Smoked Salmon Pasta

I had some leftover smoked salmon and decided to find a pasta recipe to use it in. I came across a recipe for Tortellini with Smoked Salmon Walnut Gorgonzola Cream Sauce. I opted not to use Tortellini but used bow tie pasta instead. While this dish was good, be careful how much of the smoked salmon you use as it can get salty really fast.

Bowtie Pasta With Smoked Salmon Walnut Gorgonzola Cream Sauce (AlaskaSmokehouse.com)


1 cup heavy cream1 Tbs. butter

  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • Smoked Salmon (I didn’t measure.. so add as much or as little as you want), drained and crumbled
  • 8 oz. bowtie pasta (cooked)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. In a large saute pan, combine 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Bring to a light boil.
  3. Add 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
  4. Add 1/2 cup crushed walnuts and 3/4 cup crumbled smoked salmon.
  5. Continue to reduce for 2 to 4 minutes then add 8 ounces cooked bow tie pasta.
  6. Saute until pasta is hot.
  7. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

Fabric Pumpkins

    I’ve never sewn before unless you count home economics class from 7th grade, which was a very very long time ago. I decided to give it a shot because I have so many projects that would be much easier to finish if I could just make many of the fabric items myself. So, I bought myself a simple sewing machine, watched some you tube videos, practiced sewing on paper, and then just dove right on! Thankfully, the sewing machine does most of the work.

    A good friend of mine over at Doghouse Gardening and Art mentioned that she was going to make fabric pumpkins. When I saw photos of the finished product, I thought they were adorable and had to give them a shot. Thankfully my friend didn’t mind me copying her 🙂 So the idea was totally hers and I’m grateful she shared.

    I found this wonderful fabric pumpkin tutorial over at PinkSuedeShoe.com. The patterns belong to her, so go check out her site to grab them.

    I made 4 pumpkins in total. One 75%, one 85%, one 10o%, and one 125% in size. This particular pumpkin is the 125% size. I took the pattern and had my printer print it out at 125% of the normal size. This didn’t fit on a 8×11 sheet of paper, so I had to print half on one and half on the other and then put them together. Not easy, but you can eyeball it too. Here are the materials you will need to make this pumpkin:

    • 1/2 yard of fabric
    • brown fabric for the stem (I used suede)
    • thread to match your fabric and brown stem fabric
    • green felt for the leaves
    • embroidery floss for the ribbing (orange) and detail on the stem (green)
    • 4 cups rice
    • Poly Fill (sorry didn’t keep track of how much)

    You begin by cutting out the 7 sides of the pumpkin and the 2 circles from the pattern.

    Then you pin together 2 of the sides together with the good side of the fabric on the inside. You only really need to pin one side since you are only sewing one side.

    Then you sew the one side from top to bottom.

    You repeat the process until you have all the sides sewn together. It kinda looks like a deflated beach ball. Keep in mind that for the last one, you need to leave an opening to put your rice and stuffing in. You also will need to sew the circle together. Once sewn together, cut a slit and turn the circle right side out. This is the patch you put on the bottom of the pumpkin to hide your embroidery floss.

    Once your shell is all sewn, you can fill it. Begin by putting in the 4 cups of rice. This should sit on the bottom to give your pumpkin a nice round shape. Then fill the rest with the poly-fill.

    Next, you use the orange embroidery floss to make the ribbing. You measure the amount you need by wrapping it around the pumpkin eight times. Tie a knot in one end,  sew through the bottom, pull tight along a rib, sew in through the top, and pull tight down another rib. Repeat until you have all ribs done.

    Just a few steps left! Sew the circle onto the bottom of the pumpkin to hide the floss that is kinda criss-crossing itself. Since I actually went into the fabric, mine didn’t look that bad, but it looked better with the circle sewn on the bottom. The tutorial says to use a slip stitch, but I didn’t know how to do that. Sew it on that way if you can or any hand sewing stitch you know.

