Ravioli

Ravioli with meat sauce, greens

Ravioli with meat sauce, greens

One of my favorite meals as a kid was cheese ravioli. I picked up a two-pack at Costco, and a couple jars of tomato sauce, on our last provisions run, and made one tonight. I doctored the sauce with a pound of ground beef and a glug of red wine. The greens are from the freezer, a mix of chard and mustard and some other delicate greens, seasoned with my own sofrito. Kevin had a work thing, so I ate this by myself in front of an episode of “Borgia.”

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A bit of cassoulet recipe correction and some turnips

Some cassoulet, and a serving of turnips

Some cassoulet, and a serving of turnips

It doesn’t look like much, but the beans, which are creamy, flavorful, are also dense and filling. The turnips also came out good. I cooked those in pork stock and thyme, like the cassoulet.

I forgot to mention an ingredient yesterday when I gave the recipe for this cassoulet. I added about a quarter cup of tomato paste to the warm beans before pouring them into the roasting pan, over the meatballs and pig’s feet, and a few more sprigs of thyme.

Carrot soup and steak quesadilla

Sirloin quesadilla and a bowl of creamy carrot soup

Sirloin quesadilla and a bowl of creamy carrot soup

Lotta dairy here. It was going to be a late dinner, so I started off with a little snack before Kevin got home. I’m on kind of an olive kick right now and I bought some that were labeled Tunisian. I didn’t think what that might mean except for I figured it would have some spices in it. Turns out Tunisian olives are spicy compared with Greek ones. What goes good with spice? Cheese. So I had some cheese and olives, thinking I was going to have steak and vegetables for dinner. When Kevin got home it was late for him and that’s when he’s most likely to propose we eat something horribly evil that sounds convenient but mostly feeds our remorse. We almost ordered burgers. I had already placed a call. But the line was busy, and pausing to reflect before redialing, we rethought our strategy. Kevin’s was to put beef and cheese and bread into his mouth at the same time. We can do this. Steak quesadillas: totally doable. And do you want soup with that? You bet we did. And the final episode of Master Chef Junior? And the last two slices of Jell-O cheesecake? Yes, yes, and thank you.

Day 12 – Lisa capitulates

Yesterday my oldest went back to school.  Even though he has been in college for over three years, I still feel sad and lonely every time he leaves.  Yesterday was no exception.  One of the few ways that he still lets me mother him is through food.  I can make his favorite dinner or take him out to his favorite restaurant and it’s how I can nurture him and love him up without making him too uncomfortable.  Sending children off into the world is not for the faint of heart.  The first few days that he’s gone are always tough for me.  I walk around with a lump in my throat and a pit in my stomach and the world just feels a bit off.

His siblings seem to feel the same way.  They are always sad to see their big brother go and the house just feels different.  Tonight I had planned on making a new chicken dish and had even purchased all of the ingredients by 9 this morning.  Then my kids came home from school and requested one of their favorite comfort foods, Urban BBQ, a local fast food restaurant.  Well how could I turn those sad faces down?

The BBQ served it’s purpose.  My kids were happy, we found some comfort, and we all felt just a bit better.

January 11: Paleo Pasta

Big bowl of pasta, paleo style. Recipe below, really.

Big bowl of pasta, paleo style. Recipe below, really.

One of the biggest things that people freak out about not getting to eat when one “goes” “paleo” is pasta. Honestly, I haven’t been a big wheat eater for ages. I come from a family of people with Celiac, and I am wildly sensitive to grains in general…..  so, as much as I love pasta, I eat it very rarely. But I do love it. There’s something about a big, hot, steamy bowl of saucy goopy pasta that is undeniably comforting. And we eat A LOT of it. Sort of.

My daughter calls it “gagaboo.” I have no idea why. But really, it’s a pretty classic Bolognese. I just serve it over Spaghetti Squash instead of grain-based noodles. I make a giant pot of it, roast half a dozen squash, and we have it as leftovers for a week, which makes my life easier.  Continue reading

Pollo con whatever the Spanish word for ‘dumplings’ is

Crockpot chicken and dumplings

Jan. 10 – Crockpot chicken and dumplings

My wife’s streak of awesomeness continued tonight with crockpot chicken and dumplings. It was a family meal, sort of. One daughter threw a tantrum when we wouldn’t let her switch from the prepared meal (which she had tasted and liked) to leftover pizza. That led to some enforced room time until she was ready to stop screaming, Continue reading