Saturday, February 16, 2013

Homemade Wheat Pasta with Alfredo Sauce and Baked Chicken

There weren't a lot of items on my Christmas list this year (outside of clothes and shoes - always), but the KitchenAid Pasta Extruder was one of them.  Gabe wanted to buy it for me, but we were travelling this year, and it wasn't exactly logical to take it on the plane.  Instead, he just told me to buy it once we returned home.  I researched, looking for the best price.  Bed Bath & Beyond was the best if I used a 20% off coupon, but the local store didn't have it so I waited several months for an online 20% off coupon.  Finally, I received one last week -- and FINALLY, I got my late Christmas gift on February 13th!  I couldn't wait to use it!

It may be odd, but we never go out to dinner on Valentine's Day because we don't want to deal with reservations and crowds.  And this year, I was scheduled to have a meeting on the evening of February 14th, which I thought would derail my chances of making pasta on Valentine's Day.  The meeting was cancelled the day of so I began making dinner plans -- centered around homemade pasta!

KitchenAid Pasta Extruder
This pasta extruder from KitchenAid is amazing and so easy to use.  Mix and knead the pasta, put walnut size pieces in the extruder and cut the pasta (using the cutter that is attached to the extruder) -- so simple!

I opted for light wheat pasta (a mixture of whole wheat flour and unbleached flour) with Alfredo sauce and sliced tomatoes.  The fresh pasta was definitely worth the extra effort and this two cheese Alfredo sauce was super creamy and delicious!  For the protein I baked chicken thighs with olive oil and spices.

Light Wheat Pasta from KitchenAid

2 1/2 cups sifted whole wheat flour
1 cup sifted bread or unbleached flour
4 large eggs
2 tbs water
1/2 tbs salt

Mix whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, eggs, water and salt (with the KitchenAid mixer:  flat beater on speed 2 for 30 seconds, then dough hook on speed 2 for 2 minutes).  Remove the dough and hand knead for 1 to 2 minutes.

Alfredo Sauce

Click here for the Alfredo Sauce Recipe from Key Ingredient

Baked Chicken

Skinless Chicken Thighs (I used bone-in)
Olive Oil
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Italian Herb Seasoning
Cayenne Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place chicken in glass baking dish.  Brush with olive oil.  Rub with onion powder, garlic powder, italian herb seasoning and cayenne pepper (one to one for the first 3 spices, cayenne pepper depending on your taste).  Bake the chicken for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

After plating the pasta, I added parsley, fresh tomato and fresh grated parmesan cheese.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Top 5 Beauty Faves

Hopefully very, very soon, I'll be able to tell you about the AMAZING homemade pasta that I made with the new pasta extruder that arrived at my doorstep moments ago - Of course - I have to make that AMAZING homemade pasta before I can share it!

For now, I'll resort to sharing some beauty products that I LOVE!

                                                                     1.  DHC Velvet Skin Coat
DHC is a Japanese company that I found through mail order catalogues.  The catalogues always come with free samples and Velvet Skin Coat was the first DHC product that I tried.  I have been ordering it ever since.  It's a very light weight primer that fills in creases and fine lines.  A very small amount covers my entire face and makes applying foundation a breeze!

2.  Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer
I don't know about you, but it seems like my eyeshadow always ended up vanishing from my eyelids - that was - until I found this eyeshadow primer!  This is also a very lightweight product.  A tiny little dap covers both of my eyelids and holds my eyeshadow all day long -- including when I work out, play sports and any other time that I sweat in the South Florida sun!

3.  DHC Perfect Pro Mascara
To go along with my eyeshadow problems, I've always had an issue with my mascara ending up in places that it shouldn't be.   I blame this one on the sun too -- and the fact that I sweat, a lot!  Though I prefer that my mascara stay where I put it, most waterproof mascaras are too difficult to remove when I'm ready to.  This is different.  DHC advertises a "tubing technology" that "encapsulates your lashes in polymer tubes."  It stays where you want it and is easy to remove with water.  As DHC advertises "simply splash your face with warm water and slide the tubes right off."  Did I mention that DHC also offers loyalty discounts?

4.  DHC Moisture Care Lipstick
I've always wanted to wear lipstick but my lips are pretty dry.  Most lipsticks that I've tried turn into a dried out mess within a few hours of wear.  Recently I decided to try DHC Moisture Care Lipstick because, well, their products never disappoint.  DHC products tend to function as advertised, which is really nice to know when they have to be mail ordered (though as I mentioned before, they will send free samples if you want to try something).  And, no, I'm not paid by DHC, though you may think so at this point!  This lipstick offers just a hint of color.  It is very moist, but not glossy.

5.  NARS Illuminator 
I originally received NARS illuminator as a sample at Sephora, with no instruction.  I didn't really know what it was or what it's purpose was, but I looked it up and tried it.  It is a great highlighter that can be used over or under foundation (I use it over foundation but beneath powder).  It can be worn all over or only as a highlighter and can even be mixed with foundation.  I use it as a highlighter -- mostly on the top of my cheekbones.  It's great for adding a little glow to my skin!

FIVE more FAVES (in no particular order):

Sephora Collection Colorful Palette Eyeshadow
Sephora Collection Sculpting Disk
DHC After Bath Hair Treatment Oil Type
Smashbox Photo Finish Luminizing Foundation Primer
DHC Eye and Lip Makeup Remover

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