Homemade Pasta – Spaghetti

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Spaghetti can be made by hand like fettuccine, however the quality of your pasta will not be as good if you don’t use a pasta maker. This was my first time using a pasta maker and it is shocking how thin you can get your dough and how uniform the pasta ends up coming out. If you would like to make spaghetti without a pasta maker, follow the directions for fettuccine however cut your dough thinner for smaller pasta. You can find these instructions here. So below I’ll be giving you instructions for how to make pasta with a pasta maker.

I did make some mistakes in this, but I have corrected them down below. My biggest mistake was not flouring my dough before I ran it through the cutting roller. The noodles immediately began to stick together and though some detached during cooking, there were still several stuck together by the time it was plated. The only other thing I changed was that I had rolled and cut the dough in halves instead of quarters. This made for a very long roll of pasta that I had to cut in half before running through the cutting roller. This recipe made 6 adult sized portions of pasta. I cooked this pasta in half batches, using half in this spaghetti dish, and using the other half in my recipe for tomorrow, ramen.

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What You Will Need

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • Pasta roller
  • Flour to dust
  • Saran Wrap
  • Optional Freezer Bag

Directions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add flour, eggs, and oil, and mix until it becomes a shaggy dough. Switch to a dough hook, and knead the dough until it comes together. It is a drier dough that should not be sticky or wet, you may add a bit of warm water if it won’t come together. Divide the dough into quarters and wrap 3 of the sections in saran wrap.

2. Using a pasta roller, begin rolling out your pasta starting at the thickest setting. Fold the dough in half and place the ends of the dough through the roller first on the next pass. Continue to fold and roll until the dough is consistent in appearance and there are no holes in the dough. Then, begin making the dough thinner one setting at a time until the pasta is as thin as you desire. (I stopped at 5 for a standard spaghetti thickness). Dust both sides of the pasta sheet with a layer of flour, send through the cutting roller, then transfer to a clean and dry counter space. Repeat this step for remaining quarters.

3. Form pasta into nests to place in freezer bags and freeze, or place into boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes before straining. Serve as desired.

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Sugar Christmas Cookies

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Sugar cookies are a labor of love, and this recipe was no exception. Making the dough was very straight forward, however the real effort comes into rolling the dough and cutting the cookies. This step is made easier by having helping hands to cut cookies for you while you can focus on the baking. Also, the dough makes lots of cookies. We picked out larger cookie cutters in an effort to have less cookies, but even with that we easily got over 4 dozen cookies. Since it is just my husband and I, we were able to fill 2 gallon freezer bags and freeze them for up to 3 months. And, we still had some left over to snack on. So, this recipe makes about 4-5 Dozen cookies.

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What You Will Need

  • 1 Cup Softened Butter
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup and 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Non-stick spray
  • Baking sheet
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Directions

1. Cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and mix well. Chill cookie dough for 1-2 hours.

2. Heat oven to 350 F. Knead dough then roll out dough to 1/4 in thick, then use cookie cutters. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray, then place cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove from oven, remove from baking sheet, and let cool before icing.

3. (Opt) Whip together 8 Oz of softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup softened butter. Add 1 tsp vanilla and combine. Finally, begin adding 4 cups powdered sugar a little at a time while mixing until all is added. If desired, add 2 tsp of additional flavoring (ie. Lemon or orange), or add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

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Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies

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Another classic Christmas cookie in my household is peanut butter cookies. We usually make them both with kisses and without, and this from scratch recipe is fantastic. The only thing that is up for interpretation is the butter coldness. I left my butter out at room temperature for about 3 hours before baking, and I didn’t have to refrigerate at all. You could probably leave it out at room temperature for about 8 hours before it would be too soft to work with immediately. Because the butter was still pretty solid, there were butter chunks in the dough, but that gave no problems during cooking. Finally, with this recipe, I made 17 kiss cookies, and 19 plain cookies, giving us 36 peanut butter cookies total.

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What You Will Need

  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, One Stick; slightly cooler than room temperature.
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Chocolate Kisses (Optional)
  • Sugar and Fork
  • Non-stick Spray
  • 9×13 Baking Sheets
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Directions

1. Heat oven to 375 F. Cream together both sugars, peanut butter, butter, and egg. Once combined, add remaining ingredients. If batter is too soft, refrigerate for 1 hour. If firm enough to roll, move forward. Spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. Roll out your dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet with little room to spread.

2. If you want plain cookies, dip fork into sugar, then imprint cross pattern on cookie balls, pressing only 1/4 inch max. Then bake your cookies for 10 minutes.

For kiss cookies, bake for 8 minutes, pull from oven, add your kisses, then return to oven for another 3 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before removing from tray. Transfer to plates, and (optional) place in fridge for 20 minutes to cool.

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Molasses Crinkles

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These cookies are a soft and sugary cookie that has good flavor depth thanks to the warm spices and warm molasses. This recipe is a recipe I received from my In-laws, and is one of my husband’s favorite cookies. These cookies not only taste great, but they look great too. These are not your ordinary sugar cookies, but they are a must try, even just once! These are very flat cookies. They come out of the oven puffed up, but as it cools, it will flatten. Give the cookies 7-10 minutes before pulling them off their baking sheet. I also substituted butter for shortening, and the cookies came out the same! This recipe made 31 cookies.

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What You Will Need

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Shortening
  • 4 Tbsp Molasses
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Cream together sugar, shortening, and molasses until light. Add egg, then dry ingredients, then mix together. Form into small balls, dip top of each ball into graduated sugar and place on cookie sheet leaving room to spread.

2. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

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Pumpkin Bread

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Pumpkin bread is another simple way to use up any extra pumpkin you may still have. I roasted my pumpkins before I blended it into a puree for these pumpkin recipes. This bread has lots of seasonal flavor and is very easy to make. This bread has good moisture, a good bread/cake texture, and is not overly sweet. I was able to make 3 loaves from this recipe, however, I only filled my pans half way, so if you want bigger loaves, just fill your pans a more, but leave about 1/2 an inch for expansion. This bread is also very similar to a zucchini bread, just with pumpkin and with festive spices!

What You Will Need

  • 4 Cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Stick of Butter (1/2 Cup), Melted
  • 1 Cup Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cloves
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Standard Bread Pans
  • Non-stick Spray
  • Mixing Bowl

Directions

1. Heat oven to 325 F. Spray bread(s) pan with non-stick spray then coat with flour. In a mixing bowl, creme together sugar and butter. Once combined, begin adding oil and eggs slowly. Add your spices, baking powder, and baking soda, then slowly mix in flour, and finally, mix in your pumpkin and stir until fully combined.

2. Fill bread pans to 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bread will not rise much. Bake bread for 65-70 minutes until tester comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, eat within a week, or wrap with two layers of cling wrap before freezing.

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