Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Good ol' home cookin'

A gourmet chef I am not. My favorite, well-used cookbook is called, "Desperation Dinners: Home-cooked meals for frantic families in 20 minutes flat." I have two friends who absolutely adore cooking and baking and have wonderful blogs detailing their various creations complete with yummy pictures that make me want to grab a fork and stab the monitor in an attempt to get a taste. Sadly, I am not one of these people and tonight's dinner was great evidence of that.

First on the menu was going to be chicken caesar tortellini salad, which consists of green leaf lettuce, three-cheese tortellini, pre-cooked southwest chicken strips (I hate dealing with raw poultry unless absolutely necessary), light caesar dressing, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The lettuce was about a week old, wilted and browning, so I threw it out.

Then I thought I would make home-made pizza, so I pulled out the Boboli thin crust, put it on the pizza stone, preheated the oven to 450° (relying on my oven thermometer and not the thermostat), pulled out the bottled pizza sauce, and went looking for the mozzarella cheese, only to find we had none. For a very brief moment I considered using the Mexican blend cheese we had, but thought better.

I bagged up the pizza crust and went on to plan number three - boil the tortellini and make spaghetti sauce using the seasoning packet and an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce. Well, unless you really like the flavor of junior high cafeteria spaghetti sauce, I do not recommend creating your spaghetti sauce this way. For the record, when I do make spaghetti, I use my mom's recipe, which is much fancier and thicker than tomato sauce with some spices thrown in. I poured the spaghetti sauce down the drain and desperation set in.

I had tortellini already cooked, drained, and sitting waiting for the right sauce. I went hunting through the fridge trying to find a suitable complement to the pasta. Mayonnaise? No. Ketchup? Ugh. BBQ Sauce? Are you nuts? My eyes finally settled on a small jar of pesto tucked into a corner of the fridge. I scooped a quarter cup into a bowl, added a tablespoon of water, stirred to mix it up, and then threw it on top of the tortellini. I added the freshly grated parmesan cheese, and voila! We had dinner. It was quite yummy, though I know it wasn't the healthiest thing I could have made.


Erin said...

I've had many a night that have ended up like that. You just think, "What are the least revolting ingredients I can combine to make a semi-edible meal?" It's amazing how you can grocery shop for things that sound good, and somehow once they get into your pantry and fridge, they morph into things that go together about as well as socks with sandals!

Flawed & Disorderly said...

Somehow I rarely manage to come home with all the ingredients to complete one meal. I think that's why we eat scrambled eggs with Rice Crispy Treats. Just kidding. I'm not that bad, but have been very close. I am happy to say that the night before last I prepared a decent Lebanese meal complete with pine nuts and home-made salad dressing. That was to make up for the Hamburger Helper the night before. Last night was leftover Leb food, and tonight he'll be lucky to get nachos. I'm feeling very unmotivated.

headless chicken said...

Havn't you people heard of fast food. I only give two half hearted efforts at something filling, much less a wholesome meal, and then we go to taco bueno. Bean-a-rito is one of Jackson's favorite foods!

suburban housefrau said...

I would so put Mexican cheese on a pizza. What makes it "Mexican" anyway? It's not like it's queso fresco. Remember, people used to think barbecue pizza was weird!

Next time you need a sauce - Bechamel. Say it with me - beh-shuh-mel. Butter, flour, milk, cheese, done. ;)