Posts Tagged With: Fresh Vegetables

Plenty of Pumpkin: How to Roast Your Own

I love pumpkin. I love carving pumpkins (see this post) and I love to eat pumpkin. That being said, I’ve never made anything pumpkin myself. I’ve always just enjoyed the lovely delicious treats others have made. And I’ve certainly never considered roasting my own pumpkin to make my own puree…until this year.

Then again, there’s a lot of things I’ve never done until this year…

Anyway, once I got it into my head that I was going to cook from real pumpkin and not the canned stuff, I did some research and set out to buy a “pie pumpkin.” (You can use a regular jack-o-lantern pumpkin, but we had already carved ours and didn’t want to “waste” them by turning them into puree. You can’t use the stringy inside part of the jack-o-lantern that you scoop out–it’s too stringy–you have to use the meat of the pumpkin, the part you carve.)

So on Saturday while Wyatt was across the parking lot helping a new neighbor try to get his way-too-big couch into his apartment, I set to work with the roasting.

To start, I chopped the pumpkin in half with a big knife (thanks to Wyatt who made sure we had big knives on our registry).

See how few "guts" there are? That's because it's a pie pumpkin!

And then, just like when making a jack-o-lantern, you scoop out the “guts” and seeds. (You can reserve the seeds if you’re into roasting them.)

This was the hardest step for me. It just didn't want to come out of there. Then again, all I had was a spoon...

When you’re done, it should look like this.

Ready for roasting!

And then, just put the pumpkin upside down in a large roasting pan and add about a quarter-inch of water to the bottom. Cover and roast at 350 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin and your oven settings.

In the meantime, I used the time to sort out the seeds from the guts, including the guts from the two big pumpkins we had carved Friday night.

I rinsed them in the sink in our colander to help get off any extra pumpkin mush.

This would have been easier if the pumpkin didn't blend in, but orange is all we have.

And then, I have to admit, that at one time in this process, I dropped the pan I was keeping the seeds in…and this happened.

Aw man...I guess those are going into the trash...

It was a HUGE mess. I was both annoyed and embarrassed and tickled. I mean, it was something out of a movie. The way they flew up into the air and pitter-pattered all over my floor as they fell…oh man.

And before long, the pumpkin was ready to take out of the oven. It turns a bit darker and gets very soft.

It reminds me of the color and consistency of cooked sweet potatoes at this point.

You’ll know it’s done when it’s soft to the touch, and the meat part is fork tender.

Slides in like butter!

By this point, our whole apartment smelled like wonderful Fall goodness. Too bad Wyatt missed it all since he was away at the neighbor’s all afternoon.

While the pumpkin was cooling a bit, I worked on my seeds some more. And since they are going to be a surprise for a friend (Miss Liz!) I won’t give away my secrets just yet…

There will be more later in this post, but for now, here’s a sneak peek.

Ready for roasting...and with secrets mixed right in!

By this time, the pumpkin was ready to be scooped out. This was a fun part of the process.

It just scoops right out! How neat!

I got really excited at this point because I realized I had succeeded at what seemed like a pretty scary endeavor. And it wasn’t even that scary!

See? I'm not scared, I'm happy!

And at this point, you can run it through a food processor or blender to have it ready to use in recipes. I decided to just keep mine as is until I was ready to use it.

Yay for fresh pumpkin mush!

It was certainly an adventure. And I guess it was worth it, but I’m not sure I’d do it every time I want to make something with pumpkin. It took me several hours, and honestly, it doesn’t taste that different to me once it’s all cooked into whatever you make.

And what did I make?

Well, aside from the smoothie attempt that we threw out, prompting me to ask my good friend Alysa for her recipe, which I’m sure will be much better, I made a four layer dessert, with a recipe I created myself. Yay.

Bottom later: pumpkin cookie mix and graham cracker crust, baked to make it crispy.

Second layer; creamy pumpkin pie filling (hard with no recipe, next time I’ll find something to copy!)

Third layer: no bake cheesecake mixture (note, allow the pumpkin layer to cool before putting this layer on!)

Top layer: fresh homemade vanilla whipped cream. Yum.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

I was worried, but it came out great!

And last night was the night to prove it, relaxing with Hubs on the couch while he played video games and I read Jane Austen. and enjoyed a bit of homemade “apple pie,” i.e. spiked cider.

