Posts tagged ‘pasta’

September 2, 2012

The Eldest Cooks Now and Then

As a little boy, the eldest loved to help out in the kitchen. Especially when helping meant that he could be part of the cooking itself. I was browsing through pictures this afternoon and found two pictures that captured his favorite type of participation.

Making Dinner Then

Dad stirs.

The Eldest adds corn to the wok.

What is wonderful is that his comfort in and love of the kitchen continues to this day.  He spent the past year working in the kitchen of our local beer garden and deli, and has had the opportunity to work closely with professional chefs. Best of all is that we now get to benefit from his expertise and ease in the kitchen.

Returning home from a visit to my mom the other day, the Eldest and I were talking about what to make for dinner.

“What,” he asks, “do we have in the kitchen?”

“Hmm…” I said, “we have some ground pork from South Mountain that I’d to use.”

“Okay,” he said, “any veggies?”

“I think we have some red peppers, tomatoes, and onions from the CSA.”

“I know,” he said, “I can cook all that up, and add them to some pasta, and we’ll be good to go.”

At this point, I am sure that I looked over at him with a huge grin.  He’s not headed to college for another year yet, but I know that he’ll be able to cook for himself…although I believe the reputation of college cafeterias remains a key component of his decision to apply to some colleges over others!

Making Dinner Now

We got home, and he got right to work.

First, he cooked the ground pork.

While the pork was cooking, he chopped the peppers, and got the water boiling for the pasta.

Then, he exhibited some professional kitchen skills (at least they looked that way to me). He moved the pork to one side of the frying pan, and added the peppers in so that they could sautee (and the meat stay warm).

Meat to the side of the skillet, peppers cookin’ up!

Meanwhile, he found some parsley in the fridge, and chopped that up nice and fine while the peppers cooked.

Check out the excellent chopping form

Then he mixed up the peppers and pork, and added the parsley, 

Mixing them up

and some wonderful cherry tomatoes to the mix.

It’s more fun when you can “flip” the tomatoes.

To finish it up, stir in the rotini.

Ta da!

Pork Pepper Pasta a la Eldest

Besides no longer needing to stand on chairs to cook, the main difference these days is that doing the dishes doesn’t have quite the same draw that it used to.

Doing the dishes used to be fun!

Happy Sunday all!

October 27, 2010

Reading on the Metro Led to Dinner

…those of you in the DC Metro area know that train ride into or home from work can provide you with lots of time for rumination, and if you’re really lucky it can even lead you into inspiration for dinner, when your planning time at home has been taken over by all the other tasks vying for your attention ….

Thank goodness I remembered to put my new Eating Well in my briefcase because I had plenty of time to browse on my way home. In the back of my head, I knew that I needed to use the butternut squash and the cauliflower in the fridge, and so I was quite pleased to see the Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta in the Healthy in a Hurry section.  Our variation was not vegan, nor vegetarian, because we used chicken broth and added in some ham for seasoning, but it turned out quite tasty.  Even the older boys who proclaimed — “We don’t like cauliflower” — devoured their bowls quickly.

Our version is below:

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot big enough for pasta.  Add 1 small onion diced, 1/2 cup of good ham diced, and 1 teaspoon of drided, rubbed sage.  Stir until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add 4 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of dry white wine (okay I used a sweeter wine than perhaps was envisioned in the recipe, and added an extra cup of broth to cover); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then add 8 ounces of whole-wheat pasta (we used rotini), 2 cups of bite-sized cauliflower, 2 cups bite-sized butternut squash cubes, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is not quite tender, about 10 minutes.  Then Eating Well recommends sitrring in 1 10-ounce bag of frozen lima beans — we didn’t have any, but we did have a box of frozen peas, so we added that to the pasta – veggie – broth mix.

Then, the steaming bowls were topped with grated Fontina cheese, and rapidly consumed by all (except the Picky Eater, of course, her pasta was plain with cheese).

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