Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Homemade Pasta - Made Easy!

Sheet of pasta going through a hand crank pasta maker

Whenever Dan and I invite guests over for their first meal at our place, we often serve up fresh pasta as our main starch. Guests are always surprised at not only how tasty fresh pasta is but also how quickly it can be made. This is because we usually complete the final preparation of rolling out the pasta, cutting, cooking, and dressing the pasta within minutes right before their eyes. 

Making fresh pasta at home is way easier than you think. In fact, you would be surprised to learn that the cooking time for fresh pasta is faster than waiting for the water to boil and cooking boxed pasta.

The one thing that we have found crucial to making pasta is a kitchen scale. This removes any of the guesswork and "feel" when you often read other pasta recipes. Using a kitchen scale also makes it much easier to increase the quantity of pasta you make with predictable results. 

  • Eggs
  • Flour
We make our pasta using an egg:flour ratio of 2:3 (two to three). This means that we usually weigh our eggs first, then multiply that weight by 1.5 to calculate how much flour to add. For example, when we weigh two eggs and the scale displays 60g, the amount of flour to mix in is 90g (1.5 x 60g = 90g). Dan says that this is a great chance to practice your math OR you can use this calculator that Dan made!


We find that 2 eggs is enough for the two of us but when we have guests over we usually use 5 medium sized eggs. 

Once you have your eggs and flour measured out, mix the eggs into the flour using the paddle hook in your Kitchen Aid for a few minutes until combined. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and then wrap the dough tightly and let it sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This extra 20 minutes will make your dough consistency more even and also make it easier to roll.

Side view of the roll of pasta dough

Take small fist-sized chunks of the pasta dough, thread it through the pasta maker twice through each setting. I usually prefer a slightly thinner pasta so I start on setting 1 (on our pasta roller, the thickest setting is "1" meaning the rollers are furthest apart) and then run each sheet through until setting 6 (the rollers get closer with each setting). The higher the setting the thinner the pasta dough will be. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Celebrate International Sushi Day & a Edo Japan Giveaway!

Who loves sushi? If you love sushi as much as I do then you will certainly appreciate today's giveaway! Today (Thursday June 19) is International Sushi Day and Edo Japan wants to celebrate it with you!

Edo Japan has its roots in Calgary, Alberta but now has expanded to many locations across Canada. If you haven't had your chance to try their food, here is your chance! Enter in the rafflecopter below!

Please note, there is a mandatory entry to complete. You must comment (located below the rafflecopter) to be entered into the giveaway. Share what is your favourite sushi memory.  The more details you give the better! You must log your info into the rafflecopter otherwise your entry will not be counted.  Also, this giveaway ($50 giftcard to Edo) is limited to areas where Edo Japan is located. Good luck! Contest closes midnight Wednesday June 24, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 15, 2015

Re-Cap of the Croissant Bake-off

As promised from my last post, here is the re-cap from our Croissant Bake-off where I baked the Duchess Bake Shop croissant using their cookbook, Dan baked the sourdough croissant from Tartine Bakery's cookbook, Addie baked David Lebovitz' Whole Wheat Croissant and Lesley followed a croissant recipe from La Cuisine Paris
The plan was that everyone's croissant dough was to be mostly prepped upon arriving at L & S' house and then the croissants would be baked off in succession. Above, is a picture of everyone prepping their croissants doughs to roll out, proof or preparing the egg wash for the oven. 

One reason for us baking all the croissants around the same time frame was because we wanted to see the cross section of each croissant fairly soon after they have been baked. Above is the cross section for the croissant I baked (using Duchess Bake Shop's recipe). You can see that there are a number of layers and some space in between the layers. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Croissant Challenge - Baking the Duchess croissant

The above picture depicts some beautiful croissants that I not only baked, but made from scratch! So, you are probably thinking this is something I do every once in a while considering my love for macarons and complicated baked goods. However, I must say this picture also represents the very first time I have ever baked croissants - unless you count those Pillsbury ones that we used for the homemade cronut post. Like every great picture there is a backstory and this picture is no exception to that rule. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Food Blogger Dinner at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald


Last Tuesday I had the amazing opportunity to meet Executive Chef Serge Jost at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald's Harvest Room. Not only did I share a meal with Chef Serge but I had the chance to cook with him as well! I along with a few food bloggers and food lovers experienced an interactive dinner as a part of the Fairmont Macdonald's second annual interactive dinner. When we arrived at the Harvest Room, there were beautiful 3 course menus laid out for us to read and then cook! Yup, you read that right. The only way we would be able to enjoy an amazing dinner that night in the Harvest Room was to first cook it up ourselves! Thankfully we did have help!
Picture of all participants at the interactive dinner.
So, let me introduce you to the cooking/food loving team! At the back row from left to right is Brittany Watt (from Harvest Microgreens),  Chef Jost, Lindsay (from Edible Woman), me, and Santana (our delightful server). Then in the front row is Linda Hoang (Linda-Hoang.com) and Cindy N (from Let's Om Nom). 

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