Recession Chic

a down economy does not = ugly shoes

Completely Homemade Mac-n-Cheese February 14, 2011

Filed under: Dough Diaries,Food & Drink — karakrautter @ 10:10 AM
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My need for comfort food continued for another week; therefore, it was time for a round of mac-n-cheese. Since I had some extra time before dinner time, I decided to make homemade macaroni noodles. Something I learned from the lasagna adventure was the benefit of  using fresh, uncooked noodles to make sure the dish wouldn’t turn into mush during baking. Unfortunately, I only made it about halfway through the pasta making process before getting distracted and the dough dried out. Thankfully, I just needed to grab another extra large egg and flour to make another round of dough. The noodles were far from perfect but definitely looked homemade.

For the cheese sauce, I made a mornay sauce with white cheddar cheese and just a some Dubliner cheese shreds for a little bite.

I added some panko and regular bread crumbs for a crisp top. I baked the mac-n-cheese for about 20 min to melt the cheese and cook the pasta. Below is the final product (which was super delicious). I paired it with a mixed green salad dressed with a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette to help cut the richness.


Spinach Lasagna for the Vegetarian in All of Us December 1, 2010

Filed under: Cooking 101,Dough Diaries — karakrautter @ 4:39 PM
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After almost a year of making my own pasta, I finally felt ready to try to make homemade lasagna noodles. For many years around the holidays (or any celebration) my best friend’s mom would make the most amazing lasagna — complete with homemade noodles. So, after the chaos of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I thought that our Sunday night meal should be a warm, comforting vegetarian lasagna.

Here are the photos of the process:

1. First layer of sauce and noodles

2.Yummy spinach and ricotta layer

3. More sauce and mozzarella cheese

4. The final stage fresh out of the oven

5. The first slice…yummm

I was shocked at how good it was and how relatively easy it was to put together. The homemade noodles were the perfect texture — not too soggy and able to hold its own against the cheesy, delicious filling. I will definitely do this again!


Dough Diaries: Macaroni February 12, 2010

Filed under: Dough Diaries — karakrautter @ 9:58 AM
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After taking a few weeks to recover from the first pasta making adventure, I was finally ready to give it another try. With a new recipe and some solid tips, I cracked one large egg and added 3/4 cup of flour and got to mixing.

The dough came together nicely, and was a lot easier to work with since it was drier and a smaller portion. After letting the dough rest for about 30 minutes, I started the process of running the dough through the widest pasta attachment on the machine. From the sage advice of Linda, my best friend’s mom, I knew that I needed to do this (and keep adding flour to the dough) several times before actually making the noodles I wanted to eat. After many rounds of this, I actually noticed the dough changing. The texture, color and strength of the dough started to look more and more like fresh pasta.

Making macaroni was a lot easier since the noodles were thicker, and the dough was so much better. I think I could be ready to try spaghetti  next month. Check out the noodles and the final dish below.

A little misshapen and awkward, but macaroni none the less.

The final dish included: homemade macaroni noodles, sautéed spinach, goat cheese, olive tapenade and a little squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Yum!