A great end to any Fall night. Trust me.

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Have you heard of zucchini fries? If not, you’ll be glad I told you. Yum.

I love when people give me fresh vegetables from their garden. To me, there’s nothing better than home-grown, and free(!) produce. I love to eat fresh veggies in so many different ways, too, so it’s great when I can get them given to me (insert a quick shout out of thanks to anyone who’s blessed Wyatt and I with food from your garden, especially Grandma L!)

But, I do have to say that sometimes all these fresh vegetables can present a challenge in the best way to cook them. For instance, we had two giant zucchini to use up. And while Wyatt is very supportive of my efforts to feed him healthy green vegetables, he doesn’t love the way zucchini can be a little mushy (especially the huge squash-like ones we have).

So I found this idea for zucchini fries on a friend’s Pinterest page and immediately repinned it to my page to try later. (P.S. Do you follow me on Pinterest? There’s a link to the right.)

I thought Wyatt would like them because they would be crispy and crunchy for him, full of that fresh zucchini flavor for me, and healthy for both of us.

Here’s the original recipe, but as usual (you should know me by now!), I changed it up a bit.

Here’s how I did it.

Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries

Ingredients
Zucchini (however much you need for however many servings you want. I made enough for 10-12 fries each)

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 Tbs Mrs. Dash, or other seasoning mix

1 tsp salt

1tsp lemon pepper seasoning

2 Tbs melted butter
1 small egg
Method
Heat oven to 450ºF.

Cut zucchini into thin sticks, about 3-4 inches long. The thinner the sticks, the crisper the fries will be.

Yummy zucchini fries to be!

Whisk the egg and mix in melted butter.

Dip each stick in the egg mixture to coat.

You want to make sure they have egg on all sides.

Then dip the coated sticks in the bread crumb mixture. And roll them around in there very gently just to make sure your fingers don’t knock off any of the crumbs.

This process gets your fingers a bit messy, but you can always use tongs to help if you want.

Spread the coated sticks onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Ready to turn into "fries," though...if we don't fry them, can they ever really be "fries?

Bake for 20 minutes, turning them once in the middle, then turn the oven setting to broil for a few minutes to make sure they’re extra crispy. Just make sure to watch them so they don’t burn.

Mmm....

And of course, you can serve them with a dipping sauce. I just sprinkled some salt on mine, but Wyatt dipped his in ranch dressing. I was going to whip up a special sauce, but we decided we were hungry and just ready to eat.

Fry time!

And then, Ta-Da! You have a meal! I made twice baked potatoes topped with some of our remaining leftover BBQ brisket from our wedding. (Don’t worry, it’s been frozen, not just sitting in our fridge this whole time…)

And now I can honestly say we have a new favorite way to eat zucchini. At least I do. Wyatt had a headache last night so it was hard to tell how much he loved them, but I’m hoping it was as much as I did. Because, yum.

What about you guys? Do you have a favorite way to eat zucchini? What about other vegetables to make fries out of?

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Lesson #9: Men and Women Really Are Different

Last Friday I had a realization that cooking for myself is really a lot different from cooking for Wyatt and I.

For instance, this is what I made myself for lunch that day.

Looks like something a little kid would eat. I wonder what that means...

This lunch was made up of leftover macaroni and cheese, I added fresh tomatoes and lots of black pepper. I call it my Tomato Mac. And a strawberry applesauce packet. (Have you had these? They’re yummy, and they have all sorts of flavors. And it’s 100 percent fruit and there’s no added sugar, so that means yay!) And no matter how much I like it, or the fact that Wyatt would probably have eaten this without too much complaining, it isn’t something he would ever ASK me to make, or especially enjoy.

And this was the dinner I made for Wyatt:

So cheesy. So creamy. So good.

It’s tater tot casserole, adapted from the Campbell’s soup recipe I found here. I added cheese and some other extra seasonings to make it extra yummy and extra special for us. And the green beans were basic, but we added some sliced turkey and cooked it at high heat to add a bit of a healthier bacon-like flavoring. And don’t get me wrong, I certainly liked the casserole, too, as evidenced by how much of it we ate this past weekend, but it isn’t something I would have ever made for myself.

