Making Fresh Homemade Pasta

My amazing husband got me a pasta roller and cutter for Christmas. I have been asking for this for three years and I was so excited. If any of you have tried homemade pasta compared to the dried pasta there is nothing better. I started off with Fettucini Alfredo. This is my first time making pasta so I think I might change a few things for next time. So if any of you that are pros at Italian food have advice I would love to hear it. This is the recipe that came with my book.

Homemade Pasta

4 large eggs

3 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour

1 tbs water

1 tsp salt

I used my kitchen aid with the hook attachment and mixed all the ingredients together except the water. Then just add the water at the end if it needs to come together more. Then I dumped it all out on my counter and kneaded it for a while. Now wrap it in seran wrap and put in the fridge for a couple hours.

After it comes out of the fridge cut a fourth off, dust with flour and roll out just a little bit with a rolling pin.

Now I have the kitchen aid pasta roller, spaghetti cutter and fettuccine cutter. You can buy these attachments by clicking the link below they are amazing!!

Kitchen Aid Pasta Attachment

So now we start with the pasta roller at 1, run your pasta through a couple times and repeat these steps going all the way up to 5 you can go thinner if you prefer. Now attach your fettuccine or spaghetti cutter. This is the fun part:

I don’t know what it is about this but it is such a stress reliever. So satisfying. Only cook fresh pasta for about 2 minutes.

Alredo

1/2 stick of butter

3 cloves of garlic super finely minced I use the minced garlic in a tube so I have a really smooth Alfredo

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces Parmesan cheese

1 tsp pepper

Start with heating your butter and garlic so the garlic releases it’s flavor. Then add heavy cream. Stir for about 1 minute and add the Parmesan. This can take up to ten minutes to melt but continue to stir until you have a smooth consistency. That’s it!! Making your own Alfredo doesn’t have to be hard.

Now for spaghetti it’s even more satisfying. Do the same steps just add the spaghetti cutter.

I promise this is worth the money this is the best pasta. A friend of mine told me to add some olive oil next time to add some more flavor. I would love to here your suggestions.

Of course I had to have bruschetta as well since I’m having an italian day!

Happy Cooking!

First Attempt at a Yule Log

How beautiful are yule logs? But who else is SUPER intimidated by making one?? I thought to myself if I can barely keep a round cake together how in the world can I roll a cake up and expect it to stay together? Here is the trick. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Put the ugly side on the inside of the roll and no one will ever know. So I used a box red velvet cake mix because I’m lazy.

Take a cookie sheet pan and spray it with pam, then line it with parchment paper and spray it again. Then poor your cake mix in. I cooked it a little shorter than it called for because it was so thin. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and flip it over. Once it was out I took the parchment off and flipped it again onto seran wrap. You want the pretty side against the seran wrap. Cut off the top of the cake so it is perfectly flat. Now fill with about 1/2 inch thick buttercream icing. I will put the recipe for this at the bottom of this post. It is pretty much the best buttercream ever!! Life changing! Now lift up your seran wrap and start to roll. Pull back the seran wrap slowly as you roll it up. When you are all rolled up wrap it tight in seran wrap so it stays together and leave it for 15-30 minutes. Unwrap and if its not perfect like mine cover it in powdered sugar.

Look how beautiful. Not to toot my own horn but I’m super proud of myself for this. Something I thought I would never be able to do.

Plus if you bring it to a party like I did everyone comments on how great it is.

Best Butter cream

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups butter

1 1/2 cups milk

4 1/2 Tablespoons flour

First heat together the milk and flour to make a gravy like consistency. Do not walk away from the stove stir the whole time until it’s thick. Take this off the heat and let it cool completely. That step is very important because if you don’t you’ll have lumpy butter cream. While that cools mix together the butter and sugar. Then with the mixer on add a little bit of the flour and milk mixture at a time. Mix on medium for 5 minutes. Literally 5 minutes! Set a timer!

This recipe has been in my family forever. For every single birthday in my family we make red velvet with buttercream icing. We look forward to it all year.

Try something new you might be pleasantly surprised with the awesome things your capable of.

If you live in a small town like I do I would recommend getting amazon prime. Not only do you get free shipping but you get access to amazon music, amazon photo, amazon TV and amazon kindle. I mean the options are endless.

Click on this link to get your 30 day trial for just $3

Amazon Prime

If you are a student click this link and you can get 50% off a 6 month subscription to Amazon Prime.

