Thanks for all your well wishes about our basement.  I spent about an hour and a half to two hours shop vacuuming the rest of the water, and did TEN loads of laundry.  I still can’t open my dresser yet, so there is still more laundry to do if those clothes can be saved.  It felt like a Saturday all day yesterday since I took the day off from work. Open-mouthed smile

I am finally posting the recipe for the homemade pasta from earlier this week.  This meal took me about 40 minutes from beginning to end, which isn’t too bad considering you are making the pasta from scratch.

A couple things I would have done differently – cut the pasta much smaller because it puffs up when cooking.  I would also roll it out much much thinner too.  Also, while I didn’t have too much trouble pulling the pasta apart after cutting it, I would put flour on the dough before making it into an envelope and then cut it.

This was enough pasta for about 3-4 servings, the stats are for 4 servings:

Homemade Pasta

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons cold water

Put everything in the food processor except the water.  Mix and add just enough water until the dough pulls away from the sides of the food processor.  Knead on the counter for about 5 minutes.  Let rest for 15 minutes.

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Once the water comes to a boil, the pasta only takes about 4 minutes to cook.  Drain and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.  Tony doesn’t really like red sauce much anymore, so I usually just put butter and Parmesan cheese on his pasta.  This time I made a lemon cream sauce that turned out really good – I got the sauce recipe from this blog, but reduced the half and half to 1/2 cup for the two of us.

While cleaning the basement (turns out I have 8 bags of garbage to toss – lost some snowmen!) I did an inventory of our downstairs fridge.  While it’s mostly a beverage fridge, it’s also my overflow fridge too – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten stuff is down there and it goes bad. Sad smile

I realized I bought tomatoes off the dollar rack last week that needed to be used up – stat!  I had also bought a pineapple to try to make a grilled pineapple salsa. 

Turns out making salsa to sell is a much bigger endeavor than I thought.  To sell salsa at a farmers market in Illinois, because it’s tomato based, has to be cooked in a professional kitchen.  To use a professional kitchen, off hours are $20 dollars an hour (off hours been 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.).  But in order to use that kitchen I have to take a 15 hour Health Certification which is $100 online.  But then I’d have to drive to Rockford to take the test and get the certificate.

Then I have to pay McHenry County a Health Permit to sell at the farmers market.  Oh, and to use the professional kitchen, I have to retain a million dollar liability insurance policy.   All I want to do is sell my salsa! Sad smile

So while it felt like winter yesterday – snow, a bit of hail, high winds, I decided to try out my pineapple salsa.  If it doesn’t feel like summer I thought I could make it taste like summer!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients per batch:

  • 7 roma tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, stems cut off
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 slices of fresh pineapple

Heat your grill to medium-high.  Grill the tomatoes, jalapeno and pineapple until the tomatoes are charred and the pineapple has some good charred marks.  This takes about 15 minutes.  Put everything in a food processor and puree to your desired texture.

I made one batch mild because we are going to a friends house tonight who has little kids.  Maybe the 4 year old likes the heat, but I am not sure!  So the first batch only had 1/2 a jalapeno, seeded – the second batch had 1 1/2 jalapenos, seeds included.  You know I can handle the hot shit!

The mild batch I just pureed everything together.  But Tony said he couldn’t really taste the pineapple all that much and suggested I chop up the pineapple and stir it in the spicy batch.  Brilliant!

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Oh, and I got my new lens in the mail yesterday!!

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This picture was taken with the stock lens that came with my camera:

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This is one taken with my new lens:

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I need to play around with it, but I am really liking it so far.  I tend to get way too close to my food when I take pictures, this lens makes you take a step back.  I think it’s a lot sharper too – you can see every grain of salt!

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I love this salsa!  Spicy, with just enough sweet from the pineapple to give it a perfect balance.  Hope my friends like it! 

And a big thank you to my brother and my SIL for sending me a belated birthday gift yesterday – I got some $$ but more importantly, I got Fickle’s Pickles!  They brought me a big jar the last time they were in town, and I dropped it on the ground getting in my back door – I actually cried when it fell and all those pickles were lost!

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For long time readers, you’ll be happy to know that my brother is CANCER FREE!  It was a year ago this coming week that he was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma.  He had a full body scan a couple weeks ago that showed no signs of cancer – can I have an AMEN?!  You can read about his diagnosis here – he’s an awesome writer.  But my favorite post of all time of his?  When his first daughter went to college – I still get teary when I read it!

Alright, I have to start getting productive.  I need to make deep dish pizza dough since I am making deep dish pizza for our friends tonight.  And my kitchen floor looks like I haven’t mopped it in a year when it’s only been a week.  I hate it when the maid doesn’t show up! Open-mouthed smile

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday!