:33 +0000 http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/?p=8876 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boar’s Head. All opinions are 100% mine. Some of my family is coming to stay with me this Easter, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! My cousin and her two girls have never been to California before, and my Mom is escorting

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boar’s Head. All opinions are 100% mine.

Some of my family is coming to stay with me this Easter, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! My cousin and her two girls have never been to California before, and my Mom is escorting them. It’s been years since I’ve done the touristy stuff in the Bay Area, and I’m actually looking forward to revisiting some of the fun things that you’re too cool to do when you actually live here.

With six people in our house for a week and a celebratory dinner at home, I’m going to stock my refrigerator with a Boar’s Head Sweet Slice® Boneless Smoked Ham. You can buy it sliced in the deli section, but I’m going to get the entire half of a ham. I love that it has the flavor of traditional bone-in smoked ham but without the bone, which makes it easy to slice and use for any occasion.

It will make meals so much easier while we’re busy sightseeing, and we’ll chip away at it all week long. I’m envisioning ham sandwiches that we take with us for picnics in the Marin Headlands or to the redwoods, ham-scrambled eggs for a quick breakfast to fortify us before heading to Monterey for a whale watching trip, and an easy way to put a gorgeous glazed ham on the table for Easter dinner. Boar’s Head has lots of ideas on their website, which you can check out for further inspiration on how to use this versatile product.

But I’m most excited to finely dice the Sweet Slice® Ham for these decadent Ravioli with Ham, Burrata, and Peas that I’ve been dreaming up. I want to make a big batch of them for dinner one night while they’re here. My cousin is a seasoned cook, and her girls have always helped out in the kitchen (in fact, Angelina is the one who came up with the idea for our Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwiches). I think they’d really love to make fresh pasta together.

My family has always bonded over time spent in the kitchen, and cooking is a huge part of our lives. While homemade ravioli are a little bit of work, it will be so much fun (and will go much faster) with all of us pitching in and working together.

Maybe we’ll even plan a day around preparing for this dinner! We’ll start by taking a ferry to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, where we’ll have lunch and pick out all of the delicious things we need to make dinner. Then we’ll bring our haul home and spend a few hours together in the kitchen. We’ll set a nice table, put on some music, and have a simple meal that shows off the incredible food you can make when you have fresh, high-quality ingredients.

A few notes on the recipe:

You can always make your pasta dough with a stand mixer or food processor if that’s your preferred method, but I wrote the recipe to make it by hand.

The recipe calls for resting your dough 1-3 hours. If you want to make your dough any further in advance, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours

We want thin dough rolled to almost as wide as the pasta machine, so we end up with wide sheets to work with. If the sheets become too long and are difficult to work with, you can cut them in half and work with shorter pieces. Width is more important than length.

To shape them, you can use a ravioli mold if you like. I wanted to be able to include more of the delicious filling so I made them free-form. You can cut your ravioli into whatever shape you like by using a biscuit cutter, knife, ravioli stamp, or pastry cutter. Even the edge of a drinking glass will work! And if you aren’t confident in the seal, use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges of the ravioli and give them extra reinforcement.

Don’t let the cooking water boil too vigorously, or you’ll increase the chance of the ravioli bursting. It’s almost inevitable that you’ll lose one or two ravioli during the cooking process though, so don’t get discouraged if that happens to you!