Student Discount For Amazon Prime

How To Throw An Amazing Little Girl Birthday Party

My amazing oldest daughter just turned three. Her birthday is unfortunately on Christmas Eve so we try to really separate it from Christmas to make it special. This is the first year I have had a party with her friends for her, so I knew I had to make it special.

The first thing to do when planning a birthday party is to pick a theme. This is important because then you can pick the invitations, decorations and food based around this. My daughter and I decided on a princess party. This was a girls only party and everyone came dressed up as a princess. For decor I bought this box off of Amazon that had everything I needed in it.

Princess Party In A Box

I also bought these crowns so each girl could decorate her own.

Princess Crown Craft

All the girls absolutely loved making their own and putting their names on it. Click the link above and it comes with 12 crowns with stickers.

As far as the food goes I stayed with the princess theme.

Fruit wands

Use this star cookie cutter to cut the watermelon for the top.

Star cookie cutter

Crown shaped PB and J sandwiches

Using a crown cookie cutter.

Crown Cookie Cutter

The rest was just vegetables and pigs in a blanket.

As far as activities go you only need two or three because by the time you have had lunch/cake and opened presents it has already been an hour or so.

What to do with three year olds:

    1. Have a craft. Girls especially love to do crafts so that’s when I had each girl decorate their own crown.

    Have them decorate their own cupcakes. Might as well have them make it their own and then its not your job to make super fancy cupcakes or a cake. I bought these squeeze bottles to put icing in and bought about three different kinds of sprinkles. The squeeze bottles worked great because it kept everything clean and almost every girl could have their own. 3 year olds and sharing does not go together.

Squeeze Bottles

Click the link it comes with a set of 6 for $8. Such a good deal! I would use the for condiments or for decorating cookies at Christmas time.

3. After Lexi opened her gifts I just had the girls play with all of her gifts together. This kept them entertained for another hour. I bought Lexi a dress up box and this was the best gift! She has four different princesses that she can dress up as and it came with jewelry.

Only $29.99

Princess Dress Up Box

So much fun!!

If you live in a small town like I do I would recommend getting amazon prime. Not only do you get free shipping but you get access to amazon music, amazon photo, amazon TV and amazon kindle. I mean the options are endless.

Click on this link to get your 30 day trial for just $3

Amazon Prime

If you are a student click this link and you can get 50% off a 6 month subscription to Amazon Prime.

Student Discount For Amazon Prime

 

Turkey Burgers and Roasted Asparagus

Turkey burgers always use to scare me for some reason. I always thought why would you eat a turkey burger when you could eat a regular burger. Well for one it is healthier and for two they are so delicious. I went off of a couple different recipes and combined them all to make my own.

Turkey Burger

1 lb Ground Turkey

2 Tbsp sour cream

1/4 cup feta

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

Cook them tell both sides get brown in a saute pan. I serve these on hamburger buns with a sour cream sauce and grilled onions.

Sour Cream Sauce

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp paprika

1tsp garlic salt

Sprinkle of chili powder

sprinkle of pepper

Now for asparagus I like it cooked well like when you pick it up from the middle both sides hang down. Sprinkle olive oil and some seasoned salt over your asparagus on a baking sheet. Cook at 375 for 15 minutes or longer if you lime crunchy ends.

On a side note I never thought asparagus pee was a thing but it for sure is. Eat a side of asparagus and your pee will smell for 24 hours afterwards. Why is this? I have no idea. Haha! I think I was in denial before when I didn’t smell it.

The key to good cooking is alot about your pans. You can buy them here I go back and fourth between my saute pan and cast iron skillet

Saute Pan

Cast Iron

Want to lose weight? These are my results from Arbonne 30 days to healthy living!

I stared with Arbonne’s products November 5th to help me lose some of my post pregnancy weight. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I have always said that I have no self control. This was a big test to that and I wanted to see what I could do. Turns out if you can’t show any self control in your life you don’t have enough respect for yourself. If you promise yourself that you can do this you will. Just think of it this way you wouldn’t break a promise to a family member or friend so why would you break a promise to yourself. So I promised myself that I would work as hard as I possibly could to follow this for thirty days.

You have a protein shake for breakfast and lunch and then a healthy dinner. You can not have caffeine, sugar, gluten, dairy, pork, peanuts, vinegar, corn, soy, honey, artificial sweeteners, alcohol or white potatoes. Sounds crazy I know but not to hard because they give you recipes and snack ideas so you don’t have to figure it out. Which was awesome because this brain wasn’t functioning at first without coffee.