    You should also cut out the stem and sew it together, stuff, and then sew it onto the top of. Make sure you sew it down firmly. Then, embroider your leaves with your green floss in any way you desire. Once finished, you sew the leaves on. I only sewed mine to the base of the stem and left the rest not sewn down. I think that makes it look a bit more natural then sewing it down tight. Feel free to use some creativity here.

    Once you are done, it should look something like this!

    Please see the tutorial I followed for all the sewing details. She does a much better job explaining it then I do. However, here are a few things that I learned during my first sewing project.

    1. Make sure your thread tension is right or you will get sloppy stitches. You can see that on some of my pumpkins because of the puckering. It does give them character though!
    2. When you leave one side open, make sure its high enough that your rice doesn’t start spilling out. I kinda made the mistake of making it too low and it was tricky to sew it together without getting rice all over the place.
    3. When sewing each side together, make sure you have the fabric going in the same direction or it will look funky when you turn it right side out.
    4. Maybe make more leaves for the bigger pumpkin. I feel like mine could have used some more.

    I hope you have enjoyed this project and will give it a try yourself. Good luck!

    Who doesn’t love pumpkin spice lattes? So when I saw this recipe for that in cupcake form, I knew I needed to give them a shot. They did not disappoint and were surprisingly close to the flavors I’m used to in the latte form. So give them a try and enjoy!

    Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes (credit to Annie’s Eats)

    Yield: about 2 dozen cupcakes

    For the cupcakes:
    2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
    3 tbsp. espresso powder
    2 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
    1/8 tsp. ground cloves
    1 tsp. salt
    1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup canola or vegetable oil
    4 large eggs
    ½ cup coffee or espresso, for brushing

    For the whipped cream:
    2ÂĽ cups heavy cream, chilled
    ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

    For garnish:
    Ground cinnamon
    Caramel sauce

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Stir together and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

    Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.  Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.  Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans.  While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them two or three times with the coffee or espresso, allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating.  Let cool completely.

    To make the frosting, place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-low speed at first, gradually increasing to high speed.  Blend in the confectioners’ sugar gradually.  Whip until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat.  Use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to frost the cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce.  Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

    Source: cake adapted from Williams Sonoma

    Some of my notes:

    • I cut this recipe in half because I didn’t want that many cupcakes. It seemed to work out just fine.
    • I had a hard time with the carmel sauce. The first time I made it, I started to stir too soon and I got chunks of sugar that just wouldn’t melt. I threw it out. The second time, once I added the cream the sugar solidified again and I was about to give up. Instead I put it back on the heat and got it to melt into a smooth sauce. I’m not sure what the trick is here, but don’t give up and try again if the first batch goes wrong.

    Homemade Pasta

    Wow.. It’s been 8 months since my last post. Moving to a new house has disrupted my life but with 2011 upon me, I plan to start back up with my cooking blog. I have still been cooking and trying new recipes but not updating. So, lets begin the year with homemade pasta!

    I recieved a pasta maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer and tried it out for the first time tonight. I suspect that making pasta will be trial and error for awhile but my first attempt was very successful. The only real issue I had was the spaghetti noodles stuck together a bit.

    Spaghetti Egg Noodles (Kitchen Aid Pasta Attachment Manual)


    4 large eggs
    1-3 tbs water
    3.5 cups sifted flour
    1/2 tsp salt


    Place eggs, water, flour, and salt in a mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn speed to 2 and mix 30 seconds. Only add as much water as needed for the dough to come together (start with 1 tbs and add more as needed).

    Exchange flat beater for dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from bowl and hand knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Divide dough into 4 pieces before processing with the Pasta Roller attachment.

    Starting with level 1, roll a pasta. Fold it in half and roll again. Repeat until pasta is very pliable. Then roll once at level 2, then level 3. Now dust with flour and then us the Spaghetti cutter a attachment to cut the pasta. Hang to dry and separate pasta. I found that dusting with generous amounts of flour made it easier to separate the pasta but I need to master this skill more. Hang to dry on a drying rack for 5 minutes.

