Monday, April 28, 2014

Chocolate Quinoa nut bars are the way to go!

       Hi! Oh Look, I have a few minutes. I should probably post something so that all 12 of you don't forget about me. As usual, I racked my brain and realised that I actually made something that's kind of cool and others just might want to know about it. ( I know, that's called blogging, but if you haven't noticed I've kind of hit a slow patch in that department. I blame school.)

        Anyway, back to what I wanted to post about. For the past year or so I've been supplementing my diet with the Kirkland brand Fruit and Nut bars(only found at Costco). They are what I would use to make me feel like I'm eating something naughty while I'm actually getting nutty goodness. (I also am addicted to the MMMMine! Coconut covered Cashews that they only seem to bust out during Christmas time, but that's a whole other tantrum.) Anyway, so I love those things. I have seen them at the store for years, so of course once I become reliant on them as food staple, they are nowhere to be seen.  And yes, they have the Fruit n' Nut granola, but it's not the same. It just isn't the same!!! So, being me, I decided to go on the hunt for something that I could make that would fulfill my dietary requirements. What I found was Quinoa granola bars (the original recipe is here). At first glance, they are your typical, trendy granola bar but they are surprisingly good... well after I tweaked them.

     The first thing to go... the oatmeal. The problem I have with 95% of all the granola bars out there is that they have oatmeal or some sort of filler, like puffed rice etc. in them. And I can only speak for myself, but oatmeal really doesn't do it for me. So, in my opinion, it's extra, unnecessary carbs. And when you just ran 5 miles to ensure that you can fit into your size (insert the smaller size that you were a few months ago) jeans, you know how detrimental extra carbs can be. So that was the first thing to go!
The second thing to go...the dried Cherries. They went, not because of the extra carbs but, well, I just don't like cherries.
     Now that those two things have been omitted, we can get on to things I added!!

Chocolate Quinoa nut bars

This is what you are going to need.
-1/2 cup Quinoa (the original calls for a whole cup, but it gets to be too crumbly...You take a bite and Quinoa is everywhere!)
-1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened (I use the kind they use for macaroons)
-1 cup cashew pieces
-1 cup slivered Almonds (feel free to crush these up a little bit with your hands)
-1 cup dried Cranberries (I dislike cherries but find cranberries perfectly acceptable...)
-1/2 cup flax seeds
-1 cup crushed pecans
-1 cup peanuts
-1/2-1 cup sunflower seeds

Chocolate Syrup
-1/4 cup Honey
-1/4 Rice syrup (Or any sugar free syrup of your choosing, I like Maltitol)
-1/4 coconut oil
-1/3 cup Nutella (or any form of chocolate hazelnut spread)

-Some Sea Salt for sprinkling

So here's how you make them....
-Preheat the Oven to 350 F.
-In the mean time. In a ,dry, medium frying pan, toast the Quinoa for a few minutes

- Then add the coconut (it takes less time to toast)

-Don't walk away, keep stirring until it looks like this.

-Once it's all nice and toasted, remove it from the heat and let it cool until you have assembled the other ingredients.

-Next...Combine all of your nuts and seeds, adding the Quinoa/coconut last.
-The next part is kind of tricky. In a small-medium sauce pan, combine the Honey, Rice syrup (or maltitol), Coconut oil, and Nutella. 
-Cook over medium heat, stir occasionally and let it come to a boil. Continue until boiling until it comes together and thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon (this doesn't work so well if you use the same spoon you used to dole out the coconut oil..just saying) 

-Once the chocolate syrup concoction is ready, very carefully pour it over the nut mixture and stir, stir, stir. It may look like there isn't enough syrup, but there is...just keep stirring. Down to the bottom of the bowl and then back up. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until it looks like this...
-Line a 9X13 pan with either aluminum foil, parchment paper, or wax paper (it's your choice). Once lined, spray with either cooking spray or lightly butter it. While you're at it, spray your hands, too. 
-Then pour out the mixture and flatten it into the pan with your hands.  
-Sprinkle the top with the Sea Salt.
-Now, Bake it  anywhere between 10 -25 minutes. **The longer you bake it, the harder the bar will be.** But keep in mind, you can alway underbake something and bake it a little longer, but once it's over baked you can't go back (but then again sometimes with this sort of thing, if you live in a humid climate, they could soften up after a day or two). So experiment with what time works well for you and your environment.

