Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pasta!

My mom recently got a Kitchen Aid pasta set for Christmas so she could make her own pasta. Well, make her own pasta using the abundance of eggs my parents get from their chickens on a regular basis! And even more recently, 10YT sold her Kitchen Aid pasta set. This got me thinking - I have had my own KA pasta set for probably 5 years now, and only used it once (which was a total disaster because I tried to make pasta out of soy flour ::facepalm::). I figured if I wasn't willing to part with it, then I need to use it. So tonight I set out to find semolina flour with a goal to make my own pasta.

I easily found Bob's Red Mill at Mother's Market. Perhaps it could have been found at a regular grocery, but I was not interested in driving around all night. I had some Pasta Making to do!



I followed the recipe from the book included with the KA Pasta set, mixing the eggs, oil and water into the flour with the paddle mixer for 30 seconds



And then switched in the dough kneading hook for two minutes. Okay, maybe more than two minutes. The dough was very crumbly, so I hand kneaded it while adding water until the dough would stick together, and then let the hook do the rest of the work.



I hand kneaded it a little more, and then divided it into 8 parts as instructed with the recipe. A dough cutter is a dream for stuff like that - just a tip. Damn, this is a lot of pasta dough. I started running the first dough piece through the flattening attachment, slowly forming it into a thinner and thinner sheet. This part was actually working okay - the dough was holding up, not crumbly or sticky, and it had a good amount of elasticity! I was pretty excited at this point.



Then I tried to run it through the spaghetti cutter. My strands weren't really separating, so I clumped them back up together to try it again from the beginning. I did that a few times, and then realized I had nowhere to dry them.



Then I also realized that maybe I should flatten all the dough into sheets before running them through the cutters, you know, so I wouldn't have to keep switching the attachments. And then I realized, I didn't have space for that many flat pieces of dough, and they all stuck together.

I tried to cook some of my spaghetti, but it really clumped together - not sure how to keep the strands separate, unless I'm cutting them right into a boiling pot. Once they sit, they tend to just combine again. The fettuccine cutter was slightly more successful, but not by much. In the end, I cooked two parts of the eight, threw two parts away, ate one part raw (not too bad!), and wrapped three parts in plastic wrap and put in the fridge. I have no idea if those will still work.

My biggest challenge is going to be getting the cut strands to not stick to each other. My guess is more flour, but not sure of the correct application method. This entire experiment cost about $2.50, so not much. I am not sure it is cheaper than store bought, and it certainly isn't easier, but it was fun. I am certainly willing to give it another shot though! Stay tuned for Pasta Take 2, after I do some online research. Oh and figure out a drying method/apparatus.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Break Out the Platform Spike Heels

I just signed up for my first ever Pole Dancing class on 2/20! I am going to OC Pole Fitness who offered me a great rate for being a Twitter follower! Another item to be checked off my list. I wanted to do this for a long time, especially after reading about Sheila Kelley and how her body was completely transformed while learning pole dancing for a movie role.

If you want to join me, let me know! I could send you a referral code for a discount.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I have a schedule, and I'm sticking to it

So H and I have been talking to someone. You know, therapy. While I know I can certainly benefit, I really think H is the one that needs working on. That's obviously based on my own skewed opinion. Regardless, I should take advantage of the situation.

So the last time we were in, the Doc assessed our levels of depression and anxiety. I came out considerably higher than H. That's not entirely surprising, since I am the worrier and H is the happy-go-lucky one singing "Hi diddle dee" as he marches us into the poorhouse. However, instead of focusing on what H could do to alleviate my depression and anxiety (get a job? Stop spending money?), he focused on me and what I need to change. Number one job for me this week: "write down an exercise and diet plan and actually follow it"

Now, I would guess if any of you have been reading any amount of time, you would know that 1. I still exercise - regularly. And 2. I eat healthy. In fact, HE is the biggest reason my diet gets off track at all. Nevertheless, I am not perfect, and there is always room for improvement, right? So I agreed.

Here is my new exercise plan, tentatively starting Monday, January 25:

Monday: Weights
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: Easy run + weights
Thursday: Run
Friday: Weights
Saturday: TNT Run
Sunday: Long or Recovery run (depending on how many miles TNT is doing Saturday)

Hopefully I will be able to start fitting in another run, hopefully on Tuesdays, but right now these therapy appointments are getting in the way. ::grumblegrumble::

The diet plan is the same - I am following the WW plan to lose weight (seeing I am still 2 pounds above where I need to be and less than a week to get there without paying), and of course the good health guidelines should be followed.

Regardless, I have written many, many notes for our therapy meeting on Tuesday. H has no idea what he's in for.

Friday, January 22, 2010

If you have nothing positive to say

Don't say it at all.

Despite my long silence, I will be back, sooner rather than later. Hope I haven't lost you all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

101 update!

