• February nesting.

    The snow has finally come; a blanket pulled up snug & tight over the landscape, tucking us into our houses. It is officially time to nest. Or make pasta from scratch. 

    On my to-do list since October or so, my belly has eagerly been waiting for this day. So I hopped on over to Angela's house to finally make it happen. 

    We used this recipe from Food52, combining one part semolina to two parts all-purpose flour, and using all four of our hands to keep the eggs inside the well.  While the dough rested, Angela made us an easy San Marzano sauce with butter and onion, nothing else. 

    Next step: we cranked the dough through a pasta machine until nice & thin, then through an attachment that sliced the dough into noodles. We dropped the nests into boiling water to cook and after a few minutes, wa-lah. 

    The next pasta on deck? Squid ink! 

    Garden planning is in the works as well. More grass will be turned into growing space, more seeds will go in the ground, more good things to come. 

  • Before & After: pt. 2

    Before & After: pt. 2

    Here's what we moved into in July: a tobacco-stained, drafty kitchen with rotted windows and a door that didn't close properly. 

    The floor was the first thing to go, then we started on the door. 

    And just a few weeks ago, on the coldest day in November, we dug into the windows. 

    After tearing off the window casing, we found the source of the draft. 

    Out with the old and in with the new framing.

    After six months, our kitchen is done! I'm so grateful to have a dedicated husband who works all week as a builder, only to spend the weekends building things around our little house. He's the best. 

  • Homemade ricotta (it's easy)

    Homemade ricotta (it's easy)

    Easy, super delicious, and cheap. Homemade ricotta is the only way to have ricotta. It tastes nothing like the stuff on a shelf in the market, which I always thought was pretty good. This? Store bought doesn't even compare to this! I use Barbara Lynch's recipe from her book, Stir. 

    Here's all you need:

    1 gallon milk (try to not use ultra pasturized - it won't curdle as well as pasturized)

    3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

    1 tablespoon salt

    footed colander, lined with cheesecloth (the height of the colander will help drain the cheese), placed in the sink

    candy thermometer, clipped to a large pot 

    Combine the milk, vinegar, and salt in the pot. While stirring constantly, heat to 140 degrees over low heat. Keep the heat pretty low, as you don't want to scald the milk to the bottom of your pan. This will take 20 to 30 minutes, so get your stirring arm ready.

    When it reaches 140 degrees, stop stirring, and let the temperature raise to 175 - 180 degrees, about 15 minutes. Once it reaches 180, remove the pan from the heat and gently ladle the curds into the lined colander.

    From here, tie up the cheesecloth and hang it over a bowl to drain for about an hour, and it's ready to eat! One gallon of milk should yield approximately 2 cups of ricotta and will keep a couple of days in the fridge (if you don't end up eating it all the first day - it's that good.)