And I can’t really explain why. I guess because it’s easier to make Tomato Mac and applesauce? And that’s good enough for when it’s just me, because really, I DO really like Tomato Mac. What’s not to like? It’s two of my favorite foods.

So why do I like to cook so many other things for Wyatt when I would be just as happy eating something simple? It certainly would make cleaning my kitchen less of a chore.

It might be partly because I’m bored at home by myself during the day and I need something to do. It might be because I am in need of a creative outlet right now and cooking serves me well there. It could be this unexplainable drive I have to be the best little wife I can be right now, and that means cooking the crap out of my tiny kitchen.

But more than anything, I think it’s because Wyatt is such a great person to cook for.  He gets excited when I make things he likes. We have similar tastes in food (I’m slowly getting him used to things like herbs and spices) because we love a lot of the same things, like BBQ. Yum. And when he licks his plate clean (literally!), it proves even more that he does really enjoy what I’ve made him, and that he’s appreciative of the meal I prepared. There is not a night when I’ve cooked that Wyatt hasn’t leaned over to kiss me on the cheek to say, “Great dinner, honey.”

And you know what? I don’t do that for myself. I know, I obviously can’t kiss myself on the cheek, but I could be a little more proud or grateful when I make something tasty for myself. But I’m not. Maybe some people can, and that’s great! But for me, that’s a need I can’t fill for myself.

Because even more than our differences in meal preferences, men and women have very different needs.

I’ve done some studying of the 5 Love Languages and it’s fascinating to me how simple it is and yet how few people take the time to really learn about themselves and their spouse that way. I took the quiz in high school and though I had everything figured out. But guess what? I don’t. In fact, I think I’ve changed and grown so much that I need to take the test again! (I think this is something we’re going to do as a couple sometime in this first year of marriage.) Because I never thought I needed so much to hear things like, “Thanks for dinner, honey,” but let me tell you, I do!

So here’s to a husband who knows what it takes to make me smile, and takes the time to fill up my cup every day.

Now it’s time to decide what I’m making tonight.

Categories: Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dinner with my guys, or rather my guy, and a famous guy who has no idea I exist, much less admire him.

Usually, when we go to bed, I try to ask Wyatt what he wants for dinner the next day. His response is normally noncommital. But the other night, he says, out of the blue, you should make a burger with an egg on top.

Um…Yum. Ok!

So the next day, as I’m working on my laptop in the living room and listening to Food Network in the background, guess who comes on?

Hint: It’s one of my favorite chefs. I’m a tad obsessed with watching him cook whenever possible. He’s on my list of famous people I’d like to one day meet…

Anyone know?

It’s Michael Symon! (With a mixer like mine!–only his is red…)P.S. Thanks Yumsugar.com for the photo…

Anyway, so he’s on Paula Dean’s show, and what do they make? His Lola burger. It’s a burger, made with bacon and eggs on top.

I’d say that was as much motivation as I needed. Both Wyatt AND Michael wanted me to make it. That’s enough for me!
 
So I got to work. Now, no offense to Michael, but I have to cook to please Hubs, so I didn’t follow his recipe exactly.

Here’s how I did it.

 1 lb ground beef

4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp chopped chives

1 tsp dried parsley

1 Tbsp chopped onions (fresh or dried)

Mix together and form 4 loose patties. Cook in a preheated skillet until brown, or desired level of doneness.

In a skillet, cook 4 slices of bacon, set aside grease.

When burgers are close to done, butter and toast 4 hamburger buns.

Using the skillet from the bacon, fry 4 eggs, leaving the yolk runny.

Create your burgers with the toppings of your choice. 

(I’m sure Michael’s pickled onions and spicy ketchup would be fantastic, but I didn’t have the ingredients to make those. Maybe next time.)

 

The onions in these make them smell fantastic while they're cooking. And they taste great too, with having to eat a big slice of onion of the top. Best of both worlds.

I’ve never been this creative with my cooking before, though I guess I’ve never cooked this much before. I think I need to have company soon, so I can cook for them! Though it’s fun to cook for two because we get to be a lot more creative. It’s all trial and error. And there’s a lot less pressure, than say, cooking for the in-laws. Or my grandparents.

 

My bacon looks lonely in the pan. (I only made 2 since we were only going to eat 2 burgers that night.)

 

I also had the idea to try a totally new zucchini recipe. (Translation: I have a lot of zucchini again and need new ways to cook it so I started experimenting.)

I started by slicing off a few thin slices from my very large zucchini. Then, since of course I’m not going to waste it, I had Wyatt wrap the rest up with saran wrap, which he doesn’t get along with very well, so that might not have been the best job for him…

Then I cooked them for a few minutes in olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon pepper seasoning.

You don't want to cook them too long, or they will get mushy. Just a few minutes on each side is plenty.

Then I transferred them to a baking dish, added some feta and mozzarella cheese and a little more lemon pepper seasoning on top. I then cooked them in the oven at 450 degrees (I was also baking some fries) for about ten minutes, or until the edges started to crisp up a bit.

I know, my baking dish is huge. But I don't have a smaller one! (Actually, I do, but it's still in the box because it wouldn't fit in my cabinet! Darn that small kitchen!

All in all, the meal turned out great, thanks of course to my inspiration from Wyatt and Michael.

Yum. Need I say more?

And the best part of dinner?

When Wyatt squished his bun down on his hamburger so he could fit it in his mouth, he popped the yolk open and it squirted across our coffee table, much to his dismay.

Of course, that didn’t stop him from enjoying his eggy, bacon, burger…

Yes, that's my hubs, dipping his burger into egg on the coffee table. I'm such a proud wife!

Ah well, he cleaned it up later.

Such a fun night!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Have (tiny) kitchen, Will cook.

I’m sitting here on the couch on a Friday morning, and I’m happy for lots of reasons. It’s almost the weekend, it’s a great Fall day, I’m feeling better after being a little under the weather yesterday, and I woke up planning my run for today. Plus the fact that I got a nice kiss from husband on his way out the door.

But I’m also bummed for several other reasons.

Let’s face it. I have no job. And as someone who has worked since I was twelve, or younger, I feel pretty worthless when my husband leaves for work every morning and I have nowhere to go.

I’m a creative person, and my dream is to work for a magazine. There’s something so magical about the way words and photographs work together on the high-gloss pages to tell an amazing story.

So since I have no outlet for my magazine dreams right now, or even somewhere to feel like I’m being useful (I’ve even applied for part-time retail positions, apparently, no one wants to hire me, I’m either way too inexperienced or have a little too much college degree. Stupid job requirements.), I have turned to cooking.

I love our little apartment, but our kitchen is SMALL.

Nevertheless, whether to impress and feed my husband or to help cheer myself up and give me something to do, I’ve been cooking a lot. And luckily, you guys give me someone to share my cooking adventures with. And you aren’t here to see the mess I make off the approximate 6 square feet of counter space, divided into four tiny spaces.

This week I tackled another package of ground beef (our parents, who are both cattle farmers, keep us supplied with hamburger) and decided to find a recipe for some sort of “gourmet” burgers.

I ended up deciding on feta stuffed burgers, but, as usual, I tweaked the recipe a little bit.

This is how it was originally and I’m sure it would have been tasty, but I know Wyatt likes his food super flavorful, (his biggest complaint is usually, “it doesn’t have a TON of flavor…”) so I decided to up the ingredients a little bit.

I more than doubled the Worcestershire sauce, and after tasting the burgers, I could have added even more.

This is how I ended up making it.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Italian grill seasoning salt 

Directions

  1. Knead the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, chives, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
  2. Form the mixture into 8 equal-sized balls; flatten to make thin patties.
  3. Sprinkle a quarter of the cheese mixture on four of the patties.
  4. Top each of those patties with another equal sized patty and press the edges together firmly to seal.
  5. Cook each patty on a preheated skillet, seasoning each side with the Italian seasoning salt.

    Making the patties was fun. I'd never done anything like this before. I was afraid the cheese would melt and come out all over the pan.

And just like the meatballs I made, I had fun using my hands to put everything together. It’s like playing, but it’s cooking. Talk about creativity. (And because of you guys, I also get to write about it, so not all is lost!)

Also, I took Rachel Ray’s tip (Thank you, Food Network) of making a little bowl shape in my hamburgers to help them cook more evenly. (When you cook hamburgers, usually they puff up and make a round top and bottom. But, by making a dent, when they puff up, they end up flatter)

Mmm...smells good! Cook faster please!

I was also making steamed vegetables, which I love. (We eat those a lot. I’m not sure yet if Wyatt really likes them or if he just eats them to make me feel better.)