-After it's done baking, let it cool, completely (I let mine cool overnight). Then cut it into your desired shape.
-Enjoy, but enjoy responsibly, they are addictive... and they have a lot of fiber... you have been warned.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Teddy Bear S'mores Brownie or is it Brownie S'mores?

Alright, kids. This is going to be kind of short and sweet. I've had so many ideas for blog posts just breezing through my head over the last few days. Some have been more rants than real posts, while others have been what we have here. This one made the cut only because I thought it was something that looked a bit unique, well, at least in my kitchen.
I have to start off by giving a big shout out to my husband. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't be able to come up with as many weird ideas as I do. He's the one that listens to me rant and rave about all the things I want to blog about and then makes sure I've calmed down enough to be rational and therefore, not post them. But, he also helps me tweak some of my culinary ideas, so he is a big help on both fronts.
That said, he is the one that helped me hash out this latest and greatest idea.... S'mores Brownies with Teddy Grahams.
It all started this morning when, just before he left for a meeting at church, he informed me, "Oh hey, so I need to bring a dessert for the youth thing tonight." Since he is in charge of the young men in our congregation, I figured I'd let him pick the dessert. His immediate choice was brownies. Now, that's not really a problem, but, considering that the other young men were also asked to make, and bring, their favorite yummy, the chances that there would be, at the very least, another 5 or 6 pans of plain old brownies was very likely. So that's when we came up with a plan. I can't remember who said what, but it went something like this:
"What if we added marshmallow to it? Do we still have that marshmallow fluff?"
"Oh and graham crackers? Yeah! Yeah! OOH! I have those Teddy Graham knock-offs in the pantry that may, or may not, still be good. Should we try that?"
"Sure! And if not, do we have an open pack of graham crackers?"
"Yes we do!"

And so the Teddy Graham S'mores Brownies were born.
Now, I'm sure that there are many, many other S'mores brownies out there and there may even be one with Teddy Grahams. Honestly, I have even tried to Google it. But I just feel that we're cool for thinking it up.
Also, it wasn't until after they were made, and all but consumed by hungry teenagers, that I even thought about the possibility of this being something unique...if only unique to me.
So here they are!
Just try to image the pan full of cute, perfectly aligned bears, like a bear army lining up to be eaten!
And this is all I used.
 - 1 Box of Brownie mix (any)
 - 1 Container of Marshmallow fluff
 - 1 Bag of Teddy bear cookies (Real Teddy Grahams would look even cuter, especially since they are smaller. Plus, feel free to try out the different flavors like, chocolate, or those new strawberry ones.)
The "low-fat" brownies were more of a "this is just what I grabbed" as opposed to any real conscious choice for healthiness. I mean, come on, it has marshmallow fluff, so there really is no reason to not just have normal, full fat, option. 
-Make brownie mix according to the directions on the back of the box.
-Once the brownies have finished cooking, and while the pan is still hot, plop large dollops of Fluff, evenly, (about 5- 6 dollops)on top of the hot brownies. Now, this may cause the flaky layer of brownie to stick to it. That's okay. Just take your finger and push the fluff off the spoon.
- After you dolloped all of the Fluff, NO NOT TRY TO SPREAD IT! Stick it back into the hot oven for another few minutes. This will melt the fluff and cause it to almost spread itself.
- Remove brownies from oven (again) and then, very carefully spread the melted fluff. It's ok if the flaky top pulls up a little bit, just be gentle and spread it back over. (Another option is to try to take the brownies out of the pan and flip them over, then dollop, but that wasn't going to happen with my time frame)
-Once the Fluff is evenly spread, place a layer of Graham cookies/ crackers on top of the fluff. You can lay them in rows to help designate portion size (so everyone gets one bear per brownie piece) or you can stick them in so they are standing up.
-Let cool. Yeah, you can eat them right away (as all good brownies should be) but we found that if you let them cool off and give the marshmallow a chance to return to its,less liquified, state, it makes it easier to cut and serve. But, it's up to you. Do as you must!