    Cooking in salted boiling water for 2-5 minutes.

    This is a great way to make butternut squash without any heavy creams or cheese. Its a delicious flavor combination!

    Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic, Sage, and Pine Nuts (from Recipe Girl)

    3 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeds scooped out & cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 Tbs olive oil, divided
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    2 large garlic cloves, minced
    2 Tbs chopped fresh sage
    1/3 cup pine nuts
    1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray lightly with cooking spray.
    2. In a medium bowl, toss butternut squash cubes with 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until squash is as tender as desired.
    3. While squash is roasting, heat 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet. Add garlic, sage and pine nuts, and sauté until pine nuts are lightly browned. Remove from heat.
    4. Scoop butternut squash into a large bowl. Scrape contents from the skillet onto the butternut squash and gently toss. Serve immediately.

    I’m a little late posting these, but I made Linzer cookies for Christmas. You could make these anytime of the year and just use a different cut out. I had some difficulty with the cookies sticking to the sheet, but parchment paper is a must.

    Raspberry Linzer Windowpane Cookies (Cooking Light)

    2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/4 cup egg substitute
    1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
    2 teaspoons powdered sugar

    Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, stirring well with a whisk.

    Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg substitute; beat until well blended. Beating at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into 2 equal portions, and wrap each dough portion in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.

    Preheat oven to 375°.

    Roll each dough portion into a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch square cookie cutter with fluted edges to form 32 cookies. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portion. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cut out centers of 32 cookies with a 1-inch square cookie cutter with fluted edges. Bake cookies at 375° for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

    Spread center of each whole cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon jam. Sprinkle cut-out cookies with powdered sugar. (A) Place 1 cut-out cookie on top of each whole cookie.

    A very tasty and elegant appetizer. I loved the subtle hint of white cheddar in the crust. They are also surprisingly simple to make and can be made ahead and either baked right before or baked earlier and reheated.

    Leek and Red Pepper Mini-Quiches (Williams Sonoma)


    For the cheddar pastry:
    1/4 lb. white cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as
    1/4 tsp. salt
    8 Tbs. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    2 to 3 Tbs. cold water

    For the filling:
    1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
    1 leek, white portion only, or 2 large shallots, finely
    1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into
    1/4-inch dice
    1/4 lb. dry-aged white cheddar cheese, grated
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

    To make the cheddar pastry, in a food processor, pulse the cheese until crumbly. Add the flour and salt and pulse until the cheese is finely crumbled. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fluffy bread crumbs. Drizzle the egg over the mixture and pulse twice. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle 2 Tbs. water over the mixture and pulse until a rough mass forms. If the mixture doesn’t come together, add another 1 Tbs. water.

    Place the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and shape into a smooth ball. Divide in half. Roll out half the pastry into a large round 1/8 inch thick, pushing the dough outward from the center and rotating it about a quarter turn each time you roll, sprinkling more flour underneath as needed.

    Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many pastry rounds as possible and ease them very gently into the cups of a mini-muffin pan. The bottoms should remain rounded and the dough edges flush with the rims. Gather up the scraps, reroll, cut out additional rounds and line additional cups. Repeat with the remaining dough half, working in batches if necessary. You should have a total of 48 lined cups.

    Preheat an oven to 400°F.

    To make the filling, in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and sauté gently, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the bell pepper and cheese. In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the eggs until blended, then whisk in the cream, mustard, salt and cayenne. Add the egg mixture to the leek mixture and whisk to combine. Pour 1 Tbs. of the filling into each of the pastry shells, evenly distributing the solids and liquid.

    Bake the quiches until they are puffy and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the muffin pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes (the quiches will sink a little as they cool). To loosen them from the muffin cups, run a thin-bladed knife around the sides, then carefully lift the quiches out of the cups. Arrange on a platter and serve.
    Makes 48 warm bites.