Thursday, May 29, 2014

Homemade Fettuccine - Pasta from Scratch!

What began as a heap of flour, eggs, and oil soon became a wonderful homemade fettuccine dish! Pasta entirely from scratch! Don't be scared now, it was so easy! And much tastier than that boxed pasta we all know (and love perhaps a little too much).

It's been a couple of days since I made this for dinner, and my parents are still raving about it! I can already tell I'm going to be making it again very soon.. it was that good! Unlike dried pasta, this fresh dough had so much more flavor, each noodle had great texture, and after 2 minutes in boiling water, it was perfect! (But we'll get to that part.)

"Making Homemade Pasta" This can be a scary, almost intimidating phrase to anyone. Immediately, you may be thinking "I don't have time for that," "I need some sort of machine," or "Why not just buy it?" To that I say... no excuses!! I've wanted to make homemade pasta for so long and while reading through my latest Taste of Home magazine, I found the perfect recipe for fettuccine. No fancy machines required! So here, I'd like to walk you through making this homemade pasta step by step, with help from the Taste of Home recipe. It is totally worth each and every (simple) step!
First, we need to make the dough. There's only 8 ingredients! We start by whisking together 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper (number 1, above). Next, I put my 1-1/2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of semolina flour on the counter. (I found semolina flour at Hannaford in the baking aisle. The package was completely vacuum-sealed - wicked cool!) I mixed together the flour right on the counter, made a well in the center, and poured in the egg mixture. This is where things got messy... so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND adding a little egg mixture at a time to the flour, and mixing it with your fingers until it is all incorporated. This will ensure the egg does not ooze beyond the flour and across the counter as you frantically try to catch it with your arms and keep it from diving off the edge.. (not that this happened to me, of course.. I just want to make you aware of what could happen.)

Once the dough is formed, shape it into a ball and place it on a lightly floured surface, seen in number 3. *To keep the counters clean and the dough from sticking as much, I recommend using a towel dusted with flour when working with any breads or dough. It makes forming them into a ball (and cleaning up later) a breeze! Next, cut the dough into 6 wedges, and roll each into a cute little ball. Then, cover with plastic wrap (I hate plastic wrap by the way.. I made this on the same day as my strawberry lemon cake batter frozen yogurt and my plastic wrap mishap, which is a whole different story!) After letting these rest for about 30 minutes, it's time to form the pasta!

Using a well floured rolling pin, form each ball into an 8" x 10" 'shape', and roll into a tube (jelly-roll style). Cut into 1/4" strips and unroll the spirals for fettuccine! *This is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. It took me (and my mom) forever to unroll each piece! So, in a moment of genius, I decided to skip these last two steps, and cut the strips out of the flattened 8" x 10" shape. Of course, this "aha!" moment only came when rolling out the second to last ball of dough.. Just have patience when cutting the long strips to ensure they are even. Now, the final step is to cook the pasta. (Then, we smother it in sauce!)
I added about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water and boiled the pasta for 2 minutes, drained it, and stirred it into the sauce. That's all there is to it! Now, for the sauce... it wasn't anything too fancy. Since the star of this dish was the pasta, I had no objections to using prepared alfredo sauce - jazzed up with some personal posh, of course! With no precise measurements (let the smell and taste be your guide), I added some Parmesan cheese, milk, and spices to a jar of 3 cheese sauce. I also added some veggies, as seen below. 

Simmer the asparagus in the sauce for about 5 minutes, or until it's fork tender. Then, add the squash and zucchini, (when you julienne them, keep the skins, and don't include the seeds) and keep the mixture hot on the stove until the pasta is cooked and drained. Stir, plate, posh it up (I used some fresh basil from my newly planted herb garden), and enjoy your homemade pasta dish!

It's INCREDIBLE! The pasta has great flavor and texture, it soaks up the sauce, and makes a wonderful, hearty dinner! You have to try it! Don't be afraid to try something new, and get a little messy in the kitchen! This pasta has endless possibilities! What kind of sauce would you pair with it? How would you cut it to make fettuccine? Spaghetti, perhaps? And what kind of posh would you add?! 

With love (for food),
--A dash of posh can make all the difference in your next dish!--

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First Ice Cream Maker Creation!

