Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dinner On a House Boat

Last weekend was a very cool weekend.  

Some friends that I have catered for in the past, asked me to do another meal for them last weekend.  They were having an annual meeting with their board of directors and each year they like to treat them to a real nice meal.  It has been my honor to be the one to make that meal for them.  And as an added bonus, this meal was on the nicest, biggest houseboat that I have ever been on.  And I've snuck a few peeks at some houseboats on Norris Lake in TN.  None of them held a candle to this one.

The meal is different than what I usually do, because it is not a buffet.  We serve the meal with four courses.  Appetizer, salad, main, and dessert.  Is this as fancy as it could be?  No, but it is still a lot of food, and a good time.  

For the appetizers I served two items.  One was a kalamata olive, roasted red pepper dish.  I have described it here before.  (check my last dinner party blog)  I also made a scallop dish with mushrooms and asparagus.  It was delicious.  I will put the recipe on in the future.  

For the salad we did a very simple Caesar salad.  Nothing fancy, but good.  

For the main course, I offered New York Strip, or Salmon.  Both grilled.  For unbelievable Salmon I use Lemon zest, olive oil and Canadian Steak seasoning.  
First, rub a little olive oil onto your salmon filet.  Next, take the zest of a lemon and rub it into the meat as well, trying to distribute it evenly.  Finally, sprinkle a little canadian steak seasoning and you are good to go.  Grill until it is just cooked.  Do not overcook, or you might as well eat canned salmon.
Along with the steak or salmon, I served Roasted New Potatoes, with roasted garlic aioli,  and green beans with tomato concasse.  Also, I have talked about these sides before.  My friends had eaten them before, so they were fine with having them for this meal also.  You could say they were looking forward to the aioli.  

Finally for the dessert.  Chocolate Ganache Tart.  It was amazing, and I am going to link the recipe for you.  It is very easy.  You will need a tart pan and some time, but it is well worth it.


Check it out, it is great.

Unfortunately, I did not have the camera to take pictures.  I thought that my wife had it, but it turns out we just can't find it.  

I hope you try the tart, and I want to say thanks to my friends for letting me do the meal.  It sounds like it is going to be very good for future business, for more meals just like this.  

What Should We Drink?

Hey everyone.  So it has really been awhile since my last post.  I apologize.  I know I shouldn't make excuses but here are some.  1)  Time (not much of it).  2)  Lack of food inspiration.  3)  Our government is doing everything they can to control our lives, in ways that no other administration has before it.  Wait that last reason isn't an excuse as to why I haven't blogged, it is just a problem.  But really, reason number two is a real problem.

As things have been getting busier, it has been hard to find new and creative things to make.  Which has translated into fewer things to write about.  But I have been searching through my brain, and I have found some things to share with you.  No recipe in this blog, but the next one will have one, and you will love it.

Anyways, a few weeks ago I did a dessert tasting at a local assisted living home.  I made the cheesecake that I have told you about in the past, it was a big hit.  But while I was there I met a couple from my town of Marion that are roasting their own coffee.  They have become a follower of this blog, and I strongly encourage you to check them out.  I am really excited because they are local.  Of course, to some of you, you have great local coffee roasters in your area as well.  But this is Marion, and it really excites me.  Also, I have to admit that I am not a black coffee drinker.  I really wish that I was but I have not found the roast that does it for me.  I am confident that this couple will be able to help me with that.  Someday soon Lynsey and I will schedule a coffee tasting with them.  How cool is that.  I have been to wine tastings, food tastings, and soon a coffee tasting.  None of that Starbucks, (we are such a great company, but not really, because we pay very little for our beans, and charge you way to much for a cup of joe, because we want you to fund our social agendas without really caring for our employees) crap.  Just good organic, locally roasted coffee.  I look forward to it.
So with that I want to say, support your local people.  If you are in a position that requires you to buy goods and services from other people, why not buy those goods or services from your neighbor.  And really, who doesn't buy stuff.  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Asian Salad

Hello all. Lynsey here. Derek hasn't updated his site in awhile, so I thought I'd write a little something about a salad we made yesterday. I was inspired to make this salad by a drug-rep lunch we had at work several months ago. I wish I could remember who catered it, because it was good! So anyway, I've been wanting to try to recreate it for a while now, and I have to say, this was pretty darn close. 
Ingredients were as such:
Mandarin oranges
Asian accents- almond slivers, rice noodles and sesame sticks
Asian ginger dressing
grilled chicken
sesame seeds

The strawberries weren't part of the original salad, but I thought it needed something extra, and I had these on hand. It mingled well with the rest of the ingredients. If you're into wasabi, I thought wasabi peas would be a good extra as well, just didn't have any on hand. Let me know what you think! (Sorry I didn't take a picture of the finished salad- but it was beautiful and delicious!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Make Your Grill Happy, Make it an Italian Sausage.

As it is getting warmer, my grill has been on a lot. Mostly at work it seems, but at least once or twice at home. Of course I am excited about it because the grill just does something to food that can't be done in any other way. All winter long you eat the food that you can make well indoors. But for me, usually come the second week of "too cold to stand outside weather" I am missing a good grilled burger, or steak, or fish, or brat, or anything for that matter. Yes, you CAN go to a restaurant and get a grilled item, but isn't it just better to stand next to that box of charcoal (or gas, because sometimes it's just easier) and grill your own food? I would say that the answer is yes.

So now that it is warmer and we are starting to grill we have to decide what we are going to make for the first meal of the season. I almost got the grill out for some brats one day, but then realized that they weren't brats at all, they were just glorified hot dogs that my wife inadvertently picked up from the store not realizing my disgust. They were certainly not going to be the first thing on the grill this year, they are meant for the microwave as far as I am concerned.

One day the mood hit me for a GOOD Italian Sausage. It would definitely be ok start to the grill, but it took me awhile to find one that was really tasty. I had bought a roll of sausage, it was 4 feet long I think, and cooked it for the staff. It was "ok." Then I went to one of my suppliers test kitchens and they made me one.

IT WAS AWESOME, and now I can't quit thinking about it. All of the flavors were there, and the seasoning of the sausage was right on. Plus the toppings that were with it, were just fantastic. I want another. And I am going to tell you how to do it also.

So if you haven't gotten the grill out yet, this could be a good meal to pull it out.

First, slice up some onions, and pepper. Wrap these up in some foil, with a little salt and olive oil, and set them over the heat on the grill. Start doing this a little ahead of time, as it will take a little while.

Next put your sausage on the grill to start cooking. Meanwhile take a "good" hoagie roll and butter the inside. If you can use garlic butter you will not be disappointed. Continue cooking your sausage until it is near done. Just before you take it off, toast your hoagie roll.

Now for the magic. Spread a little pizza/tomato sauce on the bun. Add the sausage, then the pepper/onion mix, and finally top it off with some mozzarella cheese, and eat away. You are going to love it.

And as far as the grill is concerned. It will be much happier knowing that you didn't throw a lousy hot dog on its grate for the first use of the year. That would be like waking up a bear from hibernation, just to give it a piece of lettuce. That bears going to be ticked.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How bout some "Za" (man I hate when people call it that)

Man, its been awhile since my last post. I apologize that I haven't been on top of my blog. The fact is though, that when it comes to food, I just haven't been that inspired lately. It seems that as it gets warmer my attention is drawn outside and away from the kitchen, which I will admit, has been very nice.

So as I was thinking about what to write on next, I decided that I would tell you about one of my favorite things to make with the staff at work. Pizza.

Now typically if you wanted to make pizza from scratch you would have to make a dough and roll it out, and go through all of the work of making your crust from scratch. Now while I really do think that is the way to do it if you have time, sometimes you want pizza within 30 minutes and you don't want to make your own dough. And maybe the thought of eating Dominoes makes you gag, and all of the other good pizza places out there are a little more than you want to spend. Then this pizza is your solution.

First, I will say, this is a thin crust pizza. Of course, deep-dish pizza is my favorite, but I am no hater towards thin crust. And the way that this pizza is made, there is no option but thin.

Ok, take two tortillas. Yes two, and no I haven't switched the topic to tacos instead of pizza. On top of the first tortilla put a thin layer of mozzarella cheese. Lay the second tortilla on top of that one. Now top the pizza as you like. A little tomato/pizza sauce, some pepperoni, sausage, olives ANYTHING. Then finish it off with some more cheese.

Now this is where I might get a little crazy and this isn't for everyone. But here is where I put on a little BBQ sauce. Right on top of the cheese. Usually, I make is look like a spiral for artistic flair, it really gets the ladies. Then I also drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, or e.v.o.o for you Rachel Ray fans, but whatever. Also, feel free to season however you want with garlic salt or basil, italian seasoning, whatever your fancy.

Stick it in the oven at 350 and cook until the cheese is golden and you have a great made at home pizza. Perfect in about 30 minutes. And as a good family idea. Use 6 inch tortillas and let everyone make their own. The kids will love it, and they won't have to eat the stuff you like.

If you haven't ever done this and you try it, let me know how it goes. I think you will really enjoy it.

Also, I just thought of this. Lynsey (my wife) will put olive oil on a single tortilla then a layer of mozzarella and some garlic salt. This makes a good cheesy garlic "bread."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A different kind of hunger!

Sometimes, I will admit, that by making this a food blog I cannot always share the things that I think would be cool to share.  My wife gets to tell everyone the goings on in our family and share cool stories that everyone is interested in, and I just blog about food.  Well what if you hate food?  Or what if you don't hate food, but you just have really bad taste?  Then you probably don't read this blog.  So for this one post (and maybe some in the future as well) I am going to talk about something else.

I just finished reading Donald Millers book "Through Painted Deserts."  He is the same writer who wrote "Blue Like Jazz", and "Searching for God Knows What."  Anyways, I could not put the book down.  For one, I just love the way that he writes.  I feel like I am listening to him in a room as he is telling the story.  Second, he has a way of getting deep about his thoughts on God and spirituality that really seem to connect with me.  

It seems like that as Spring approaches, and the world outside starts coming alive again, I cannot help but look at myself, and wonder where my growth has been.  I think it is Spring time in me as well.  It has been Winter for me long enough.  Staying dormant has been to easy.  Lynsey and I have started going to a new church, and I really think that it is good for us.  (For those of you whoever had a Dave Wheeler class, it is his old church)....(to those of you who have no idea of who I am talking about...that's ok).  My job at the camp gives me all the room to grow spiritually that I could need.  In fact, we are required to spend an hour a day, a day a month, and a week a year in sabbatical, and study.  I think I will start taking advantage of that time.  I need to, not just for me, but for my family.  

For me I think it comes down to relationship.  I haven't really figured out how to have a meaningful relationship with a God that wants nothing but a relationship with me.  What I need to figure out is how I can hang out with Jesus in my garage.  He was a carpenter, and when I am in my garage I am doing carpentry.  How cool would that be?  And when we were done building whatever Lynsey wants me to build for Annabel, we would sit in lawn chairs overlooking the driveway, and maybe sip a beer together.  But not any beer, and good micro-brew in a warm glass.  And who is to say that we couldn't smoke a pipe, and blow smoke rings into the air and talk about whatever is on our mind at the time.  That is the kind of relationship that I want.  

While reading, I wished several times that I could go on a road trip and experience the same things that were talked about in this book.  That maybe if I was on a trip like that I would have the same thoughts that would lead me to a greater understanding of God, and the relationship that He wants with us.  That wouldn't be the case, I would think about stupid things like what type of food I want to make, and can I grow a few different varieties of potatoes in a garden this summer.  I always seem to find a way to push the important things out. 