I lost 8.4 pounds and 3 inches around my waist.

Even better than this though is how I feel. I am a headache and migraine sufferer plus I have some autoimmune issues. The last two weeks I pretty much had no headaches and I started working out again. I couldn’t work out for the longest time because of my back issues which stem from auto immune problems. It feels so good to get my strength back. You all can do this too and feel great. Just get in contact with my friend Shayla or Sarah and they will hook you up.

Facebook- Health & Wellness with Shayla

Instagram- Shayla Moreno

You Tube- MRSSHAYLA MORENO

Or Sarah

Facebook- Sarah Francis

Life is short spend it feeling good.

1 Week Left of Arbonne 30 Days. Grilled Chicken with Black Bean Mango Salsa

Sorry I have been missing in action lately. Between the holidays and traveling I am exhausted! We had to go to Tucson last week to celebrate the adoption of my niece.

My sister took care of this little girl in the NICU and they asked her if she wanted to be an emergency foster parent for her. My sister has never been a foster parent so this was a new big step for her. She fell in love with her as we all did and started the adoption process. Unfortunately it took up tell she was a year and 3 months to get this finalized. We all went through alot of heartache but now she is finally apart of our family and has the best mom ever.

As you can see I’m just a little bit happy to have my first niece. 😍😀

As for my Arbonne life if you have missed my earlier posts I am doing Arbonne’s 30 days to healthy living. I have lost 7.5 pounds and I have 1 week left. I think most importantly though I feel really good. I suffer from headaches and migraines I pretty much have one or the other every single day. About a week into this I pretty much stopped having them. This is such a big deal for me and I couldn’t be happier.

Losing weight has been so awesome as well. I sure that my momma friends on here can agree with me that having babies changes you. Unfortunately it changed me for the worst. If I’m being totally honest I have some saggy skin and stretch that look like a tiger attacked my stomach. And I know everyone says to embrace it and love it because you got you children from that. I wouldn’t change anything for the world!! I love my girls so much but I don’t have to love what happened I just have to accept it. At least losing has giving me a great confidence back that I haven’t had in a while. This can affect every area of your life and your relationships. Now the big step will be maintaining a relatively healthy lifestyle after this.

Grilled Chicken with Black Bean Mango Salsa

Chicken Marinade

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Sea salt and pepper to taste

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

Juice of 1 lime

Black Bean Mango Salsa

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp EVOO

1 Cup Black Beans (rinsed and drained)

1 Ripe mango (peeled add diced)

1/4 Cup minced fresh cilantro

1 Jalapeno (chopped)

I put the chicken in a saute pan because it is way to cold outside for the grill. Place the chicken over brown rice that I cooked with lime juice and cilantro with a little mango salsa on top. This was delicious and super healthy what could be better. I had to add ketchup of course to my daughter but she ate it. Haha

S’mores for Daddy and Lexi to end the night.

Life Changing Brownie Cookies

I have a slight obsession with brownies. All desserts really but brownies are at the very top! So how do you have the perfect day. First you take your kids to the local pumpkin patch!

It was a perfect 70 degrees and we got the coolest pumpkins I have ever seen.

I love this sweet family of mine!

When we got home and the girls were sleeping I decided to enter into a chocolate dream land. So if you like the edges of brownies where they are crunchy and then soft in the middle this is the cookie for you.

Brownie Cookie

Cook at 350 for 9-10 minutes

Makes 36 cookies

4 ounces baking chocolate (unsweetened or bittersweet)

2 cups sugar

2 sticks of butter

3 eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder

Powder sugar for dusting

Start with melting the chocolate by putting it in the microwave. I used unsweetened to not have an overly sweet cookie.

Cream together butter and sugar

Add in eggs and vanilla

Then when the chocolate is cooled but not stiff add it into your butter mixture. Should look like this.

Now add in all your dry mix a little bit at a time.

I used a portion scoop so all my cookies were the same and placed them on a non stick mat.

Cook and then let cool completely before you sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I’m about to go on a really strict diet for thirty days so this is exactly what I needed to pull me through.

Happy Cooking

Crock Pot Southwest Chicken Chili

I am a huge fan of crock pot meals. I am a working mom of two kids and it really heps on the days that I work. I work three, twelve hour shifts and when I can’t get home in time to make dinner its so nice for a meal to be already ready for my family. I just recently had a baby and to prepare for that I made about 15 crock pot meals to put in the freezer before I had my daughter because who wants to cook after they have a baby? It honestly will make your life so much easier.

