Friday, December 18, 2009

The Twelve Days of Spaghetti

On the first day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
A dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the second day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the third day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Four plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Five high school friends
four plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Six jars of red sauce
five high school friends
four plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the seventh day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Seven bowls of noodles
six jars of red sauce
five high school friends
four plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the eighth day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Eight smiling toddlers
seven bowls of noodles
six jars of red sauce
five high school friends
four plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the ninth day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Nine kids playing dress ups
eight smiling toddlers
seven bowls of noodles
six jars of red sauce
five high school friends
four plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the tenth day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Ten helpful teens
nine kids playing dress ups
eight smiling toddlers
seven bowls of noodles
six jars of red sauce
five high school friendsf
our plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the eleventh day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Eleven late arrivals (highway closed all day, couldn't be helped)
ten helpful teens
nine kids playing dress ups
eight smiling toddlers
seven bowls of noodles
six jars of red sauce
five high school friends
four plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

On the twelfth day of spaghetti, Well Read Hostess sent to me
Twelve times the joy
eleven late arrivals (highway closed all day, couldn't be helped)
ten helpful teens
nine kids playing dress ups
eight smiling toddlers
seven bowls of noodles
six jars of red sauce
five high school friends
four plates of cookies (most of which I ate myself)
three wine boxes
two birthday cakes
and a dog who ate a Christmas tree.

Today's history lesson:

On or sort of around this day in 2008, I was feeling a little stressed, apparently. As you can read about HERE.

Also, the "Twelve Days of Christmas" refers to the time between Christmas and the epiphany, which marks the day that one is struck by the sudden realization that her pants no longer fit her after eating Christmas cookies and chocolates for two weeks straight. A common myth about the lyrics to this song is that each of the items sent to "me" on the twelve days symbolizes a biblical or religious principle or event. For example, 11 Pipers Piping refers to the eleven faithful apostles. Snopes says otherwise, and frankly, it does seem like a bit of stretch to equate French hens with the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday gatherings

Me and my peeps enjoyed a potluck dinner last night.  Kind of a Wednesday Spaghetti on a Friday and without the spaghetti.  We also made a list of restaurants we will be going to each month for the next six months!  Then we get to enjoy our gatherings with someone else cooking and cleaning up.

I made the following salad for the potluck.  It was delicious and I came home with an empty bowl.  It would be a great salad any time of the year, but it really seems appropriate for fall.


4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, preferably red, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili, such as jalapeno
1 clove garlic, peeled
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups cooked black beans, drained (canned are fine)
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes and onions on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on the corners and are just tender inside, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven; keep on pan until ready to mix with dressing.

Put chilies in a blender or mini food processor along with garlic, lime juice, the remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Process until blended.

Put warm vegetables in a large bowl with beans and bell pepper; toss with dressing and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day.

Serves 4

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spaghetti Family

Last night, as Wednesday Spaghetti was winding down, we were in the kitchen finishing off the wine and picking at the leftover dessert crumbs, and one of my neighbors remarked, "Wednesday Spaghetti feels like being at your favorite cousin's house. Everybody is just being themselves and kids are running around and it's so comfortable."

When I think about what I want to give my children most, it's the opportunity to make and share the memories that will sustain them now and for the rest of their lives. I don't think I knew, even just a few years ago, how one's family grows. Or maybe more accurately, how many opportunities, even those that come out of a box of noodles and a jar of the cheapest sauce on the shelf, there can be to grow that family.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Potato Soup and a snowy day in October!!

So now that we are on the home stretch of football ( last official game is this weekend with the SuperBowl next weekend...) I am hoping to get back into the swing of cooking not only for my family but for my friends. And boy are they ready. As I have said.. I have some friends who dont do alot of cooking so when I cook they really seem to enjoy it or atleast they tell me they do!

