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Several weeks ago, in an act of uncalculated whim, my husband bought two places at the table of Edwin Garrubbo, an Italian pasta master who had agreed to bring his art to the Valley Forge Barn
in Wayne, PA. The Barn has become a fixture in our lives. The place where I buy my favorite gifts and meet my friend Kelly for our tradition of non-tea (okay, so, I have the tea and she has the gelato). The place that can be counted on for the unexpected pumpkin wreathe, leather from Australia, lessons in planting, flowers to carry home. Art and plenty of room overhead. Cookbooks I buy and actually cook from.
Last night was the Ed Garrubbo night. As I dressed for the event, straightened my hair, put on real shoes, I had no idea what to expect. Only that I was going to leave my worries behind for a spell and step out among lovers of pasta.
We were at ease from the moment we opened the door and entered in. Some sixteen expectant diners, the Barn staff, Ed, and eventually his wife and children, became our friends for the evening. Among those gathered there were Dave Roberts, the acclaimed ABC weatherman, and his stunning wife Patti
. I'd watched Dave report the storms and sun for many years. He had projected grace through the TV lens. That grace wasn't, I can tell you, an act.
And so we watched Ed cook. And we ate three of his pasta dishes. And we learned about Italy, olive oil, proportions of salt, favorite restaurants. We talked about the Pope, ribbons of intention, living here and living elsewhere, Italian Christmas traditions. We finished with gelato.
An evening to remember with gracious hosts and guests. We came home with Ed's cookbook, Sunday Pasta
, and a link to his popular cooking blog
We were going to go to the pool, but it was thundery. So we pulled out our pasta crank and got going on our first try at gluten-free homemade pasta.
Hubs got me Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking as a gift not long ago, and though I’d looked at its lovely pages many times, I’d never tried anything from it. Now that we’ve got two gluten-avoiders in the house, though, I’m more inclined to try gluten-free baking and such. The book has a special gluten-free flour blend recipe. You make a big batch of it and keep it in the fridge for all sorts of recipes.
I’ve made regular pasta with the crank a few times. The gluten-free version was definitely more challenging, and the results, while yummy, aren’t quiiiite the same. Everyone ate it enthusiastically, though, and fought over who got the last bits. I’m sure it will be easier and better the next time. The kids did a great job, but my patience was definitely wearing thin by the last few cranks.
Click here for a similar recipe by the cookbook authors. Hubs and I ate the pasta with basil and walnut puree (same ingredients as in the last post, just adding walnuts. Yum! The kids are begging to try the cinnamon rolls (from the book) next.
For more of my food posts, click here. Have a great weekend!
This isn’t so much a sauce as a topping, and boy does it deliver. It’s on the must-repeat list. The ingredients are pretty simple: pine nuts, bread crumbs, red onions, with a couple of surprises like capers.
Recipe here (I didn’t use the tomato variation though it sounds good, too). Yes, it’s from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian again.
I wonder if it would be good with almonds or walnuts or pecans instead of pine nuts. I’m guessing yes. I served it on top of pasta, but I think it would also be good on top of veggies of any kind. The crunchiness has an almost bacon-like quality.
Make sure to check out the comments in the last post for a special surprise. Sarah Towle has offered a promo code for her most excellent Paris travel app for the first five responders. She’s celebrating the release of the bilingual version. Merci beaucoup, Sarah!
My soup kick continues, though our weather is a little better and Hallelujah! the days are getting longer. This is my less-meat answer to chicken noodle soup. It’s a go-to easy recipe, and the best part is most of the ingredients are usually in my kitchen anyway.
This is a Jamie Oliver recipe that I’ve made minor changes to. Basically you’re cooking onion, celery, and garlic together first. I added carrot into the mix, and if I don’t have the celery on hand, I just skip it. Then you’re pureeing the veggies with broth and a can of chick peas. You add a second can of chick peas whole (drained), then add pasta.
You get a rich, creamy soup with lots of hidden vegetable power. The stick blender is your friend here, a master of vegetable disguise. Make it as thick or thin as you like.
The carrots + chickpeas give it a lovely golden color, and I like using spaghetti noodles—somehow they seem more fun. I’ve been leaving out the rosemary, though it’s nice with it as well. You can always make it vegan/ vegetarian if you use vegetable broth. For grown ups: the red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper, and chopped parsley add a nice zing. Without the garnishes, it’s a plain-looking soup my kids like. Enjoy!
Have you ever thought about the guy who designs all the pasta based on cartoon characters? Neither have I. But now we know. It’s Guillermo Haro, a Mexican immigrant who has overseen the production of cartoon-shaped macaroni for 22 years at Kraft Foods. The Wall Street Journal explained how he does it:
Back at Kraft’s pilot plant, Mr. Haro was prepared to discuss his technique, while his boss, Ricardo Villota, stood by to keep him from spilling trade secrets. “If I can put it on paper, I can imagine how it’ll end up in a box,” said Mr. Haro, opening a guide to Spider-Man poses: crouching, leaping, dangling. “You choose the ones that are easy for pasta.”
He draws pencil sketches, knowing that all lines must connect, and not be too thick or thin. “You get carried away with detail,” he said. Mr. Haro was about to tell how he employs stubby lines to suggest eyeballs when Mr. Villota said, “Watch it!” and cut him off.
Moving to a computer, Mr. Haro showed how he had perfected a Ferb likeness, which he sent to De Mari Pasta Dies in Dracut, Mass. De Mari cast a die, from which Mr. Haro made a Ferb prototype, which he then sent to Disney for the ultimate noodle test: hot water. “They want it to look like they want it to look, before it’s cooked and after it’s cooked,” Mr. Haro said on his way downstairs to Kraft’s test kitchen. “Right up to launch day, you’re nervous.”
