Getting Stuffed

Food that comes in its own edible wrapper can be fun to make and eat. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
There’s something special about food that comes in its own edible wrapper. It can be filling, comforting, flavorful, unique—but mostly it’s fun to eat. It can also be fun to make if you approach it with the right mindset.

Self-contained perfect bites have plenty of advantages. Some, like Sourdough Empanadas, travel well and make ideal meals at school or work. Others, like Pumpkin–Goat Cheese Ravioli with Butter–Nut Sauce, can be frozen for later quick-and-easy meals. With Mushroom-Stuffed Blini, it’s hard to decide whether the freshly made packets or the leftovers, sautéed until crispy, taste best.

These scratch-made recipes also have a downside: They take time and effort. The key is to keep the entire process relaxed and fun. I have several tricks that will help you enjoy the time, break the project into stages, and sample some of your creation along the way. Hopefully these tips will ease you into some of the food projects already on the blog—and the new ones I’ll be sharing this month.
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Pumpkin Pasta

Pasta–pumpkin combinations are overlooked but fabulous weeknight or special meals. Get pumpkin pasta recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When I told George I was planning to share pumpkin pasta recipes this week, his reaction was, “Nice, I always forget about pairing pasta and pumpkin.” It’s a combination even I tend to overlook. Growing up, pumpkin was reserved for jack-o’-lanterns and pie, and other winter squash was served “on the half shell,” drowning in butter and brown sugar. But these winter staples store so well you should have a collection to use in many sweet and savory dishes all winter: cookies, quick bread, soup, risotto—and pasta.

I offer two variations on pumpkin pasta here, one suited to a weeknight meal and a fancier plate that takes a bit more time to put together. I encourage you to look more at the techniques and think outside the ingredients listed in the recipes. Any firm-fleshed winter squash can be used in either recipe, and aromatics, alliums, herbs, cheeses, and pasta shapes can all be changed to suit your tastes. Whatever you use, orange winter squash creates a delicious pasta meal.
Learn to make Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin and Parmesan and Pumpkin–Goat Cheese Ravioli with Butter–Nut Sauce