the best of becominganomad

As 2013 comes to a close, and snow drifts down in lazy clumps outside my windows, it seemed like the perfect day to look back. I have been blogging here for just over 2.5 years, which seems crazy and unreal and wonderful. So today I thought I would re-post some of my favorite memories (oldest to newest with links to the blog post).

Thanks for sharing in our journeys and we look forward to new adventures in 2014!

P1010923Denali National Park, Alaska

P1020219P1020220IMG_4004

Glaciers and Bears in Seward, Alaska

Dalton Highway 071Dalton Highway 391Dalton Highway 098

To the Arctic Circle and Beyond!

Snowshoeing and Mushing 027Mushing School: A Dog Sledding Adventure

P1030872Back in Alaska: Moose!

P1040040P1040017P1040021

Lights, Lights, Lights!

P1040278P1040248IMG_4959

Opening Day: Denali National Park

P1040388On the Road: Fairbanks to Valdez, Alaska

P1050008The Southeast Continues: Juneau, AK

P1050380IMG_5545P1050368

Wonder Lake, Denali National Park

P1050655P1050651P1050659

The First Leg: Yukon, Canada

P1050896Jasper National Park, Canada

P1050986P1050940P1050926

The Icefields Parkway, Canada

P1050991Lake Louise, Canada

P1060038Glacier National Park (Part 1) (Part 2)

P1060825IMG_6249 - CopyIMG_6267

The East Coast Trail: Newfoundland, Canada (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

P1070090

The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Happy New Year!

Advertisements

Homemade Noodles

IMG_4336

Cold weather always makes me gravitate towards the kitchen. Something about the heat of the oven and the deep smells drifting through the house pairs perfectly with a heavy gray sky and dipping temperatures. So lately, I have been enjoying the camaraderie of being in the kitchen with my husband.

We made one of my favorite things  this month: homemade noodles. We started making noodles a few years ago when we were living in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and then took a break during all our travels, so pulling out our pasta maker felt a little like coming home.

IMG_4339

Noodles are actually relatively simple in terms of ingredients, and with a Kitchen Aid mixer, the kneading process is hands free. Mostly, noodle making takes patience, and it definitely helps to have two people on the job. It makes things more fun and helps when feeding the dough through the pasta maker to thin and cut it. And of course, the product is amazing. Light and eggy. So good you hardly need sauce.

This time we made fettuccine. We made a double batch, so we could eat some fresh and dry the rest for later. It was our first time drying pasta and it went relatively smoothly although it did break in half on the drying rack, but that actually worked out well for storage. Overall, a wonderful Sunday afternoon activity that resulted in a spectacular dinner (and future dinners!).

IMG_4337

We have an Imperia manual pasta machine, but the recipe will work with the kitchen aid attachment or other pasta machines as well.

The dough is simple:

2 cups all purpose flour

3 eggs, lightly beaten

water as needed (added 1Tbs at a time))

Yields about 1 lb.

To Make:

You can mix the dough manually (which we have done), but it is much easier with a stand mixer. Simply use the paddle attachment for normal batches or the dough hook for large batches. Add the flour and eggs to the bowl and mix on low until the dough comes together adding water as needed until a ball is formed.

Once the ball has formed, knead the dough by hand on a well floured surface until it is smooth (about 2 minutes). Then wrap in plastic and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Then follow the directions for your pasta maker to roll out and cut the dough.

Finally, eat fresh with a quick boil, refrigerate for up to three days, dry, or freeze and enjoy!


Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

At the end of November (yes, I am still trying to catch up on life!), Lucas and I went to the Pittsburgh Zoo.  It happened to be the prefect storm for a zoo-viewing day, cool and cloudy, producing active animal sightings again and again. And Lucas’ pictures perfectly captured the playful, adorable, amazing moments we saw.

P1070153Snow Leopard (awake and visible!)

P1070157-2Tiger Mom and Baby.

P1070162-2Play time!

P1070175-2Lions! We even heard them roar.

P1070182-2So much cuteness…

P1070185-2Beautiful Elephant.

P1070189-2Polar Bear at play… He spent most of his time trying to eat it.