Vegas, Big Cooking, and Homemade Hats in Lemon Sauce

by Joanne on November 29, 2013

The entire Vegas vacation, a week before Thanksgiving, was a blast, even down to cycling in cold, rainy weather.  Of course that was best after it was over.

ted red rock

jo red rock

We enjoyed dinners with Mary Jane (Ted’s sister) every night and did a photo shoot at Bellagio.  I’m not good at “selfies” but it seems I had the longest arms.


Enjoyed delicious breakfasts at places like Bouchon in the Venetian and, my all time favorite, a breakfast of scrambled tofu, healthy whole grain toast and a side of berries (homemade jam) at Canyon Ranch Cafe

breakfast canyon

A lot of fun in Vegas.  Although leaving was tough, we had to get back and think about our first Thanksgiving in the new kitchen.

With everyone’s help, we had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  The only mishap was a tray of baked potato skins that went from the oven to the floor, never to see the table.  Oh well…one less dish to serve.

We had a feast: roast turkey and stuffing.  Mashed sweet and white potatoes.  Honey glazed carrots.  Tossed salad. Lots of fresh bread and rolls.  Toasted bruschetta topped with roast tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto.  Whole grain tortilla chips topped with ricotta cheese, pomegranate arils and mint leaves.  Nancy brought delicious vegetable pasta and a cheese tray fit for the pickiest gourmet.  Jackie awed us with her hummus, rice dishes of both meat and vegetarian wild rice selections.  Richard helped kick off our day with wonderful champagne and fresh raspberries.  Debbie brought all kinds of desserts such as vegan pumpkin and regular pumpkin pies, cherry pie, bear claws, almond cookies, chocolate turkeys… needless to say, we were STUFFED!

Friday was clean up day, play with the dogs day and empty all the sales from my email folder day.  

Did you shop on this BLACK FRIDAY?!   No way was I going to the mall.  I did a lot of shopping online.  No crowds, just a slow and overwhelmed internet. But my orders finally went through.  One gift for XXXX, two for ME.  Winking smile  Isn’t that how everyone shops?!


So now we are done with Thanksgiving, how about planning another awesome dish to try for simple gatherings?

Homemade Hats in Lemon Sauce.

An eggless dough and only 2 ingredients make this recipe super easy and leaves you boasting that you made your own HOME MADE PASTA.

Home made hats and lemon cake6

Hats or Orecchiette are little doughy discs. Some say they thumb prints because you can use your thumb to form them.  Some say they look like little ears.  Being vegetarian, the ear description doesn’t work for me. Winking smile

*You can make the dough a day ahead of time. Simply wrap tight and chill.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
  • water

Combine the flours.  Add 2/3 cup hot water and mix with a fork until mixture comes together.  You may want to add a few more drops of water. 

Turn out onto a clean working surface and have some extra flour ready if needed.  Now knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Wrap the dough ball tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest one hour at room temperature.

NOW.. the good part.  Make your dinner. 

Home made hats and lemon cake1

Home made Hats with Lemon Sauce

Home made hats and lemon cake3

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 more TBS olive oil
  • 2/3 cups fresh and toasted bread crumbs (*I used a rye bread to make the crumbs.The rye and lemon paired so well!)
  • parsley
  • feta cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • Your Fresh Recipe of Home made Hats from above

Heat the 2 TBS oil over medium heat and then add the onion. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook for another minute.

Add the spinach and allow to cook down about 2 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice, zest, 2 more TBS oil and reduce heat to low simmer.

Heat enough water for cooking pasta in a large pot. Bring to a boil, salt the water. Add the home made hats and cook for 5 minutes after the water has come back to a boil.  Drain, reserving 2 TBS of pasta water.

Add pasta water to the onion – spinach mix and stir.  Mix in the cooked hats.  Top with the toasted bread crumbs, feta and Parmesan cheeses and parsley.

Home made hats and lemon cake5


Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are ready for another holiday in 3 weeks.

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1 Comment

  • At 2013.11.30 10:59, Tina@GottaRunNow said:

    What a Thanksgiving feast you had! I’ve run in Red Rock Canyon on vacation – 16 miles, I think. It was a great place to run.

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