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December 31, 2004

Pasta from Heaven

John bought me an Atlas Pasta Machine for the holidays and we took it out for a first spin the other day. We made a basic dough recipe: 1.5 cups flour, 2 eggs, and a few drops of water in the food processor for about 30 seconds. (I'm not sure it can get any easier than that!)

Then, we followed the instruction manual's advice and ran a few chunks of toss-away dough through the rollers first to clear out any residual 'grit' in the machine - this turned out to be a good idea because there were a few metal flecks in there from the manufacturing process.

Then, deciding on fettucine, we had a great time cranking out thinner and thinner sheets of pasta, and then running them through the cutter attachment. We placed them in boiling, salted water for about 3 minutes and WAH-LA - pasta! In fact, I think we might have made the noodles a bit TOO thin, they were somewhat papery, but they were really fresh and tasty with the (store-bought) five cheese red sauce. This pasta machine has already earned a prize spot in our appliance line-up - LOL.

Coming soon, our quest for the ultimate ravioli - stay tuned!

posted by Kristen at 7:45 PM - (LINK)

December 29, 2004


I knew that almost finished bottle of Burgundy would come in handy soon! I took this photo on the kitchen table in 'late' afternoon - late for "winter, in the hills" standards, which was about 3:30 p.m. I thought it would be a really cool shirt or sweatshirt to wear to something like a casual wine tasting event, or event as a card if you're having a classy party or something. (Or even if you're just feeling quite 'unstoppable' - LOL - okay, sorry, should have warned you about the upcoming pun!) Anyway, click on the image to see the shirts and such if you like.
posted by Kristen at 5:01 PM - (LINK)

December 28, 2004

The Wonder of Homemade Sauce

On Christmas Eve my family would always make Baked Ziti, a hearty combination of pasta, cheese and sauce that overwhelms the mouth with deliciousness.

Since I was home this Christmas, I decided to do things right and make a homemade sauce. What an amazing difference! This sauce recipe is pretty basic, but when the sauce is allowed to simmer for a few hours the flavor really blends. There's no commercial sauce that even remotely compares to the level of flavor we got from this sauce.

posted by John at 8:51 PM - (LINK)

December 27, 2004

A Few Sour Grapes

In our ongoing adventure in learning about wine, we bought an unknown brand to go with our Christmas meal: a Covey Run Cabernet Savignon from Washington State. Covey Run Cabernet Savignon We had an eye of the round roast, baked potatoes, and baby glazed carrots for the meal, which was splendid, but which conflicted horribly or was completely overrun by the flavor of the wine, which I wasn't overtly fond of just by itself either. It seemed to have a sour taste that had nothing to do with 'robust flavor'. I wonder if it might have been better with something more zesty than your basic meat and potatoes, but that might have added even MORE conflict to the taste - just not sure. In any case, it was a learning experience - maybe next time I'll stick to a Merlot when making a roast beef, and only kick the wine selection up a notch when we have an enthusiastically marinated steak or the like.
posted by Kristen at 1:12 PM - (LINK)