I have using the Crock Pot alot lately ( with getting out of the house before 8am every morning and not getting home til after 5, then heading off right away to Football... by the time 8:00pm rolls around the last thing I want to do it cook.)
This past Sunday we snuggled in to watch The Patriots ( hey, I live in Mass) and believe it or not it was snowing. Already. Yup.

So I tried out this great recipe I got online from my bloggy friend Ace. Check it out. Its a great warm dish in the winter and is pretty cheap to make so you can make a ton...

Potato Soup

Oyster Crackers

Cut potatoes in chunks. Cut onion into slices or chunks. Boil both together til tender. Dump out most of the water, leaving enough to cover the potatoes slightly. In a separate container ( with cover) I mixed Flour with milk and seasoning until thin. I added this mixture to the potatoes and lightly mixed. I did leave some of the potatoes a little chunky but you can mash to your desired consistency. I then seasoned again with salt, pepper and garlic salt. I cooked on medium heat, stirring often for another 15 minutes or so.
When done, garnish with crackers, cheese, bacon bits... whatever you want. Be careful not to use too much flour otherwise the whole soup will taste like flour. Just enough to thicken up the broth.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009



We were very tired, we were very merry--
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable--
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on the hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.
We were very tired, we were very merry--
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.
We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and the pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.
---Edna St. Vincent Millay

Playroom before Tuesday Wednesday Spaghetti

Playroom after Tuesday Wednesday Spaghetti

I offer up these pictures not to say, "Holy crap, and you should see the rest of the house." Rather, to show that people came over, ate some dinner, and their kids played happily while grownups visited and talked.
Some people brought food to share, some people didn't, some people came straight from work, some people came straight from soccer practice, some people brought friends, some people brought their friends' kids, some people ate spaghetti with sauce, some people ate spaghetti plain. One thing I heard more than a few times was, "Are you crazy to do this?" It felt really good to be able to say, with complete candor, "Maybe, but it wasn't hard and it doesn't stress me out." The idea of 50 people in your house on a Tuesday evening eating pasta and red sauce (from a jar, thanks, it's not gourmet night Chez WRH) sounds overwhelming, and maybe even a little crazy. But it's not. I shoved a lot of junk in drawers and closets and I swept and I will totally admit to mopping the floor behind the toilet in the kids' bathroom because I have a son and, well, AIM, CHILD. I boiled water and I bought paper plates. There are some dishes still in my sink today, but that's not unusual for midweek.
It is, I realize, an exercise in self-improvement and a bit of therapy for me to do this Wednesday Spaghetti thing. LOOK, you can not lose your mind at the thought of people seeing the dust elephants bunnies in corners. LOOK, you don't need to pull out all the culinary stops to impress anybody. LOOK, your life might be crowded and cluttered but you can maintain friendships. LOOK, kids are meant to get together and play dress up and make noise and jump on the furniture. LOOK, you are doing it. LOOK, you are happy. LOOK, you might not be changing the world and saving humanity and making a million dollars and becoming a household name in anybody's household but your own, but LOOK, you are OK.We were very, very merry and the apples and pears have never tasted better.
This post also appears at Well Read Hostess
*Thanks ATS for ESVM

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Folly of Enthusiasm

The pace of our collective life chez WRH is, uh, shall we say, "brisk." So brisk in fact that TWGH has thrown his back out for the second time in a month and by 5 pm my voice is so shrill and whiny that it could shatter glass.

School year demands on teacher and students and Carpool Dad, three soccer teams between two kids, ballet, family obligations, new puppy, PTO meetings, volunteer responsibilities, mandatory back-to-school colds, you know. The usual.

The safe bet would be to keep everything humming along without any unnecessary interruption. Stick to the schedule, go with the flow, eyes on the prize, fake it 'til you make it, hum hum hum. No surprises, everything planned and routine.

I'm doubling down on What Are You Thinking, Woman?!!

I have to. I tried not to. I went all September without a Wednesday Spaghetti. October began and I looked at the calendar and I realized that there was no good day to do a Wednesday Spaghetti until at least mid-December. So, What Are You Thinking, Woman?!!

