Made from Scratch

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I have previously written a post about making your own pasta from scratch.  Barely 6 months after I wrote this post I made the decision to eat a gluten-free diet for the sake of my health.  The pasta making attachment has languished at the back of the pantry and I keep promising myself that I will try making my own gluten-free pasta.  Well yesterday was finally the day.

After searching the internet and using some ideas gained through making other gluten dough such as pizza bases, I decided to give it a try.

Here is my recipe:

2 cups gluten-free flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
10g psyllium husk
3 eggs
25ml water
25 ml olive oil

2012-01-31 01Combine the dry ingredients, add the eggs and then gradually add the water and oil.  The mixture will not roll into a ball as it does if using wheat flour but it should be damp enough that you can squeeze it together in your hand.  Mix thoroughly for about 3 minutes.  Cover bowl with a damp teatowel to retain the moisture and work as quickly as possible.

Take a small ball of dough and knead well in your hands, press out into a thick disc and feed through the pasta roller on thickest setting.  The dough will crumble but persevere and do it several times until the dough starts to feed through in sheets.  Continue to fold and feed through until you have a good consistency and then feed it through progressively thinner settings.

003Once you have the thickness that you want you can cut it into lasagne sheets or attempt the next step of making fettucine.004It is certainly more difficult to make than conventional pasta but I am hoping it will be worth the effort.  Both the lasagne sheets and fettucine have been frozen so the final verdict will be when they are cooked.  I am very confident that the lasagne will be successful but I will have to wait and see with the fettucine.

Based on what I have done so far, I would say that this has been a worthwhile exercise and I will tweak the recipe further if required.

Watch this space………..

DIY vs Outsourcing

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Today we went to the Wood Expo and unfortunately I did not find anyone who was doing the type of restoration work that my cabinet will need.  That is OK as I have plenty of time and no particular deadline.  I took more photos and printed them before I went so I have a complete pictorial record of the unit as well as all of the dimensions.  My next job will be to see if I can find someone who can give me an estimate of what my idea is likely to cost.  I did see a slab of silky oak for sale today – $150 and it was more than what I imagine will be required for the job.  I will let you know of any further developments.  In the meantime, it functions perfectly well as a stand for the television and storage of other items.

I decided to outsource the restoration of the cabinet  as the skills required are beyond that which we have.  However, there are lots of things we can do and make for ourselves.  We have managed to fill the rest of the day with doing things for ourselves.

2012-05-05 01The Duke makes our bread in the breadmaker and today was fruit loaf with sultanas, chopped raisins and chopped dried apricots.

2012-05-05 02He also bottled his latest home brew and then started a new one today.

2012-05-05 03I made some fresh pasta.  Here is some of it cut into lasagne sheets and ready to go in the freezer.  I used some to make chicken and mushroom canneloni for dinner.  We had a serve each and here are the 2 leftover serves ready to be frozen for lunches later in the week.

2012-05-05 04I picked a pumpkin and also some cucumbers from the garden.  We had mashed pumpkin and peas with the canneloni.

2012-05-05 05We made soda water using the Soda Stream and I had a glass of bubbles with fresh slices of lime.

Now I am off to do some more knitting on my dishcloth.  I have done 4 so far and the 5th is underway.

A New Idea and a New Toy

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It is now 6 months since I began this blog.  A couple of previous efforts had fallen by the wayside for a variety of reasons but I was determined to make this an ongoing project.  I decided that the best way to make blogging a habit was to do it every day.  I have managed to stick to my plan pretty consistently except for while we were on holidays and a couple of other glitches.  Therefore, I apologise for the lack of posts in the last couple of days.

I have decided to reassess how I go about maintaining my blog, keeping it interesting and relevant for those who read it and still find time to go to work and do the very things that provide the basis of my blog posts.

So, from now on there will not necessarily be a post every day, although sometimes there will be.  My goal is to generally have 3 – 4 posts each week with a minimum of 2 posts each week.

I know how frustrating it is to go to a blog and find that there is nothing new since last time you visited so here is my suggestion.  Go to the ‘Email Subscription’ on the right-hand side of the blog and click the button marked “Sign Me Up”.  This means that you subscribe to the blog and will receive an email each time there is a new post.  You can change the settings in the future if you wish.  Alternatively, you can be friends with me on Facebook and you will see each new post that I make from the Facebook page.

Thank you for your interest in the blog and comments.

And now, the new toy.Kitchen Aid mixer

This is my Kitchen Aid mixer which I got a couple of years ago.  One of the reasons I chose it was because I could purchase additional attachments which run directly from the driveshaft.  My main interest was the pasta maker attachment. The Duke did all of the research on the internet and found the best price of $285 which compared favourably with the initial price on the Kitchen Aid site of $349.  Whilst it seems like a lot of money I feel confident that it will be worthwhile.

Today the parcel arrived.

So it was time to unpack.

There are 3 attachments – lasagne roller, fettucine cutter and spaghetti cutter.

I have made my own pasta previously but found that the manual pasta maker was too difficult and time-consuming – not to mention that it ended up breaking.  Hopefully, these will be a great success and I will never buy dried pasta again.  The bonus is that I will not have the packets which are non-recyclable.

Watch for a post when I make the first batch – perhaps on the weekend!