And when Wyatt got home from work, he jumped right in to help me (such a good husband) and made some fried potatoes.

Almost ready to eat! The only thing that would make these better is if they were cooked on the grill. Maybe we'll break out our little grill this weekend...

It’s hard to imagine since I don’t have a picture of it, but our kitchen counters are SUPER messy right about this time of every night. And our whole apartment takes on the smell of whatever we’re cooking since our oven vent fan doesn’t vent outside, it just sucks air in and then blows it back out into the room.

Yum. I added tomatoes, lettuce, and even toasted and buttered the buns.

And of course, the whole meal was delicious and super filling.

Time to eat please!

And at this time of night, I usually relax, and start to really feel better about my life. I have good food, a happy home, and a husband who loves me. So, even with no job, I get the feeling that my cup really does runneth over.

Plus, it’s hard to be bummed out with a full belly.

Full and happy. I may not have a job, but I can cook!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I can make meatballs! (And manage to not be a total dummy at soccer.)

After a pretty bad week last week, my goal this week has been to just be positive and try to enjoy the time I have right now to try new things.

Despite the fact that I complain about being bored, I also enjoy the time to cook. I really enjoy creating new recipes and tweaking ones from all my new cookbooks. And I’ve made a lot of delicious dishes and really improved my grating, slicing, chopping, peeling, steaming, and searing skills.

My mom certainly makes some great meals, and she has all sorts of recipes that my family considers favorites. But she didn’t do a ton of “from scratch” cooking. Which is fine, because the creativity that comes with taking some pre-made ingredients and combining them with special touches is a huge influence on my cooking.

(Ask Wyatt, he knows how creative I am with the idea of a “semi-homemade” meal.)

So I was pretty proud of myself for deciding to tackle the homemade meatballs we had on Wednesday.

I know, I know, it doesn’t sound that hard. But to someone who has always eaten pre-made meatballs with homemade sauce, it was a big undertaking.

So, I thawed the hamburger and found a recipe.

And dug in with both hands. (It was my first time feeling that distinctive raw-egg-and-raw-hamburger-squish. And as expected, it was equally fun and gross.)

About twenty minutes later, I had a full pan of meatballs, all sauced up and ready for cooking.

Ready to pop in the oven! My hands were a huge mess right about now.
After I got those in the oven, I got ready to slice, bread, and fry the eggplant. Yum. (I think I may love eggplant an unusual amount.) Still though, last time Wyatt was home in time to help me with this process, as it’s hard to do all on your own. Between keeping an eye on the ones in the pan and getting the next ones ready to put in the pan, and the sticky cracker-and-egg-mush-mess that tends to build up on my fingers, it was a challenge. I was also trying not to over cook the steamed vegetables on the back burner of the stove at this time.)
 
 
But I made it, and by the time I was done, I had a huge mess!

It's a good thing we have a small kitchen, because I always manage to make a mess of all the cabinet space!

 And Wyatt seemed to like the end result. (I liked it as well. I’d for sure tweak the sauce if I was going to make this recipe again, but overall, it was a success.) (He even brought leftovers to work the next day, and shared with some coworkers, and since they approved, too, I’d say it was an absolute success.)

My first meatballs!

And don’t forget the eggplant! An important part of the meal.

I ate way more than 2 pieces of eggplant, this is just the first helping. Maybe not the healthiest meal ever, but the vegetables count for something, right?

So, all in all, despite the number of dirty dishes I had to wash later, it was a good meal. And we used up the eggplant. So, that’s good. I hate wasting fresh vegetables.

 
Last night we had soccer, which went better than last week.
 
(Despite the run-in I had with the Brita pitcher before we left that left water ALL OVER the inside of the fridge. Man, I hate that thing.)
 
 I still feel like a total goof most of the time and wonder how those guys can be THAT much faster than me, but I managed to have a few good passes and some other non-sucky stuff like that.
 
And Thursday nights are usually Wyatt’s night to cook because he lets me take the first shower when we get home. (He knows me well–when it’s chilly outside and I’ve been running around in shorts, that’s the fastest way to make me feel better. There’s just something magical about a super hot shower.)
 
We had hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. Cheap, fun, and though I could take or leave hot dogs, I had more than my share of the macaroni.
 