All this to say that I am thankful for writers that have a way of helping me to get started heading in the right direction.  That direction is towards a real relationship.  Now if I could just figure out how to get the same message from the Bible.  I know its there.

Note:  Don Miller has some really cool things to say about our relationship with God in "Searching for God Knows What."  I think that I will read that again, also.  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time for some Cheesecake

Well, I sort of mentioned it in my last blog, and as I eat the very last piece of the (hopefully) last cheesecake that I will make until next December (unless someone wants to buy one), I thought I would tell you how to make one.  The recipe that I use is pretty basic, but it is so so good.  I don't top mine because there is no use messing with it.  The only thing that I will put on top of it is something like a strawberry puree, or caramel.  But no pie filling or turtle topping.  Though don't get me wrong, I LOVE turtle cheesecake.

The recipe is as follows:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup +3 Tablespoons sugar, divided
2.5 pounds cream cheese.  (that is five packages that you would get in the store)
3 Tablespoons flour
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 cup Sour Cream

Now I always use a 9 inch spring form pan, because that is what I have.  There are other methods that some people use but I will tell you about mine.

First, soften your cream cheese.  SERIOUSLY MAKE SURE IT IS COMPLETELY SOFT!!!!!!  This is best done on your kitchen counter.  I don't recommend the microwave, because it tends to cook it.

Second, take your pan and spray it with non-stick spray.  In a separate bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar, and mix well.  Press the crust into the pan.  (As a note, I like to double my crust for a thicker crust).   Bake the crust in a 350 oven for 8-10 minutes, just until starting to brown.

While your crust is baking, start mixing all of the other ingredients.  Best done with a stand mixer, mix your cream cheese with the sugar and flour.  Next crack three eggs and put them in a bowl with the vanilla.  Add your eggs, one at a time, to your cream cheese while mixing.  Finally add your sour cream.  If you don't believe me about the sour cream, I need you to just trust me on this one.  I have a friend that thinks he hates sour cream and hates anything that has it in it.  However he loves the cheesecake and usually buys 2 or 3 from me each Christmas.

At this point if you are seeing little balls of cream cheese in your mixture it is because it was not quite softened enough.  It will not ruin the taste, but i think it may affect the way that it sets up.  I only had one cheesecake crack on me this year, and it was when I did not soften the cream cheese enough.  If I am wrong about why the little clumps of cheesecake are still there, I am sorry, and if you know the other reason that it would leave these clumps, I would like to know.  But that is my best guess.  

Anyways, once you have it all mixed, pour it into your pan with the crust.  Did, I mention that you will want something like a 3-4 inch tall pan.  This is a thick cheesecake.  

Now for the moment of truth.  Cheesecakes crack.  It seems like you can do everything right and they still crack.  Some people think they are supposed to crack, but they are not.  I make it my goal to not have any cracks in a season.  After nearly 10 cheesecakes in December and January, I only cracked one.  So here is how I keep them from cracking, as best I can.  

Fill a pan with hot water and place it in the bottom of your oven.  Since you are using a spring form pan, you cannot put the cake in the water but you can put it above, and there will still be plenty of moisture in the oven to help with the cake.

Bake the cake in a 300 degree oven for about an hour, or until the middle has set up.  The edges are usually slightly brown, I haven't figured out how to stop that.  Once the middle is set up, (and don't shake the cake too much) open the door for about a minute, to let out some heat.  Also turn your oven off.  Then shut the door again and allow the cake to cool very slowly for another hour or more.  You have to cool them very slowly.  Once they are cool enough to take out without oven mits, take it out and set it on the counter.  Let it cool some more, and then stick it in the fridge.  The counter part may be a little much, but I hate the cracks. 

Let it chill in the fridge and then cut it and eat it.  You will love it.  

