Weekend Progress

Sorry about completely blowing off my Fight the Funk Friday post. I was fighting the funk in many other ways! Thursday through Saturday were a mite busy in these parts and I just wasn't on my computer much. 

I actually touched my sewing machine for awhile on Sunday afternoon. I could've spent more time sewing this weekend but my BBW project is one of those that just needs time. As I'm working on one step, my mind is brewing possibilities for the next step. I'm pleased with where it's at but I needed another brief pause before I make final decisions about the last part I need to do. No pics until final reveal, though--the individual parts don't make much sense without the whole. And the backstory. So wait until next Sunday!

Meanwhile, I made pasta.

I've been anxious to work on whole wheat pasta. I've tried eating whole wheat pasta a few times (dried, boxed, from a grocery store) and just couldn't get into it. Not so much a flavor thing as a texture thing. Too chewy or something. It just didn't jazz me enough to bother. 

But when I decided I wanted to learn how to make pasta myself, my primary goal was to make whole wheat pasta to see if I liked it any better than the boxed stuff.

And oh, I do.

This was definitely a success. I'll be making a lot more.

 

And, subsequently...dinner.

Whole wheat pasta with a quick sauce made of diced onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, diced roasted red pepper, Italian seasoning, leftover rosemary garlic chicken (Saturday night's dinner that's going to be a Craftsy class review as soon as I have a few minutes to really pull it together), and fresh shredded Parmesan. 

Very, very tasty. And pretty dang healthy, all in. Absent the Parmesan. (There's not as much pasta on that plate as it looks--I'd spread it out bowl fashion and put the sauce in the middle.)

So, of course, we have to figure out dessert.  

Yes, Virginia, there IS chocolate pasta. 

I know it may sound odd. When I bought the book Artisan Pasta and flipped it open to have my very first peek at the inside, it fell open to the chocolate pasta recipe. "How very weird," I thought, intrigued and a bit horrified at the same time. But it had to be tried. 

Mind you, this chocolate pasta isn't sweetened at all; you just add some unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa and a dash of cinnamon to your pasta flour. It's just about the prettiest pasta I've ever seen.

Look at that, all creamy brown ribbons. Gorgeous.

 

My first experiment for dessert tonight: I boiled the pasta (then drained and cooled it) and melted some Nutella with a dash of Canola oil to make it a little more of a syrup. Then I sliced up some strawberries into the pasta, drizzled the Nutella over the top, added a spoonful of Cool Whip Lite (had to save calories somewhere!) and sprinkled just a few chopped hazelnuts over the top.

I was shooting for a good balance of bitter, tart, sweet, and crunchy--and I did achieve that, at least--it wasn't too bad, but I don't think it let the chocolate pasta really shine. I'm intrigued by some ideas I saw online for using it Mexican-inspired preparations. After all, cocoa is an ingredient in molé so why not? This begs more experimentation. I've appointed fellow-twilter-foodie @HQSuz as my research assistant on this one.

 

On a day filled with pasta, it was a darn good thing I still managed to get in my canal walk despite threatening skies. No rain, though. I took my good camera along to play with some new filters I'd bought for it. No really exciting pictures, although you can see things are still pretty lush and green around here. While I walked I was pondering some hand-dyes to capture all those lovely variations on green. I'm starting to see some reds and yellows develop, though--just a couple more weeks and these pictures will look very different!

And, for those of you in his fan club, I'll leave you with a picture of a very happy mid-walk dog.