I was given a KitchenAid pasta press a few years ago as a gift and really enjoyed using it to make fresh pasta from scratch. I have to admit, the press doesn’t get used all that often because while it’s definitely fun to use, cleanup is it a bit of a pain. Yes, the results are great and the pasta deliciously fresh but it’s just not an every day kind of activity. Last weekend I had a bit of time up my sleeve and a craving for some whole wheat pasta so I thought “Why not?” Of course, just making pasta was the first step. I knew I’d have to compliment it with a delicious sauce and there were some strong opinions about the sauce needing to be tomato based. So I scoured the web looking for a recipe with my Ina Garten filter applied and lo and behold I came across this vodka-cream-sauce-like recipe published by Ina Garten titled “Nick and Toni’s Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola”. The recipe calls for Penne but I figured the Rigatoni that my extruder can make would be close enough.
Snow snow and more snow. Oh and another polar vortex. That’s the theme for winter this year. It’s not much fun but it really is the perfect weather to stay at home and bake this Ina Garten peanut butter glob cookie recipe. It takes some willpower but you *can* halve a peanut butter glob recipe and make 10 cookies instead of 20 cookies. I’ve made it even easier by halving all the ingredients including some of the trickier ones. So you have no excuse!
Even 10 cookies between two people feels like a bit much. Which is why we gave some cookies away to friends after doing some Chinese New Year Yu Sheng tossing of salads.
By the way these globs are delicious. I’m always a bit hesitant when a recipe calls for the addition of coffee but I think it really works with this recipe. The combination of chocolate, two types of nuts and peanut butter chips is pretty impressive. Ina has certainly got a winning recipe on her hands here.
Last night we had some good friends over for dinner. We hadn’t caught up in a while, I love to cook and we also wanted to have an opportunity to say thanks for taking such good care of our dog while we were away over Christmas and New Years. T&R are always there to take amazing care of our dog when we go out of town. Thanks again T&R. It’s so nice to know that he’s in such capable hands and we know there are times that he can be a bit of a handful. You guys rock!
On the last weekend of September this year I think everyone in all of NYC decided it was the perfect weekend to go apple picking. The weather was lovely and the zipcars were just begging to be booked out and taken on mini road trips to all the little farms and orchards around New York and New Jersey. We headed over to fishkill farms based on the recommendations of a friend and also because they are pet friendly. It’s always nice to take the dog out of town with us so he can roll around in the grass and smell all those interesting smells. The farm was great. Not too big or too small with plenty of apples to pick. We got there relatively early so it wasn’t too crowded either. A map was provided and everything was well laid out and easily accessible. I’d never been apple picking before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Here are a couple of things I learnt:
- There are lots of rotting apples on the ground. Be prepared to dodge them as you are picking. Luckily our dog didn’t really take much notice of them.
- Unless you need 10 bags of apples, apple picking is a relatively quick activity. You don’t need to plan to spend more than an hour or two over at the orchard. Maybe bring a packed lunch and have a picnic when you’re done. The shop at fishkill is quite lovely too. It’s always nice to pick up some super fresh produce.
- It’s such a nice feeling to actually pick the fruit off the tree, appreciate where things come from or how much energy has had to go into growing it. People always talk about stuff like that and I would think “That’s nice” but now I feel like I “get it” just a little more.