Friday, January 23, 2015

What's a girl to write about...

Seriously, the title says it all. What should I write about today? My car is in the shop. I've got the day off work. The couch is super comfy. I really should have a shower. I am hungry. All things no one probably cares about.

Happy Friday! Hope it is treating you all well.

Oh, I know what to write about....

So it isn't a secret that I love to cook and I LOVE to bake, something passed along to me by my mom. For Christmas, Ian and I received a KitchenAid Mixer... like the professional strength one. Apparently I can make like 8 pounds of mashed potatoes at one time in this thing. We also received the attachments to make.... PASTAAAAAAAAAA! So basically from the moment we put it on the counter, I haven't wanted to leave the kitchen. I mean, I have cause I have to go to work and do things but if I had my way... I would just stay in there all day, every day.

Editor's note: That's a lie cause when the oven and the stove are on at the same time, it is approximately as hot as the sun in our kitchen. So I would have to leave every once in a while.

I think the first thing I baked in there were my famous cookies. Am I allowed to call them famous? I'm gonna anyways. A while back, my hand mixer broke so I spent my whole Christmas baking season, and then some, mixing my baking by hand. I could say it was a humbling experience, but really, it just sucked. (Plus Ian .. sorry to throw you under the bus and tell everyone... tried to fix it and made it 10000x WORSE) So finally baking a batch of those bad boys with a mixer - **THE HEAVENS HAVE OPENED** is putting it mildly.

Now I'm gonna talk about how COOL it is to make your own spaghetti. I have been making my own sauce for as long as I can remember, and the first time I was a part of making my own pasta was in Fernie last year at Cathe's. We made ravioli and I thought that was pretty bomb. The spaghetti I made, tasted exactly like store bought. I mean, I would almost hope so.. there's like three ingredients. But the batch made soooo much so it was cool cause I dried it and just stored it in the freezer. I'm on the hunt for some cool dough recipes - my brother mentioned bean pasta so I'm going to see if I can find a dough for that and I definitely want to try spinach fettucine.

This was the Christmas of the kitchen... I also was lucky enough to receive a blender!! Naturally, we broke it in with a seven person brunch (mixer helped with cinnamon buns!!!!) and many, many margaritas!!!!! It's pretty amazing how much of a difference a good blender can make when you are used to a Magic Bullet (that is seven years old). I've got a few recipes I want to try out that I am excited about now that I have a good blender - plus I can make a heck of a lot more roasted red pepper pasta sauce!! And don't even get me started on how much better my smoothies are now!!! The other day I found this smoothie recipe: SOOOO tasty!

The most amazing thing, I think, is that back in our grandparent's day - none of these tools existed. Or is this just me, cause my granny is 101 so she literally wouldn't have had this stuff but I guess some of you probably have really young grandparents in their 70s who very well could have. But whatever. We will just pretend all our grandparents were making everything literally by hand. They all must have had just one jacked arm. That was probably the worst part of doing everything by hand - my arms just got so tired! Seriously though, think about all of the food you eat that needs to be prepared, and what electronic tools you might have to make the job easier. Judging by the number of times I put the dough through the flattening thingy before putting it through the spaghetti, I would not have been one of those nonna's making fresh pasta by hand. Plus kneading dough by hand vs with the dough hook on the mixer is 10000000000x more work. Does this make me lazy? No, it just means I have a million things to do every day and this mixer means I have time to do them. Or bake and cook more things in the same day. I prefer the latter.

I guess I should wrap this up and take some butter out of the fridge. Got some old bananas and I haven't made a batch of muffins in this mixer yet - I think it is going to be a huuuge game changer, cause I've been having some texture issues since mixing muffin batter by hand. Plus my dad is coming through Winnipeg on Monday and I should send him home with a batch of my (can I call them famous yet?) cookies. I guess my next goal in life is for me to get my ass in gear and start selling those bad boys. Even though it is sort of redundant that I want to sell them to people but also make people participate in physical activity. Balance, people.. balance.

Koodos to all our ancestors who baked and cooked without machines...... but I am super glad I don't have to. I HIGHLY recommend if you can get a KitchenAid stand mixer... that you do so. Cause it will change your life. My mom had one and it was well loved and well used and now I have the heavy duty one and as the lady said at the store when I picked it up, "Treat it right and it will outlive you." Amen, sistah!

Happy baking, everyone :)

PS - I was asked to share a pic, so here's a pic of Ian mixing the fresh spaghetti into my homemade sauce :)

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