Strawberry Lemon Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt

I FINALLY got to use my new ice cream maker!! (You may be wondering: the first thing I make is frozen yogurt..?) That's right! After browsing on Pinterest, (a favorite site of mine!) I found a recipe for Strawberry Lemon Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt - and I had to make it! I love light, refreshing desserts, and lemon-anything is always a big hit in my family! (Don't get me wrong though, I'm always in the mood for warm brownies or a hot fudge sundae, too! Pile on the whipped cream!) At the same time, this frozen yogurt was the perfect finish to a busy day of gardening and yard work! Find the recipe here (at With 3 simple ingredients and a bit of patience, it was fantastic!! 
3 Simple Ingredients
After whisking these together, I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill, so I could get the ice cream maker all set. Of course before that could happen, I managed to get into a fight with the plastic wrap box...and I lost.

A nurse's work is never done
Me vs. Plastic Wrap: All day I had been thinking to myself how miserable plastic wrap was, and how much I despised it.. all day! And then it attacks me!? I just wanted one piece to cover the batter, and it had to be the difficult piece. So, after the bleeding stopped and my mom (thank goodness she's a nurse!) bandaged me up, I continued with dessert!

The ice cream maker was SO EASY. I inserted the frozen bowl, poured in the batter, slid in the paddle, covered it, and viola! (Well, I plugged it in too, that helps). Within 30 minutes, I had beautiful, pink soft-serve frozen yogurt!

Fortunately, I made this up before dinner, rather than during - so I had enough time to put it in the freezer and let it get to a more 'scoop-able' consistency. (As a note, I think next time I'll make it up in the morning, so it has more time to 'chill out' (aha, get it?) in the freezer.) By dessert, it had reached a semi-soft-serve state, and was easy to serve!
For some added "posh," I sprinkled extra lemon cake batter mix over the top, and placed a fanned strawberry on each. (Mini chocolate chips were added later, amazing!) *To fan a strawberry, carefully slice towards the top, stopping about 1/4 inch from the green cap. Spread, or "fan," out the layers and it's done!*

A little posh on top!
Wasn't this recipe super easy!? I have so many ideas/plans for my ice cream maker this summer! At some point I will make traditional ice cream, yet for now I'm loving this yogurt lifestyle! There are tons of recipes out there, and I aim to find them! (And then add my own splash of 'posh!') Pinterest, here I come! And thank you Jamielyn at "i heart nap time" for this recipe!

With love (for food),
--A dash of posh can make all the difference in your next dish!--

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oatmeal "Whoopie!" Pie Cookies

I was totally shouting "whoopie!!" today after I got an ICE CREAM MAKER!!! How exciting is that!? I've wanted one for so long! Yet, I had to wait until finals and everything had settled down - longest. wait. ever. But I got one today! And on the way home, naturally, I picked up the supplies to make frozen yogurt, got home, read the instructions...and the freezer bowl has to be completely frozen before starting.. :/ what. the. heck. So frozen yogurt will be coming soon! In the meantime, I had my eye on an oatmeal whoopie pie cookie recipe from an Amish cookbook my mom bought not too long ago.. so what better occasion to whip them up than when depressed about having to wait YET AGAIN to make a frozen dessert!? So, let's all shout "whoopie!" for these whoopie pie cookies, instead!

Let me start by saying "yum!" The flavor was great, and these cookies were super quick to whip up, bake, and fill! Below is the recipe book (expect more from here, there's a sugar cookie and a pie recipe which look awfully good...) The recipe can also be found here (at

This recipe was a bit different than traditional cookie recipes I've made. For example, I creamed the butter, sugar, AND eggs at the same time! Then I added all the dry ingredients, then the oatmeal and cinnamon, then mixed boiling water with baking soda...and stirred that in last. A process totally worth it!

*As a note, I highly recommend investing in rounded cookie scoops - they're perfect for making each cookie the same size!
Perfect size, every time!
Although the recipe said to bake them for 10-15 minutes, mine were done in 8! Also, I suggest 9 cookies per tray because they spread quite a bit.. I was surprised, too, because of the baking soda and baking powder in the batter! Then again, I did improvise a little by substituting half of the quick cooking oats for regular...(I ran out of quick cooking oats! Dang those lazy breakfasts when I didn't feel like cooking up regular oatmeal!) But either way, they turned out delicious!

