Saturday, January 7, 2012

Girl Scouts and Homemade Pasta

It's Girl Scout weekend at our house.  I have been blessed to work with many wonderful girls over the years in Girl Scouts and I have enjoyed them all.  Katie, Christina, Taylor, Sarah, Tess, Keryn, Madie and Katie (oh, snap, I think I even listed them from oldest to youngest) have all been in troops that I have led and they have all been fun and a blessing to work with.  I am currently co-leading a Senior troop of three girls:  Phoenix, Maria, and McKiya.  As always, we are having a blast!  I have also been blessed with great parents and volunteers to work with (Sue and Pam, you two were dreams to work closely with; Tina and Tami were always committed as well).  I am now in cahoots with Mrs. Patty (Pinkie!). 

The girls are spending the weekend working on their new blog ( where they will journal about their adventures and their work (fundraising mainly) toward their Senior trip in 2015.  Well....go another browser tab and check out that blog....I'll wait for you to come back.....

OK, now that you're back....besides working on their blog and discussing their trip, they helped me in the kitchen.  Tonight we broke in my new pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer (oh that is my favorite kitchen toy!).  I made a bolonese sauce (from scratch) with a hearty mix of onions, celery, carrots and bell peppers....ground beef and sweet italian sausage.
Yum!  It should be slow cooked ALL day....we got a few hours in is all, but it was still very good and the girls loved it.

For our first pasta try, I used a pasta mix from Williams-Sonoma.  It makes 4 servings, but it was plenty for a total of 6 of us.  It was suggested we try a mix first to get use to the proper consistency.  Smart idea!  The girls helped to knead the dough and make the dough into walnut size balls.
OK, you can't see the dough....but that's what they're doing...and a fine job, I must say.  Then we attached the pasta hopper and started making some rigatoni.
See the pasta coming out of the end of the white hopper?  And you know the Cowboy was behind them watching too.  He loves him some pasta!  Now he can have it fresh (and healthy - lots of wheat/brown rice pasta in our future).

There it is boiling.  You'd think I'd get a picture of the finish product but sadly, no....we were all hungry and scarfed it before I had a chance to get a picture.  Next time!  But trust me, it was good.

Now the girls are working on henna tattoos.  They're going to a Girl Scout lock-in later in the month and will be hosting a henna tattoo booth to help raise funds for their Senior trip.  And where are they going?  I think it will be Montana for hiking, camping, white water rafting, swimming, shopping and all those things that Girl Scouts do!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Beans and Fluffernutters!

The Cowboy and I went out for one last hurrah before we get back to a normal eating schedule.  Most of the leftovers of the holiday are gone with a big pot of ham and beans and another of blackeyed peas to finish off. 

We both had the day off today so we just kicked around the house not accomplishing much and decided to head downtown to a locally owned placed call PB & Jellies.  Art and his family opened up PB & Jellies earlier this year.  It is a wonder New York Deli with house made PB and locally made Jellies.  They also have a wonderful selection of Boar's Head sandwiches and soups.  We just never seem to stray from the PB sandwiches, with the exception of the kniches (awesome too).  What great comfort food, especially in the winter time and right after the heavy foods of the holidays.

I had their Smasher sandwich which consisted of dark chocolate peanut butter and wavy kettle chips (plus the chips that come on the side).  The Cowboy had the dark chocolate peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Then we split a fluffernutter with regular peanut butter.  Oh....that brought back some wonderful childhood memories!

If you are local to Colorado Springs, head down town to visit Art at PB & Jellies.

Tomorrow it is back to the gym and back to a normal eating routine!  OK...well, I am sure we'll be eating some beans/ham and cornbread for a few days, but I'll throw in a salad and call it healthy.  ;-)  And actually, the beans and ham are not too bad for you.  I mix pintos and great northerns, soak them overnight then pressure cook them the next day (I have a wonderful electric pressure cooker, besides my manual one).  I put the ham bone with ample ham left over from Christmas (we get HoneyBaked Ham) in the crockpot and cover with water, as well as a chopped onion and cook all day. I season well with salt, pepper, and Ozark Seasoning from Penzey's. Once the beans are done in the pressure cooker, I add to the ham in the crockpot. You can eat them that night, but I suggest you wait til the second day. After you put them in the fridge overnight, then reheat them they tend to take on a thicker consistency and have more flavor. Add a side of cornbread and salad and you have a pretty fantastic comfort meal full of protein, fiber, iron, potassium, B6, and folic acid.
Not a bad way to start the new year.