If you don't want to make one, let me know, I can make one for you.  Only 15 bucks.  You will thank me for it, but it will be a great reward to make it yourself.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Websites, Shopping, and Cheesecake

Man, it has been awhile since posting anything here, and for that I am sorry. I have actually started two seperate posts but have quit them half way through and never finished. I think that I am just a little uninspired at the moment. Maybe it is the weather. So maybe I will give you a few random thoughts about a cool website that I found, and some other things.

First, I happened on a website called Chowhound. The address is For a very long time I have looked at sites like and, and they have come in handy a whole bunch of times. But when looking at those sites I never really get isnpired to do anything other than the recipe that I am looking for anyways. That and I can't help but sometimes think that the site is just geared towards all of the stay-at-home moms and the women of the home cooking world that it doesn't always pertain to me in the way that I would like.

That is why I think is such a cool site. It has forums that are written by people that actually cook and enjoy good food. Not people that are looking for different ingredients to add to their stovetop macaroni, and think that they are at the top of culinary masterhood. Though as a side, I too love stove top macaroni, and still make it. But the site gives some inspiration and a longing to go and try some new things. So anyways that is a new website that I found that I thought I would share about.

The only other thing that I can think of that I really want to tell you about is my struggle for a decent place to buy groceries. First, let me tell you how much I HATE Walmart. Long lines in the check out aisles aside, they have the worst produce, (if they have the produce you want), the largest people taking up the most amount of aisle space as they can while they talk to their other large friend (that is a rant for another time). And forget it if you are looking for something that you may not find on every grocery store in America. For instance, Panko bread crumbs. Panko bread crumbs are a little different then the traditional ones that you see everywhere (I won't get into how), but a lot of recipes call for them. And frankly, they are just better than the other breadcrumbs. But do you think Walmart carries them. Not my Walmart. I HATE Walmart. That is just one example of many. Plus their micro brew selection is nearly if not all non-existent. I HATE Walmart.

Unfortunately where I live it is an hour and a half to the nearest "gourmet" grocery store, like Whole foods or something like that so I have to make do with what I have. But luckily, within 45 minutes, and even closer from work is a Meijer. Now I know that these are not in many places besides Indiana, and I know that they closely resemble the style of a Walmart. But let me tell you that the selections of produce and meats and seafoods and standard grocery items is so far above and beyond that of stupid Walmart. They have tons of stuff and I love going in there just to get ideas of things to make. So thank you Meijer for being a good grocery store, even if you have all of that other crap in your store as well.

But even as much as I am glad to have a Meijer, i still long for a Trader Joe's, or a Whole Foods that I could do my shopping. You people that live close to them should consider yourselves lucky and take advantage of the food that they have to offer.

Well that is all for this post. I got interupted twice while typing by the phone, and I am not proof reading, so if my thoughts just seem to trail off, or there are huge errors in typing sorry. Now I have to go make a cheesecake.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recent Dinner Party

Last weekend I had a great opportunity to do a dinner for around 20 people.  Thanks to my friends Chuck and Becka, who were running a B&B for a few weeks while the regular caretakers were on vacation, they invited around 20 people who they knew for a dinner for me to cater.  Chuck and Becka are the couple that had me do a dinner back in June for their board of directors, it sure is great getting repeat business!!!

Anyways, I did this dinner in much of the same fashion, of serving different courses.  I really enjoy doing it this way, as you can use a little portion control and you can really strive to make the plate look beautiful before taking it to them.  And while plate presentation can be really hard to pull off when you are really trying to get a plate out of the door to a guest while the food is still hot, I think we did OK.  And another thing that we had confirmed was that taking pictures of food can be really hard to do, so I hope any pictures that we have do justice.

You always have to make due with what equipment you have and what kind of space you have to work with, and each dinner presents it's own challenges.  So you might not be able to pull off every little nuance that you want to to make the plate look just like you want, but no matter what, the flavor is there, and that may be what really matters.  Pleasing the guy that only wants basic meat and potatoes, and if it isn't basic will just eat potato chips because he doesn't want to offend his simple palate, means it is a success when he comes to tell you how good everything was.  That is always my goal.  And I think this dinner was a success. 

