Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday night pasta surprise (or making something out of nothing)

It's Sunday night. 7:30pm. I worked like a dog all day Saturday and Sunday. And I am exhausted.

We decorated the tree on Saturday. Which is not an easy task when the tree and all the ornaments are in a storage unit that's 25 minutes away. But Elli and I got it done.

Sunday just about did me in though. I was busy from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed. I wanted the house to resemble Christmas. Don was not as enthusiastic. So I took it upon myself to get it done. While he got some beauty sleep.
  • Made bacon and eggs for Don, Elli and her friend Courtney.
  • Vacuumed the living room
  • 5 or 6 loads of laundry
  • Baked a loaf of pumpkin bread with Elli and Courtney
  • Baked oatmeal cookies with Elli and Courtney
  • Swept my neighbors patio (we were borrowing her oven - dual baking)
  • Made everyone soup for lunch
  • Hung all the Christmas lights outside. (By myself.)
  • Put all the patio cushions and the rug in the storage closet for winter
  • Swept our patio
  • Cleaned the kitchen for the third time
  • Finally showered
  • Made dinner
  • Blogged
  • Watched Amazing Race finale with the family. (AMAZING)
  • Collapsed into bed
I don't know if this seems like a lot of stuff to the average joe or not. But it was a lot for me. And in case you're wondering where Don was for all this fun. He was horizontal on the couch. No, I'm not bitter. But a tall hand while I was stapling up all the xmas lights might have come in handy.

My neighbor Laura heard me talking to myself and cussing at the staple gun as I was getting started and kept missing the wire of the light strand. The minute she saw what I was doing - all was forgiven.

So by the time 5pm rolled around I was pretty tired. And really wasn't looking forward to the three words that I knew were coming "What's for dinner?"

I haven't been to the store in days. I've been trying really hard to cook all the miscellaneous things in the pantry and fridge/freezer before I just have to throw them out because they are expired.

So I opened the freezer. All I saw was miscellaneous ziplocks and tupperware containers. Ugh. Nothing easy. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

It's going to take some creativity tonight. Which frankly, I am not in the mood for, or remotely qualified to do well, and I'm sooooooo tired.

I'm a recipe girl. I'm not a wing it and it's oh-so-yummy girl. I have had some good luck lately with my improv in the kitchen - which is not normal. But I get all giddy like a school girl in art class when I've created something good. Which can get me feeling over confident like you are Bobby Flay and can do anything with all the crap in your fridge. Like those cooking shows where they give them three totally random ingredients like syrup, carrots and fish heads and they create a complete gourmet meal.  That is not me. I usually have a jar of pasta sauce somewhere as my back up plan. (Or my regular plan.)

So the freezer is lacking and the cupboards are pretty bare. What to do?????  I start pulling stuff out to see if something will inspire me.  Don walks in. Takes one look at the ingredients on the counter and says "looks like we're having pasta." Ok. Let me see if I can make pasta without any pasta sauce, or a can of tomatoes, or tomato sauce. My immediate thought was "I have ketchup. Will that work?" If you're Italian you're cringing. If you're a midwesterner like me, you're saying ""Allrighty then." Here's what I used:

Sunday night pasta surprise: olive oil, onion, garlic, Italian sausage, tomato paste, turkey broth, squirt of ketchup, carrot, marjoram, Italian seasoning, water, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and frozen peas + a little roux of butter and flour to thicken it up. Plus a box of whole wheat spaghetti noodles which have been there forever.

So here I sit. With a full tummy of pasta (and pumpkin bread.) A glass of wine by my side, and a smile on my face. It all worked out. Everyone's happy and I survived another day.

A hot tub for my aching back would be nice. But I don't have one. So I'm hoping the wine will do the trick. But maybe I should take some Advil as my back-up plan.

Time to tuck in the the little Christmas monkey.

Nighty night.


  1. That should be your X-mas card picture! Too cute!
    Also, I stopped doing the X-mas crazy when we moved to NC. I bought 3 pre-lit, predecorated tree's, one inside, 2 outside and called it a day.
    No one helped me either and to top it off, Clay couldn't care less! What was I doing all these years?

  2. Hey Kris, if you had to make something for a vegetarian family what you make for dinner? I need ideas!

  3. Hi - I'm assuming there are kids. Here are three family-friendly ideas:
    1) A meatless pasta dish - a pesto sauce or one with some veggies. It's really easy to make fresh pesto.
    2) Home-made pizza's with dough from trader Joe's and a big salad.
    3) Veggie stir fry and rice. We use the Trader Joes General Tsao stir fry sauce and veggies for quick dinners a lot.

    Hope that helps!


Thanks for your feedback!