Something You Didn’t Expect: Friday Night Catholic Pasta

Stop that laughing, just because I don’t do a lot of cooking, doesn’t mean I don’t know how. My granny and my mother were/are both great southern cooking ladies. So I was raised around the kitchen I just spend much time there myself these days.

Then recently I realized that my girls probably think that dinner is something that comes from the freezer or a takeout menu and that cooking is something that happens primarily on FoodTV. My granny is sending me guilt vibes from her reward.

So I’ve resolved to do more cooking and realistically weekends are when that is most likely to happen. We’re not catholic but here in the Perfect Neighborhood we’re in the minority. This recipe came from my sweet neighbor down the street who first served it to me when she asked us over to dinner on a Friday Night.

I never would have thought twice about it but when we arrived she reminded us that it was Friday and there would be no meat. I fell in love with this simple pasta dish that night and I make it all the time now but in my mind it is always Friday Night Catholic Pasta.

So here is what you need:

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Hmmm.. guess where I shop. As you can see I’m pretty happy with my store brand products. Never thought about it until you line them up like this next to each other. Basically, it’s a bag of spinach, bowtie pasta, 8 oz of fresh sliced mushrooms, butter, lemon juice, whipping cream, garlic, and some fresh parmesan cheese (I like the long shredded variety I can get a the deli)

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The recipe calls for 3 cloves of crushed garlic but in the interest of time I like to use minced garlic from a jar. Shoot me. I just take heaping spoonful and throw it in. But because I’m a good girl and I loved my Granny and want her to be proud of me always, I use real butter – 2 tablespoon’s worth. Throw that in the pan together.

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Now dump the mushrooms out in a bowl. And add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix them together.

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Dump the mushrooms in the pan and keep stirring. They need a lot of stirring as they cook. Did I mention that you need to stir?

Now if you’re me you realize that you’ve neglected to put the water on to boil. Not a surprise and the reason I bought a stovetop that had one of those fancy super elements that will bring water to boil in a nano-second.

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Okay so now the water is on to boil, go back to stirring the mushrooms!!! (Note that is not easy to take a picture of yourself stirring)

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Keep stirring until they’ve been cooking about 5 minutes

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Then it’s time to pour the whipping cream in – one cup.

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Now it’s time to confess that I’m one of those people who combines the salt and pepper in the same shaker for cooking.  So salt and pepper

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And bring to a boil. Speaking of boiling – that water is looking ready right about now. So take the mushrooms off the burner and let them sit and rest. All that stirring has made them tired.

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Time to put the pasta in the water. This a 16 oz box, I use about half so 8 oz worth. Oz or Ozs? … whatever. Notice the mushrooms are now sitting in the back resting? There’s not much fun watching water boil so let’s skip ahead.

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When the pasta is almost done and has just about a minute or so to go. Dump the whole bag of spinach in. Yes the whole bag. Shut up it’s good for you.

It is at this point that I realize that fancy people living on fancy cattle ranches have other people helping them blog their recipes because there is just no way to dump boiling water into a strainer and take pictures by yourself. Just imagine that part in your head.

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So now you’ve got it drained. But if your life is like mine, while your in the process of pouring boiling hot water into the sink and trying not to spill it all over creation someone in your house will start screaming bloody murder and you will have to run off to a bedroom to find that the cats have finally succeeded in knocking the butterflies off the ceiling fan. Their water will have spilled so you’ll need to bring them back to the kitchen with you.

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Assure your daughter who is crying as if it’s a national tragedy that butterflies by nature can fly and falling 5 feet won’t hurt them. Help her verify that all 10 of them are still alive and well. Go back to cooking.

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Dump the pasta back in the pot and get ready to combine.

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Combine. Then guess what! Stir. Get the creamy gooey sauce all over the yummy pasta.

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This part if very important!! Don’t forget to sprinkle the cheese on top after you plate it up. One time I forgot to sprinkle the cheese and we sat there at the table wondering what was wrong for quite sometime. It was very sad. The parmesan cheese on top makes a huge difference.

Now if you were my sweet friend down the street you would serve this with a nice Caesar salad and some lightly sweetened iced tea but frankly if I served something that sensible it might cause a rip in the fabric of the universe or at the very least cause our house would come crashing down around us.

