Matilda, Music, and Malfatti

My friend said to me that these cookies were music in his mouth.  Of course, he had them without the chocolate drizzle because I gave him leftovers, which I didn’t bother fancifying.  If he had them with the chocolate, I wonder if he’d have said that there was a symphony in his mouth?



But more on these later…

If tightness in your chest means that your breathing feels somewhat like you’re holding on to your breath and having to force yourself to exhale, then I suppose there is a tightness in my chest. Could it be holiday madness? Maybe. Or, it’s the thought of the gargantuan amount of baking I will be doing because I will be at the Rock Bass Rainbow Fest this weekend, the first time I’m ever going to be making my baking available to the general public.  It’s not quite stage fright, really.  I mean it’s not as though I have to get up and perform in front of an audience.  But I am sure all will turn out well in the end…Oh, I wish I could be one of those women who seem to serenely float through everything, be it stormy, rock-your-boat weather or calm, gentle spring breezes.  Then again, maybe they’re just good at faking it.

With all the excitement I’ve kind of lost sight of why I bake in the first place.  I forgot that it was never my goal to “go big.”  I just want to make my creations and have people appreciate them.  I just don’t want to get carried away by the tide and lose my footing…

My new Kitchenaid stand mixer arrived last Friday.  I could have cried.  For my mom and sister to buy me one for Christmas speaks volumes to me, since to me it means they really believe in my baking and decorating talent.  And here is a picture of my new baby…

Ain’t she pretty?  I think I’ll call her…Matilda.  I don’t know, I just pulled that name out of the air just now.  And I’m only kidding.  I think.  Anyway, she came with a digital timer (No more banged up discount store, wind-up timer for me!  It’s all buttons and digital displays now!) and a set of prep bowls, all courtesy of Kitchenaid.  Kitchenaid should be paying me right now for plugging their product…I joke of course.  I’m merely expressing joy at the arrival of my new, baby…Kitchenaid!  What?  My friends have their real, crying, milk-consuming, diaper-wearing babies, and now I have my baby.  Just so happens that mine came in the mail and can whip up some egg whites into stiff white peaks in a matter of seconds (Can we say, “Hello, macarons!“???)

In honor of the arrival of my brand-new baby, I of course had to christen her by making a batch of cookies.  Conveniently, I was going to bake cookies this past weekend anyway for a friend of mine.  She needed them for an office party.  And here is the first shot of Matilda in action…

Sorry, but the pattern that the paddle attachment made against the walls of the bowl is a thing of beauty to me.  I know, I am a dork.
Upon my friend’s request, the cookies were shaped into musical notes.  These cookies were a buttery vanilla cookie…

Which I drizzled with melted chocolate…

When my friend came to pick up these cookies, I also made her dinner.  I recently  joined Foodbuzz.com, an online community of foodies, which reminds me of Facebook in some ways because it’s part social networking, part recipe source.  It’s just a site where people who love food get together and post their recipes, blog posts, etc.  Hoping to get some traffic for my site, I joined.  Anyway, they have this section called “Todays Top 9”, which features the top 9 recipes of the day out of all the blog posts.  I logged in a couple of days ago and saw a post on “naked ravioli” or, as the post also calls it, “Malfatti”, featured as one of the top 9.  First of all, the picture was intriguing and it made me go, “What is that?  It looks absolutely drool-inducing!”  And here is the link to the post that started my intrigue, complete with the intriguing picture — http://www.citronetvanille.com/blog/pasta/the-naked-ravioli-malfatti-gratines-in-a-spicy-tomato-sauce.  You can get the recipes there too.
And here was my rendition of the dish:

 

I served this over polenta, and it looked and tasted great, but I thought it was missing some contrast in texture.  Everything was soft.  I  needed some crunch in there.  By the time I thought of this, of course, we were already eating.  So today I decided to bread and fry the Malfatti.

Malfatti, Take Two:

 
 

I served it to myself over polenta again, used the same sauce — basically the only difference was the frying.  And it was so much better!  Frying, like bacon, usually makes things better.

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3 thoughts on “Matilda, Music, and Malfatti

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