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Double Take Tales and Sicilian Ravioli (review and recipe)

Double-take TalesDouble-take Tales by Donna Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I picked up ‘Double Take Tales’ by Donna Brown I walked into it a bit worried because it’s a collection of short stories. Historically short stories emerged during a barrage of 19th-century magazine publishing. Beginning with Chekhov, the short story soon became one of the great 20th-century art forms influencing one of my favorite women writers, Virginia Wolf. The short story needs to grab you and keep you on your toes from the first to the last word and have the staying power to keep you thinking about the characters and their messages. In the era where people spend less and less time-consuming media, where people express their affection in 140-characters or less instead of a perfume scented love letter, the short story has a large role to play with emerging and established authors alike. ‘Double Take Tales’ is a great introduction for this rising author.

I was completely caught off guard with the depth of message presented in these three tales. Each one had one thing in common, the double-take at the end. Though each one had a completely different message within it’s pages, they flowed from one to the next. It was the perfect amount of stories any more would be unbalanced. Donna Brown’s haunting and rich style of writing allowed them to meld together in a commonality. From the travels of a five-pound note, to the accidental poisoning of a husband and the murder of a former friend, by the end you are left full and satisfied with no room for dessert.

I am giving this collection of shorts a full five stars and I cannot wait see what is next for Mrs. B. Her literary prowess is going to be a fun and exciting ride to watch within the independent publishing scene.

Now, as I am want to do, I am sharing a recipe from Geoff’s vegetarian days.. with or without nuts!

5 from 1 reviews
Sicilian Ravioli
Ingredients
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag fresh spinach
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • -----------------
  • To Make the Ravioli:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups semolina flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • -----------------
  • To assemble Ravioli
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. (ravioli dough) Thoroughly sift together all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and small pinch of salt.
  2. On a clean surface, make a mountain out of flour mixture then make a deep well in center. Break the eggs into the well and add olive oil. Whisk eggs very gently with a fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. When mixture becomes too thick to mix with a fork, begin kneading with your hands.
  3. Knead approximately, until it is smooth and elastic. Dust dough and work surface with semolina flours as needed to keep dough from becoming sticky. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest on your counter for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out dough with a pasta machine or a rolling pin. (or a straight tall glass like I use because I cannot ever find the rolling pin unless I am looking for my hammer, and when I am looking for my rolling pin I find my Phillips head screw driver, go figure!)
  5. Roll the dough out very thin on a lightly floured surface, one portion at a time. If you have a pasta machine, follow the manufacturer's instructions for rolling out the dough into sheets about 1 millimeter thick - if you don't? Eyeball it!
  6. (filling) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the spinach until fully wilted, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze the spinach to remove as much liquid as you can.
  7. Combine the spinach, feta, and pine nuts (or the substitute) in a blender or food processor and pulse until it is the consistency of a fine paste. Beat egg and water together in a small bowl.
  8. To assemble the ravioli, brush the egg over a sheet of pasta. Drop the filling mixture on the dough by teaspoonfuls about one inch apart. Cover the filling with the top sheet of pasta, pressing out the air from around each portion of filling. Press firmly around the filling in whatever shape you wish (circles, squares) and then cut them apart. Press the tines of a fork around the edges of the pasta to seal each raviolo.
  9. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the ravioli, stir gently, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered until the ravioli float to the top and the filling is hot, about 3 to 5 minutes.

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Go grab yourself a copy at  Amazon today and do not forget that Donna along with other great authors are part of Win With eBooks this month! Want to win a Kindle Fire? Check out and enter the contest here and over at Win With Books! For all the great books and authors that are part of this months contest check out my Amazon widget on the right column of here on the blog!

 

  • Book Review – Double-take Tales by Donna Brown (alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.com)

8 Comments

  1. I’ve been meaning to work on making pasta from scratch… This looks great!! I want to eat at your house!

    • Pasta is SO easy to make. I had a pasta maker (was married to a Sicilian at one point) but the simple fact is THIS IS BEYOND EASY TO MAKE! PLUS Semolina flour makes it healthier for you!

  2. Looks delicious – the book and the ravioli both!

    • The book is fantastic! The food, OF COURSE! It is a favorite and SO easy to make! Try them fried or oven baked OH EM GEE! YUMMY!

  3. Thank you so much for the review – and this recipe looks awesome.

    You can be reassured that my husband does not have a nut allergy! 😉

    Thanks again!
    Donna

    • You are MORE than welcome! I have made it with sunflower seeds before, it turned out REALLY good! When I made them during October and created pumpkin shapped orange pumpkins and black witches hats, I made them with pumpkin seeds too. omnomnom

  4. Dang, that looks good, Kriss…it’s only 11am here and now I’m seriously hungry!

    • haha! Wait till you see tomorrows post! *GRIN* I have a bunch of lovely food coming till your guest post comes out!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Double-take Tales by Donna Brown Review - [...] Double Take Tales (a review) and Sicilian Ravioli (cabingoddess.com) 19.075984 72.877656 Rate this: Like it?…
  2. Double-take Tales by Donna Brown Review - [...] Brown, indie author, pros, short story, writing February 14, 2012 I also reviewed this on…
  3. Interview with Donna Brown, author of Double-take Tales - [...] Double Take Tales (a review) and Sicilian Ravioli (cabingoddess.com) [...]
  4. Sunday Short Double-Take Tales by Donna Brown - [...] Double Take Tales (a review) and Sicilian Ravioli (cabingoddess.com) [...]

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