Thursday, June 24, 2010

Easy Steps of Making Fresh Pasta using ImperiaPro Pasta Machine

I have a new addiction! I am coming clean and opening up to my supportive viewers.

I am completely addicted to my new CucinaPro Imperia Pasta Machine. In the last two weeks I have made Fettuccine, Angle Hair, Spaghetti, Orchetti, and Ravioli!!! IN TWO WEEKS!!!

I know...I know...Like I said before I am addicted and the first step is to admit you have a problem. (Problem!?!?....)

I can't help but to love this machine. It is so easy to work and you can a attach it to your table and it does not move!!! It is easy to clean. It is small and PERFECT!
Not to mention it makes incredibly YUMMY pasta!

Another positive note: MY Girls LOVE TO MAKE IT WITH ME!!!! It is so much fun for my girls. The pasta machine is easy enough for them too!!!! In my opinion, there is nothing better then to get your kiddos in the kitchen and learn the appreciation of food. (Plus, the kids tend to eat the pasta dinner up and fill their bellies beaming with pride!)

Let me start by the simple steps of making homemade pasta and a fabulous simple recipe.

Homemade Pasta Dough Recipe

2 Cps Unbleached All-purpose Flour (I recommend King Arthur)
1 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Large Eggs
1 TB Warm Water

1. Add all ingredients into a food processor. Add water by the Tablespoon as needed.
2. Let rest for 20 minutes.

My Alexandra is my helper in these photos.
The first step in making homemade pasta you need to send it through the very last setting. (Mine is 6) It will smooth it out. Fold it in half. Add flour. Send it back through. Repeat this step at least 6 to 7 times.

Move the setting down one and repeat the steps above a few times. Continue to work your way down the settings. Run the dough through the pasta machine a few times adding flour as you go until the desired settings.

For the Spaghetti I used setting 3.
For the Angel Hair I used setting 2.
For Ravioli I used setting 4.
For Fettuccine I used setting 5.

The next step is choosing the pasta size. For the Fettuccine you use the thicker cutting of pasta and for angel hair or spaghetti you use the smaller cutting. If you are making ravioli you do not need to cut the pasta.

We used the smaller cutting which made perfect spaghetti noodles!

When boiling fresh pasta it only takes a few minutes. Stay close by so not to overcook.

This is the finished product. It was wonderful!!! I am not sure how to put it into words the difference of fresh pasta to boxed, but YUM! It is a must try.

This is the finishing product of my fettuccine pasta! Isn't beautiful? I LOVE MY CUCINA IMPERIA! The fettuccine is made with a Creamy Homemade Pesto Sauce and Shrimp. It was FANTASTIC!!!

This is the homemade Ravioli. Sorry, I do not have a picture with it plated with my Marinara-Pesto Sauce that I call Giovanni Sauce. It was gone before I knew it.

My filling was:

8 oz. Ricotta
2 cps. Parm. Cheese
1 Egg
1/2 cp. Italian Shredded Cheese
Sea Salt and Pepper
1/2 cp. Chopped Parsley

1. Mixed it all together until well combined. I sat in the fridge until the Ravioli noodles were ready to fill. Each Ravioli was about 2 in. thickness. I cut the 2 in. thickness. Add a heaping teaspoon of the filling and then folded the top over and then sealed the edges! It was perfect!

You can find the CucinaPro Imperia almost EVERYWHERE! For around 60 dollars. It is well worth it! The kids and I are having so much fun with it and eating lots of wonderful fresh pasta!!!


Monday, June 14, 2010

My Garden!

I grew up in Ohio. You go in your back yard and rototiller your yard, plant your seeds and the garden grew. NOW, I have been in FL for four years!!! FOUR!! This is the first year I grew a garden. Wow. I was worried about the difficulty. My entire yard was sand and the sun. I started out by a small garden. By adding a lot of soil and mixing it with sand the plants grew!

I was amazed so I added more and more....
This is Oregano. My second batch...I already used the entire plant and it regrew.
This is my basil plant. It was a massive tree. It started growing flowers. I cut the entire bush down to the bottom. I dried most of the basil and the rest went to homemade pesto.
NOW, this is my most prized plant. The ten foot tomato plants!!! They grow to the roof of my house and then bend down. I literally had to tie them with zip ties to the screen of my porch! INSANE! Has anyone every seen anything that crazy?!
I grew three types of tomato: The Beefsteak Tomato

Cherry Tomato
Roma Tomato....My favorite. I love to make salsa with these babies! I also like to slice them very thin and use them as a pizza topping...mmmmhhhh

I planted lots and lots and lots of green beans.

