Friday, October 1, 2010

Winding Down

As I write this, you find me sitting on my patio/deck/porch (not really sure the appropriate name of it in a first floor apartment) with a glass of wine in the dark with my puppy Peanut on the chair facing me. I can hear the people in the 2 apartments above since they have their sliding glass doors open as well. Two floors above me it sounds like a little kid is hitting something and then yelling after each slap. I can hear the mom speaking in another language to the child. Perhaps it is him getting spanked. Whatever the case may be, it is pretty irritating having to listen to it. Ah wait, now the sound of laughter. Nothing is more golden than the laughter of a child.
Across the parking lot (yes, I get to look out over the parking lot. lucky me, right?) someone has left their blinds open in their living room while they watch tv. From the looks of it they have a large screen tv....then again, who doesn't have a large-ish tv these days? I wonder what they are watching. Do they have kids? Are the kids in bed? Is it, instead, a family movie night and they are all gathered around snuggled together?
I didn't intend for this to be a post of "people watching" but it's kind of hard to live in an apartment complex and not notice each other at one point or another.
As anyone close to me could tell you, I aspire to be a chef/baker/I'll do it all. I have no formal training, and I doubt that I ever will. (it's a financial thing) But it doesn't make me sad. It makes me crave knowledge and seek it out wherever I can. So part of the reason for even starting this blog is to chronicle my journey to achieving my goal. Of course it will be baby steps, but they are steps in a forward direction and that is what counts.
I shared earlier today my failure, my first failure, with my usually wonderful pumpkin bread. Now a dinner success. For dinner I made Shepherd's Pie. I learned this one from my mom--it's always been my favorite thing she made me while growing up and it was always my birthday dinner request. But that is not the success I want to share. I also made an impromptu pasta for my husband since he can't eat corn (one of the 3 parts of the shepherd's pie).
   I started with half a box of medium shell pasta and cooked that for 8 minutes, then drained it. While it was draining in the sink, I threw into the pot 3 Tbsp butter, small drizzle of veggie oil, good squirt of spicy brown mustard, small squirt of lemon juice, dash of pepper, pinch of rubbed sage, and good sprinkling of salt and garlic powder and basil. I then tossed the pasta shells back in and tossed it all together then let it sit while on low to let the pasta finish cooking in the yummy sauce. I do this so that as the pasta finishes cooking, it will absorb some of the flavor of the sauce. Then, after it has been plated but just before serving, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top. Yum!
If anyone tries this recipe, and you should because it is a very quick dinner, I hope you enjoy it!

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