What this woman is thinking is that two hours with friends and neighbors, sharing a simple meal, no matter what state the house is in, that the dog isn't fully housebroken, that my daughter will still be wearing her clothes from ballet that afternoon, and that my husband might come late to his own house for dinner because of a work meeting, is too necessary to forgo.

Maintaining the connections that sustain us is as important as the sustenance delivered in spaghetti form.

Lora, founding mother of Wednesday Spaghetti, has this vision of people across the country beginning their own Wednesday Spaghetti traditions, modified by whatever fancy strikes and to meet the needs of a diverse many. Is it folly to think that something so simple could nudge us back to a place where we remember what matters? Not just on Wednesdays (or Tuesdays), but every day?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's getting colder...

Cold weather means one thing in my house - time to get out the crockpot!  Here is a very easy and delicious recipe that seems to please the palates of all age groups!

2 to 21/2 pounds pork loin or tenderloin, trimmed of all visable fat
1 large carrot, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 jar (12 oz) all natural barbecue sauce (I use Gates)
8 whole wheat hamburger buns

Add all the ingredients, except buns (that would be just gross!) to crock pot. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. When the meat is tender, remove from sauce and shred using 2 forks. Place
the meat back in the crock pot, and mix with the sauce.

This recipe is good with:

1/3 cup light canola mayo
3T cider Vinegar
3T maple syrup
1/2 t. salt
1 bag (16oz) coleslaw mix
3/4 c. dried cranberries

Whisk mayo, vinegar, maple syrup and salt into large bowl until smooth. Add the coleslaw mix and cranberries and gently blend. Serve right away or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fun Autumn Recipe for WS

Now that our hectic summer is over, I am hoping to get back on board with Wednesday Spaghetti. So last night I tried out a new recipe on my family in preparation for WS. I really enjoyed it and with a lot of prepared ingredients- it's really simple.

Cheese Ravioli with Pumpkin Maple Sage Sauce

1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo Sauce (I used Buitoni)
1/2 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin (I used slightly more since I love that flavor)
1 tablespoon sage (I had to use ground since I had no fresh available)
Refrigerated or frozen Four Cheese Ravioli
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons chopped green onion

Cook wine and onion in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Stir in sauce, pumpkin, syrup and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving cup cooking water. Stir reserved water into sauce; toss with pasta. Sprinkle with green onion. Season with ground black pepper.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fashionista Food - Sinful Chocolate Pots ;)

Hey y'all ;) I have been super into cooking lately (could it be the new kitchen, or maybe it's the creativity inside of me needing to be unleashed... none the less, Vlad has been very happy about this recent development), and wanted to share this SUPER easy, super indulgent chocolate recipe with you... it will truly make your friends gasp when you show up to a dinner party/BBQ with these little luxuries in your arm ;) ... or even just a night in with your closest friends or lova... EVERYBODY loves chocolate!

So, this recipe is brought to you by the brilliant Jamie Oliver... oh Jamie... *sigh* such a beautiful man... My aunt actually gave me his cook book "The Naked Chef Takes Off" and it is the only one yet that has actually gotten me to get off my lazy ass and try a few of the insanely tasty recipes. Jamie... to get through to ME - YOU are a genius!

Here is what you'll need
serves 4

(I doubled my recipe to keep some in the fridge for me... uhhhhh I mean guests...)
  • 1 cup light cream (I used 10%)
  • 7oz best-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)... I used Bakers Semisweet Chocolate for a not-too bitter taste
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons brandy, the best you can get (I used Chemineaud and bought the little samplers you can get at your liquor store... so much better than splurging on a bottle of alchie you wont ever drink, plus they are something like $2.00! Ummm... hells yeah!)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons butter
  • cookie wafers, fresh fruit... whatever you would like to garnish your finished product with
  • Espresso cups, shot glasses, ramekins... (I used Asian teacups for mine - less is more... this recipe is VERY rich and better with just a taste)

That's it! Lets get rolling...