This is for my Alexandra...She asked me to plant Sunflowers. She was working on the letter "S" in preschool and she tried Sunflower Seeds. Alex loved them and begged to plant some sunflowers. She helped me. They are now 10 feet tall. It is amazing a few months ago they were little seeds.
Beautiful sunflower that is the size of Alexandra's head.
They are about ten feet tall....As you can tell.... Cucumbers, but I have not seen any blooms...YET!
Watermelon BLOOMING!!!!!

More tomatoes....

This is Brussel Sprouts...They are turning out beautiful. Can't wait.

Jalapenos!!! A MUST in my house!!! My husband drinks with them in his beer!!! It was a Bobby Flay trick that my husband fell in love with

I want to THANK Diana Bauman from A Little Bit Of Spain in Iowa. You are truly inspiration. I am honored to call you a friend. Thank you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cinnamon Bread

I made two loaves of this amazing Cinnamon Bread! I was worried a loaf would go to waste.....
That did not happen. My small family of four devoured this bread it was gone in five days. That should tell you how wonderful it turned out.
I am actually making it again today for a gift. My neighbor watered my plants for the time I spent in paradise. She deserves a HUGE THANK YOU!!! What could be better then homemade bread?!?!

First of all, let me explain. I found this recipe in Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. But it was for cinnamon rolls. I decided to make it into a bread with the hard crusty icing. It is heaven.


6 1/4 cps unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
6 TB Sugar
5 tsp. yeast
2 cps. Warm milk
1/2 cp melted butter

1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Then add the dry ingredients and butter. Mix with paddle attachment for 1 minute
2. Switch to dough hook for 3 more minutes. It should be a smooth, soft, slightly stick dough. Knead 2 more minutes with dough hook or hand until it is no longer sticky.
3. Place in oiled bowl and let rise. Overnight in the fridge or until doubles in size


1/2 cp. sugar
1/4 cp. cinnamon
1 soft stick of butter.

4. Cut the dough in half. Roll it out like making cinnamon rolls.
5. Mix the cinnamon and sugar.
6. Add half the butter and smoother it on each flat rolled out dough (12-15in)
then add the sugar and cinnamon mixture to each. I add a little brown sugar too.
Roll the cinnamon roll like a jelly roll and taper off the ends.
7. Add both into a greased loaf pan. I topped with a little butter and cinnamon and sugar.
8. Bake on 350 for about an hour.

2 cps. powdered sugar
1 tsp. milk
Mix together

9. Drizzle on top of the cooled bread.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Paradise and Bakerella Cupcake Pops

The last 5 days have been full of excitement. Friday my oldest graduated preschool. I made Bakerella Cake Pops for the graduation! They were a huge hit!! You can find them here.

My mother flew down for the graduation . The night after the ceremony we left and spent the days on the beach. It was an amazing time. We ate fantastic meals at little beach side restaurants and laid on the beach for four whole days. It was paradise. This is a misty picture of the fantastic Flagler Beach. A small beach town full of wonderful small eateries and shops. The beach was a warm ,vacant, with red sand and crabs that roamed around the gorgeous beach.
My mom in the water with my two daughters and my best friends daughter.

My mom in the waves with my oldest. They were laughing so hard. I had to capture this ever lasting memory.
My youngest fell asleep at the beach everyday for her nap. She was at peace hearing the waves hitting the shore.

My girls and I. My youngest is not too happy. She is ready for a nap after all the swimming and fun.

Now, I dropped my mother off at the airport and on her way back to Ohio. We had the best time...It is back to reality.....

I have many new recipes and reviews I will be sharing this month. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gingered Rhubarb and Three Berry Jam

I love making homemade jam! It screams summer. My girls swimming for hours in the HOT Florida sun, playing outside and filling their tiny bellies with PB&J and Kool-Aid!!! Oh Joy. Because of this, I keep my cabinets stocked with homemade Strawberry, Peach and other Jams.

I am just a sucker for these two and I love seeing their smiles. My homemade jam does the job well :)

I had a bunch of berries and rhubarb leftover from the Bumbleberry Pie which worked excellent in this jam with a touch of ginger and lemon. YUM! It is one of my new favorites . It is rated up there with the Peach Cinnamon Jam (I could devour the entire contents of the jar.)


2 TB of Minced Ginger
1/2 Lemon Juiced
3 cps. Rhubarb, sliced thin
1 1/2 cp. Blackberries
1 1/2 cp. Blueberries
1 1/2 cp. Strawberries, sliced thin
4 cps. Sugar
1 box of Sure-Jell

1. Bring the Ginger, Juice, Rhubarb, Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries and Sugar to a boil.
2. While boiling add the Sure-Jell and let boil one minute. Remove and add to the sanitized jars

If you do not know how to sanitize jars and add the jam to the jars use this