Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dinner in a Pinch

It's 5:45 pm.
I haven't given a single thought to putting dinner on the table.
Here's dinner in a pinch and it's gonna work out nicely.
Pasta is the go-to dinner. So let's start with spaghetti. Boil it up in some salted water.
And don't break the pasta!
Lidia wouldn't approve.
I'm sure you're all having a hard time following so far.
Then, of course, we need some sauce. I'm going to boost this up a bit. Our base will just be a simple marinara.
I had some mushrooms leftover from last night's calzone.
I chopped them up and threw them in.
I added a can of Italian-style stewed tomatoes,
coarsely chopped, just for some texture and a little extra flavor.
Uh oh, here's another one of those blasted purees. A broccoli one at that. Stop wrinkling your nose. I forgot to pull it out of the freezer, so here it is thawing in some hot water.
Add that in.Now I throw a few meatballs into the sauce and
simmer it for however long it takes me to fix the rest of this pinchy meal.
Remember the dutch oven bread? Now's a great time to use it. Slice up a few pieces.
Butter them.
Sprinkle on some garlic powder. If I had more time,
I'd have cooked up a little chopped garlic in butter
and spread that on the bread.
But the tribe is getting restless, and frankly,
I'm a little scared of impending anarchy.
So garlic powder it is.
Then I sprinkle on some grated parmesan and romano.
They call this cheese "lively" blend. I love that. It's lively.
I'm going to say that from now on when I want to describe something.
I put the bread on a cookie sheet, then throw it under the broiler for a bit.
Oh look how lively that bread looks! SIGH. Stop it.
Something's missing.
A little color on the plate.
These Green Giant vegetable packs are dinner's best kept secret.
They come in all kinds of varieties and, surprisingly,
they don't have a lot of extra muck added.
Just a touch of butter and salt and they are magically tasty! You can microwave them in the steamer bag that is included. Perfect. Four minutes to dinner.
Plate it all up and here's dinner.
So simple. And it's a dinner that I'm not ashamed of. Awww...look at our quiet, romantic dinner.
Oh who am I kidding? Let's keep it real. This is what dinner really looks like,
complete with an equestrian guest. (I wouldn't have it any other way). Isn't it lively?


Dandy said...

That looks so good right now. I can do that... I think.

You are very pretty, look at that luscious hair!

southerninspiration said...

That was quick to prepare, and you have a lively dinner table; cute family!!


Unknown said...

Romance is in the eye of the beholder. Looks very romantic to me!!
It doesn't get any better than that and it's gone before we know it. Enjoy! ~Andrea~

InWeighOverMyHead said...

I felt like I was there! :)

McVal said...

LOL! You had me going there....! My dinner in a pinch is.... "Leftovers tonight guys! Fend for yourselves!"

McVal said...

Oh wait - you were serious... So was I!

Flat Creek Farm said...

I love it! What a totally perfect meal, with perfectly cute dinner guests as well. It really doesn't get any better than that! I had a TJ shopping trip scheduled next week, but alas, it's postponed again. And now, with your post, I'm adding more to that lengthy list. Why, oh why, can't they build a TJ for me in my neck of the woods? ;-)-Tammy

Elle Bee said...

Dandy, Thanks! That's still pregnancy hair. Nice 'n thick. It's falling out in squirrel-sized hunks as I speak, so in a few months I'll be back to my regular thin frizz.

Suzanne, Thanks!

Andrea, you are so right!

Lisa, I wish you WERE here! That would be fun! BTW, I don't care what you eat. You're always beautiful to me.

McVal, HAHA!! Totally! Some nights it's "eat cereal while standing up" night.

Tammy, YES. The world needs more TJ's! :o)

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

Awesome! I need some quickie dinners. After spending the day in the barn and J coming in late from the field, some nights we don't eat until 10p.m.! This is on my list for next week :) Thank you!
I'll be looking for more quickie dinners we can make after a lively day on the farm!

Unknown said...

Sad to say but my dinner in a pinch looked nasty compared to yours. Mine was raisin bran cereal and a bagel. No excuses other than I just didn't feel up to being in the kitchen.

But, your family looks like they are totally enjoying it! The romance comes after dinner (according to Boo).

Yelena R. said...

That looks like a delicious "dinner in a pinch"! Looks like my typical dinner, only without all the interesting add-ins to the pasta sauce. No seriously,I like baking so much more than cooking!

Yelena R. said...

oh, and I forgot to hair is gorgeous! that's one of the first things i notice about people and I love yours :)

Meghan said...

There's Gracie in her long sleeves! Would she have it any other way!?

And of course, Mom's plate of food hasn't been touched... gotta feed everyone else first! :) One of these days we'll get hot food!

Jana said...

a very lively equine guest indeed!!! I missed your blog so much, I have seriously been jipped on time lately, I am still thinking about fish recipes but all my awesome cookbooks are packed away...thanks for making me smile today!! as always =D

cherie said...

oh, sweetie, it is the best! yum! and thank you for being such a great mom!!

Salitype said...

yummylicious! quick and healthy...the way i like it...!!!

Debbie said...

Yum! I will be over right away.

Heart2Heart said...


This sounds delicious as well as healthy and simple! I'll be by tomorrow what are you making??

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

CottageGirl said...

What great add-ins, Elle! I love how you "snuck" the extra veggies into the sauce!

You are so pretty! Great picture of you and your lovely children! Kudos to your hubby!

Bentley Boutique said...

I'm impressed that your kids will eat veggies. And I love the idea of sneaking in the pureed stuff. I've got to try that. Your quickie dinner looks like something that would take me hours to prepare!

teamkyte said...

I LOVE that you also have a horse at the table! We often have "extra guests" for dinner as well, often times a horse.

Lois Christensen said...

Yum! My family will FINALLY all eat pasta. I know that sounds so strange, but my daughter for years would wrinkle her nose at anything Italian. She even took the cheese off of her pizza for years. I asked her last year what they had for lunch at school one day and she said, "Spaghetti." I said, "Oh what did you eat?" And she said, "I ate it." I froze in my tracks for about 5 minutes and said, "Did you like it?" She said, "Yeah." We had spaghetti the next day and continue to do so on a regular basis. She even ate my homemade manicotti with the whole family at Easter.

Your meal looks delicious!!!


Thank You for joining my blog. I have joined yours as well. I look forward to catching up on your posts. I really enjoyed this one. Love the pics. From the romantic dinner, to the family. Thanks for sharing.

Relyn Lawson said...

Oooo - I love those meatballs. We use them, too. Aren't they great?

Mr. M said...

Spaghetti is a great quick dinner, I use a carrot puree in our sauce to get the kids some veggies...I am game for a broccoli puree.