When Chris and I cook together, it is different from when I cook by myself. I enjoy his company, a lot, but he does things different. For example: he cranks Iron Maiden or Pink Floyd. I would listen to Beyonce or Bruce Springsteen. While things are cooking in the oven or simmering on the stove, Chris paces back and forth. I like to sit at the table, catch up on my blog, or just relish in the pure bliss that dinner is almost ready. When he forgets what he was supposed to be doing, he always asks 'Ok, what next?'. I never forget what I am doing. During a break in the action, Chris will lie down in the middle of the floor and beg the pups to crawl on him. For me, if I find time to take a break (hey what is he taking a break for anyway???) I might pour myself a drink and ask the dogs to stop climbing on me.
I spent a big chunk of the day today with my 'phews. I love those boys. We went for a burger and then for our annual shop for shoes. Their taste is getting so much better. A pair of Adidas and Nike's were picked. I reminisced with them today. One year, the oldest was dead set on buying a black pair of Nike walking shoes. I have nothing against these, but a 13 year old boy shouldn't be wearing them. After a bit of convincing, I talked him into getting a pair of And1's which probably were double in price. The same year, the youngest picked a pair of baby blue and white runners. The sales guy tried to tell me that they were unisex shoes. I knew different. My 'phew was dead set on them. I had to really work hard and convincing him to buy something different.
I have anxiety at times thinking of how I talked them out of their decisions. It's a hard call. Do I let them be individuals and accept the fact that they are wearing things that 80 year old men and 7 year old girls are wearing? Or do I lead them on the right track and steer them away from things that they should not set on their feet? I am sure that everyone has different opinions. This year - they have incredible taste in shoes - no changing minds now. They also tricked* me into buying them a hoody and tshirt.
*Not really, I wanted to spoil them some more.
Tonight, after a long day of doing stuff, we are making a big dish of pure comfort food. It's probably not the most nutritious dinner in the world, but you know what, it's a good dish that keeps our bellies warm and full. Chris and I cooked together - and all of the above was happening. There was The Tragically Hip playing in the background, a lot of laying around with the pups, and a lot of wondering what to do next. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Baked pasta - Easy Dinner
1 package of ground meat - I used ground chicken this time
1 box of whole wheat penne - cooked until el dente
2 cans of sliced mushrooms
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
Parmesan - for topping
Pre-heat oven to 350.
I raided the pantry for tonight's dinner.
In a large skillet, saute chopped onion in a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Saute for 5-6 minutes. Add the ground meat and continue to saute until the meat is cooked. I like to add another small pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
While the meat is cooking cook the pasta until it is el dente.
When the meat is cooked, drain the canned mushrooms and add them to the ground meat. Add the tomato sauce and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir it all together and add it to a baking dish. Top with the shredded mozzarella and then top with the shredded parmesan.
Bake in a 350 oven for 25 minutes.
So this is a very easy and basic dinner and be done in about 45 minutes, from start to finish. The best thing about this dish, is that you can add anything to it: spinach, peppers, fresh mushrooms (don't judge me for using canned), fresh tomatoes, chopped up butternut squash... endless possibilities.
Alright friends - we have one more day before another week begins. Enjoy it.