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Post tags: Guillermo Haro, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Pasta
By: Mark Miller,
Blog: From the land of Empyrean
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Well, my blog has been a little quiet so far this year.
Lots of things going on behind the scenes. Exciting things coming up for 2013!
Authors in the Park is growing fast. We are planning an event for March 30th. If you have not already, please give our page a "like" to stay informed.
Besides event planning and booking my calendar for the whole year, I got to spend a week visiting classes at a local elementary school. We celebrated National Literacy Week
by reading from some great books (including mine) and talking about how a young avid reader became an author (me).
Oh, and I've done some writing too.
The Defective Amish Detective
Ho! Ho! Ho! in the Snow
(an After Christmas Special)
I am having fun with this series and I think it is starting to take on a life of its own. Maybe I'm not an Amish author, but I am learning fast. My approach to this is taking the POV of the G-Man, a non-Amish, who befriends and Amish blacksmith. It is an outside look at the Amish and their special way of life. I like that the reader can travel along with the main character as he walks the line between a worldly path and a spiritual path.T’was the night before…wait, that’s not right. But you know Dash…no, you probably don’t know him.
Put it this way, a repentant fixer, an Amish blacksmith with a mysterious past and a Christmas party. That is a recipe for fun on any holiday!
G and Eli have become good friends. Through circumstances beyond their control, Eli comes to the city to celebrate Christmas with G’s family. Their story would not be complete without the right amount of chaos. Throw in a homeless man at the door, a bunch of hot food on wheels and Doctor Mike.
This will be one Christmas you won’t forget. It is ultimately a story of humor and second chances.
When you get into the story, you will see there is much talk of Italian food. My family (not Italian) celebrated the release of this story with a great homemade meal. There is a little bit of everything on that plate, but I'm not giving away the secret ingredient to my sauce!
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And you can get the bundle of frost-bitten fun known as the Defective Amish Detective on Amazon for ONLY 99 Cents:
It is also on BN Nook, Apple iTunes and Kobo.
The Seventh Chair
by Ann Keffer
The Seventh Chair is a 2007 Cybils nominee.
At a Catholic School in Washington DC, a chair comes out of the sky and lands on the playground. Seated in the chair is a being who appears to be a nun, but who turns out to be Merlin. Merlin has come in the Siege Perilous looking for his new protégé, a modern-day Arthur who can help the world out of its troubles. But first he has to deal with a confused headmaster, a school bully, and a missing grail.
The Seventh Chair is a cute, funny, and lively story. Unfortunately, though, author Ann Keffer made a mistake that many novice children's writers make: she wrote the story from an adult perspective. Not only does most of the story follow the adult characters, rather than the children, but it seems to be written with an adult way of looking at the world. Also, while the book looks and reads like it's intended for a fairly young audience, there are some difficult vocabulary words. I'm not in the camp that believes that all children's books should have controlled vocabulary. I think it's good for children to be exposed to difficult vocabulary words. But if you have too many of them, it can frustrate budding readers.
In spite of these flaws, though, The Seventh Chair is an entertaining book. I quite enjoyed it, but then, I'm an adult and not the target audience. I have a hard time judging whether elementary-age children will enjoy it. I think that children will enjoy the humor, especially the way that the adult characters are depicted as largely incompetent. I loved the way that the school bully is depicted as a sympathetic character, and the ending was refreshing.
Don't you just love this weather? It's in the high 80's here today. Last night we sat on the deck and you could smell all the BBQ's in the neighborhood wafting our way. We discussed how great it would be to bottle that BBQ smell, perhaps mist it over the deck sporadically; yummy! With summer BBQ's come things like pasta salad
, corn on the cob
, baked beans
and cherry crisp
. Wow! My mouth is watering, is yours?
I remember as a young girl, our families had a yearly family reunion and everyone would bring their favorite dishes to pass. What a feast! Not to mention, catching up with loved ones, great stories and loads of laughter. My, but the stories were GRAND
Here's an illustration inspired by summer, loved ones, and good food. The pasta salad was a yummy dish my talented SIL Nelda Jane
made for us while we visited her and my brother Buck
last year in Florida
. K and I still rave over the fact that they were the most incredible host and hostess - Buck and Nelda, thanks for the good time, and for spoiling us-you rock! Wish we were there!Today is my Mom's Birthday
, and she and Dad
are spending it with Buck and Nelda down south, WE LOVE YOU MOM and hope you have the best birthday ever!
We can't wait to see you and Dad in a few days!
Blog: .:happy chinchilla:.
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Posted on 3/27/2010
This illustration was just accepted to a wonderful blog called They Draw & Cook, it has two of my favorite things: illustration and food. This recipe is a re-interpretation of pasta puttanesca, but easier, where boiling the water is the hardest part. Visit, enjoy and contribute, it has great works in very different styles and tasty recipes. Hmm I´m hungry now.
Esta ilustración fue aceptada para un blog maravillos que se llama They Draw & Cook, tiene dos de mis cosas favoritas: ilustraciones y comida. Esta receta es una reinterpretacion de una pasta puttanesca, pero mucho mas facil, donde hervir el agua es lo mas dificil. Visitenlo, disfrutenlo y contribuyan, tiene trabajos buenisimos en diferentes estilos y recetas muy sabrosas. Hmm me dio hambre.
Filed under: ilustracion illustration
5 Comments on … Illustrated Recipe …, last added: 3/30/2010