All in all though, it was really simple but I feel that it pushed the pan of plain old brownies to a higher level of awesomeness. Don't you?

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - the movie

      Alright, so last night, I caught a late showing of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I have been a fan of the book series for years, so it shouldn't have been a big shocker that I was there on opening day. And when I arrived home late last night, I had a lot to say. Very poignant and witty things. And I couldn't shut up about it. After seeing movies that I anticipate for years, I tend to have a lot of pent up energy. Unfortunately, because I stayed up half the night, rolling around ideas of how to say those things, and not just writing them down (my husband hates it when I stay up on the computer), I ended up forgetting a good deal. So you can blame him for the lack of awesomeness of  this post. And I guess you will just have to believe me when I say, my comments were Gooood! And you just have to settle for the few things that I still remember. And just for fun, since I couldn't quite get my head around this review, I'll give you two options, the long or the short. Read one, read both, it's fine by me. :) But here it goes.

The short, sweet, version: 
     The awesome dialog was killed by lack of acting and rushing through the scenes. But the action and chemistry between the actors was spot on. Jamie Campbell Bower is not a bad Jace and Robert Sheehan was awesome as Simon. I give it a 3 out of 5...

The extended cut:
     First things first. I'm going to start by saying that, if I had to give it a "Star" rating I'd give it 3 out 5. Not because I'm a purist (which I am, in most cases), and they didn't stick to the book(which they did), but because I am also a realist and I felt, in some instances, it's a good thing to divert from the book when the need arises. And believe me, in this case, there was need.

     It occurred to me that they took so much time and extra dialog (But good dialog nonetheless. I can see how they didn't want to cut any.)  trying to stick to the book, that it was all delivered too fast. It was so rushed that, instead of a movie set, I could all but imagined the actors just sitting around a table, reading lines. No real emotion or dramatic pauses involved, just doing a, quick, read through of the script, mostly monotone, and fast...Not every scene was that way, but there were times where it seemed like I was listening to a fifth grade play. A play where most of the kids didn't want to be there, the teacher is feeding them lines from behind the curtain and just wanted to get it over with so they could go out for ice cream.

     In fact, to go with the lack of emotion (or acting) they seemed to go out of there way to remove it!
In one of the early trailers, when Clary asked Jace something like"Why can I see you and no one else can?" And Jace responded, in a deep voice "Because you're not a mundane." (Extra emphasis on the word, mundane.) That was a good scene! It had emotion and weight. Unfortunately, in the final cut, they chose to switch it to a different take where it was all flat and emotionless.

     And it wasn't just the dialog between the actors that played Clary and Jace that was, at times, semi flat, but even some of the more seasoned actors. Actors who I've seen in other shows and KNOW they can do better. They may have had the right "look" they needed for the role. (Exempt Kevin Zegers, he may have nailed the feel of the character, but he was just too old to play an 18 year old.) And some, even the ability, but it just didn't work consistently throughout the whole movie.

     Who knows, maybe it wasn't the fault of the actors so much as it was the fault of the editing. Maybe the editor was given a copy of the takes that were NOT suppose to be put together, by mistake. And by the time it was all done, they didn't have the time or budget to fix it. Or, another option could be that they spent so much money on special effects that they didn't have enough of a budget to go back and "fix" the scenes. I don't know!

     There are a few more things I thought of last night, but I can't remember what they were. So I will move on to what I thought actually worked. And  since this is getting long, I'll stick to just the big things.

     Even though it could have been the reason the editing was messed up, the special effects were very good and very creepy... just what I want in a movie about a world with monsters and demons. :D

     And surprisingly, Jamie Campbell Bower's, Jace, won me over. Was he what I envisioned in my mind while reading the book? Umm, No! BUT, I can see why he was cast. When he wasn't responding to the tail end of an all but unfinished line, he had the right attitude and portrayed a good, believable, Jace. And despite the, too fast, dialog, there were moments of believable chemistry between him and Clary, played by Lily Collins.