While they were cooling, it was time to make the filling! Different from the thick, frosting-like chocolate whoopie pie filling I'm used to making, this filling was rather thin and kept only soft peaks. Yet, for these large, soft and chewy oatmeal cookies - it was perfect! Using a smaller scoop, I plopped a little filling onto the bottoms of half the cookies, and played matchmaker!

Super cute, right!? The filling's sweetness really helped bring the entire cookie together - I'm thinking these cookies may also make great ice cream sandwiches! (using ice cream from my ice cream maker, of course) This recipe made about 20 pies - plenty for dessert! With plenty leftover for snacking! Each bite of this sugary sweet pie, with its sweet creme filling, was pure delight! 

So where's the 'posh,' you may ask? The posh is everywhere! It's the extra care used when finding each cookie its perfect match, or setting them up nicely on a plate for dessert. Posh is putting yourself in the dish! And these cookies, from a terrific Amish recipe, have plenty of posh - as well as flavor! Just see for yourself! 
With love (for food),
--A dash of posh can make all the difference in your next dish!--

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cupcake Berry Trifles

I'm all for making simple, yummy dishes (and desserts) in fun and creative ways. Even the most basic recipe can be dressed up with some 'posh!' These trifles are just one example...

If you'll recall, I made chocolate cupcakes earlier this week, and didn't end up stuffing them all with ice cream. I also had leftover berries from the salad (if you're totally lost, be sure to visit my Sunday Dinner post to see where I got these ingredients!) One trip to the store for instant pudding mix (plus stuff for dinner) later, and I was ready to make this fun, light dessert!

There are so many different types of trifles, ways to layer them, methods to serve them - this is just one way! I encourage you to try it with whatever flavors you like, or with any leftover sweets you may have on hand!

I wanted to make small individual servings as a light, refreshing end to our taco dinner, while also using up some of the leftover 'supplies.' Plus, why not have some fun in the kitchen?? Hence, I began! I started by preparing my ingredients (and taking lots of pictures).

Once the pudding was made (well, whisked for 2 minutes and left to set) and the berries and cupcakes were ready, it was time to assemble! I started with cupcake chunks on the bottom (although I'm sure you could start with whichever layer you like), then used a small cookie scoop to add the pudding into the jars. Next, I sprinkled in a couple berries, and repeated layers until I reached the top! (I used small, half pint jars from our canning supply and they worked great!)
With some room still left in the jars, I spread more pudding on top and sealed them up - and in the fridge they went until dessert! To serve, I spread the tops with cool whip and mini chocolate chips (totally optional, but if you knew me, you'd realize I can't leave any dessert undecorated!) They were the perfect end to dinner, so light and refreshing! (plus, the white chocolate pudding paired really well with the juicy berries and chocolate cake - a huge hit!)
I really encourage you take simple, everyday (and maybe leftover) ingredients, and give them a new spin! Let your true posh shine! --See below for the recipe--

With love (for food),
--A dash of posh can make all the difference in your next dish!--

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bagels - A beautiful (and delicious) transformation

A few months ago, I made my first attempt at homemade pumpkin bagels (from a Taste of Home recipe, of course). They were terrific! I love complicated, muti-step bread recipes - and these bagels became my 'precious' as I kneaded the dough, let them rest, shaped, boiled, and baked them. With this in mind, I wanted to keep myself occupied during my first summer vacation "weekday," as my parents returned to work. I was (innocently) searching the web for a whole wheat bagel recipe when I stumbled upon a blog called "Simple Bites." On it, was a recipe for none other than honey whole wheat bagels! I read through the author's background story on the bagels, how she'd make them with her sister on Friday nights to sell the next morning, and how good she claimed they were - and I had to make them. Plain and simple. So, Monday morning, that's exactly what I did!
First, thank you to Aimee at Simple Bites! This recipe was terrific and so much fun to make!
Second, the bagels! Bagels are... magical. A complete transformation! What begins as a bowl of goupy dough made of flour, salt, honey, yeast, and water, becomes a crunchy, warm, delicious bagel!? It's magic I tell you! Hopefully you, too, can see this transformation...

