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Bravo! Tips And Easy Ravioli Recipes For Beginners

Bravo! Tips And Easy Ravioli Recipes For Beginners

Ravioli may seem like one of the scarier and more difficult pastas to get the hang of making at home, but never fear! It is actually much simpler than you think. Basically, you just mix your ingredients together and wrap it up! When you have the right tools and suit it to your own tastes, ravioli can be as simple as 1,2, eat — or at least, it will be with time and a little practice.

Perhaps you are an experimental pasta lover, a lover of walnuts or basil cream, or maybe you are a more traditional meat-and-tomato foodie. Whatever your type, these easy tips and recipes will have you on your way to making delicious ravioli for you and your friends.

1. Have all your tools ready

Be prepared and have everything you need ready before you start. Have your ingredients, your pasta cutter, utensils, and bowls out.

Hint: have a plastic bag ready for your dough. When you are rolling it out, you will only use a bit at a time, so keep the rest wrapped up and moist.

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2. Use quality dough

It is important that you use good dough. All you really need is eggs, flour, and salt. You can buy the dough readymade from the store (we recommend fresh homemade dough — it wins by a mile!) but if you want to try making it yourself, we recommend this incredible easy pasta recipe.

3. The filling is just as important

Don’t make your filling too runny and make sure it’s something you would eat on its own. The beauty is that you can choose whatever you like!

4. Invest in a ravioli cutter or press

It will save you time and energy. The process will be much easier and the outcome will be worth it.

5. Use lots of filling

Make the ravioli firm and full and try not to let any air in — but don’t worry too much about getting a little trapped air inside, you will get better with time and practice.

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6. Be creative!

Pick whatever filling you like. You can start small and easy, but try new things — crush nuts, blended vegetables, or slow-cook meat! You may not always love the outcome, but you’ll never know until you try.

Filling Recipes To Try

Four Cheese:

This is a simple cheese ravioli recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup provolone
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Combine all ingredients and mix together thoroughly.

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Mushroom and Spinach:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
  • salt and pepper to taste

Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste!

Easy Beef:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a pinch of dried rosemary
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup ricotta
  • salt and pepper to taste

Scramble meat over medium heat until it is cooked through. Heat the dry herb ingredients until aromatic, remove from heat and add all of the cheese ingredients. Serve with a tomato sauce of your choice.

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Chicken in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 250g cooked chicken mince
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup cooking cream
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives

Heat the chopped mushrooms, garlic, and sliced green onions in olive oil. When the onions soften, add your cooking cream and chopped chives. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Shape and cut the ravioli. Add your chicken filling. Heat a large saucepan of water and add a small amount of salt. Drop the ravioli in and cook until it’s tender (approximately 3-5 minutes). When your pasta is cooked, add your cream sauce. Serve sprinkled with chives. Bon appetit!

Featured photo credit: Compfight via compfight.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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