All in all, this Thursday night was WAY better than last Thursday. (More about that later, I’m still sorting out my feelings about why last week was so hard…)
 
And I’m ready to head into the weekend, which is turning into a much busier time than we expected. But, other than the time I’m here during the day, life tends to do that, right?
Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dinner out of Nothing…Round Two

So, last night I wrote about our Cheesy Fiesta Rice.

(http://thenewlywedwife.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/dinner-out-of-nothing/)

Today, since we had so much left over, which often happens when it’s just the two of us here eating, I decided I’d try a little “round two recipe” for lunch.

So I reheated the rice and ripped off a few layers from a head of lettuce. I put a dollop of rice, a bit of ranch dressing, (you could add tomatoes, peppers, or any other fresh veggies you like) and then rolled it up in a simple little wrap. (I made four little ones, and it was the perfect size for lunch.)

Yum.

I think I liked this even better than the first time we had it. It tasted so light and fresh, but was cheesy, meaty, and filling, all at the same time.

I still have some left, so let me know if you have other ideas of how to use up our “tex-mex” rice!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Dinner out of Nothing

Yesterday we got a bunch of hamburger from Wyatt’s parents, which is great. Except that our freezer is pretty little, and right now, it’s stuffed pretty full. Of hamburger.

So tonight for dinner, it was hamburger. For sure.

But, I waited to go to the grocery store until after Wyatt got home so he could go with me.

Which means that I needed to make something for dinner out of hamburger…and not much else.

This is what I came up with. It was pretty good, I think, and Wyatt approved.

 

Cheesy Fiesta Rice “Homemade Hamburger Helper”

1 lb hamburger

2 cups water

2 Tbs butter

1 package Mexican rice mix

1 small onion, diced

1 cup salsa

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

4 slices American cheese, ripped in small pieces

1 tomato, diced

Brown hamburger in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Add water, rice, onion, and butter. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in salsa, chili powder, lemon pepper seasoning, and cheese. Simmer while stirring for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mixed throughout.

We served it burrito style with the fresh diced tomatoes in soft flour taco shells, but there are also other ways I’m sure it will be great.

 (I’ll let you know as we’ll be eating it again tomorrow as leftovers!)

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Advice from You: Best Way to Use Up the Peppers

What’s the best way to eat/cook with green peppers? I’m hoping for an idea that Wyatt will like too…

Thanks!

Categories: Advice | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

After Dinner Entertainment

Since I’m still not working, I’ve been doing my best to be the very best housewife I can be. So usually, I have dinner almost ready or waiting when Wyatt gets home from work at 5:30.

But the last two nights, I’ve done a lot more in-depth meals. So Wyatt had to help when he got home. Luckily, he doesn’t mind.

Tonight we had pasta with pan-fried chicken that I finished cooking in a tomato basil meat sauce. Then, my favorite part of the meal: fried eggplant. Yum.

My grandma gave us a bunch of produce, including 2 big eggplants. And my favorite way to eat eggplant is fried in eggs and cracker crumbs.

Wyatt got put in charge of the frying since he hadn’t done it before and I could easily tell him what to do, and I set to work making the sauce with no recipe. A little hamburger, diced tomatos, basil, oregano, sauteed onions, and lemon pepper seasoning.

It turned out pretty well.

We ate the entire eggplant by ourselves. For sure not the healthiest meal we could have stuffed down.

And now that we’re done eating, we’re sitting here on the loveseat watching tv. Wyatt’s trying to figure out a move in our Words with Friends game (I’m currently smoking him). And I’m thinking to myself that this is the way we spend too many of our nights.

We have a great dinner, do all the dishes, and then just chill out. Sure, sometime we take a walk, or go to the store. But usually, we just stay in. And it isn’t like we can do yard work or home repair projects.

(I need to pause and tell you that Wyatt looked up from his phone and is so bored that he felt the need to reach over and touch the fingerprint scanner on my laptop, which brings up and annoying window that blocks my screen. Thanks, honey.)

Anyway, I guess my problem is that I just feel we’re sort of, well, lame. Is it okay to sit and do nothing at night? Should we be more hip and happening? I’m so used to the busy schedule I had during high school and college that it’s hard for me to get used to this “doing nothing” thing.

What is the best sort of after dinner entertainment, anyway?

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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