I have about 20 crock pot meals that I love and I will share them with you but this one is my favorite! So stay tuned. The best part of this recipe is how easy it is. I mean this is what’s in it….

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

3 cans petite diced tomatoes

2 cups medium salsa

1 can corn

2 cans black beans

1 package ranch seasoning

1 package taco seasoning

Cook on low 4-6 hours

Take the chicken out towards the end of the cooking time and shred it, place it back in the crock pot.

I love to serve this with lots of toppings like cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips and avocado.

This is so delicious its amazing that such good flavor could come from so little ingredients. Just to let you all know all of this does fit in a gallon freezer bag but its a tight fit.

On a side note look how cute my fall table is. I got these adorable leaf table mats and cute pumpkin center piece.

This is super important if your going to make crock pot meals by yourself to hold the bags open for you.

Click this link to get yours Holders

Happy Cooking!

Chicken Noodle Soup- cooking with my two year old

I made this over the weekend but haven’t had time to post yet. The weekend completely surprised us and decided to snow about an inch. No one was expecting this because the weekend before it was 80 degrees.

The leaves are still on our trees so the snow pulled all the branches down. Of course with cold weather you have to make some soup and my daughter loves chicken noodle.

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups chopped chicken
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3-5 Carrots chopped
  • 5-7 celery stocks chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp salt this will need to be adjusted if you are using salted chicken broth but mine was homemade so there was no salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-2 cups pasta of choice I used mini farfalle

Start with putting your aprons on this really helps your child feel special and involved.

Start with a large soup pot and saute the carrots, celery and onion in the butter. Wait until these are softened and then add flour and all your spices.. Stir! Please be very careful with your kids standing this close to a hot pan and open flame. A lot can happen when you walk away for just a second. Lexi loves to stir and when she puts spices in she always asks if she can “pat pat”. This just means she wants to hit the end of the spice bottle to make more come out.

Add chicken broth and chicken. I had this left over from my whole roasted chicken. Just take all the chicken off the bone that you can and throw the bones into a crock pot. Cover the chicken all the way up with water and cook on low over night. This chicken bone broth is so easy to make. This save you money on buying the broth at the store and its incredibly healthy for you.

Let this boil for 15 minutes. Then add milk and cream cook for 15 more minutes. Last add your pasta! Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and see if you need to add any more spices.

Oh I forgot to tell you I added some broccoli in. When I make soup its also an opportunity to empty out the fridge so I put any random vegetable I have in the fridge in. This soup is so delicious and gets even more amazing after it sits in the fridge.

Happy Cooking

Clog Your Arteries Mac and Cheese

That is best way to explain the deliciousness of this recipe because I have never seen so much cheese in my life.

Yesterday was a lot of cooking for one day and I was totally worn out. I had to make chicken noodle soup with the broth that I made from the roast chicken. I had to make fudge because you know it’s chocolate and mama needs her chocolate! Also it was my mother in laws 60th birthday party that night so I had to make two large batches of the Mac and Cheese that she wanted. Man I got tired just writing that. Totally worth it though.

Mac and Cheese

  • 3 cups macaroni noodles
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1 Tbsp steak sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 3 cups pepper jack cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 pound bacon

Melt the butter in a large enough pan to fit all the ingredients. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, mustard, cayenne and steak sauce. Mix until smooth. Add milk and heavy cream. Stir! Cube the cream cheese and put that in. Stir until that melts but don’t let it boil, it gets too sticky. Looks like yummy curdled milk. Haha

Then add the shredded cheeses! I have never seen so much cheese in my life. But you must know I am making a double batch so this is huge!

Add more salt and pepper to taste. When the mixture is smooth and super sticky and the cooked macaroni.

If that doesn’t make your mouth water I don’t know what will. At some point during this process cook your bacon. I did mine in the oven at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. Half way through I pour some of the grease off. I was looking for something to pour it in and found this plastic cup. My husband told me several times that it would melt but did I listen? Nope!!!

See totally not melted!

Chop the bacon and add half in the Mac and cheese. Place this in a 9×13 pan and add the other half of the bacon on top. I also through some breadcrumbs on top because I like a little crunch.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350!

Tadda! As my daughter would say. My mother in law was one happy camper she got her grand daughters, horses and Mac and Cheese. What could be better in life!

Happy Cooking!