Press "Enter" to skip to content

Happy Thanksgiving

0

With the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday today, and other holidays following in swift order over the coming weeks, this season will be undeniably different for many families this year. Tables may be emptier. Friends and families connecting virtually instead of in person… There are no words that I could put here…

KitchenAid stand mixer attachments: The good, bad and ugly

0

This is not a sponsored post or endorsement made in coordination with the brands or products mentioned here. 

Remember my story about how I used to religiously watch the FoodTV Network as a kid? (and still love to...)

Growing up, the KitchenAid (KA) stand mixer was one of those kitchen "toys" that the chefs always had on the FoodTV Network (aka the Food Network, as we all know it.)

One year for Christmas, I think I may have been 8 or 9 years old, my grandparents, together with my mom, decided to buy me a stand mixer as a Christmas/birthday present. My mom said she picked it up from Macy's, which I'm sure was at the height of the Christmas shopping rush, and lugged it through the store to her car.

I don't remember how I reacted to receiving the mixer for the holiday that year but to this day, it was probably one of the best gifts I've ever received.

Since we have Dave's KA mixer, mine is still at my mom's house, but it has served me well over the last two decades. It feels so strange to say that it has been "two decades" of using that machine. I couldn't tell you how many things I've made in it or hours I've put on it and it still runs great (knock wood.)

On the flip-side, I think some of the attachments for the KA mixer are gimmicky. Based on my experiences, here is a quick run-down of the good, bad, and ugly of the KA mixer attachments to watch out for if you are doing any holiday shopping for yourself or friends and family members that love cooking.

Fresh Old Fashioned Cocktails

0

I made these Old Fashioned cocktails over the summer with fresh cherries and clementine. The drink, from muddling the cherries with the sugar and clementine, turned a lovely ruby color and was punch-like from the sweet bing cherries that I used.

It reminded me a lot of bottled fruit punch, actually—but in a good way.

Finally crossing off a food “bucket list” item: Homemade pasta

1

This is not a sponsored post or endorsement made in coordination with or paid by any of the brands or individuals mentioned here. 

You may remember that for a few consecutive years, I made a list of 3-5 goals that I called "Foodie Resolutions." It seemed like a fun idea at the time, but I tried and for the most part failed to complete them all within the course of the year.

I guess getting laid off and looking for a job while completing an MBA, then finding a job, then going back to my old job may have had something to do with it. (That, of course, is just a brief recap. Yikes. Reflecting on that time makes me think, "what a long, strange trip it's been," to quote Jerry Garcia.)

The overachiever perfectionist living inside of me was heartbroken. As much as I like setting goals and making lists—with color-coding and symbols for emphasis, Post-Its on the page added for extra notes about the lists, and all—I love crossing things off my lists more.

That's why writing this recap...

My final foodie goals verdict for 2016 was 2 for 5, and the two that I knocked off my list were making homemade kombucha and aioli. Pasta was a big ol' fail, though—I didn't get to it in time.

...which I updated just over three years ago, August 2017, kind of sucked. At the time, I also set a few goals for the remainder of 2017 that I wanted to try to accomplish. With four months left in the year at that point, that was also a big "F" for me. Womp, womp.

Today, I'm happy to say that, although I'm several years late, a quarantine task that Dave and I completed this year was to finally make homemade pasta!

It's true—it finally happened! And we made it again recently, too—with photos and video to prove it!

Taste test: Mezcla plant-based protein bars

0

This post is made in coordination with Mezcla. Please see the site-wide disclosure policy for more information about sponsored content on fromannaskitchen.com.

How do you feel about energy bars or protein bars? I've tried several different kinds over the years as a healthier snack alternative. Admittedly, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with them that started with one bite from a brand that I won't mention (it has a familiar name, but I'll just call them "brand X") that stuck in my memory.

Menu Idea: Easy & casual dinner on the grill

0

Prior to COVID-19, Dave and I tried to have a date night outside of the house at least once a week. It was a nice way to break up our schedule and take some time to decompress by going to a favorite restaurant, hitting up a movie, shopping, or playing a few rounds of billiards.

When restaurant dine-in service was shut down, and even now with limited capacity, we adapted by doing at least one night of take-out a week from some of our favorite places that were still open as well as having "car picnics" or "tailgate picnics" in parking lots or at parks. We even ate Indian food (rice and all) once or twice in the truck, which was kind of fun. :D

Otherwise, we've made it a point to sit outside on our patio more for dinner during the week and for lunch on the weekends, making good use of the grill - in the summer to keep the house cooler on some of the hotter days that we've had but also in the fall and winter months, too, just for a change of pace.

Dave and I both love to grill. Rain or shine, cold or hot, any time of the year.

We call our patio the patino since it was large enough just for the grill or our outdoor garbage cans when we first moved in. One of our first "real" home projects we did together, two years ago this April, was to expand it to about 8'x8'.

It's still on the smaller side, but large enough to now accommodate a bistro table and chairs along with the grill. Four chairs can fit, but it's roomier if we move the grill off to the grass if we have company. One day, we hope to add a walkway of bricks as well as a larger front patio to connect the two together

But it's very enjoyable to sit outside with a cup of coffee to start the day or a glass of wine to end the day.

Caprese salad: The best way to say farewell to summer produce

1

There's something to be said about having the right tools to get a job done. I think this goes for just about anything in life, even food.

When you have nice ingredients or tools, cooking is more of a joy. It could mean a splurge on a quality olive oil or an aged balsamic vinegar, a luxury like truffles or Kobe/Wagyu beef (for meat eaters - maybe not for me ;) ), or a nice quality knife or cutting block to work with as you prepare meals.

Sometimes, it doesn't have to be expensive at all: buying produce in season, for example, when it's abundant. You're already off to a good start of making something good when you're working with fresh food that's in-season. It speaks for itself. You can do so little to it and it's still delicious.

As ready as I am for the season to change as I sit here on my porch, on the cusp of my favorite time of the year — with cool wind blowing through the windows, anticipating the turning colors of the leaves that will start any time now — I'll always take time to savor the last of the wonderful summer produce that I've grown and harvested or purchased locally at markets.

And one ingredient I always miss the most as the season turns is the tomato.