     Along with a good Jace, cames good fight scenes. (who knows, maybe that's where their budget leaked, too) They were a lot of fun and kept the pace of the movie. They also helped convince me of the ,aforementioned, "Jaceablity" of JCB.

     As mentioned before, they did stick to the book. I know I said that doing so was one of the bad things, but it was also good in the sense that, it kept it well balanced. It is a great book. It wouldn't have been picked up as a movie if it didn't have potential, right? So it did have a good combination of action, romance, and best of all comedy. And it was nice that the movie was able to transition that from the book to the screen.

     Speaking of comedy, if they did a decent job casting Jace, they did an even better job casting Simon! Robert Sheehan was the perfect Simon. He was one of the few actors that exceeded my expectations. He had the right look. He had great comedic timing. Best of all, he didn't rush his lines, and if he did, it was appropriate for the scene. He was perfect.

     All in all, though, now that I've seen it on the big screen, I don't know if I will go back to a regularly priced theater to see it again. Once was enough. Although I'm sure I will buy it when it comes out on DVD.

     As I was leaving the theater, a question came to mind. A question  regarding some of the book-movie adaptations of late. It's sort of a crass question but I don't know any other way to ask it....
Before a movie is released I'm sure there are people who are asked to view it. These people, are they so  paranoid, star struck, or even scared of the plug being pulled, that they don't have the balls to tell those in charge, or those who made the movie, that what they just made, pretty much sucked? Or at the very least that it was good but there were aspects that could easily be improved?
I know,as a fan girl, I would rather be disappointed that a movie's release date is pushed back a few months than see a movie that was pieced together and just "good enough" to meet the release date.

     I guess I should add, in conclusion that, by no means do I think this movie (completely) sucked, but I will say that with sharper editing and better directing of the actors (all they had to do was slow down the dialog and make room for some emotion), this could have been a much, much, better experience.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Because Sharing is Caring - Love Letter to Sushi

     So, I know I said that I was going to try to post on here more often. At least, I think I said that. But as I may or may not have mentioned, I started going back to school last year. So, that sort of made me fall behind in the blogging department.
I'm sorry. :(
     But, to make up for it, I thought I would share some of the things that I learned. Don't worry, I'm not going to give you the refresher in basic math. But, what I am going to do it share some of my recent work.
     Last semester I had to take a basic writing class. The course was designed to get all of us old(er) people back into shape so we could compete with the youngin's who are fresh out of high school. I've always liked writing, and from what I could tell, people liked what I wrote. But, I always felt that it wasn't something I was good at. Particularly because on almost all of my high school essays, there was a note that said, "Watch your spelling!"  Well, according to some of my classmates, I was wrong. I don't know if I agree with them, completely, but I can say I learned a few things in the class. Things like, how to use commas. If you can't tell. I am now a bit of a "Comma Queen." The general rule is: When in doubt, leave the comma out. Well, I try not to doubt myself that Commas for Everyone!!!
     But anyway... that's not really the point of my post. The point is that I decided that, over the next few weeks (or months if I get bogged down again), I am going to try to post some of the essays I wrote for the class. Some of them are funny. Some are less funny. Another thing I learned while taking the class was that, I don't like writing about things that were, too, serious. So I did my best to find topics that were susceptible to some levity.
     Alright, now onto the good stuff.
For my first essay, we were asked to write a Love Letter to something that we loved. It could be about any, nonliving, thing. Others in the class wrote about various things from their beloved, classic, cars to their kitchen equipment. I decided to write mine to Sushi.
So here is it.... Oh and when I wrote this, I seemed to be channeling my inner Pepe Le Pew. So, for the full effect, you might want to pretend you have a French accent...just a suggestion.

