Dinner for a boring Wednesday

So I’ve always been a little obsessed with food. If you turn on my TV, the Food Network channel (or the Cooking channel) is almost always playing. I love going out to eat and trying new restaurants almost more than anything else. And I’m sure I look forward to each meal a little more than most non-obsessed food people do. Even when I am full I somehow manage to clean my plate and you better believe if for some reason I can’t finish what’s on my plate, I will be getting a takeaway bag for later (for a midnight snack or something). Side Note: This is my one qualm with countries outside the US – I love to travel, but I hate that I can’t ask for a takeaway bag, so I am forced to finish my meal at the restaurant, even though this is very rarely a problem anyway. I just happen to gain a lot of weight on vacations.

Obviously I’m addicted to food. But for some reason my love of eating doesn’t always translate to a love of cooking. Granted I have mastered a few dishes – I make a mean Southwest Mac and Cheese, and I roast vegetables to perfection. I am really good at adding twists to recipes and package mixes – making it my own, if you will. But as far as cooking from scratch goes, I haven’t quite mastered it. I always add too many ingredients, and I hate measuring (the reason I rarely ever bake). This was never an issue in college or when I lived at home, because at college I mainly only cooked for myself (and sometimes one or two roommates) and the rest of the time I was eating at restaurants or getting takeouts, and at home, my mom was always an amazing cook and came up with exciting new meals everyday.

Then I got married. And when you get married you really can’t go out to eat everyday (unless you have some kind of magical unlimited budget), and when your husband has no culinary abilities whatsoever, you are forced to become creative in the kitchen. We’ve been married for almost 2 months, and I am running out of ideas fast. So last night, Wednesday, I was stumped on what to make for dinner, plus we had absolutely no food in the house so I needed to make a run to the grocery store. So obviously I needed something fast and easy – and I had already made all of my go to recipes.

I wish I could take credit for what I eventually made last night because it was delicious. But the inspiration actually came from a recipe on thenest.com. The Nest is a sister site of The Knot – which was my life saver when I was wedding planning. So perhaps, The Nest will be my life saver now that I am married. Anyway, I made a spicy sausage and broccoli pasta dish. Of course I didn’t have all of the ingredients the recipe called for, so I did put my own twist on it.

The dish (or my variation of it) consisted of sweet italian sausage, penne pasta, parmesan cheese, loads of red pepper flakes, loads of garlic, olive oil, broccoli flourets, salt, black pepper, and a little bit of the starchy cooking water the pasta was cooked in. I also thought adding white wine would be a good idea, but after tasting the dish, decided it was flavorful enough without it. As I said, I don’t measure, so if you want the exact recipe, click this link http://www.thenest.com/Recipes/81674/detailview.aspx?id=81674&type=7&recipe_ingredients=Pasta&recipe_type=Easy+Weeknight+Meals

If you are like me, love food, but still learning the cooking process, this recipe is a winner.

Spicy pasta with sausage and broccoli - just a note, I added a tad (read: a lot) more red pepper flakes and garlic than the recipe called for


It's ready for it's close up

Even if I did use a recipe, I am still proud of myself for making something that tasted so good. And I guess that’s what cooking is all about right? You start by following recipes, and eventually you become more confident in the kitchen. And then one day, you are hosting Thanksgiving at your house and making turkey and stuffing and the works. I may be far away from that, but for now I can take pride in my small accomplishments in the kitchen.
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