Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pasta time!

Do you ever have those recipes that you find very daunting? I have always been very hesistant to make bread or homemade pasta. I have witnessed my friend Debbie making homemade pasta, and even assisted a bit, but had never done it myself....until this weekend.

My great friend Erin & I were watching Eat, Pray, Love and during the Italy section of the movie we started craving pasta and decided we would have to make it that night as a homecoming meal for Paul who had been out of town for work all week. And of course we couldn't make just one dish, we had to make multiple dishes of pasta. What else are you going to do on a rainy day???

We decided on three pasta dishes: pasta with pesto, linguine with shrimp, garlic & lemon and butternut squash chicken ravioli. Rather ambitious but we are both pretty competant in the kitchen and decided we could do it! After drinking a glass of red wine (for courage of course) we got on our way with our 5 little sous chefs. I just did a very simple recipe for the pasta of 6 cups of flour, 6 eggs and a bit of olive oil. In hindsight some salt would have been good as well. You mix that together and then add water until it gets until the right consistency. After kneading it and letting it set for 30 minutes it was ready to get rolled out. My friend Debbie let me borrow her Kitchen Aid pasta maker attachment and it is amazing! It makes rolling out pasta so easy! The kids were fascinated at what Erin & I were doing and quickly got on in the action. After rolling it out we cut it into strips and let it dry. This is so it doesn't all stick together when you throw it into boiling water. For the ravioli we just put the filling in, folded the pasta over and cut it with a pasta cutter that makes the wiggly edges we all think of with ravioli. Very easy and we were happy how professional they looked! With fresh pasta you only have to boil it for a few minutes and for extra flavor I boiled it in 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 water with some olive oil. As my friend Melissa would say 'Yummers!' By the time Paul arrived home from the airport (at 10:30pm, we were very European eating so late that night) we had 3 amazing pasta dishes waiting for him, along with his wife and friends who had missed him so much! I discovered this weekend that with a great friend (love you my sister wife!), some wine and a leap of faith you can tackle those 'scarier' recipes you've been avoiding. Take a deep breath and just cook it, the results are worth it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Busy bees

We've been a busy bunch in our household, which is a small reason for my slacking. Alex is plugging along in school, bringing home a great report card. He also has his first tooth loose! Very excited to have a visit from the Tooth Fairy! Amelia is doing great too and in fact I am getting ready to enroll her in preschool for next year! Where does the time go???!!!

We have been spending a lot of time out at our friend's, The Ramos Family, new home. They live on several acres and the kids LOVE to be out in the country. Our kids are the same age so it has been instant close friendship across the board.

Paul and I also enjoyed an amazing getaway to Pebble Beach in February. The coast was beautiful that weekend and Paul had a great time golfing the course. My cousin joined us out there and golfed with Paul. I met them on the 18th hold and got a few great photos.

We have lots to look forward to this month! Paul & I are going to Vegas and then the whole family is taking a trip up to Chico to visit family for spring break. I'm hoping for more sunny days. The kids are already anxious to get in the swimming pool! I'm trying to explain that sunny skies don't equal pool weather necessarily!

I will keep on cooking my way through the Pioneer Woman cookbook, although it isn't helping my waistline. I've yet to find a recipe I don't totally love. If you haven't checked her out yet be sure to do so! Click here for her blog.