Suspense and Intrigue

Changes

Lots of changes and exciting developments have been brewing here at Witty headquarters. Life has been a whirlwind that will keep on whirling for the next few weeks, so don’t expect any new content between now and then.

Changes

But, I promise, when that new content arrives…you’ll be riveted! And so, I leave you with these photographic clues (and the faintest hope for a decent night’s rest).

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The Power of Dogs, and Craft Kombucha

Craft Kombucha

The best way to make a bunch of amazing friends is to get a dog. As soon as we got Stella, our social circle expanded in the most wonderful ways. The friends we met in the dog park that first summer have stuck with us ever since, to the point where I really need to stop calling them my dog park friends. Especially now that we spend most of our time together in other places, and usually without our dogs (gasp!).

Craft Kombucha

One of our dog park friends, Tanya, started making really fantastic kombucha at home (kombucha is a cold, fizzy drink made from fermented green tea). I first tried it at a party and then happily volunteered to “test” her fun flavors, along with the rest of our neighborhood. She’d drop off different bottles of colorful kombucha that kept getting better and better. Eventually, Tanya launched Craft Kombucha and started brewing full time. You may remember hearing about Tanya and her kombucha when we co-hosted a brunch for our dog park friends. I made sticky maple bacon and a potato frittata, and she supplied kombucha cocktails. It was an awesome day. Since then, Tanya’s business has grown, and she just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help her keep up with demand.

Craft Kombucha

Some fun things:

  • Craft Kombucha stars Tanya’s boxer and Stella’s buddy, Guiness (pictured above)
  • Tanya’s brewing vats are named after Guiness’ friends
  • Some of my favorite kombucha flavors are made with hops, so they taste like beer
  • Kombucha can last in the fridge for a very long time
  • You can clean your kombucha bottles with a magnet and a metal nut

So tell me, are there kombucha brewers popping up all over your town, or are you too busy hanging in the dog park to notice?

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Spicy Mexican Pasta

Spicy Mexican Pasta

Mexican pasta sounds crazy, but it’s addictively delicious. It’s different than normal pasta, because the noodles are toasted before they’re cooked and then baked with a spicy chipotle sauce. The toasting keeps the noodles nutty and chewy, but still tender. The pleasant bite will keep you going back for…bite after bite. Top with queso fresco and share with friends.

Spicy Mexican Pasta

I doubled this recipe, but to make enough to serve 4-5 people, fill a skillet with 1/4 cup of canola oil, and heat it over medium-high heat. Get 1/2 pound of angle hair pasta, and break half of it into thirds into the oil. Toast the pasta until it turns golden brown, moving it around as needed. Turning the pasta from blond to brunette was my favorite part about making this meal. Once toasted, transfer the pasta to a paper towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining noodles.

Spicy Mexican Pasta

Using a blender, puree 4 canned chipotle peppers, 4 garlic cloves, 1 can (15 ounces) of tomatoes, and 1/2 of a small onion. The mixture should be smooth.

Spicy Mexican Pasta

Pour any excess oil out of the skillet that you used to toast the pasta, and then pour in the pureed sauce. Here’s where you can make this recipe the long way or the short (and vegetarian) way. For the short way, heat the sauce, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and warms. For the long way, heat the sauce, stirring CONSTANTLY, for about 18 minutes until it reduces and thickens. If you don’t stir the sauce, it will pop and land on the top of your head. David complimented my chipotle-smelling hair, so it wasn’t the worst thing. Once reduced, stir in 1/2 cup of chicken stock. The benefit of the long way is that you get some extra flavor by incorporating the chicken stock, but I am not convinced that it’s worth the added time or effort.

Spicy Mexican Pasta

While the sauce cooks, heat your oven to 350┬░ F. Season the sauce with salt to taste. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan, and layer in 1/2 of the noodles. Pour over half of the sauce and coat the noodles as best you can. Layer on the remaining noodles and sauce, again trying to coat them as best you can. It is very difficult to maneuver uncooked pasta this way.

Spicy Mexican Pasta

Cover the baking pan with foil, and bake the pasta for 10 minutes. Then, stir the pasta around to make sure that it is evenly coated with the sauce. Recover the pan, and bake the pasta for another 10 minutes until it is tender.

Spicy Mexican Pasta

Serve the pasta with the mild and soothing queso fresco and garnish with optional cilantro. The pasta tastes a whole lot like my spicy chipotle chicken and rice. But, this addictive side was the perfect pair for our Mexican edition of the Global Supper Club.

Global Supper Club: Mexican Edition

We had all different kinds of tacos, mole, beans, tostones, chicken enchiladas, guacamole, strong tamarind margaritas, and the crispiest, most delicious homemade churros ever. It was a real feast. Ole!

This recipe is adapted from Saveur.

Shopping list:

  • Vegetable oil- 1/4 cup
  • Angle hair pasta- 1/2 pound
  • Chipotle peppers- 4
  • Garlic- 4 cloves
  • Onion- 1/2, small
  • Canned tomatoes- 15 ounces
  • Salt
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