Playing with Pasta Attachments


A few years ago, my cousin gave me a manual pasta-making machine he picked up from a thrift store for $25, along with ravioli plates and a pasta drying rack. I had never made homemade pasta before, so it inspired me to learn. I was surprised at how easy it was. Basically, it’s no more difficult than making bread dough (which is easy, and I do it all the time), and homemade is always fresher and better. There were a few things I didn’t like, though, about the machine. One, it was manual, but worse, it had to be clamped on to something, which could be inconvenient. The pasta rack was made of wooden spindles you put together, so it was kind of a hassle, too. It was, however, a great start in making pasta at home.

In a recent intersection of events, I was shopping for a new Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I had an old classic Kitchen Aid that had finally worn out. I procrastinated about the purchase for some time (which I always do when making a big purchase). Meanwhile, I was shaking a lot of butter in quart jars. Shaking butter got old (lazy-R-us!), which ultimately pushed me to get my stand mixer situation resolved. (Making butter in a stand mixer is my favorite thing!) Then I thought–pasta attachments!
No more clamping a manual machine to something! (See my pretty new red Kitchen Aid? Ah! I love it!) I got the set that includes the basic roller, to roll out the pasta dough, and the fettucine and spaghetti cutters. I still have the ravioli-making plates my cousin got me, which work just fine if I’m making ravioli. Here is the new pasta drying rack I got.
What I like about this rack is that it comes all together. No poking the wooden spindles into the stand every time, and it also folds down for compact storage.

You can see the pasta recipe I use here–it’s just a basic pasta dough. Make the dough, let it rest for a few minutes, then divide it in four pieces.
Put each piece through the roller several times, increasing the settings slowly, to flatten it out.
After rolling out each piece, cut it in half or your pasta pieces will be really long and difficult to handle.
Then the cutter goes in–I was using the fettucine cutter.
Hang the pieces on the rack!
Wow, that came out pretty, didn’t it? I absolutely love the pasta attachments, my new Kitchen Aid, the rack, everything. (And I’m back to loving making butter again, too.)
I had fettucine in a light alfredo sauce with scallops and peppers for dinner that night.
If you want to check out any of these products… Here are the links. (I always hesitate to put in product links, but I’ve actually had people write me to complain that I don’t put in links because they want them.)

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer
Pasta Attachments
Pasta Drying Rack

You can also get a ravioli maker like I have here.

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Pumpkin-Orange Tipsy Cake


I served this cake to attendees at this weekend’s retreat, and they suggested I should call it Orange-Pumpkin Tipsy Cake, but I’m going with pumpkin first anyway. Though the orange flavor in this cake is pretty strong. And delicious. There’s actually more pumpkin in it than orange, though. And I started out wanting to create a pumpkin cake because I was in a pumpkin mood. It’s fall, after all! The idea to add orange came later in the process. I love how the cake came out and I hope you’ll give it a try. Here’s how I made it.

If you don’t want to use bourbon, you can replace the bourbon by using more orange juice. In that case, maybe you really should call it Orange-Pumpkin Cake. (No tipsy!)

(Though I like the tipsy!)

(But up to you!)

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How to make Pumpkin-Orange Tipsy Cake:

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/8 cup bourbon
1/8 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves

For the glaze:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup pecans, chopped and roasted
1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Cream brown sugar and butter; mix in eggs with an electric mixer. Add the flour, baking powder, bourbon, orange juice, orange zest, and spices. Mix well.
Bake in a greased 9-inch tube pan for about 45 minutes–do the toothpick test and keep an eye on it.
Remove from tube pan and cool. Poke holes all over the cake.
To prepare the glaze: Heat the butter and brown sugar in a small pot. Boil two to three minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the other ingredients.
Before pouring the glaze over the cake, place the cake in some kind of pan with sides so that the glaze that runs off won’t run away from you. Spoon the glaze over the cake, letting it soak into the holes.
Refrigerate for at least a day before serving to let the glazy goodness seep into the cake. Before serving, warm the cake in a low oven then spoon the melted glaze off the bottom of the pan back over the cake. You can also spoon over more warmed orange juice and bourbon just before serving if you like.
Serve with vanilla ice cream. This cake is scrumptious, very autumn-ish, and holiday-ish, too!

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.
See All My Recipes
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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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