Homemade Pasta

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I am so lucky to live with some of my absolute best friends- it really feels like I live with family. We’ve started a tradition of family dinners. Honestly, they usually happen spontaneously when we all talk about a new recipe we want to try. Last week we had a family dinner inspired by my friend Caroline who has a pasta maker and is our resident homemade pasta expert. She taught me how to make fresh spaghetti and WOW was it amazing. Here is Caroline’s fresh pasta recipe!

What you’ll need: 

2 1/4 cups flour (plus a little extra when using the pasta machine)

5 eggs

Pasta Machine

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What to do:

Put the flour into a bowl and separate it so there is a hole in the middle. Put eggs in the middle of the hole and beat them. Then mix the flour and eggs together. The dough should be somewhat wet- you can add additional flour if it’s too sticky.

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Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. After letting the dough rest, divide the dough into slightly smaller balls.

 

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Flatten the smaller dough balls and put through the pasta maker. There are six levels on every pasta maker and you want to put them through to the second to last level.

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Once they’re all flat, hang on the drying rack. Let them sit until they harden a bit (we waited around 10- 15 minutes) then put them through the cutting part of the machine. Then you’re ready to cook your pasta!

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Of course we needed some vino with our homemade pasta

Of course we needed some vino with our homemade pasta

Final product

Final product

Peach Jam

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I love peaches. A lot. To preface this post, I want to tell you that I went a little peach crazy and bought WAY too many peaches for the peach jam. The two posts after this will feature two more peach recipes that you have to try before the end of summer!

peach pic

This week marks the 10th (and last) week I’ve interned at OMD for the Hilton Hotels account. I have absolutely loved my coworkers and have had the best experience. I wanted to do something special to thank the people I worked closely with and decided to make them fresh Peach Jam. Since peaches are almost out of season- I thought it would be the perfect jam to make! I was a little intimated by the thought of making jam but it ended up only taking a few hours and being fairly easy. I did a lot of research before and meshed a few recipes, here’s what I did and it turned out great!

There are two parts to making jam: first, the jar sterilization process and second, the actual jam.

Jars

Sterilization Process:

This process takes about 45 minutes- start with this and then move to the jam.

Wash your jars and their lids well with warm water and soap. Set aside to dry.

Fill a medium size pot with water (about half way full). Turn stove to a very low temperature and let warm up. Once the water is warm, place the lids of the jam in the water and let sit for about 20 minutes.

Fill a large pot about with water (about 3/4 of the way full). Place jars in the water before turning the heat on. Once all the jars are placed in the water, turn stove on to a very high temperature- we want the water to boil. Once the water starts boiling, let the jars sit for 15 minutes.

Once the lids and jars have been properly sterilized, place on a drying rack and let cool. Be very careful taking the hot jars out– use tongs and an oven mitt!

Lids

Peach Jam:

Now onto the fun part. This makes about six 8 ounce jars:

8-10 peaches
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peach Jam

Fill a large pot with water and boil. Once water is boiling, place peaches in the water for 2 minutes. When the 2 minutes is over, take peaches out with a slotted spoon and place in a big bowl. Have a big cutting board ready and place a blender or food processor next to it.

Peel the peaches and cut into medium- small pieces (does not have to be precise- you will be blending anyways). Place the cut peaches into blender or food processor. Once all the peaches are in the blender, add lemon juice. Then blend to the consistency you desire- I don’t like too many chunks of peaches in my jam so I blended mine until it looked smooth (don’t over blend to the point where it looks like a smoothie).

Place blended peach and sugar into a large saucepan. Boil the jam for about 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, place a little spoonful of the jam on a plate and place in the freezer for a minute or two- this will let you check to see if the consistency is correct. If you take it out of the freezer and it isn’t running/ you like the consistency, you are done. If not, continue boiling for increments of 4 minutes and check (repeat if the jam is still not done).

Cooking jam

Once your jam is finished it’s time to fill the jars! Place the saucepan on a flat surface. Next to the saucepan, place a plate to put the jars on while filling. I took a soup-serving spoon and poured about a spoonful and a half into each jar- make sure to leave at least 1/4 inch at top. Put the lid on tight and let it sit until it’s completely cooled. Note: this jam is good for up to two months.

jars and peaches

two peach jams

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To decorate jars:
Twine
Gift Tags of your choice
Sharpie

To decorate the jars I wrapped the top with twine and attached gift tags with personalized notes on the back. This is an easy way to make the presentation to look great.

DIY

Peach Jam