Monday, March 26, 2012

Pasta, bowling and all things weekend

The rest of the weekend was wonderful... we got to eat outside for the first time of the season last night…woohoo!!  We had Greg and Kim over and we bar-b q'ed and it was a perfect night to enjoy our back deck.  Afterwards we strolled to the park and played a crazy game of red-rover.  It was hilarious…Layla kept running under your arms if you called for her…lots of laughs.  We didn't stay too long because as the sun went down it cooled off fast.  Once home it was time for me to take Greg and Kim home…of course they did not want to stop playing…they are quite a team those four.  It fills my heart watching them all play and the relationship they have together.  

Sunday was one of those lovely slow mornings…we all stayed snuggled in our room watching a movie until breakfast.  Outside it was really foggy…not something we get a ton of here and I always love it…something about it being kinda eery and quiet.  Matt took the girls to Sunday School and I stayed home and made some homemade pasta for our dinner…pasta pomodoro.  I started making homemade noodles about a year ago and now anytime I make store bought kinds both Ava and Matt ask me accusingly at dinner "Did you make these?"  I have turned them all into pasta snobs…but I have to admit they taste SO much better.  You could  heat up ketchup and put it on them and it would taste good.  (okay, that may be reaching a bit)  At first it seemed like a big project to make them, but now I find it really easy and not all that time consuming so it is usually the only way we have pasta.  Bonus-the girls LOVE to help do the unrolling part which is a huge help.  I so enjoy cooking with my girls.  I try to not be controlling about it and let them just make a mess and go with it.  Usually, I'm pretty good about it…I want cooking to be an enjoyable experience for them because it is something we can share together as they get older.  Luckily, they both seem to love to help.  One day this year Layla had a school day and Ava didn't and all she wanted to do for her special time with me was make noodles.  (And, it is what they both requested for Birthday dinner this year, so that's gotta say something!)  

Homemade Pasta
(I have combined several recipes I have tried, so things may not be kinda gotta play with it to see what works...I tend to estimate when I cook!)
-1 and a 1/2 cup semolina flour  
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-2 eggs
-2 tbls olive oil
-1 and 1/2 tbls water
*On a work surface combine flour and salt...make a well in the middle.  In a bowl mix eggs, oil and water and then slowly add to the well of flour, mixing with a fork as you go.  Once it starts to become a dough begin to knead it for around 8 minutes.  Cover with a towel and let it rest 20-30 minutes.  Divide dough into 4 sections and work with one at a time.  Layout a couple towels and sprinkle with flour (I use just regular flour for this).  This is where you will lay them out to dry.  Take your first chunk of dough (I am not a technical cook...I use words like chunk and glob)  roll it out to your desired thickness.  (I keep them kinda thick...Matt likes a meatier noodle)  Be very generous with your flour as you roll your dough to prevent sticking.  Once it's rolled flat, roll the dough up (like a jelly roll) and then slice it about 1/4 inch, unroll each section (this is the part the girls help with) and lay out on the prepared towels.  You can cut them here thinner or thicker, depending on what type of noodle you're going for.  do the same with each of the remaining sections of dough.  Let the noodles dry out for 2-3 hours and then cook in salted, boiling water for around 10 minutes.  (depending on how you like your noodles cooked!)

We went to a friends birthday party…bowling for the first time.  It was a riot.  I didn't know a bowling ball could actually go down the lane that slowly and still hit a pin.  The girls loved it…thank goodness for the bumpers though or there may have been a lot of gutter balls.  We'll definitely have to take them to do that again.  The party was up at the MSU Sub, so that was like a trip down memory lane…being back up on campus.  (especially because we were with so many of our friends from college at this party!)  Such fond, fond memories of my college years.  Too bad you don't realize just how carefree that time is until later.  I wander around up there and feel like we should still be young enough to be college students…where does the time go?  We wandered around campus a little after the party, let the girls feed the overfed ducks at the duck pond.  (they didn't even want our pizza, those are some picky ducks)  It's fun to be up there and just see how it's changed and how it's still the same.  Awww…memories.

Now it's time for another week.  We are in full on party planning mode for the girls.  We even picked up some of the things for Ava's cowgirl party.  I love planning their parties.  They are never anything huge or crazy, but I try really hard to make them special.  Hopefully the spring weather will continue and things will start turning green.  I miss the greenery and flowers of Florida.  

Have a fantastic Monday!

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