Sunday, March 27, 2011

you won't find these in the freezer section, that's for sure

I'd been dying to make fresh pasta for ages so when I saw this recipe for homemade cannelloni while watching Kelsey's Essentials on the Cooking Channel, I figured this would be the perfect place to start my attempt at some more difficult recipes. Once I finally got my hands on a pasta attachment for my stand mixer (I was NOT about to try and roll this out by hand) I got to work.
Like I've seen on pretty much every cooking show ever done about fresh pasta, I started with the "well method"  which is just putting eggs, salt and olive oil into the middle of a pile of flour on my butcher-block counter. After creating quite a large mess, it finally turned into something that looked like pasta dough.
I let the dough rest for a bit while Quino and I went for a nice bike ride around the neighborhood. It was such a beautiful day I couldn't bare to spend it all in the kitchen.
When we got back, we threw together a quick tomato sauce to layer in the baking dish around the cannelloni. We also made the cannelloni filling out of onions, italian sausage, spinach and a TON of cheese (ricotta and parm).
After all the prep work was done, we went on to the insane task of rolling out the pasta dough, which proved much more difficult than it looks. The pasta sheets get so long and thin that we needed 2 sets of hands for the job. Once we finally got it all rolled out, we cut it into squares and cooked them in some boiling water for a minute or two. We stuffed the cooked pasta sheets with the scrumptious filling, layered them in a baking dish and covered them with some more of that tomato sauce before showering them with even more parm.
They spent 40 minutes in the oven before we got to dig into them but it was well worth the wait. 
They were AMAZING! I'll definitely be making them again.
After this attempt at fresh pasta though, I might just make some in the form of fettucini with a nice cream sauce next time... yummm!

bon appetit!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

la vida es un carnaval y es mas bello vivir cantando

It may be surprising for me to say considering I'm Cuban but I'd never been to the Calle Ocho festival before this past weekend. Well this year, I felt it my duty to spend an afternoon taking in this compilation of Cuban culture. 
Though I had expected it to be a big event, I definitely didn't think it would be 20 blocks long! Despite the distance, Quino and I walked the whole thing (fueled by too much Cuban food and some mojitos). Needless to say, we took a much needed nap after that but we definitely had a fantastic afternoon :)
Our walk may have taken longer than it should have because I stopped pretty often to take pictures, but I just can't help myself.
The Calle Ocho festival is a definite must see, especially for the food.
Since we can't do it all over again til next year though, I'll more than happily settle for some Havana Harry's or just a visit to grandmas.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

a prelude to spring break...

I spent a lovely afternoon at the Biltmore this weekend with Clarissa. Though it was a tad too windy for a boat day (something I've seriously been missing), we got some sun by the pool and had lunch on the golf course. All in all, it was a fantastic afternoon.
Seeing as the Biltmore is old and fabulous, a lot of these pictures were edited with the antique effect. It just seemed so appropriate. 
me and my big floppy hat
{the cool effect of this picture was a total accident. the original was way overexposed but thanks to cool iPhoto effects, this is the final product}
{thanks for sorority squatting to make me feel less short haha}
{our fabulous lunch at the 19th hole, the biltmore's restaurant overlooking the golf course. we shared a turkey club. it was so good and so were those fries! i'll definitely be going back. there was more sandwich but we had already had some by the time i remembered to take this picture}

Only two days left until Spring Break! I can't wait to get some more sun and take a much needed break!