The first course was one new appetizer, and a familiar one.  I made clams casino, on a crostini instead of the actual clam shell.  (We are in northern Indiana, and I think more people will eat off of bread than they will a shell).  And I also made a roasted feta appetizer where I toasted Pita bread, placed on a slice of feta and then a mixture of roasted red peppers and kalamata olives, then broiled them for a few minutes to melt everything together.  It was a very good little bite of food, and makes a great dip if you make a large quantity all together and just serve it with pita chips or something similar to dip it with.

The second course was Caprese salad.  I have done this before, but I was a little hesitant because of being winter, and tomatoes not really being in season any more, but I think that it was still good.  In this picture, you can see Chuck and I plating the salads.  Unfortunately, we did not have very good bowls for the salad, and they kind of got swallowed up by the size of the bowl, but like I said you make due with what you have, and some day I will be able to buy my own dishes.

The main course consisted Pork tenderloin with a Chimichurri, roasted New Potatoes with a garlic aioli, and green beans with tomato concasse, which is a fancy french word for chopped tomatoes.  (There may be more to the word, but it doesn't need explained here).  A big unfortunate was that we did not get a picture of the entree plate, but there are some pictures of the pork as it was being cut up.

And finally for dessert I made Port and Ginger poached pears.  After poaching the pears I reduced the poaching liquid into a syrup and that topped this dessert.  I also used a different type of pear, (I wish I could remember the name right now, it started with an "S"), it was a very small pear which visually I thought was really cool, and was something that people were not used to seeing.  I also really like to use seasonal fruit with desserts, as I think that it is something that people are not always expecting, and I think that it was the perfect cap to this dinner.  Again, big bowls make for a small looking dessert, but it was just the right size.

I am looking forward to doing another dinner this Friday for a wedding rehearsal.  I will be doing some pastas and other items for this group, and I am excited about getting to make some "basic" food in some really cool ways.  My brother will be helping me with this one, and it will be cool to be able to work with him, and have him be a part of a really good meal for a lot of people that he knows.  They will thank him for it. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Risotto....I don't know...

Ok, so I know that I said I was going to be doing recipes for the average cooker.  Recipes for anyone that can boil water, or at least knows how to cut a potato, or cook a noodle.  So at first glance, or read I guess, this dish may seem a little daunting.  It takes a lot of work, and maybe some ingredients that you wouldn't have around the house all the time, but it is worth it, and it isn't hard, just work.  So why even put this post on here if the average reader isn't going to try it?(Sorry if I am giving some of you to little credit)  But I am putting it on here because every time that I make it, Lynsey and I just want to curl up on the couch with a big bowl full of risotto and eat until we are stuffed.  It is a serious comfort food that I never even knew of and I am sure that so many of you may not know of.  So if you are up to it, try it.  I will tell you how it is traditionally done, and also how I do it.  Also, if you are to afraid, there are recipes out there that are so called "quick" recipes.  I have never tried them, but you can find them on the sites that I have linked here.

Anyways, lets get on with it.  Risotto starts with the rice.  What makes the risotto what it is, is the starch from the rice, brought out in the way that it is cooked.  So to make real risotto you need to start with Arborio rice.  This is a shorter grained rice with a higher starch content.  I only tell you this because you do not want to try and make this with the white rice that you have sitting in a bag that you never use, or the rice that only takes a minute to cook.  You will not be pleased and you will think that I am an idiot.  More and more places are caring Arborio rice, but not everywhere.  To be sure you will find it at places like Whole Foods, or Trader Joe's, but even Kroger or Marsh may carry it.  This is the main ingredient that you will have to seek out.  But it is worth it, I promise.