So first you are going to take your cup of cream and bring it to a boil in your nice big pot...

While you are waiting for the cream to come to a boil (stirring occasionally so that it doesn't burn... and YES, cream CAN burn...), take your two eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. This can be done easily by cracking the shell in half and tipping the egg whites over the shell while keeping the yolk in. If you need to, use a fork to block the egg yolk from falling out :)

Your yolks should look like this (free from the whites). Don't throw out the egg whites!!! You can make a great omelet with that for breakfast tomorrow morning...

Did you know?
The smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation.

On to the yummy stuff...
Once your cream has come to a full boil, remove your pot and set it aside to cool for about a minute... then, you will be stirring in your chocolate!!!

Unwrap 7oz worth of your chocolate (Bakers Chocolate is great for that because they come pre-wrapped in 1oz squares - 7 squares = 7 ounces = easy math = happy Robyn :)

Start stirring those suckers in....

Did you know?
Mexican healers use chocolate to treat bronchitis and insect bites.

As the chocolate melts slowly while you stir it will change into a beautiful chocolate brown... above is the look of the "halfway point".

Blame it on the A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-ALCOHOL! (Just HAD to make a T-pain reference... HAD to)... get out that brandy baby! Once your chocolate is all melted in and whisked to creamy perfection, it's time to add some flavorful booze!

So go ahead and add those 3 tablespoons of brandy to your pot of chocolate...

... mix it up... and let it cool down for a few more minutes (don't rush into the next step, as adding the butter when the chocolate is too warm will make it split... soooo... blast some music, do a little dance... have some fun and come back to it in five)

Did you know?
The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat which may raise good cholesterol.

Alright... once you've given it some time to chill, go ahead and add in your butter - stirring occasionally until it is all melted and smooth!

Taste test! Hey... you gotta make sure it's edible right?

Next, you are ready to pour them into your little cups! I used a soup server looking spoon thing to fill them up (don't worry too much about making a mess on the sides... it is about what's on the INSIDE that counts... am I right ladies?)

Did you know?
Chocolate increases antioxidant levels in the blood.

Place your little lovelies in your fridge for a good 20 min to solidify a bit...

... then take them out and decorate! I used cookie wafers and fresh strawberries (they are deliciously in season right now... and strawberries and chocolate... well... could there be a better match?!?!)

Did you know?
Cacao, the source of chocolate, contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay. Of course, this is counteracted by the high sugar content of milk chocolate.

Here is my beautiful creation! And let me tell you... it is SINFULLY delicious ;)

Bonne Appetit!

Football Season is upon us!!

So I have been ultra busy lately. With summer, travel, work and now Football season has started ( for my 7 yr old) I haven't been doing WS like I intended. I miss it.
This time last year, Wednesday was actually a day that I would put together a quick meal for my family and have some of the other football players and their families over for dinner before practice. I am at my best when I have a full house and am entertaining. I also really like to cook!
I was working until 3, then I would come home, prepare dinner and we would gather outside on the deck, kids in the kitchen at the island or in the living room, sprawled out and chowing down, mostly on Spaghetti and meatballs and fresh salad from our local farm stand.
Then there would be a tornado as the dad's rushed to get the boys into uniforms and out the door while the moms and siblings helped me clean up and then we would hit Dunkin's for coffee and off to the field we would go.
I miss that terribly.
Now I am working until 5 and barely have enough time to grab a soda and change out of my work clothes in a mad dash for the practice field!

So look forward to some WS pics and posts from me, um... lets see... maybe in November when the season lets up!
Just kiddin! I plan to have everyone over on a Wednesday soon, just might be after practice this year!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wednesday Spaghetti-like

I am having a Wednesday Spaghetti-like event on Wednesday.  I belong to a national moms group called Mothers & More and we are having a gathering to meet some our newer members.  I will not be serving an entire meal, but mostly appetizers, desserts and drinks.  Here's one recipe I will be serving.  My neighbor has a gzillion fresh tomatoes.  So many she doesn't know what to do with them all so I kindly offered to take some off of her hands. YUM - fresh, off the vine tomatoes, free of chemicals.  Now if I could just make my own cheese... 