Ravioli with Ham, Burrata and Peas
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For the pasta dough
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 2 eggs, plus 4 egg yolks (reserve 1 egg white for sealing the ravioli)
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
For the ravioli filling
  1. 1/3 cup finely diced Boar’s Head Sweet Slice® Boneless Smoked Ham
  2. 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed and slightly warmed in the microwave (or on a stovetop)
  3. 1 large ball of burrata or 2 small balls, chopped into small pieces and mixed together to combine the skin and the creamy interior
  4. 1 egg white, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
For the finished dish
  1. 1 stick salted butter
  2. ½ cup finely diced Boar’s Head Sweet Slice® Boneless Smoked Ham
  3. ½ cup frozen peas, thawed and slightly warmed in the microwave (or on a stovetop)
  4. 1/3 cup shaved Boar’s Head Pecorino Romano Cheese
Instructions
  1. Place the flour in a mound on a clean work surface. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, egg yolks, and salt. Use your finger or a fork to break the yolks and gradually incorporate the egg into the flour. Once it comes together, knead the dough for about 10 minutes to develop the gluten, adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time if your dough is too wet. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out, and let it rest for one to three hours.
  2. Once the dough is done resting, cut it into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, use a pasta maker to roll the dough out to the second to last setting on the machine. If you make the pasta in advance, set it on floured, parchment-lined baking sheets and cover until you’re ready to use them.
  3. Set one sheet of pasta on your work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of burrata at least 1 inch from the short side and centered vertically on the pasta sheet. Spread it out gently until it’s about the size of a silver dollar. Top with about ½ teaspoon of peas and about 1 teaspoon of diced ham. Move down the long edge and repeat the same process, leaving at least 2 inches between mounds of filling.
  4. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg white on the pasta sheet, working around the filling. Take a second sheet of pasta and cover the first sheet. Use your fingers to remove any air bubbles that get trapped and create a tight seal around the filling mounds. Repeat with the remaining sheets of pasta. This recipe should yield about 12 large ravioli.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil. While the water is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it has stopped foaming. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the peas and ham. Cook them in the butter until they have warmed through, about 5 minutes. Keep warm on low heat.
  6. Drop 3-4 ravioli at a time into the boiling water and gently stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon at add to the pan with the butter, ham, and peas. Toss very gently to coat the ravioli and repeat with the remaining ravioli.
  7. Plate the ravioli, topping with the warm peas and ham. Sprinkle the shaved Boar’s Head Pecorino Romano Cheese over the pasta while it’s warm.
Alyssa and Carla http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/

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Citrus and Seed Salad http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/01/29/citrus-seed-salad/ http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2017/01/29/citrus-seed-salad/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2017 04:00:28 +0000 http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/?p=8866 Looking for a healthy meal that’s light, simple, and comes together in no time at all? This salad is full of crunch and flavor thanks to mandarin oranges and a Garlic Lime Dressing. Self-care is the name of my game these days.  I’m remembering to cut myself some slack and find small ways to take better

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Looking for a healthy meal that’s light, simple, and comes together in no time at all? This salad is full of crunch and flavor thanks to mandarin oranges and a Garlic Lime Dressing.

Self-care is the name of my game these days.  I’m remembering to cut myself some slack and find small ways to take better care of my body (and my family and the less fortunate and the Earth, etc.  RINSE.  REPEAT.  You should see how long I stand at the Trash/Recycle/Compost bins- someone has to do it.)  I figured you might be practicing in the same way, so I partnered with Izze to share a delicious, simple, bright salad inspired by their tasty Mandarin Lime Organic Sparkling Water.

You’ll need two kinds of citrus for this salad: limes for the dressing and mandarin oranges for the salad itself.  We’ll be making a bunch of dressing since it’s so great to have on hand- I love it as a dressing on leafy salad, but it’s also great on grain/pasta salads or as a marinade.  I tend to love acidic dressings, so hit the notes section in the recipe for some tips on how to cut the lime for a more mild version.

The Mandarin Lime Izze Organic Sparkling Water flavor is extra tasty with this salad, but you can’t really go wrong- grab any of the flavor options since this line also comes in Blackberry Pear and Raspberry Watermelon flavors.  Each bottle has just the tiniest bit of organic cane sugar for an extra sweet note- it’s just enough.  (I don’t know quite how they do it, but it’s a whole bunch of bright sweetness and STILL only 10 calories.  Magic.)

If you haven’t tried hemp seeds yet, you really should- they’re so nutty and perfect for salads!  Hemp is loaded with protein and essential fatty acids- plus it contains all nine essential amino acids.  If you’re worried that you won’t get through a bag, don’t be.  I also love them on yogurt and smoothies- you’ll be shopping for more in no time at all.

