Thursday, July 30, 2009

When He Fends for Himself - Tortellini

Welcome to another edition of "When He Fends for Himself", where the star columnist puts to together a meal on his own. The meal is guaranteed to leave you full, but with no guarantee of nutrition, taste, or visual appeal.

For this weeks desperate dinner, I went with tortellini. A couple of months back we had a coupon for a family size bag of Barilla three cheese tortellini. Once we got it home, I forgot about it until I spotted it on the pantry shelf last week. Knowing that Doris wasn't interested in having any, I began to plan for it to be my lonesome dinner.

My detailed plan went something like this: Speaking to myself, "Oh right, we have tortellini, I should have that next Tuesday when I'm on my own."

And that was the plan. Brilliant, I know.

I came home and immediately started boiling the water. I won't detail my expert boiling water technique again, instead please refer to my mac and cheese post. As I was watching the Red Sox struggle to hit, pitch, and play defense, I remembered the water was on the stove, and I went back into the kitchen and added the pasta.

The challenge with this recipe is portion control. You see, we got the family size bag, and I knew I couldn't, or shouldn't, eat all of it in one sitting. So I dumped in what looked like a good amount, and packaged up the remaining amount for a later date.

As the tortellini boiled, every minute or two I took 1-2 of them out. I wasn't so much seeing if they were done, but instead I was just hungry and wanted to eat SOMETHING. Soon enough, they all were done and I expertly strained the water and placed the pasta into a bowl.

Since we didn't have spaghetti sauce, I instead added olive oil, butter, and Parmesan cheese to give it some more flavor.

One of things I really like about tortellini, which is also what I like about ravioli, is that I can stick my fork into one and eat it whole. I quickly ate my dinner and was indeed full. But now that I mention ravioli, I think I should get that lined up for a future loner dinner. Hrmm....I think I need to start to plan.

Until next time, please remember to eat in front of the TV as much as you can, because multi-tasking is a sign of genius.

And as promised, my new profile photo. This is my "What's for dinner tonight?" look. Thanks to our friend Jim for the photo.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Noodles with Lime, Peanut, and a Lot of Green Veggies

After coming home from a great vacation, I was too tired to come up with a dinner idea. I surfed over to my friend Amy's blog and caught up on the posts I missed while I was gone. I came upon her regular feature where she cooks an Ellie Krieger recipe. It looked so delicious that I knew we had to try it!

One of our favorite cuisines to eat out is Thai. The hubby loves pad Thai, but I always want something with more veggies. This dish was perfect - it combined sweet and tangy flavors and was nice and healthy. Another bonus is that it was quick cooking and not too messy.

I followed Amy's version of the recipe ( and also included the edamame. Next time I would omit the snap peas and just stick with broccoli, snow peas, and edamame. We wanted whole wheat noodles for this and could only find spaghetti (not linguine). This would also work well with a shorter pasta with lines to hold the sauce.

I won't repost the recipe here, visit Amy for that. Enjoy the photo. This recipe is a definite keeper!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vacation Eats...A Lot of Them

On our travels to the western side of the country, we sampled some tasty Montana cooking. From the pictures below you'll see how much we sampled! When you vacation with my family, you don't eat when you're hungry, you eat when it's meal time. Breakfast is time to discuss "what's for dinner".

Here's a snapshot of our eats in Billings, Molt, Cooke City, and West Yellowstone, Montana. Also a shot of an unusual find in the Old Faithful cafeteria. Enjoy!

First stop, Molt, Montana for a Prairie Winds Cafe Breakfast. Housed in an old hardware store and filled with antiques, the food was full of buttery goodness (and Mrs. Butterworth kept watch). Three+ of us shared so that we could sample it all.

Next up, the first Farmer's Market of the Season in Billings. It was packed with a wide variety of people (and fluffy dogs). There were tamales, egg rolls, homemade ketchups, fresh fruits and vegetables, flavored honey, and a lot of delicious pastries.

The hubby and I took a quick trip away from the family to see the splendor of Yellowstone National Park. On the road there we stopped in Cooke City for a quick lunch before heading in to the park. The hubby dined on a bison burger (sorry to the bison we saw in the park), I had a Moose Drool brown ale, and some delicious chili. We didn't eat at the place in the photo, but what a great name (Buns N Beds Deli and Cabins)!

After a barbecue dinner and night at the Evergreen Motel in West Yellowstone, we started our day with a highly recommended breakfast spot - the Running Bear Pancake House. The special (according to the reviews) is the buckwheat pancakes. The hubby ordered his plain and I opted for the banana walnut cakes. They were plate sized and fabulous.

At one stop to view some waterfalls we met a man wearing an "I 'heart' Idaho" t-shirt. He gave us the fun Idaho potato pin in the photo. Below that is the fun find in the Old Faithful cafeteria. Not sure where the nearest source of seaweed is, but there were a lot of international tourists!

We didn't get photos of all the great eats - but this should give you a good idea! Now it's back to regular eating (and getting rid of the extra vacation pounds!)


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