Monthly Archives: March 2012

I Bought Into It…

Hunger Games mania, that is. I read the trilogy. Bought the “I Shop at the Hob” tote bag and “Team Finnick” t-shirt. I’m so trendy and lame. The excitement that has surrounded this first movie is unbearable. All day at work, my staff was talking about going to see the movie (these are adult, healthcare professionals, mind you). I bought tickets online days ago, just so I knew I would be able to see it Friday night.

Its bad, I know...

Something really amazing did come from all of the movie hype though. The pediatric oncology wing of the hospital where I work, held a Hunger Games Competition and Party. The patients were able to participate in a variety of activities and I had asked if I could make cupcakes. I made 75 mini cupcakes. Some had little chocolate dipped arrows w/ coconut fletching. Others had different symbols pertaining to the Hunger Games.

I did make these the night before....

You can see in the pictures that some of the icing was beginning to melt. When I brought them to the event room at work, they told me they wouldn’t fit in the refrigerator. So I had to leave the majority of my 75 cupcakes sitting out . I wasn’t pleased.

Regardless of the state of the icing, the kids loved them.

The icing is orange cream (homemade, which is probably why it melted) and I piped it over dark chocolate mini cupcakes. The “sprinkles” are actually flavoured sugars that I learned how to make! The red is pomegranate, the orange is orange, and the yellow is just yellow sugar.

The kids seemed to have a blast. The majority of the cupcakes were gone halfway through the program. The ceiling had been decorated with silver parachutes that each held a take home bag of candy. They had signs that said “Mellark Bakery,” “The Hob,” and my favourite saying in the book.

I donated some Hersey’s kisses, that I adorned with the same Hunger Games decorations as the cupcakes. The kids ate those up! They loved the little details, which really made the party fun.

I loved these. Though I hated making them.

We also had water bottles that were wrapped in Hunger Games labels. The kids loved them so much, they said they were going to take them home and reuse them for the movie premiere later on.

Oh so chic.

The party was a big hit and I definitely got my Hunger Games appetite sated. Seeing all of the kids enjoying themselves so much was a really wonderful experience!

I am planning on seeing the movie Friday night. My cousin is going with me since she thought that being pregnant meant she couldn’t stay up until midnight for the premiere. Le sigh… The one time that I want to do something fun and it gets squashed!

Question(s): Did you read the series? Are you going to see the movie? Were you caught up in all the hype?

The Good Pasta

I recently purchased a pasta machine, after the Kitchen Aid attachment destroyed the last batch of pasta I tried to make. This particular machine worked flawlessly (though it was difficult to clean after).

I was super excited to make fresh pasta for dinner. I built up the pasta all day. I kept texting my cousin, telling her how amazing dinner was going to be. She humored me.

Venturing out to the grocery store to find Semolina flour was fairly uneventful, but disaster struck when there was not a bag to be found. I thought about going to Whole Foods, but decided to just make do with the flour the store had. It turned out to work just as well, though I want to try King Arthur “Perfect Pasta” blend next.

After I arrived home, I set to work prepping the work area.

The recipe that I followed for making the pasta dough was:

3/4 lb whole wheat flour
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
4 Tbsp warm water
1 tsp olive oil

I’m not sure where the recipe actually comes from, as it was the recipe that my mother had written in my recipe book. I don’t remember if it’s the recipe my mother used when making pasta and I know it’s not my babcia’s recipe.

I made a well in the center of the flour and started folding the eggs in one at a time. I made sure the eggs were at room temperature before I added them to the flour and then used a fork to make the base for the pasta. After 5-7 minutes of kneading, I had a wonderful dough ball.

I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator until 30 minutes before I was ready to cook it. Around 35 minutes before dinner was suppose to be ready, I divided the dough into four equal portions. Then, I rolled out each portion until they were small rectangles that would easily pass through the machine. When they were thin enough, I attached the fettuccine cutter and made my first long pasta pieces! I then used the pasta drying rack that came with the machine. The pieces hung to dry until I was ready to put them in the water to boil.

Now, there should be pictures of it cooking. There should also be pictures of it sauced on the plate. Guess what? There aren’t. Why? Because I forgot. I was so busy baking the bread for bruschetta, making the tomato topping, shelling peas, creaming herb butter and simmering the basil sauce for the pasta, that I forgot.

I will tell you that it was delicious. Everyone thought it was amazing and begged me to make pasta in the future. I think that my next pasta project will be herb-layered pasta sheets for ravioli. And I promise I will take more pictures!

Question(s): Have you tried making your own pasta? Willing to share some recipes?