Things That Make You Go Hmm Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

bb sun dried tomato pasta

What a thrill.  This Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook definitely shook things up in my kitchen.  I love a recipe that makes you say “Hmm, I never would have thought of using _____ that way.”

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Barefoot Bloggers Curried Couscous

bb curried couscous

If I had a million dollars, I would first hire a cleaning lady, then I would hire a personal chef to prepare healthy, flavorful meals for us every day.  I would still cook and bake at leisure, but the rest of the time I could choose recipes with my chef that he/she could prepare, like this Curried Couscous from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.

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Barefoot Bloggers Real Meatballs And Spaghetti

meatballs and spaghetti

When I was a new bride, I already had a few dishes in my cooking repertoire, but I wanted to learn to make some of my husband’s favorite dishes, too.  So I asked his mother to teach me to make these recipes, and one of them was spaghetti.

Here’s what she puts in:  onion, ground beef, tomato sauce (sounds pretty ordinary so far, right?), ketchup, tomato soup, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1/3 cup of sugar.  Not that it tastes bad or anything, I mean I had eaten it a few times before and it tasted fine, but not only is it way different than what I learned to make from my mother, but it’s almost like sacrilege to even call it spaghetti sauce, what with all the crazy things it contains.  My brain just can’t seem to accept it as spaghetti sauce.

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My Grandmother Was Green Peanut Noodle Salad

peanut noodle salad

My Grandmother was green.

Not the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba Thropp kind of green, but the eco-friendly, earth-preserving kind of green.  She kept her thermostat turned way down in the winter and way up in the summer (if on at all).  She never let the water run while washing the dishes.  She hung her clothes on a clothes line.  She re-used plastic wrap and aluminum foil.  She had a garden that grew a lot of her food.  She used her coffee grounds and egg shells in her flower garden.  And she never threw away food.

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Back From the Black Hole Tomato and Olive Pasta

tomato and olive pasta

Our garage has turned into a black hole.  Like the washer and dryer that secretly steal single socks, the garage has been sucking things into the vast emptiness of oblivion, never to be seen again.  The tool box, the dog’s backpack, my Christmas china.

I blame this on the fact that we have moved twice in the past two years and on the moving company we used for our last move to try to save money.  JUST-PLAIN-SCARY.  However, during the transition we didn’t unpack all the boxes from the first move.  So I have also rediscovered things I forgot I had.  An ice cream maker, a gilt frame mirror, these soup/pasta bowls that go with my Christmas china. Continue reading