Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ravioli Salad

Last night, I was late getting started on dinner. Really late. Like 7:30 PM late. So, what to do on short notice for something good, yet fast and filling. Solution. Rob the pantry. Here's what I came up with. It will be a regular for us.

Ravioli Salad

2/3 package Trader Joes mini cheese-filled ravioli

½ cup olive oil

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 pound cooked, diced chicken breast OR 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced

2 carrots, grated

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook ravioli according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and ground pepper in serving bowl. Mix with a whisk to emulsify. When pasta reached desired tenderness, drain and add to serving bowl, stirring to coat. Add chicken, cucumber, carrots, basil and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Serve warm or cold.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Eureka Spaghetti Sauce

I crave spaghetti and meatballs on a fairly regular basis. I try and try to make the spaghetti sauce I crave, but cannot achieve it--until now.

This is the spaghetti sauce I made this evening. Here's the thing, though: very rarely do I follow a recipe. I just like to cook my way. So the measurements are approximate.

Eureka Spaghetti Sauce

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 large cloves garlic, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground dried thyme
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

Heat a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When warm, add the onion, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes. Add ground beef, and cook until no longer pink. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Cook until heated through. Add oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, granulated sugar and red wine. Cook for 20 minutes. Stir in basil when ready to serve.

This is the spaghetti sauce I have been looking for. I will have to try it with meatballs, but this is IT. I think the secret of the sauce is the red wine.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Swimming upstream

Yesterday, I had a busy day planned. I was sitting at my table writing down exactly what I was going to do to accomplish my goals for the day, when I heard, “CRASH! BANG!” from my youngest child's room. I went running, only to discover complete chaos.

He had built a “fort” from blankets and chairs that encompassed almost the entire room. He was doing some rearranging by picking up a chair to move it, when the chair came in contact with his beta fish bowl. The bowl when flying. Stinky fish water drenched blankets, sleeping bag and floor. We desperately tried to locate little Razzy (the fish) to no avail. He was not among the glass rocks that covered the floor. He was not sitting in stinky fish water that stood on the desk.

What was a mother to do? I started cleaning up the disaster area. Dripping blankets were put in one pile. Toys and art projects had to be removed from the desk and wiped down to prevent permanent fishy water smell. There was water under the computer, all over the desk, and, of course, soaking into the carpet.

The seven year old? He was crying. The older two were fussing. I decided to call a family prayer meeting to pray for comfort, strength, and forgiveness for the loss of the fish.

Even after I had gotten all visible water cleaned up, there was still no sign of Razzy. I pulled the desk away from the wall to wipe down dripping, running water, and there, behind the desk was the fish. At least 10 minutes had elapsed since the accident. Surly he was a goner. I instructed my son to pick up the fish with a tissue. Crying, he decided that he should dispose of the fish in the toilet. Second later, I hear, “He's alive! He's moving!” No. He couldn't be. But, yes, he was, and he was trying to swim down the toilet.

I donned rubber gloves and retrieved Razzy from his porcelain grave. I didn't give him much hope. He wasn't swimming well. He was kind of laying on his side. My son decided to pray. He wanted me to pray with him. Trying not to verbally doubt, I bowed my head as he prayed.

More than 24 hours later, Razzy is still swimming around, and there is no lingering fishing smell!