My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

4 large tomatoes
2 cups mozzarella cheese
8-10 leaves fresh basil
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar (optional)
  1. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella cheese same thickness.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, alternating in a circle around a decorative serving dish.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil (and balsamic vinegar if desired).
  4. Serve with salt and pepper to individual taste.
 Since I am serving it as an appetizer, I will be surrounding the salad with bread to look like this.
Bon Appetite!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wednesday Spaghetti on the weekend

A friend of mine is lucky enough to have her house to herself this weekend.  Her husband is on a guy's trip and her son is visiting the grandparents.  She decided to have a girls sleepover to celebrate!  And as it turns out, my husband is gone for the weekend and my kids are going to the grandparents for a visit.  This works out perfectly.  So five or so of us are getting together for dinner, drinks, desserts and then movies at her house along with late night giggling and no sleep.  Ok, some of the five will sleep, but I am a night owl and will probably be the last one standing.

We probably won't have spaghetti, but the spirit of Wednesday Spaghetti will be alive and well!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Being Real in the Momosphere

I've been reading about the call to keyboard for authentic writing in the momosphere for the first week of August. It seems there are camps forming with two distinct themes. One is that being courted by businesses with a variety of giveaway goodies for the purpose of honest assessment and word of blog publicity is a good thing for women who blog. It's like having a "big girl" job. The other pov laments the takeover of real dialogue, deep thoughts, shared beliefs and community in favor of poorly written drivel and arguably deceptive posts.

My eyes hurt from all the rolling.

Most of the commercial mom blogs I read, or have skimmed, are businesses. And there is nothing wrong with a blogger taking advantage of the commerciality of their work. The net is the last frontier as far as low cost start-ups go and more power to you if you can convince someone to pay you for doing something you enjoy.

But here is the problem I have. These women, as far as I can tell, aren't getting paid. They are taking stuff. Maybe they sell it later on eBay to recoup expenses for their time and maybe not, but since when did "stuff" constitute a living? And when a blogger is willing (and plenty seem to be) to be compensated in goods what happens to the writers/bloggers who would rather have cash? I mean, not every mommy blogger has a daddy paycheck earner to take care of the pesky expenses, and last I heard, the people who hold your mortgage aren't keen on barter.

Here's the other thing that doesn't compute for me. How are we a community, or cyber friends even, when you are writing to convince me to buy things. That's almost as annoying as the friend who takes up Pampered Chef or Mary Kay or sex toy parties because now our friendship is threatened by an unspoken coercion that involves me feeling obligated to buy and you needing me to buy in order to maintain the flow of freebies and advertising. And now I am not a "dear reader" or a friend but rather a customer.

The bloggers at Momdot want moms to blog authentically for the first week of August. To just shut down the PR (it's unclear to me if this includes all the ads in the sidebars which make pages load so slowly) and get back to basics. Which begs the question of what a mom is to do if she began blogging simply to milk the cash cow but that is a call for others to decide.

Some are not really down with this. They are proud of the businesses they have built and rightfully so. If you are blogging for profit and are good at it and your "friends" are totally cool with funding you, the fact that it is a quasi-ponzi scheme shouldn't be an issue.

More and more I am uncomfortable in the momosphere. I have always been clear on the fact that I began blogging for me and it continues to be "all about me" which is probably too boring for most. And I am totally rethinking my connections with mom grogging because I am not allowed to be utterly me and write about women issues, wants, dreams, dilemmas, only some of which are mom-oriented. At my age, why should I care what companies think I need or should want? They are only interested in my money and will shill and wheedle and flatter their souls away to sell it to me. Their power? Lies in my willingness to buy and in someone else's willingness to sell themselves cheaply enough to promote it to me.

