Fettuccine Alfredo with Fresh Pasta

May I share a little story with you about the first time I made my own pasta noodles?
fettuccine 4Well, a few years ago, my baking assistant gifted me the pasta attachments for my Kitchenaid.  I was pretty excited to make my own fresh noodles, so I quickly got to work online looking for recipes and advice on how to make it happen.  One Sunday afternoon, I had my attachments, recipe, and new fancy flour all ready to go.  From there, things got pretty discouraging.  As I fed the dough through the machine, it was turning into a clumpy mess.  My baking assistant was standing behind me and was just as excited to watch the pasta magic happen, but soon got scolded out of the kitchen.  Soon after that, the mess was thrown out and we picked up a pizza for dinner.
fresh pasta

I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea of making my own pasta, so I kept looking, and soon found The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles from the experts at Cooks Illustrated.  If only I’d known how easy it could be.  I didn’t need fancy flour or other ingredients; I only needed flour and eggs.  That was it.  Since trying their formula of 2 cups flour to 3 eggs, I’ve turned out delicious noodles every time.

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Bacon Cheddar Biscones

 I think I’ve found my favorite basic biscuit recipe.

I just can’t decide which flavor combination I like to bake into them. I’ve made this recipe several times as a sweet breakfast treat with cinnamon chips and drizzled with cinnamon glaze.  But this version with aged white cheddar cheese, crispy chopped bacon, and green  onions is just fabulous.  I used the best aged cheddar I could find and it paired so well with the tangy buttermilk and freshly ground pepper.  Don’t expect gobs of melted cheese inside though.  It bakes right into the dough, and that is just fine by me.

I don’t know which I like better, but there is no need to decide.  They’re both delicious. [Read more…]

Easy Ham and Cheese Brunch Pastries

I love to spend time in the kitchen on Sundays.  I might wake up early when it’s still breakfast-time and throw together a batch of muffins to bake while I read the newspaper and peruse the sales ads.  Lately, it’s been more likely that I’ll wander in just after noon and spend the afternoon preparing dinner.  And sometimes it’s nice to spend the morning being lazy and then put together a quick brunch.

These pastries are perfect for just that.  The only real planning involved is remembering to leave the frozen puff pastry in the fridge overnight to thaw.  I combined Black Forest ham from the deli with some shredded mozzarella that I already had, and after tossing in the spices, they were in the oven in less than ten minutes.
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