Love Letter to Sushi
Dearest Sushi,
            I know it seems like I was just with you yesterday, but now that we are apart, I have the overwhelming desire to express to you the depths of my feelings for you.  And I know that if I don’t tell you how I feel, right here and now, I will lose my nerve. For, I understand that to the rest of the world you are, at most, just seaweed encasing a bundle of raw fish, vegetables and rice. But to me, you are so much more. You are my happy place, and I love you.
            Just the ritual preparation involved in your consumption is glorious. I love the salty aroma of the soy sauce that must be mixed with just the right amount of wasabi. If there is too much, it can be overwhelming. If there is too little, something vital seems to be missing. But fear not my love. For this letter is not to let you know that I am abandoning you for a love of wasabi, in fact, far from it. For without you, I would not even dream of touching such a sinus clearing substance. I only mention the wasabi because it merely enhances your scrumptiousness.
            I love how in order to enjoy you better, I am given the opportunity to use chopsticks, the most difficult mode of cutlery to master. A person of lesser appreciation would sully your heritage by using a fork or even just their bare hands, but I know you do not bode well to being manhandled, so I try to respect your delicate nature as your design was intended.
            I love that you are constructed with so much variety that when I enter a new establishment, I am forced to see a different side of you, to try something new, something I have never tasted before. Just gazing upon your versatility leaves me in awe. Some pieces of you are saucy, a plethora of heat mixed with the ever present reminder of all consuming sweetness. And then other parts, on the very same plate, seem so simple, no sauce, just rice and meat, and yet are even more enticing.
            I know it seems like I have neglected you in the past, declaring my love and then not coming back for long periods of time. It’s just that, there are times when you are more valued by your maker than my husband, Chocolate, will allow me to pay. But do not fret, it may take some time, but I will return to you just as soon as...I need something from Fred Meyer.
All my love,


Monday, April 8, 2013

Bacon Cheese Smores Sandwich...Yes, I went there!

So tonight for family night we gave into my son's pleading and had a campfire.
After roasting hot dogs for dinner, dessert was followed with what else? Smores.
You know what a smore is right? Graham Cracker, Chocolate and Marshmallows all gooied into one. MMM Mmmmm....

This recipe came about when I tried to give my 4 year old daughter her roasted marshmallow and she refused to eat it....with or with out chocolate and graham crackers. (Yes, my children are weird) The conversation when like this...

Daughter: (after licking the end of the roasted marshmallow) I don't like it...
Me: Yes you do!
Daughter: No I don't!
Me: How about if I put it between graham crackers. You love graham crackers.
Daughter agrees to crackers with a nod of the head. I put marshmallow between said crackers and hand it to her....she gives it back.
Me: Do you want me to put some chocolate with it?
Daughter: No, I want Cheese on it.
Me: Huh?!
Daughter: I want Cheese on it!!!
Me: You want me to put Cheese with your Marshmallow and crackers?
Daughter: Yeah
Me: Do you want it heated up in the Microwave?
Daughter: Yeah!!
Me:....... um, Okay.
So I sliced a piece of cheddar cheese and sandwiched it between the marshmallow and crackers. Then I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds.I handed it to my daughter.
Me: Is this what you wanted?
Daughter: Yes...(takes a small bite)....I don't like it... I just want melted cheese....

And so that bit of fun went on for a while until the right bargain was struck,and she ended up with just a plate of melted cheese. But in the mean time, I took a bite of what I'm going to assume by now half of you are quite grossed out over and have stopped reading while the other half of you are still sort of intrigued and hanging in there...

Honestly, it wasn't that bad!! In fact. If I wasn't already full from dinner, I probably would have finished it off, if only out of my motherly obligation to eat what my children leave on their plates. (All you moms know what I'm talking about)

So that's how the major concept of this sandwich came to be...

The other half happened immediately afterward when I jumped on my computer and saw that the Tillamook Cheese company was holding a contest for Grilled Cheese sandwiches. This had to be fate! And I figured "Eh, why not?" From there I decided that to make this already interesting if not unique combination even more spectacular. I would add the two things that make life all better...Bacon and Chocolate.
That's when it all came together to become this:

Sandwich name: BCS Sandwich (Bacon Cheese Smore Sandwich)
Yields: 1 Sandwich


1 Sheet of Graham Cracker cut in half/ hamburger style (Can substitute two slices of Sweet White or Whole Wheat bread)
1 Giant Marshmallow (can substitute 2 normal/smaller marshmallows or Marshmallow Fluff depending on your cooking method)
2-3 sections Plain Hershey's chocolate bar (or chocolate of your choice)
1 slice Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese
1 piece Bacon, cooked until crisp, cut in half (optional)
1TBS Butter (only if using bread instead of Crackers)
Aluminum Foil (only if baking in Oven)

Depending on how you choose to cook your sandwich will determine how it is assembled.

