26 June 2013

Cascioni Romganoli

Cascioni Romganoli
I had no idea what Cascioni Romganoli was either. When I saw this recipe over at Food52, I was intrigued. Cascioni Romganoli is essentially a savory turnover, and turnovers are great for lunch meals or snacking with one hand since the messy filling is neatly contained in a sealed pocket of dough. The author says that her mother would use leftover piadina (a flat bread from Romagna), and stuff them whatever ingredients were on hand to make stuffed dough pockets that are cooked on the griddle.

Cascioni Romganoli
Begin by creating a simple dough enriched with olive oil. More traditional doughs are made with lard, though the author of this recipe chose olive oil as it makes working with the dough easier. After mixing and kneading lightly, my dough was rather spongy and oily, and I wondered if it would even be able to roll out. I had to sprinkle the dough, board, and rolling pin with flour, which wasn't suggested in the recipe, but it got the job done.

Cascioni Romganoli
Cascioni Romganoli
Let's talk about the filling. When I first read "Swiss chard" in the ingredients list, I thought it sounded boring. I've never actually cooked with it before, but the idea of a leafy green filling wasn't very appealing to me initially. As I cooked the filling (which contains sauteed onions and garlic), though, I changed my mind. Once it was cooked, I had to stop myself from eating it straight from the pot. (Pro tip: Strain the filling after cooking to remove excess liquid.)

I wasn't sure whether or not to use the stems of the chard. Since the recipe didn't specify, I went ahead and added the chopped stems to the pot. They tasted fine and all and cooked thoroughly, but the pieces poked through the thinly rolled out dough (should have seen that coming). Next time, I'll keep them out.

Cascioni Romganoli
The turnovers are supposed to be filled with either the cooked Swiss chard, or with a fresh mozzarella/tomato mixture; I combined the chard with the cheese and didn't bother with the tomatoes. As a result, there wasn't enough filling for all twelve turnovers, so I stuffed the remaining two with cheese. Tasty cheese.

Cascioni Romganoli
These turnovers are cooked in a skillet on the stove rather than baked. I fell into a methodical rhythm of working on forming a turnover while another one baked since I lacked the counter space to form them all before baking.

Cascioni Romganoli
Typically, when I make something this labor-intensive for dinner, I end up wondering what I was thinking. The results exceeded my expectations in this case, and while I wasn't sure if I made the dough correctly, I was glad I did it. The crust wasn't too oily after cooking and it holds up to the filling better than I thought.

The remaining turnovers were individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for another day.

06 June 2013

Carrot Cake Luna Bar

Carrot Cake Luna Bar
Luna Bar has a new flavor available this season! When I was offered the chance to taste them, I said yes. (While was given the bars for free, all opinions are my own.) This new flavor is carrot cake, a spicy and sweet bar iced with a vanilla glaze. I looked forward to it since I enjoy carrot cake, a cake flavor I don't make very often because I hate grating carrots.

Since many of us are more body-conscious during these warmer months, Luna reminds us that we don't have to compromise taste for health. The nutritional stats (180 calories; 8 grams protein; 3 grams fiber; contains CORE 4™ vitamins and minerals: calcium, folic acid, iron, and vitamin d) make it the perfect snack to help satisfy cravings while still indulging in a delicious treat.

Carrot Cake Luna Bar

Taste-wise, I think I tasted more of the cinnamony spice than any actual carrot flavoring, even though the bar does contain organic dried carrots. It's tasty and reminiscent of a healthy crispy rice bar, but with icing. I don't eat bars very often, though I have a selection of favorites I reach for when I'm on road trips or need a quick snack to tide me over. Luna Bar offers so many varieties of bars (a few that I've previously reviewed) and is a brand I often purchase on my own.

If you'd like to try this tasty carrot cake bar for yourself, it is available at Target and natural food stores and sells for $1.39.

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Chronicling my adventures from the kitchen to the road, and back again.

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