WordPress.com has been a lovely home for my blog for the past few years, but I’ve decided to change a few things and move to TheCottageRevolution.com. It’s easier to navigate and to find the tutorials and recipes you might be looking for. It’s fresh and new, and built to share all the fun projects that the future brings.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you at TheCottageRevolution.com.
ETA: Anyone who subscribes to Cottage Revolution via email should have had their subscription transfer to the new site automatically. Be sure to look for a new post on Tuesday to test my understanding of this. Any other subscribers will have to resubscribe to TheCottageRevolution.com. So sorry for any inconvenience this poses to anyone. Thanks for your patience with me as I learn the ins and outs of moving a website.
No, it’s not a pro wrestler. It’s a drink. And really it’s just called a Suburban, but the sledgehammer bit is true. While searching for some good fall cocktail recipes to sip beside a backyard fire, Regan and I came upon an Esquire recipe for these.
Mixed with rye, port, dark rum and bitters this is a powerful little drink, but it’s smooth and sweet, which makes it go down easily. From experience we’d like to tell you to pace yourself.
With a name like the Suburban, we considered all the things that could have contributed to its title. We imagined Don Draper and his Madison Avenue buddies taking the train from NY back home to the suburbs and pouring one of these powerful little drinks after a long day. In actuality it was a drink created at the Waldorf Astoria in the late 1800s and named in honor of James Keene, a big deal owner in the world of horse racing. Little known to us, the Suburban Handicap was (and is) a horse race.
I was a little disappointed in the history, but not in the drink. You should mix one up for yourself this season.
• 1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
• 1/2 ounce dark rum
• 1/2 ounce port
• 1 dash orange bitters
• 1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir well with ice, then pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
A friend of mine who recently got married asked me to make her headpiece for the wedding.
Allison and I have always talked about fascinators and our love of them. She has a collection of headbands and other fun accessories she has made to adorn her unquestionably awesome hair. I’ve never made anything of the sort. Yet for some reason she had faith in my ability to create something unique that she’d happily wear on her wedding day.
So when Allison’s mom gave her the handkerchief she’d carried in her own wedding (hand tatted by Belgian nuns, nonetheless), Allison asked me if I’d make her fascinator out of it. I was completely excited and honored, but as she handed over the handkerchief she said, “Do whatever you want. You can even cut it up.” (Did I mention she’s about as cool and carefree as they come?) But then I melted in fear. I was not going to cut into something so precious.
Instead I spent one evening folding up starched pieces of muslin, trying to figure out how I could manipulate an 11.5 x 11.5 piece of fabric into something that didn’t resemble an oversized origami piece. I had all but given up when I decided to try folding the actual handkerchief instead. And oh, what a difference new fabric can make. It crinkled up gently into something that resembled a flower.
Feeling like the rest would be easy because that initial fold had been so simple, I put the project aside for the evening planning to start fresh the next day. As it turns out, when I returned to the project I’d forgotten the method of folding used earlier, but after a few rounds of cursing and folding, I pinned it all together and took it to Allison to see if it would work. She kindly approved and so I gently stitched it together on the underside as discreetly as possible using stitches that could easily be snipped away if in the future the handkerchief needs to return to its original state.
To finish it, I encased a hair clip in 25 mm ribbon and then stitched the ribbon to the underside of the fascinator which, according to photos, successfully held everything securely to Allison’s head through the ceremony and the ensuing post-ceremony fun in Disney World. She rocked the hairpiece perfectly, but there’s really nothing she can’t pull off.
Congratulations, Allison and Pat. Thanks for trusting me with creating part of your wedding ensemble!
At first I took one bite then put these brownies aside. I thought they might be too rich for me. But four hours later I decided to try them again and was hooked. I don’t know what changed during those few hours, but I soon began sneaking bites of these brownies whenever I could.
Luckily I was able to share most of the batch with friends. Otherwise I fear Regan and I would have polished off the whole batch within a matter of days. They are kind of irresistible. Let’s just say that I got a little carried away tasting these bite-sized brownies while arranging them for the camera and ruined all the good work I’d been doing in my attempt to cut down on sugar.
Totally addictive. Totally rich. Totally easy. I didn’t touch Smitten Kitchen’s recipe one bit and they were perfect.
Since last weekend when my friend loaned me his pasta maker I’ve been fairly well obsessed with figuring out how to make the perfect pasta. I’m still far from achieving it, but that’s not to say I’m not enjoying my results. Our dog Jack is definitely enjoying every minute of pasta-making. Have you seen how crazed he is for noodles?
After many attempts at the perfect noodle over the last week, I decided to take a break and work with pasta a bit larger in size. I opted to make ravioli. And at first it seemed a lot easier, but then I began to fill each pouch and soon Regan found me stomping around the kitchen while I tried to salvage a sticky pasta dough ball that was oozing pumpkin filling. Realizing the unflattering effects pasta-making was having on my mood I put everything in the fridge and called it a night.
But this morning all was well in the world of pasta. After a good night’s sleep I was in a better mood, and after firming in the fridge overnight the dough was a lot more cooperative. Plus, I remembered the importance of semolina flour and didn’t skimp with round number two.
By the time Regan got home from the gym tonight a hearty dinner of Pumpkin Sage Ravioli with Butter Sauce was ready to be enjoyed. With the wind swirling and thunder rumbling, it was a pretty perfect comfort food to enjoy hunkered down safely at home.
Pumpkin Sage Ravioli with Butter Sauce
makes approximately 30 ravioli
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup semolina flour
• 3 eggs
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• dash of salt
• 1/4 cups canned pumpkin, strained
• 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
• 3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 leaves fresh sage, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 pinches ground nutmeg
• dash of salt
• 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
• 8 fresh sage leaves
• pinch of nutmeg
• 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese.
1. In a food processor, mix together all-purpose flour, semolina flour, eggs, olive oil and salt until sticky dough is formed.
2. On a surface covered with plenty of semolina flour, knead dough until smooth, not sticky.
3. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4. Coat wax paper generously with semolina flour and remove dough from refrigerator. If using a rolling-pin… good luck? If using a pasta maker, gradually flatten the pasta dough starting at width 1 and gradually reducing to width 5.
5. Place each flattened strip on the semolina-c0vered wax paper. You can make crescents like I did by stamping out large circles and putting a small spoonful of filling in the center, then folding in half and pinching edges together. If you want to make real ravioli, you can find lots of tutorials like this that I will use next time I try my hand at ravioli.
1. Mix strained pumpkin, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, salt, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper together while pasta dough is resting in the refrigerator.
2. Choose method of ravioli-making you desire, then place small spoonfuls of filling on pasta dough. Pinch edges of pasta together firmly, securing your filling in the middle. Place filled ravioli back on semolina-covered surface.
If you are eating ravioli for dinner bring 8 cups lightly salted water to boil and place ravioli in boiling water and cook approximately 3 to 4 minutes. If saving ravioli for later, place on cookie sheet covered with semolina flour and waxed paper and let freeze. Once frozen, transfer to container and store in freezer up to 30 days. When cooking frozen ravioli allow approximately 14-16 minutes.
1. While ravioli is cooking, gently heat 4 tablespoons of butter in skillet. Once melted, add 8 fresh sage leaves and gently warm for about 1 minute, then remove leaves from butter sauce and discard them. Add a dash of nutmeg to the butter sauce.
2. When ravioli is cooked through, using a slotted spoon transfer ravioli from water to butter sauce, covering each ravioli with the sauce. If too dry add some pasta water. Toss with Parmesan cheese.
3. Garnish with minced fresh sage. Serve hot.