A friend started her own 101 things list and that reminded me, I need to do a bit of an update on mine. Unfortunately, I am still really bad about taking pictures. Perhaps I should start my Project 365 as well.

1. 100 pushup program. Unfortunately, that is just not gonna happen. My wrists just hurt for days and days after I do pushups, especially when done in the numbers the 100 pushups plan requires. I will have to think of something to replace that one with. Or just pay the $5 to charity now.

2. B4L and NROL4W is coming soon! I got that iTouch app, and I am ready to go... as soon as I can drag my ass out of bed in the mornings on a regular basis.

3. Join a CSA - I kinda did that and it was a complete and utter failure. H is way too picky on what he eats and when (this is why meals planning doesn't work well for us), so while nothing really went to waste, nothing was at it's prime either when we, or rather, I finally got around to eating it. High point: apples were to die for. Low point: Oranges were terrible. Plus, it was really pricey for what we got. I could have bought all of the produce for much less, and the first delivery was discounted. I am going to go back to Farmer's markets and Grower's Direct.

4. Mentor for Team in Training - well, I'm actually coaching, but I think that should count!

5. Positivity Challenge. This bitter hag still can't get on board with that 100%, but I think I am getting to be a little more positive here and there.

6. Pay off Credit Card Debt. That will hopefully happen. Right now I am really trying to get H on board with a budget. He is a spender, so when there is money in the account, I think his mind thinks it's open season. I have a snowball plan in place and we have gone over it, and I *think* he's with me, but time will tell. If we stick with our current plan (based on his unemployment benefits) we will be completely out of debt by June of 2012. I am really hoping he will get a job, because 1. That would speed up our payoff plan and 2. If he doesn't, paying off our credit cards will be the least of our worries. : /

6. One last thing I am going to claim: Avoiding restaurant meals for a week. I can't remember the last time we got food to go, or even went out. It was definitely before New Year's eve. We did a pretty good job of eating leftovers this week, and I did meal planning via MiMeals for dinners, so I say we did it! Eating veggie for a week is going to be harder with H around...

Shit, now that I am looking over my list, there is a ton of stuff on there. FFS, what was I thinking? ;o) I might be donating a lot to charity in 2012. LOL I might have to put some of them in my new "ToDo" app to keep me on point!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Paving the Road



"New Year's Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."  ~ Mark Twain

As you may already know, I don't really have New Year's Resolutions this year. Mostly because I am already doing 1001 things in 101 days. But I always have some goals in mind that I haven't given up on. One is to get more organized, and another is to continue with my weight maintenance and fitness.

Yet another reason why I am so incredibly thrilled to have gotten an iPod Touch!! Work is slow these days, so I spent a lot of time this week researching different applications and how to get my Touch set up so I can be more productive. Here are my new apps!

iWatchr ($1.98 for the full version) - WW Points tracker for my Touch! No more writing in a book, no more bad math. It does not have a food database, so you still need to have a way to find points values of different foods. I am not trying to avoid paying for WW etools, but to be perfectly honest, I can't use etools on my Touch without wifi. This works as a stand alone app with no need for internet access. Score!

iFitness ($1.99) - I am still playing with this one but it looks great and got a lot of really positive reviews. The feature that convinced me was being able to set up and save multiple workout plans. BFL and NROW4W, here I come! I also love that everything is tracked on what is essentially my music player, so it's VERY gym friendly.

FemCalLite ($1.99) - This is actual charting software rather than a period tracker that estimates your O date based on the average woman. I'm sure it's by no means perfect, but since H is actually getting his surgery done, I have no more excuses for my crappy charting. Here's to actively TTC in 2010!

MindSpa (FREE!) - I have not tried MindSpa yet, but I know I need some help with the stress relief, and the price was right. Here is what the developers have to say about it: "By utilizing the latest dual induction techniques, with a separate voice in each ear, Dr. Bandler has prepared a one-of-a-kind experience for you found exclusively here. Our R&D team has created a special visual neural-stimulation program that simultaneously measures slight changes in body movement and adjusts to those movements to place you into a deep, calm state of relaxation and stress relief." Sounds interesting, no?

And last, but in no way least, I set up Google Sync so now my Gmail, Google Calendar, and Contacts syncs automatically with the preset apps on the Touch! It's pretty awesome.

I am still looking for a Meal Planning app and a Chore app. I did see iChore, but I need to do a little more research and think about if it will really help us (i.e. will we really use it?). As far as meal planning goes, I was *this close* to purchasing MiMeals, but the reviews are mixed and I saw Relish! for the low, low price of FREE. However, I should have researched it more, because they only allow you to choose 5 meals a week (WTF?) and after a 14 day trial, the accompanying service is $7 a month. No thanks. So now I am considering MiMeals again.

Don't get me wrong, I also downloaded Tap Tap Revenge 3, Spider Solitaire and Chain Reaction. All work and no play makes Dipitie a dull girl! ;o)