Tag Archives: whole wheat

I’m So Tired

28 Aug

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Kindergarten is hard.  There are a lot of kids with a lot of germs who need to learn a lot of things.  Last week, my mom was in the classroom modeling everything she knows regarding 5-yr old behavior management.  Thank goodness, because it’s been a long time since I’ve worked with the little ones.  But after one day of repetitive, non-expressive, repetitive, non-expressive, repetitive, non-expressive… polite requests, they got the hang of it.  Now, we are fully in the swing of things, and school is on a quick upswing towards the rest of the year.

With the beginning of the school year inevitably comes the feeling of fall, football, pumpkin spice-scented candles, and one of my favorite things: comfort food.  I tend to try and create comfort food in a more healthy way, but there are some things that you can’t get away from, like, pasta.  Pasta is awesome.  Although I know pasta can be healthy when it’s eaten in appropriate 2000-calorie serving sizes, blah, blah, blah, but really, how often does that happen?

So that spurred on the Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Pasta.  Easier than you’d think, with all the vitamins of sweet potatoes, the fiber of whole wheat, and the comfort-deliciousness-chewy-goodness-of-everything-you-crave-after-a-long-day-of-Y-E-L-L-O-W-spells-‘yellow’ that is PASTA.

Like I said, I’m so tired.  There are many stories to share, but my throat is already starting to show signs of testing the beginning of the year immunity, and my bed is calling my name.  I’ll promise to do a better job than last year at cooking and posting during the school year, and I also promise to tell the story of Rob and me paddle boarding with alligators.  Until then, make and eat this pasta.  It’s.  Downright.  Good.  Enjoy and goodnight!

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Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Pasta
(makes 4 servings) 

  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • –       plus more for dusting
  • 2 small-medium sweet potatoes, diced and boiled until very fork tender
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

After the sweet potatoes are cooked and cooled, put through a potato ricer, food mill, or shred with a heavy fork. 

Pour the flour onto a clean stone counter, or wood board.  Make a well in the middle, and add the sweet potato.  Making another well in the potatoes, add the eggs, and the olive oil. 

Using a circular motion with a heavy fork, slowly mix the eggs with the potato and flour mixture, adding the outside layers of flour into the middle of the mixture with your opposite hand.  When the mixture starts to come together, start using both hands to combine, and kneed the dough for about 10 minutes.  The dough should be soft, smooth, and elastic to the touch.  Set aside for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, set up your pasta roller (NOTE: if you don’t have a pasta roller, this dough will make a great gnocchi.  Just roll into thin logs, and cut into 1-inch pieces).  Roll until a “4”, and cut through a linguini cutter, or thinly cut with a very sharp knife. 

Boil water with a handful of salt, and boil until the pasta reaches the surface, about 1-2 minutes (fresh pasta cooks much, much faster than dried). 

Toss with a flavorful, light sauce – I like brown butter with freshly grated nutmeg, rosemary, mint, spinach, and a touch of Riesling.  Add some rotisserie chicken for a protein packed meal. 

Enjoy! 

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OMG Cookies

2 Aug

Growing up, there was a “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” poster hanging in my bedroom.  It listed all of the comforting, thoughtful, and humble tidbits of advice that are so simply simple that they are easily forgotten through the doldrums of “real” life.  Well, if you ask a Kindergartner who just came home from a trying day of their first of at least 12 years of education, Kindergarten is real life.

I would stare and stare at that poster.  But out of all of wise advice, there were two points that I would always look for (they were right next to each other) and thus still remember today: Flush, and, Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Isn’t that the truth?

That poster is now hanging in my mom’s Kindergarten classroom, and whenever I come to visit, I look for my two favorite bits of advice.

While I’ve got the flushing part down, I am always looking for a good cookie.  Well, let me rephrase that – I don’t generally love cookies, so when I get the craving for a cookie, I only go for the excellent ones.  Today, I had that craving.

Searching the fridge and pantry for the other prescribed “options” to satisfy sweet cravings, like all the health magazines tell you to do (I’m sorry, I’m not roasting zucchini to satisfy a sugar and butter craving.  Although I do love roasted zucchini), I found nothing to satisfy the immediate need.  However, while lacklusterly leaning against the pantry door, I was reminded of my baking ingredients, as well as the homemade Oregon granola I mixed up a few weeks ago (I call it Oregon granola because I use local dried cranberries, local hazelnuts, and amaranth grains).

So I got to baking, and unlike the many, many other times I’ve tried to make great cookies, I actually did this time.  There was so much satisfaction in hand-forming them, and Sig kept smelling the air while they were baking.  The cookies are sweet and salty, and crunchy and gooey; of course, I ate a couple just a few minutes out of the oven with a glass of milk.  You need to try these cookies.  Really.  I’m about to eat the whole batch.  They are nothing like roasted zucchini.  And if you are trying to be healthy and start to feel guilty about making cookies, then remember these two things: 1) they are made with whole wheat flour, and 2) warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Granola Shortbread Cookies (makes 12 cookies) 

  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c granola (use your favorite brand or homemade) 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus a bit more to sprinkle on top of the cookies) 
  • 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, just starting to become room temperature, but still a little cold in the middle
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (make sure it’s good quality, or it will smell and taste alcohol-y) 
  • a bit of 1/2 & 1/2 to brush on the top of the cookies before baking

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.  

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Whisk to make sure it is well combined.  

In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.  Once mixed, add the almond extract and the egg, and mix to combine.  

In batches of 3, add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to combine.  Using a spatula, fold in the granola and the chocolate chips – the batter will seem a bit crumbly, but that is ok.  

Using a 1/4 c dry measure, scoop up that amount of batter and tap into the palm of your hand.  Using your hands, form the cookie like you would a hamburger.  Once 12 cookies have been formed and placed on baking sheet, paint a bit of 1/2 & 1/2 on the top of each cookie.  Then sprinkle each cookie with just a bit of kosher salt on top.  

Bake until cookies are golden, plumped, and fragrant, about 15 minutes. 

Enjoy warm with cold milk!  

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