After letting the warm water and yeast mingle for about 10 minutes, I added it to the whole wheat flour-honey-salt mixture. At this point, I had given up on trying to find our dough hook attachment for the I settled for the paddle attachment (I'm so ashamed - what kind of bagel maker uses a paddle attachment when the recipe calls for a dough hook!?) It seemed to work okay though, the bagels still came out delicious! So, I continued with the recipe (and my paddle attachment) and added the bread flour, then kneaded it for 8 minutes using a spoon, because the paddle thought it'd be cool to pick up all the dough and whip it around the bowl rather than knead it.. The photo below on the left is how it looked BEFORE covering it to let it rise..
And the photo above on the right is how much it rose during that hour! Let's take a moment to appreciate this transformation. In a little over an hour, a bowl of just a few ingredients became a beautiful dough, puffed up and ready to be formed into bagels!
Well, first it was rolled into balls. Using a sharp knife, I (carefully) cut the dough into quarters, then cut those each in half, and so forth. And somehow.. I ended up with 17...(obviously simple division was never my strong point). After letting these cute little balls of whole wheat goodness rest for a couple minutes, I shaped them into bagels!
(as if one picture weren't enough, here's 3)
Look at the transformation now! And we're not even done yet!! Next, these precious little delicacies had to be covered and left to rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the pans were prepared, I brought the water (with 1 TBS of sugar) to a boil, and the egg wash and toppings were ready.
Then I finally got to bake them!! 20 minutes in the oven later.. and they had completed their final transformation! Wasn't that amazing!? Let's just take a few everyday ingredients, mix 'em together, knead a little, etc and boosh! Bagels - what!?

Some of them were shaped a bit funky.. but I'm gonna call that artistic flair! (Just a splash of posh, on my end.) My brother was the first to try them - and they earned his stamp of approval, so you know they must be good! They have just enough settle sweetness, and toasted the next day, they are delicious! I sliced mine, toasted it, and topped it with almond butter for breakfast... AMAZING! Little Cooper thought so too.. (he's my cute puppy, below).

I highly recommend you try them! It may seem like a lot of steps for a 'bagel,' but I'm telling you - it's totally worth it! Plus, you know everything in it, (it's fun!), there's no added 'stuff,' and as always, you can put your own creative twist on it! 

Find the recipe and Aimee's story at (Thanks again, Aimee!)

With love (for food),
--A dash of posh can make all the difference in your next dish!--

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday Dinner - Salad and Cupcakes

This was not your "traditional" Sunday dinner.. Tonight's dinner was my family's twist on tradition. Celebrating the end of finals (for both my brother and myself), Mother's Day (missed because of finals), and my grandmother's return to NH for the summer, we had the family gathered around a smoked beef brisket, smoked beans, grilled vegetables, warm rolls, summer salad, and ice cream filled cupcakes. These latter two were my department - I mean, what better way to kick off the summer (and summer break!) than fresh greens topped with berries and treats, and finish with a cool, indulgent dessert? Allow me to share...

Let's start with the salad!
While Daddy was tending to the smoker and the juicy, tender brisket being gently cooked by maple infused smoke, I was in the kitchen with Mom, beginning to create..
This salad is very basic, and has many variations! I was introduced to the 'simple salad' concept at my grandmother's house when she tossed lettuce, pears, and some nuts together as a side with dinner. The fruit made it wonderful and to a vinaigrette-lover like myself, it needed none! The fresh pears gave it the perfect amount of sweetness and juice. Ever since then, I have been creating simple side salads with seasonal fruits, arranged atop beds of freshly torn lettuce. For this salad, below, if you still like a little bit of extra 'tang' and dressing, I recommend Ken's Light Option Raspberry Walnut vinaigrette - it pairs very well!

Now for the cupcakes... A few extra steps are totally worth this decadent kick on the average ice cream & cake!

Straight from my book
First, let's begin with the chocolate cupcake part. I'm sure you could use a box mix.. but something about homemade chocolate cupcakes (made with real buttermilk) is so much more fun! I used a Taste of Home recipe from my "Bakeshop Favorites" cookbook (I LOVE Taste of Home - and I highly recommend their recipes, website, books, cooking shows, everything! You'll be seeing many more of their recipes here....) I made this recipe through the first step, and rather than heat up the oven and wait 12-15 minutes per batch, I used my Babycakes Cupcake maker. It makes a dozen regular sized cupcakes (and muffins) right on your counter top in about 10 minutes!  