Campfire assembly: On top of one half of your Graham Cracker, place Chocolate pieces and cooked Bacon. Roast Giant Marshmallow over fire until golden brown and melted on the inside. Place hot Marshmallow on top of the Bacon and then immediately top with the Tillamook Cheese and the last piece of Graham cracker.  Allow 1-2 minutes for Cheese and Chocolate to melt.

Conventional Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degree F. On top of one half of Graham Cracker place the Chocolate and Bacon followed by Marshmallow and slice of Cheese. Top with last piece of Graham Cracker. Wrap in Aluminum foil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until both the Cheese and the Chocolate are melted.

Microwave: On top of one half of Graham Cracker place the Chocolate and Bacon followed by Marshmallow and slice of Cheese. Top with last piece of Graham Cracker. Microwave for 30 second or until both the Marshmallow and Chocolate are melted. (This method may result in Crackers losing their crispiness but some people may actually like that)

Stove Top: (This method is ideal for those who wish to substitute the Bread for the Crackers and use the Marshmallow Fluff .Also, If you choose to use Marshmallows it might help to cut them in half or into fourths) Heat pan over Medium heat. While pan is heating, Butter one side of each piece of bread. (the butter side will be on the outside of the sandwich) Place one slice of bread, buttered side down into the hot pan. Quickly place Bacon, Chocolate and Marshmallow or Marshmallow spread, followed by the slice of Cheese. Top with the second piece of bread, Buttered side up. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. 
This is what I made tonight. They don't have the bacon or the chocolate, but I thought I'd show you them just so you get a general idea of what they looked like.


Now, I must say that I've never really tried this in it's entirety, just the crackers, marshmallow and cheese. But I really don't see how the Chocolate and Bacon could hurt in any way. Can you?
If you decided to make this let me know what you think. (but be kind)
I have a feeling that with my son's new found love of campfires (he is sooo my kid) and the over abundance of marshmallows in my pantry, I will have the opportunity to make this soon. So I will try to update when I do.
*As a side note, I realized also the potential of adding Cheese flavored potatoe chips in this recipe...just a thought for next time! :D

Monday, March 11, 2013

The author of ingenuity is desperation...or something like that

Alright kids. So I really need to get off my lazy butt and stop thinking about alll the things I want to blog about and actually do it. For instance. I've been reading quite a bit, but can I think of anything cool to say about those books that hasn't been said before...right now, no. Not to mention, that life has been sort of crazy over the last few months. I started helping out my friend who runs an animal rescue called Rocky's Rescue by fostering a puppy...i.e. I took on another child. And then in the middle of it all my husband had to make an emergency business trip that ended up consuming the whole month of February. Thus making me want to just hide in a dark room every night rocking back and forth saying "It's okay...It's okay...two more weeks...I can do this....breeeeaaathh."
So the fact that this next subject has kept my attention for the last few weeks means that it might be something fun to share with you....and more likely it has to do with food.

Here's the story.

So while my husband was on the other side of the country basking in the sun and sand and claiming to work. I decided that if I was going to survive with out my "Mommy Time" (the time where my husband steps in at 4:00 every day while I go scream into a pillow or take a very long walk to keep myself from having a conniption ) I was going to have to take charge and become (cue the echo effect) "The FUN FUN FUN MOM MOM MOM!!!!" I felt that with Hubby out of the way,so to speak, now might be a good time to do some of the things with the kids that he would either roll his eyes at or talk me out of. Besides, we Skyped every night during dinner so it's not like I was completely unsupervised..right? (He should just be happy that I didn't take a road trip to Disney Land)

On one particular day I was trying to figure out what to do for dinner. Going out to eat was not an option ( I went out the night before it was like trying to herd monkeys) I had been wanting to make some sort of pasta/ ravioli thing. But to do what I wanted I needed to find my pasta maker. I know it's in my garage somewhere!!!! I swear, I just saw it about two months ago. The only problem is that Hubby is the only one who knows where things are in there and I can't move things around to reach them in the dark poisonous spider infested corners...I'm short and did I mention the poisonous spiders?

