Reporting for Pasta Duty

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When did I become a foodie? Remember how I used to be a terrible cook or at least I thought I was a terrible cook? Turns out I’m not anymore and I LOVE cooking!  I love cooking, I love finding new recipes to try, I love watching cooking shows. I’ve jumped on the cooking bandwagon like nobody’s business.

The other day I got a crazy bee in my bonnet that I wanted to try fasting. It was a really stupid idea. I read some article about eating less and living longer and I was wondering IF I could do it. You know, as a challenge now that I’m so healthy with all my crazy intense yoga workouts. You can tell where this is going. I have “Big Fat Fool” written on my forehead.

It turns out I can fast. I can push past the hunger no problem but I don’t like fasting! I lasted all day on coffee and water until 5:30 pm. You know why? Because I missed cooking!  Seriously. I’m pathetic. Maybe if I had had some religious reason for fasting I would have lasted longer.

I found myself migrating to the couch because I had no energy and my brain refused to work on anything creative. Before I knew it I was watching cooking shows and it was driving me crazy. I think I was trying to eat/cook vicariously.  I was lost without something to do at my usual cooking time.

And I had Blue Apron ingredients in my refrigerator calling me because if I didn’t cook them on the right day they would go bad. So I gave in. Actually Payam and I tossed a coin to decide if we should give in (he was fasting with me like a total champ) and of course two out of three gave us the answer we really wanted.

Pathetic.

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I’ve got the kids cooking now too. They are the perfect age to learn how to cook. They are willing and capable to handle sharp knives and hot pots without hurting themselves and they are still young enough that they think it’s fun and they don’t roll their eyes at me with attitude about it. Bug made Taco Bowls and Joon made spaghetti (with a side of zucchini and sausage for the grown-ups). I was really proud of them.  Maybe, just maybe my new love of cooking is rubbing off on them.

I’ve been trying to try one new recipe a week. They say that’s a great way to keep your brain growing and improving as you get older. I’m horrible at Sudoko so recipes it is! So far I’ve learned how to make pot stickers, sticky chicken wings, a ton of Blue Apron recipes…AND PASTA!

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YES! I made homemade pasta!  Payam bought me a pasta roller attachment to go with my mixer for my birthday and I had to try it out right away or else I knew it would just sit in the cupboard and get dusty. I’m so glad I did too because guess what?! It’s easy! Like easier than baking a pie.

I’m still curious about making it without a mixer and completely by hand. I spend a lot of time on pinterest looking at food photography and I’m very intrigued by the whole mound of flour with eggs in the middle. I do want to try that. But in the meantime, I made my dough in my mixer and it was pretty much perfect.making-homemade-pasta2

The pasta dough went through the roller like butter. It was so fun.

However, making raviolis from my beautifully flattened pasta dough was probably not the best choice of first pasta to make.  I had no clue how to center my filling in between the pasta sheets without wasting a ton of space but I sort of managed. They looked like a kindergartener made them and I threw out about half of the dough just because it was contaminated with filling and I didn’t want to run it through the roller again.

I also had the not-so-bright idea to use some fresh corn, that needed to be eaten, in my filling. The extra water content from the corn made the sausage filling lose and kind of weird which made the whole dish a little off. But we smeared some extra spicy, doctored-up marinara on top and those raviolis got eaten up, no problem.

Next I’m going to try fettuccini!

Get Better Tea

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I’ve caught some kind of weird viral bronchitis that’s going around (don’t worry in the scheme of illnesses, totally not a big deal) and Payam sent me this recipe. It instantly inspired me and I had to make some STAT. I can’t take any credit for this recipe at all. I just spend a lot of time on pinterest for my job and I’ve been more and more inspired by food photographers lately so when I see beautiful raw ingredients in the sunlight from my kitchen bay window, I can’t help but want to pull out my 50mm lens and try some test shots. Even if it means getting my camera all sticky.

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I didn’t have any lemons but we have a lime tree in our front yard that has been making the biggest, juiciest limes ever. It’s kind of a shame that it’s winter and margaritas are not my go to drink anymore. Good thing limes stay fresh on the tree for a very long time.

I sliced up all my citrus with my fancy new knife from that cooking class I took. I chopped up a big piece of raw ginger (because I love it spicy) and pounded it to a rough paste with a mortar and pestle. Then I dumped everything in a bowl with honey and a heaping tablespoon of turmeric. The recipe says to go light on the turmeric because it can be a lot to handle but I didn’t. More spice = better in my eyes. Big chunks of ginger, lime seeds, tons of turmeric…bring it.get-better-tea-3

Then I slopped my magical concoction in the only jar I have on hand right now, a pickle jar. Good thing it had been through the dishwasher a few times already and didn’t smell like pickles anymore.

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Before I put my jar of super tea juice in the refrigerator, I spooned a sloppy spoonful into my favorite clear glass tea mug and poured hot water over it. Mmmmmm…. it smelled good. And tasted pretty good too! I refilled it twice and drank it all down to even munching on the lime and orange rinds at the end. Good stuff!

I don’t know if it will make me feel better in the long term but the aroma therapy and fun of photographing it certainly made me feel better in the short term!