Citrus and Seed Salad
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For the Garlic Lime Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  3. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  4. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  5. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the salad
  1. 4 cups Organic Baby Lettuce Mix
  2. 2 mandarins, peeled and segmented
  3. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  4. 1-2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  5. Garlic Lime Dressing, to taste
To make the dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar. Seal tightly and shake until combined. Refrigerate and shake ingredients together before each use.
To make the salad
  1. Toss together lettuce, mandarin segments, seeds, and dressing to taste.
Notes
  1. For a milder dressing, reduce lime juice to two tablespoons.
Alyssa and Carla http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/

Also- if you like mandarin oranges?  GO CRAZY.  I felt like two mandarins were the perfect amount for a serving, but last weekend I learned that one of my nieces has practically gone through one bag in a sitting.  Look, there’s no judgment in self-care.  YOU EAT AS MANY MANDARINS AS YOU WANT, OK?  DO YOU.

For a light meal, I’d happily eat this salad by itself, but you could certainly top it with chicken or salmon for a more substantial dish.  It’s even great as a side salad and thanks to the seeds it holds up well when you toss several servings in a bowl!

Thanks to Izze for sponsoring this post!

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Blood Orange and Rosemary Sparkling Cocktail http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/2016/12/29/blood-orange-rosemary-sparkling-cocktail-recipe/ Thu, 29 Dec 2016 16:30:57 +0000 http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/?p=8832 True story: a few weeks ago I was visiting Alyssa and her mom for a delicious homemade dinner when Alyssa told me to help myself to the Blood Orange and Rosemary simple syrup in the fridge.  Who has delicious simple syrup just hanging out, ready for visitors?  Alyssa, that’s who.   The syrup was so

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True story: a few weeks ago I was visiting Alyssa and her mom for a delicious homemade dinner when Alyssa told me to help myself to the Blood Orange and Rosemary simple syrup in the fridge.  Who has delicious simple syrup just hanging out, ready for visitors?  Alyssa, that’s who.  

The syrup was so yummy, I just couldn’t wait to recreate it and share it here on the blog.  Even better, this flavorful, brightly-hued syrup is the perfect complement to our partnership with Mionetto Prosecco and their refined Prestige Brut.

Blood oranges are a seriously beautiful citrus fruit.  Apart from their stunning red color, they are a just-right blend of tart and sweet in a juicy little package.  

The fact that blood oranges originated in Italy is just another reason I knew they’d be the perfect complement to Mionetto Prosecco.  Since it’s founding in Italy in 1887, Mionetto has been an internationally recognized leader in Prosecco and sparkling wines from Northeast Italy.  The Mionetto Prestige Brut in particular is full of fresh flavor (mostly green apple, pear and honey notes) that is perfectly elegant.

While the Mionetto Prosecco is a great option for celebrations (like the New Year holiday this weekend, hint hint!), it is also perfectly affordable and suitable for any night of the week- and you’ll have plenty of blood orange and rosemary syrup on hand to whip up a cocktail whenever you want it.  

The Mionetto Prestige Brut even has a full range of bottle sizes- from mini bottles (187 ML) to a standard 750 ml bottle to the large magnum 1.5 liter bottle that’s just dying to accompany you to your next party.

A note about the simple syrup: the rosemary in this simple syrup adds just a touch of herbal flavor.  It is possible to over-steep the rosemary, so be sure that you remove the sprig of rosemary from the simple syrup while it’s cooling.  

Blood Orange and Rosemary Cocktails
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup freshly-squeezed blood orange juice
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (approximately 3-4 inches long)
  4. Mionetto Prestige Brut
For the simple syrup
  1. Heat the blood orange juice, sugar, and rosemary over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove rosemary sprig from the simple syrup and allow to cool completely.
  3. Chill the simple syrup in the refrigerator for several hours.
For the cocktail
  1. Add two tablespoons of blood orange and rosemary simple syrup to the bottom of your glass.
  2. Top with chilled Mionetto Prestige Brut.
Notes
  1. If possible, prepare the simple syrup the day before so it's extremely chilled when you use it!
  2. The simple syrup will keep for at least a month when stored in the refrigerator in a sealed jar.
Alyssa and Carla http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/

Feel free to adjust the amount of simple syrup used to suit your tastebuds- you can’t go wrong.

PS- If you’re looking for more prosecco cocktail ideas, be sure to see our last partnership with Mionetto Prosecco where we made Fresh Strawberry Jus Sparking Cocktails!

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