I just don't understand taking crap as payment - and if I have to dust, store, or pick it up and move it from one place to another - it's crap. It's like the white traders in the early days of North America buying land and goods from Native Americans with glass beads and cutlery. I don't remember who wrote this, maybe it was Konrath, but the sincerest form of flattery for a writer, and I think blogging counts as writing, is a paycheck, and if you aren't doing your bit to promote the idea of money as currency for writers than you are not a writer and you are hurting real writers with your posing. You are kind of like scabs who cross picket lines, under-cutting the common good for selfish gain.

"But I am feeding my family!"

Really? With movie passes and WiiFit?

We (and when I say "we", I mean "you") will always be ghetto-ized as Mommybloggers so long as the majority of us are mesmerized by the sprinkles tossed our way like bootie shaped confetti decorating a table cloth at a baby shower. We will not be taken seriously as a group or a force. And the sad thing is - we (and by "we" I mean "all women") could be a force if our more prominent members weren't so content to be stereotypes.

A Yummy Dish!

This is a great salad to bring to a potluck. With the chicken, it could actually be a main dish. I often leave out the chicken and use fresh mushrooms in it's place.

Pecan, Chicken and Wild Rice Salad

INGREDIENTS for Dressing:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 cup wild rice
4 cups chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon
2 whole chicken breasts, cooked
1 bunch green onions, minced
6 to 8 ounces snow peas, trimmed
2 ripe avocados, chopped
1 cup pecan pieces, toasted

For the dressing, combine the vinegar, oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and sugar in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to mix.

For the salad, combine the wild rice, stock and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until tender; drain. Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Combine the dressing, rice, chicken, green onions and snow peas in a bowl 2 hours prior to serving and mix well. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator. Add the avocados and pecans just before serving and mix gently.

SERVES: 6 - 8

Under the Influence

Thursday, July 9, 2009

anybody else swimming in basil about now?
me too.

I boiled some penne, and topped it with about 17000 torn up basil leaves, olive oil, a tiny bit of seasoning.

Secret ingredient?


I put nutmeg on all my green leafies, I don't know why I never thought about adding it to basil. Just a dash, or is it a pinch? Whichever is smaller.

I have regular old Corelle dishes. I filled a bowl up about quarter ways with the basil, topped it until it was half full of oil, added salt and pepper and garlic and bit of nutmeg and let that soak an hour or so.

If you are one of the WedSpaghers who've been to my house, you know about Ricotta Salata. That's the cheese I slice up and serve with honey mixed with McCormack Italian Seasoning Grinder stuff.
I shredded the Ricotta Salata and mixed it with parmesan and put that on top.

So incredible

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday Spaghetti in New England

I am back from a long needed (albeit rainy) vacation and ready for my spaghetti. My lovely friend, Lesley, invited me to her house tonight for dinner so I am very excited to not cook or clean! I had her over a few weeks back for WS, so she is returning the favor tonight. All I have to do is show up with some bread... easy cheesy. I am only taking one kid along (the oldest quietest one) so that I can kick back and relax a little. That doesn't happen often for me, so I am unusually elated for a pasta dinner.

I am looking forward to laughter, chatting, joking and maybe a few bites of pasta (this is not good for my diet, but I will let some bonding time get in the way of my need to get into a bathing suit any time soon.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Once again, I find myself unable to keep up with the followers and commenters here at Wednesday Spaghetti! This is amazing!

Please don't be shy.
All are welcome to join the blog and join us in our WedSpags!
Just ask.
Feel free to steal the logo at the top of the page as a button for your blog.

There are no real rules. You don't ever have to post, or you can post when ever you would like. I do ask that you do not promote your main blog here, but you will be listed in the sidebar and of course you are more than welcome to visit all the blogs there and introduce yourself to the WedSpaghers, and comments are welcome on every post. You may link to your main blog in your post or place a hyperlink or button at the end of your post but this is more about food and friends and family and fun more than it is about upping your subscription count.