I just plugged it in while I was making the batter - and it was ready to go!This recipe made 19 cupcakes (all with nice, puffed up tops - no wimpy flat cakes here). Of course, another fun part of this recipe is tasting the batter... 

Me: (takes beaters out, dripping with cake batter) Mom, I have a very important question for you...
Mom: YES! YES! Please!
Me: Is that your answer!? I didn't even ask!
Mom: (takes beater) Yumm...

Is it me or have the roles been reversed here..? Mom gets the beater (and the bowl) now!?
Even so, I can't blame her! This batter is delicious! Within 10 minutes, after putting the first dozen in the cupcake maker, the house smelled like a chocolate-infused dream! 

Once cooled, it was time to core them (using the little green thingy in the center of the picture below) and fill them with ice cream. I used plain vanilla ice cream (what we had in the freezer - feel free to use whatever flavor you'd like! I think a vanilla with chocolate swirl or small brownie bits would be awesome, too) I microwaved the carton for about 30 seconds, then whipped it up with a spoon so it'd be easier to scoop into the cupcakes. (Note: Once you start to fill them, be sure to act fast so the ice cream doesn't melt everywhere!)
*I left a couple cupcakes whole and saved the insides to use for mini chocolate cake trifles later this week.* Next, I stuck them in the freezer and waited until dessert...and waited... and I kept waiting....And after a great meal, it was time! This is where true 'posh' arrives. I started by chopping up two squares of dark chocolate and sliced a few leftover strawberries from the salad earlier as my 'decoration.' After arranging the frozen solid cupcakes on a cake platter, I went a little crazy with the whipped cream... and then gently sprinkled the chocolate bits all over them! As a final touch, I wedged a strawberry slice into the whipped cream on each one - and served! 
Let's just say, they were a huge hit and a great finish to our Sunday Dinner! (My brother was still talking about them the next day..) I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family and I did! And add your own creative twists! Find fruits you like for the salad, or use our favorite ice cream and cupcake flavors in the dessert! Also, whereas this is my first 'food' post, comment and let me know what you think, any ideas/changes you may have, or anything! I'd love to hear from you! 

With love (for food),
--A dash of posh can make all the difference in your next dish!--

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Posh Cuisine?"

What is... "Posh Cuisine?"

Let me start with a proper introduction. Hello! My name is Ellen. As much as I'd like to say I'm just your average "girl with a passion for cooking," there's really much more to the story..

So who am I? (and why should you care to read my blog?) 
In a nutshell, I am a girl whose love of cooking goes far beyond experiments in the kitchen... my idea of a good book? Anything with a frosted cake, or gooey lasagna on the cover! I read cookbooks like they were by Stephen King (hint: favorite normal-book author). Each recipe has a story, a different method, and the pictures are the best part! They leave me hungry for more (literally, hungry though) and usually warrant a grocery list and trip to the store...But anyways! Food has always been a very big part of my life, and I have committed myself to enjoying it as a hobby (for now) as I experiment, learn, and enjoy each bite.

As for the rest of this "about me" section: I'm a sophomore in college, communication major, I love everything about the 1980s, elephants, and that's about it! (Trust me, you'll learn much more throughout this blog)

So what exactly is this blog? 
This is my first summer home from college and I cannot WAIT to get cooking! I've lived on dining hall food for months... (which may not sound too bad unless you're a clean eating foodie like me...) Needless to say, I plan on cooking a ton this summer! And this blog will be my place to discuss new recipes, my ideas, what works, what doesn't, and who knows what else! I could talk about food for hours...(so be ready!) Plus I want to stay connected with my friends, who have helped me so much this past freshmen year. So thank you girls! (us posing at a convenience store below)

Finally, why "Posh" Cuisine?
My style of cooking is simple, yet with an elegant twist. I LOVE styling food for presentation, (of course taste comes first) and adding flavorful twists on classics and new recipes alike. I hope you will enjoy my blog as I journey through the summer, leave comments, and add a splash of "posh" to your next dish!