I was conflicted...I knew my kids would love to help turn the crank and watch the dough come out. It's like using a very sophisticated  play dough press. And darn it, I wanted homemade noodlly goodness! So what was I do to?

Well, the only thing I could think to do...something a lot more fun.

Cookie cutter noodles!!!!!!

As you can see by the picture. The process is quite simple.

Here is what you need:
-Dough recipe for home made noodles like this one (it's the first link I found when I googled "Home made noodle recipe" but feel free to look around)
-Rolling pin
-A lot of extra flour for dusting your table/flat surface.
-Cookie cutters - any size, shape or theme. I wouldn't use anything too intricate though...We used Christmas, Easter and pretty much what ever was in my big bag of cookie cutters that I've collected over the years...heck there is even a train in there....
-A large pot of boiling liquid.Water, Chicken broth or Vegetable broth or what ever you want to cook your noodles in.

Now you are ready!

Make your dough. I have a recipe that has been handed down from my mom from her mom etc. We call them Pot Pie noodles (because in Pennsylvania Dutch culture Pot Pie is not really a pie with flaky crust and filling but a form of noodle soup. And now you know!). But really any Egg dough recipe would do...

Roll out your dough. It can be thick 1/4 inch or thin 1/8 inch. It doesn't matter. Just remember that the thicker the noodle the longer it takes to cook.* Now is the time when you will need some of that extra flour. You don't want the dough to stick to your surface because then that makes it really hard to pick it up and still keep its shape. And don't be worried if your dough isn't all that smooth. It will still taste yummy. Also, the extra flour comes in handy if your kids are like mine. The second your back is turned they decide they are going to just plop a cookie cutter right in the middle of the dough instead of starting at the edge and systematically cutting the dough as to achieve the maximum yield per roll....Thus, making it necessary to re-roll the dough several times until it is all used up. (throwing hands in the air with eye roll...bah! Kids!)

Next comes the fun part... you dump out the cookie cutters and let them have at it!

While they are having fun, make sure your liquid is boiling before you start adding noodles**otherwise your noodles could disintegrate.

And then you just let them cook. Depending on the thickness, cooking times will vary. But that's when the "Oh well, I guess I'm just going to have to taste one of these every two or three minutes to see if they are done." goes into effect. Also, like with any noodle, make sure you stir regularly. You don't want them to burn on the bottom or stick together.

Who says that gingerbread men cookie cutters are only for Christmas?

 In this batch I think I used too small of a pot so the noodles started to break up a little bit while I was stirring...
In all honestly, I didn't mind it.....From  now on, I think I'm going to call this "Zombie Pot Pie"

If Gingerbread men aren't your thing...try Angels
Or Butterflies....

Or Dinosaurs... You can see by the end my pot started to get too small....

In the end I think I will call this idea a success! As long as I made sure that one of their favorite characters was visible in their bowl of soup, they were willing to eat it...I even sneaked in some veggies.

**Some people like to let their pasta dry out a bit before they cook it...I do not. Even though it might take longer to cook, I like the spongy outside that goes with the extra flour and liquid in the fresh noodle. But do what you know you like.

So I was thinking after I posted this...1. I need to go back and edit all the spelling mistakes and 2. Another cool thing to try with this would be to add some food coloring to the dough before you roll it out....just to add to the fun and to maybe color co-ordinate with any holiday theme you wish.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 12-12-12

Just thought I'd pop on here and say Happy 12-12-12!!! And with luck I can type fast enough to get this posted in one minute at 12:00!!!
Update: dang it! It seems that blogger is one minute slower than my computer :( oh well....