Thursday, March 11, 2010

Garlic Pasta (or cooking dinner on a Thursday night)

Tonight, I made one of versions of pasta that Kevin and I like, and the kids are ok with.  I found the recipe years ago in a cookbook we were given as a wedding present (always helpful to a new bride).  I've made it so many times over the years, that I don't really need to consult the cookbook anymore.  It is really simple to prepare, and, because when I post on Facebook that I'm cooking something in particular, some of my friends ask for the recipe.  So I thought I'd try posting here on my blog, of what I use to prepare tonight's meal (and some of the other things that were going on while I was cooking).

So here are the basic ingredients that I use
 1/4 C of Olive Oil
3 garlic cloves
linguine (enough to feed your family, you know how much or how little they'll consume).
1/2 C of Basil and Parsley combined (I didn't have any freshly grown herbs on hand tonight, but these bottled ones will be fine for tonight).

Just as I was getting started, my son came in and was rubbing his hands all over the counter exclaiming "The counter is clean!" (after I put his artwork away, then yes, it was clean). 
So, my water is boiling, and the pasta is going in.............
and my son came in and turned on the fan so the steam from the water wouldn't set off the smoke alarm (it only happened once and it was caused by steam in the bathroom after a shower.  Ever since, he's been concerned about steam setting off the alarm).

While you are waiting for your noodles to cook..........have a cookie (and if you want to enjoy it in peace, wait until the kids are in the other room)!

After your noodles are cooked, drained and in the serving bowl of your choice, heat 1/4 Cup of olive oil in a small pan.........

mince 3 cloves of garlic and add to the heated oil, just long enough for the garlic to become a light brown color (if you leave it in too long, it will turn black very quickly!).  Then pour the oil with the garlic over the pasta and toss the noodles a bit.
Then combine 1/4 Cup of Parsley, 1/4 Cup of Basil, & 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and add it to the pasta and toss the noodles again (it will be very noticeable if you don't).

I'm in mid toss here :)

While I was tossing my noodles, my husband and kids were spending "quality" time, defacing pictures in our yellow pages!   Who needs TV when you have the phone book for entertainment?

So, now dinner is ready.  The recipe calls for Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on the pasta and any other time, that is what I would use.  However, I was out of Parmesan, so I used Mozzarella cheese.  No one seemed to mind.  However, Parmesan is the better cheese for this dish.

A word to the wise: be sure not to smile at others, until you've brushed your teeth and checked them with a mirror!

Friday, March 5, 2010

So, my husband and I had a special date yesterday.  Usually our dates include dinner at the Olive Garden and a movie (when money is tighter, it could be dinner at Subway and a movie at the discount theater).    But, this night, was a special spendier date night be date night, because it meant a trip to Portland (2 hours north of us), and a show featuring Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy.  It was also a rare date night in that, after the show, we didn't have to hurry home to relieve a sitter (our kids were spending the night with a grandparent)!  Gee, what could we do with that "free time"?  Kevin had searched the internet for a new restaurant that we could try and found one called "The Old Wives Tale" (I asked him if "young wives" could still eat there.  He never did comment on that).   The plan was to eat at the new restaurant before the show.  However, due to an accident on the freeway that held up traffic, we were delayed and arrived in time to find a parking space, find some fast food at one of the concession booths and then find our seats.  The show was great, and a lot of fun! 

So anyway, this isn't what the focus of my blog is about.   During various parts of the trip to Portland and then driving around Portland after the show, I saw a few things that brought up a few memories.   My mother was from Portland, and all during my childhood, we made regular trips up there to see my grandparents and my aunt & uncle.  To a kid, these trips were kind of boring, and my grandparents' house was not the friendliest place to visit.  There are a few pleasant memories about visiting them, but not very many.  But here are a few, that are sort of nostalgic.


This is the view from the freeway.  Just miles of fields and farms, and at this time of year, herds of sheep and new lambs.

This "lovely" place took both of us down memory lane a bit.  All during my childhood, if I wasn't paying attention to the scenery on a trip to Portland, the smell from this paper mill always told me that we were about half way there.  If I was napping in the car, the smell woke me up.  The mill is now closed and the smell is gone.  It was the first time we passed by with out that smell that says, "you're in Albany!".

This place, we came across while driving around Portland.  When I was 4, I stayed with my mother's parents for a month because my parents were separating and my mother was working on getting a job and an apartment for us.  So, for 1 month, I lived with her parents.   It's really hard to find many pleasant memories about that time because, well, let's just say, that my grandma was dealing with a lifetime of disappointments and she wasn't a happy person, and made sure that we all knew it.  However, one of the few pleasant memories was coming to this shopping center with her and my grandpa and we would go watch people skate at the ice rink.  I hadn't seen this place in many, many years, and just seeing this sign took me back a bit.  

So that was my day yesterday.   

We have another trip to Portland coming up soon, in the area of town where my mother grew up, and I'm wondering if there is anything left from my childhood there.  I guess I'll find out soon enough.  If there is, I will try to post about it.