I made it! IT IS SUMMER! This means fresh cold watermelon, peaches, farmers markets, pool time, swimming, and cooking! I have been so excited to get home and start cooking again.
I was finally reunited with my kitchen and despite my dreams and anticipation, my first night was a total flop. My flight was delayed and I didn’t get home until four in the morning. Naturally, I woke up early and got to work unpacking. Despite being completely exhausted from a lack of sleep, I felt surprisingly energized (it is amazing what a bit of extra oxygen can do for you…I love coming back down to sea level!) After a busy day of getting organized I searched the empty cabinets for something I could throw together. I made some homemade pasta and threw some asparagus and tomatoes in the oven and tossed up a salad. I wanted to do a simple olive oil, garlic and parmesan tossed pasta, but this soon became difficult seeing as we were lacking two of the three ingredients needed; olive oil and parmesan. I ended up tossing it with some breadcrumbs and added too much, making for an overly breaded and overly salty pasta. Edible, but just a bummer after so much excitement. Although I was excited that my first attempt at whole wheat pasta was a success!

Whole Wheat Pasta:
1 cup ap flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
Making pasta is simple and really makes for a delicious meal! Don’t be intimidated.
Start by adding the flours to the bowl and mixing them. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, water and salt. Slowly whisk the eggs, water and salt incorporating a little bit of flour at a time until a ball is formed. (You won’t use all the flour and actually quite a bit might be left.) At this point I usually sprinkle a bunch of the flour on a board along with the ball of dough (be sure to scrape up anything that got stuck to the bottom of the bowl and incorporate that into the dough) and I start incorporating more flour as I knead the ball of dough. Keep kneading until elastic. (Again, you don’t use all the flour!)

Cover the ball of dough with platic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Now is the fun part, especially if you don’t have a pasta roller…
Get your rolling pin and start rolling! I would cut the dough into about four sections and roll it out until it is really thin and the length you want. I then dust it with flour as I roll it up and cut the roll into small sections. Unroll each strip and you are left with a rustic looking pasta! Make sure to dust it with plenty of flour so it doesn’t stick or dry out!
So anyways, I ended up being a bit nervous to enter the kitchen again but decided to brush my hands off and start new and I am glad I did. Dinner tonight consisted of hasselback potatoes, spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken and a salad.

I was inspired to do the hasselback potatoes by pictures I had seen on foodgawker (my new favorite website….hours can literally pass by without me noticing when I am on this website…it is dangerous)

These are so simple and delicious! I love how fancy they make a simple good ‘ol baked potato look!
Hasselback Potaotoes:
3 baking potatoes
11/2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp rosemary
1-2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp butter
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Make slices through the potato about 1/8 inch apart. Be careful not to slice all the way through (this is especially tricky on the outer ends of the potato so work somewhat slowly and carefully.)
Top each potato with about 1/2 tsp olive oil and then rub in minced garlic and rosemary between each layer. Bakey at 400 for about 1 hour, or until tender throughout. I let them go a little longer so that the out sliced were a bit crispy! Halfway through baking top each potato with about 1/2 tsp. butter so that they don’t dry out. Take them out and immediately top with shredded parmesan cheese! MMM. You can really serve these with anything. A dollop of sour cream (especially if you flavored it) would be good with them, gravy or instead of rosmeary you could do cilantro and lime and then top with salsa or something. It is really just your standard baked potato fancied up a bit 🙂
Goat Cheese and Spinach stuffed chicken:
(easily serves 4 )
2 large chicken breast cut in half at a diagonal
2oz goat cheese
2 cups spinach
salt and pepper
Along with the potatoes I made some stuffed chicken. Honestly, this is such a delicious and fun way to change up an ordinry chicken while still keeping it light and healthy. I used boneless, skinless chicken breast and cut a little slit in them. I stuffed each chicken breast with some steamed spinach, goat cheese, salt and pepper. Sear them in the pan so that they get a nice color and then bake in a 350 degree oven until they reach 165 degrees!
In a separate pan I added equal parts butter and flour and cooked that together. I added some chicken broth, lemon, capers and a bunch of parsley for a quick and easy sauce.
…and because biscuits were already planned for breakfast the next morning, we decided to just have waffles for dessert that night: )
I just used a standard waffle recipe and topped it with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. The real star was a banana and honey butter waffle, which unfortunately made it into our mouths much faster than I was able to get a picture. This may have been a good thing though because it didn’t look nearly as amazing as it tasted.
Slice bananas about 1/2 inch thick at a diagonal. Sprinkle each banana with a little bit of sugar (really any sugar you have around) and pop in the oven at 400 for about 3-5 minutes or until the sugar is melted and caramelizing. On the stove heat up equal parts of honey and butter. Top the waffle with bananas and drizzle with honey butter. YUM!
Waffles
Recipe courtesy of The Family Kitchen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking poweder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla)

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