Back in September I attended the Food Blog Forum in Atlanta and had an incredible time learning from Jaden Hair at Steamy Kitchen, Diane and Todd from White on Rice Couple and many others! Gwen at Bunky Cooks did an fabulous job orchestrating some pretty cool giveaways for the day and I lucked out on being a winner of a gift certificate to Chefs Catalog! Woohoo!!
I knew exactly what I wanted to order from Chefs Catalog, a Pasta Sheet Roller Attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer. But what was also great was how excited my oldest daughter was to help make the pasta! Nothing is better than involving the whole family in making a meal with their precious hands.
The Holiday weekend was the best time to break out our new toy and give it a whirl. We chose to make a Spinach Pasta with Healthier Alfredo Sauce. Please make sure you notice the note to process your thawed chopped spinach before mixing it into the pasta dough. I say this because in the rush of adrenaline and excitement from others in the kitchen, I forgot to take this step. This led our dough to pull apart where the larger pieces of spinach were in the dough. We did a pretty good job rolling a few sections through but did end up hand rolling and cutting the rest on our own. All in all it was lots of fun and very tasty!
(adapted from the KitchenAid Pasta Roller Manual)
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed
2 1/4 cup flour (I used 1/2 white whole wheat and 1/2 unbleached all purpose)
1 tsp salt
water if and when needed
Squeeze out as much water as possible and finely chop the spinach. Place flour and salt in your mixer bowl and stir together then add your eggs and let dough form a ball. Test to see if the dough is tacky- if not add little amounts of water slowly about a teaspoon to a tablespoon at a time. If it is too sticky then add flour. Remove dough from bowl and knead for about 2 minutes and allow dough to rest 20 minutes.
Healthier Alfredo Sauce
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4-1/2 cup low fat or skim milk
8oz. package of Neufchatel cream cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
In skillet heat butter and gradually add flour creating a paste. Whisk in milk and mix out any lumps to make a roux. Stir in cream cheese and remaining ingredients. Add more milk if needed to make sauce thinner. Let simmer on low until ready to serve.
Note: Are any other "photogs" who rely on natural lighting frustrated by the time change? I'd love to have my evening light back to help with prettier pictures because I just can't stand the look of food pics with flash. Oh well, guess I'll just have to save some food for the morning light instead.
Hello! My name is Melissa and I am the gal behind My McDonald Meal and I owe you an apology! I am very sorry I have been absent for a few weeks but I promise it's been worth every minute. A few months ago I mentioned to you all that I had landed a cool new job, well I now feel comfortable enough to let you all in on my special secret. My passion for children, physical activity, nutrition and education are now all part of my job duties as the Relationship Manager for Kentucky with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation!! Woohoo! How cool is that job title.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation was founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation in 2005. We are a non-profit that works to address one of the nation's leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids to make healthy lifestyle choices.
My job is to connect the schools in Kentucky to the Healthy Schools Program and walk them through our framework which outlines specific steps to create healthier school environments. The framework is based on policies and practices that positively impact healthy eating and physical activity behaviors among students and staff.
Did you know that 1 in 3 children are obese or overweight?
Did you know that this might be the first generation of children to live shorter lives than their parents?
Did you know that 1/3 of high school students get enough Physical Education?
I could go on but I'll let you do the research on your own.
So, if you have never heard of us before then make sure to check with your school office to see if they are already signed up. If they are then great, see how you can help. If not, no fear, we have a great option on our website for you! You can sign up as an individual and we'll make sure you receive a jam packed bi-weekly newsletter, access to our list of online resources, including our product navigator, a tool to see if the snacks and meals your school is serving is in compliance with our program.
Spend some time on our site and check out what we can do to help get your schools healthy! NOW is the time to join the fight to reduce childhood obesity.
Well, with my new job I am working from home part-time and traveling to schools across the state the other half---plenty to keep me busy, but all for an amazing cause! Recently my evenings have been focused on dedicated family time and enjoying being "unplugged", since I have to rely on being plugged in all day. But don't worry, this hasn't meant I have not been in the kitchen! No! No! I've been spending plenty of time in the kitchen cooking up yummy, healthy foods for my family and I've even had some pretty cool teenagers cooking with me!
Back in the summer after I helped with a kids cooking class with my previous job, I had a mom contact me to see if I could help with cooking classes for her son and some of his friends. Flash forward a few months and we've now had two classes together! This has been an incredible opportunity for me to be able to spend time with kids that could make a difference. Oh boy, I can't wait to tell you more about these amazing teenagers, but for now I'll leave you with a few pictures and a yummy recipe they cooked up on their FIRST time with me!
Pumpkin Scones with Ginger Glaze
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg (OR USE 1tsp of allspice)
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp cold butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp half-and-half
1 large egg
Preheat oven 425 degrees. Cut butter into ½ inch cubes. Sift flour, sugar and spices together. Mix butter with dry ingredients until it resembles a cornmeal.
In small bowl whisk egg, half and half and pumpkin together. Gradually stir wet ingredients with dry. Turn out onto floured surface and knead two times. Form a round ball and flatten to ¾ of inch thick. Cut out triangles and place on parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until slightly brown.
2 tbsp minced crystallized ginger
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powder sugar
2 tsp milk
Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle on top of nice warm scones and serve!