Working on a new look for THE CALLING vampire novels as you can hopefully see above. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve gone to contract with Entangled Publishing to relaunch the series as THE REBORN vampire novels starting in early 2013. I’m already hard at work on the first Diana and Ryder book and having a blast with this series of my heart.
Look for updates at THE CALLING/BE REBORN site over the next few months. Also look for some free reads as we catch up with Diana and Ryder as well as the rest of the Scooby Gang as we approach the release of the last two books in THE CALLING and the launch of the new REBORN series!
The overhaul of the site as well as work have been keeping me busy, but this weekend I somehow found time to make an old favorite – manicotti! I just love those delicate little pasta crepes filled with ricotta and baked to delicious goodness.
They are relatively easy. The clue is to have a nicely seasoned 6″ cast iron skillet, a small ladle, spatula and just the right mix for the crepes. You don’t want them to be too thick or pancakey so getting them right is the key. If the batter seems too thick, thin with more water. So here goes!
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup water
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
Beat the eggs in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. The mix should be like a runny pancake batter.
Oil the cast iron skillet with just a little oil smeared around the skillet with a paper towel. Non-stick works well, but to keep the crepes a uniform size, make sure there is an edge to the pan. In other words, not an omelet pan so much.
Heat the skillet until a drop of water dances on the surface. Then kick it down a notch and ladle in the batter. Give the skillet a twirl until the bottom is coated with the batter. It should be about 1/4 inch thick and not much more. I use two small ladle-fulls of batter, but make sure you use the same amount of batter for each crepe to keep them uniform.
Lay the cooked crepes on a paper plate. It’s okay to stack them up until you are done. The oil in the batter keeps them from sticking to the skillet and to each other.
You will get about 12 crepes from the above mix.
Ricotta Filling for the Manicotti
2 pounds Ricotta (Drain it for a few hours to get rid of the excess liquid)
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh parsley if you have it, if not a little dried (but it’s not an essential)
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Beat the eggs and then add everything else (but leave a handful or two of mozzarella for a topping). Mix it all up and put about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture toward one end of the crepe. Roll the crepe to cover the cheese mixture. Lay the crepe with the rolled edge down on a greased pan with a little bit of red sauce.
Roll all the crepes and lay them side by side. A 9×13 pan should allow for all twelve crepes to go there side by side. Cover with a little red sauce and top with mozzarella. Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes and then serve!
For a change of pace, cook up some spinach, squeeze out the extra liquid, chop and mix it into the cheese mixture. It’s quite tasty that way also.
This is a good recipe if you need a Thanksgiving side dish for those who don’t like turkey. Me, I love all the traditional Thanksgiving foods and can’t wait to be with family for the holiday!