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So I to save us all, I throw in more carbs in the form of Yummy Asiago Cheese bread (Damn that Publix bakery and their artisan bread) and a nice white wine. I like a Pinot.

Enjoy. Friday Night Catholic Pasta.

What I do instead of watching Lost

The Dr. is a huge fan of Lost. I am not. I took one look at the pre-release commercials and declared that I had enough questions left unanswered with the original Gilligan’s Island and did not need more heaped on by a J J Abrams remake.

So he records it and watches it later. Later meaning when I’m busy doing something else. But over the years I’ve wandered through the room enough to have some grasp, albeit probably somewhat incorrect, of the story line.

Here is what I do to amuse myself while he is minding his own business desperately trying to enjoy his show. I wander in and out and ask annoying questions.

Me: “Isn’t she/he supposed to be dead?”

Him: “It’s a flashback” (blood pressure rises)

Later:

Me: “Why are some people off the island and other’s aren’t?”

Him: “It’s the future.” (hair stands on end – huffs in my general direction)

Later:

Me: “How far in the future because that baby doesn’t look any bigger than it was on the island. Babies grow fast.”

Him: “Shut up”

Later still:

Me: “I thought she/he was killed on the Island, now she’s in the future? “

Him: “It’s the past again!!” Poof his head explodes

THIS is far more entertaining to me than the show ever could be.

Renaming Fight the Frump Friday

To Fight The Frizz Friday

I know I know … our friend Bossy would suggest that you must embrace your inner curl but as far as I can tell, she does NOT live in the South and us Southern gals have to stick together.

We are in that time of year when the humidity is at 100% more than it’s not and it’s time to deal with some serious frizz. Yes, curls are beautiful and but let’s face it they are nearly impossible to maintain if your going to actually leave the house this time of year. So unless we want to look like Swamp Girl we must either live 24/7 in pony tail (Frump) or we must invest in a killer flatiron. Now now, Fussy said no crimpers. She did not mention a thing about flat irons.

My personal flat iron of choice is the Chi. It is the Cadillac na the Rolls Royce of flat irons and frankly the only one that I’ve found that will give me a sleek polished look lickedy-split. There are certainly less expensive models out there and if you don’t have really thick hair there is every chance they will work for you. But if you are like me, and you have thick –  past –  wavy – and – on – to  – curly  – hair: Invest.

It was hard for me to swallow the cost at first but then I did the salon math:

10 times a year I might treat myself to a blowout at the Salon. (Big Parties, Special Events, Power Meetings etc)

A blowout that in any salon is going to cost at least $35 with tip and that’s if you come in with a wet head.

10 x $35 = $350 a year de-frizzing the mane – which is 3 times more than the flat iron cost me. So it’s actually saving me money – and I get to look nice day in and day out. 

Let’s face it there are lots of places we can scrimp for the family budget ladies but our hair should not be one of them.

So Proud I Might Explode

Kindergarten has been a bit of challenge for Puddin this year but she’s ended the year with a bang!

This is her on stage this morning accepting the honor of Top In Her Class in MATH! Quick someone get me an application to MIT.

Congratulations my PuddinPop! I couldn’t be prouder of all you’ve accomplished this year. Your reading “at or above” your grade level, you were the only girl to pass the Monkey Bar test on the playground (this is not a joke) and you are the Top Math Student. You flat out ROCK!

We are so going for Icees when you get home from school today!

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We Have Butterflies

Sunday morning we woke up to screams. The kind of high pitched screams that can only be generated by a six-year-old girl who is beyond delirious with excitement.  At first it jars you awake. But if you live with a six-year-old girl you know this scream and how it differs from a scream of terror (because you hear that all the time too) so you lay back down and groggily try to predict what wonder has occurred. Sunday it wasn’t too hard. The Dr. muttered “Flutterblies” and I mumbled, “I’m betting on it.”

We woke up to one butterfly and soon after breakfast I discovered another one. Over the next 48 hours 9 of our 10 have emerged from their cocoons. That one fellow is just going to be slow no matter what.

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Here’s the thing they don’t tell you in the brochure. Evidently it’s kind of painful and bloody to leave the cocoon.

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Oh and there is one more person around here who’s excited about the butterflies. Hanging them from the ceiling fan hasn’t done us much good.

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