This coming from a girl who loves to watch her numbers go up...

If you would like to join the blog, please send me an email at or leave a comment here.

If you have already joined but you're not listed in the sidebar, let me know and I'll get you there immediately. Most of us have more than one blog, and you are welcome to have more than one listed there. I promise I have not excluded any for content, but I have found myself behind on linking. Plus there was that one time when I was Spagging on company time and I hit X rather than Save.

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Wednesday Spaghetti with a twist

I'm thinking as much as I LOVE spaghetti, your guests might get a little tired of the same ol' spaghetti dinner each week. So here is a delicious recipe that is "spaghetti like" but not officially spaghetti. This is an easy recipe and the sauce can be made ahead of time. Wait to add the cream and parmesan until you are getting ready to cook the pasta and reheat the sauce.

Linguine with Vodka Tomato Sauce
2 tblsp. Olive oil
3 tblsp. Butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 can 28oz. Plum tomatoes (I usually used crushed tomatoes)
1 tsp. Dried basil
1/8 tsp. Red pepper flakes
½ cup vodka
½ cup whipping cream
¼ cup parmesan
12 oz. Linguine, cooked

Combine olive oil and butter in large pan. Sauté onion and garlic. Add tomatoes, basil, red pepper and vodka. Simmer about 10 minutes or until sauce is reduced. Add cream and simmer about 5 minutes. Add parmesan and combine with pasta.

And if you are looking for a family friendly dessert, try this one. I posted it not too long ago at Moms without Blogs. You can mix things up by changing the flavors of the ice cream and/or the flavors of the oreos. Yum!

· 1/2 gal vanilla ice cream, softened
· 12 oz Cool Whip
· 2 pkgs of Oreos, you will have some left over

For the crust, crush 45 Oreos and mix with 1/2 cup melted butter. Press into bottom and sides of 9x13 pan. For the filling, mix together the softened ice cream, the Cool Whip, and 30 Oreos broken into small pieces. Pour the filling over the crust and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight. You will probably have some filling left over, which I pour into cups and freeze and it is like a DQ Blizzard.

Under the Influence

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Alright... so it isn't spaghetti, but...

So, I always make dinner for my little family (My Babe & pug), and this particular night I caught it on tape... I think this was on Thursday...

Here is a condensed version of my sketchy (but very yummy) cooking :)

Souvlaki pita sticks (much better when done on the BBQ, but hey... I'm an apartment goer so these were made in the frying pan)... with smashed potatoes!!! mmmmmmm.... oh, and a nice big bottle of Pellegrino to wash it all down... bubbly :)

Easiest salad for a tomato lover - just cut up the ripest one you can find, season it with sea salt and some herbs, then douse it in an oriental flavoured salad dressing (so creamy, soooo good - cuts the acidity of the tomato a bit).

Babe here, packing 'em down ;)

Pug here sat in for me in this pic... she later had her own plate. This is what it's all about isn't it... just sharing some good food with the people in your life (yes, I DO consider pug to be a person)...

... and the mess that is still waiting for me in the kitchen... *I am rather bad when it comes to cleaning up, even though I do it eventually anyways*

Happy Fathers Day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Very First Wednesday Spaghetti!!!

I have happily jumped on the bandwagon known as Wednesday Spaghetti!!!

Tonight was our first foray into the wonderful idea and tradition that is Wednesday Spaghetti, and I have posted a full recount on my blog, Seriously. No. Seriously.

Here's a synopsis...

Tonight we had 9 friends for a pot of spaghetti with sauce and meatballs... some garlic bread... watermelon... freeze pops... ice cream... brownies... and some extra treats brought by our guests... and we had SUCH a nice night. The kids played, the adults ate, the hamster had a workout and we can't wait to do it again next week.

Thanks to our guests for what you brought, but also for coming! What a great success!

Connor & everyone helps clean up!

Liam jumping in a mud puddle & the kids looking for a snake!

Addie eating an ice cream & the "kids'" table!