I like to make my risotto with carrots and sometimes peas.  I also almost always eat it with chicken, so I am going to tell you how to make it this way.  I will also give you the optional things that I do, but you don't have to.

2 tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 Onion, small dice
1 Carrot, small dice (optional)
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2-1 cup White wine (sort of optional)
4 cups chicken broth
Saffron threads, in chicken broth (totally optional)
1/4-1/2 cup peas (optional)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt/Pepper to taste

First, heat olive oil in a saucepan and saute onions and carrots.  Season with salt.  Add rice to pot and stir to coat rice with oil, and lightly brown.  Add white wine just to cover the rice.  (This is where the work starts.  Also, if you don't have white wine on hand, which I don't always have, just start with the chicken broth).  At this point you will want to stir the rice almost continuously .  Stir the rice, until almost all of the liquid has been cooked out of the pot.  Once the liquid is cooked down, add more broth, just to cover the rice.  Continue stirring the rice, again, until almost all liquid has been cooked off.  You will repeat this process about four times.  Once the rice is nearly completely cooked, add your peas.  They do not take long to cook, so that is why you add them at the end.  When rice is cooked add your parmesan and stir in.  Also adjust seasoning to your liking.

I said I almost always have it with chicken as well.  To make the chicken, I just cook a boneless breast in olive oil in a separate skillet and add it to the rice on my plate.  There may be a way to do it with the chicken actually cooked with the rice, but that is not the way I know to do it.

I don't know if my instructions are clear enough to give you a good picture of how to make this, but I hope so.  It is so good, and I mean it, put it in a bowl, and curl up on the couch with your special someone and watch a good movie with some good rice.  Here are some pictures.  However, this time it is on a plate just for a picture, but I would rather have it in a bowl.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Yep that's right noodles.  Let me explain.  I was sick over the weekend and wasn't really in the mood for anything too exciting.  The night that I started getting sick we made spaghetti.  (The spaghetti had nothing to do with it).  I always seem to make either too little or too much when it comes to the pasta.  That night I was on the too much end, so I stuck the leftover plain pasta in a baggie and put it in the fridge for later. Now back to the part about being sick.

I decided that since we had the noodles left over in the fridge and I didn't really want anything with a "lot" of flavor I would heat up the pasta and eat it.  Of course, I could not just eat plain noodles; I had to throw some seasoning in it.  And this is what I did.  Oh and by the way, Lynsey and I just got done eating the same meal again for supper tonight.  (Not because I am still sick though :)

First, cook your noodles.  I like Angel Hair, or Vermicelli for this meal.  When your noodles are done, drain them, put them in a bowl and take a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and splash it over the noodles.  Then take a pinch of good sea salt (if you don't have sea salt, stop reading right now, go to the store and get some good sea salt, seriously that iodized crap isn't good enough to melt the ice on my sidewalk)....(actually that is true, that salt is not good for melting the ice on your sidewalk, it can damage your concrete)....sorry.  Anyways, take a pinch of good sea salt and sprinkle it on the pasta along with some parmesan cheese.  Now I will not tell you that you have to use freshly grated parmesan, but that is what I did, and honestly I don't think I would eat this meal if it was the green canned parmesan.  Also, if you have a little dried basil, or fresh if it is the right time of year, sprinkle a little on.  Mix all together and eat.  

Now remember what I said about not having a "lot" of flavor?  Well I was wrong, it was delicious.  And maybe it did not have flavor exploding out of it like maybe....hmmmm....well whatever you can think of that has a lot of flavor, but it was good and so so simple.  

So next time you are wondering what to have for dinner and you are feeling really bummed because you have no food in the pantry because the economy is in turmoil, and grocery prices have risen drastically, and the talking heads on TV want you to believe that our lives are going to be better than they have ever been because we are getting a new savior...uh I mean president, but you don't put your faith in government, and you aren't waiting for the next handout so that they can keep you on their leash but still don't have any ingredients with which to make dinner, remember this meal.  Chances are you will always be able to afford some noodles.