Sunday, September 7, 2008

All That Cooking and What's For Supper?

My daughter Joanna is expecting baby number two in early December and she's already in the "nesting" phase. She works full time, has an energetic 19 month old and even though she has a strong support system with a helpful husband, and doting grandparents...she's tired (no kidding), but she still is in busy bee mode around the house, especially in the kitchen.

Yesterday she invited us over to "hang out and watch a movie"....I use quotes, because, although the afternoon was fun, there really wasn't much sitting on the couch. Like her mother, the best way for her to relax is to spend time in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. So I shouldn't have been surprised that by the time we got there, the aromas from the kitchen were preparation for those hard, exhausting days at the office, when she'll be too tired to really spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Her family will still have a variety of interesting, healthful suppers.

Joanna had already whipped up two different marinades, separated the chicken pieces she bought in bulk. labeled and packaged them in zip lock baggies, and put them in the freezer. By the time they defrost, they'll also be nicely flavored by those marinades. My hard work for that project....copying the marinade recipes so I could make them myself and share them with you.

Flavourful bean and veggie burrito filling was already simmering as was the zucchini and tomato sauce for the lasagna and tortellini dishes and the turkey sausages, sauteed and sliced. While Joanna was packaging the tortellini with the sauce and sausages and layering lasagna, I did dishes and Poppa (better known to you as my Honey) was playing with Bo, who is too cute and very polite. His new thing is to say "thank you" when he hands you anything...but I digress.

A little time to rest and play and then just before we left, Joanna started making some kind of muffins, I don't remember which and the lasagna and garlic for roasting (not sure what dish that will end up in) were waiting for their turn in the oven. I'm not pregnant and I was tired.

Which brings me to the real crux of this post...all that cooking, tidying up the kitchen and ...what's for dinner here? And, it's not just for those who pregnant, it's a question for all of us who are busy cooking for sometime in the feasts or just meals for during the week when there's no time for lengthy prep. In Joanna's case, they were going to have homemade pizza. She made the dough in her bread machine earlier in the day and once her husband got home they were going to pop it in the oven with some interesting toppings and...voila! ... a great dinner with a salad.

So what were we going to do? Having participated in all that healthful cooking, I really couldn't bring myself to stop for KFC or fast food burgers. In the time it took to boil a pot of water, I made a comforting pasta sauce with one of my favorite staples...Classico jarred sauces. I always have a couple of jars in the pantry and then I zazz it up and make it my own somehow. Last night I used the Portobello Mushroom Sauce - a tomato-based...hearty, but not hearty enough for me.

My question to you...what do you "whip" up after a day of cooking for the future...take out? eat out? or.....?

And...seeing my choice is usually pasta...I just want to remind you that this Friday, I'll be hosting Presto Pasta Nights. Hopefully you'll have a pasta dish to share with us. Just email your entry to me -


katiez said...

Congrats on the new expected grnadbaby!
It sounds like a fun day in the kitchen. It's been ages since I've done that.

So Simple said...

How exciting baby no 2. I am just going over to babysit our youngest 13 month old. But I have to say. When I need to whip something up.
Eggs poached or scrambled either with toast or chips.
Or a fritatta.

I love those big cook ups as well so satisfying.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks ladies, it is exciting to watch the tummy grow and wait... impatiently, I might add.

And cooking with Joanna is always a treat.

Candy said...

Congrats, I always like to make semi-homemade chicken soup after a day of cooking. Quick easy and delicous. Your mushroom pasta looks great though. I'll have to try it!

Mahek said...

to you and your daughter too...

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for the congrats. And Candy, semi homemade chicken soup is another fave of mine. With dumplings from the Asian market that's usually in my freezer. Heat the soup up with a slice or two of ginger and you're somewhere exotic.

noobcook said...

Hi Ruth! Congrats!!

I'm drooling at the photo of your pasta dish .. and I like the generous sprinkling of cheese on top :)~~

btw, I have emailed you my PPN entry, but in case you didn't receive it, here's the link:

NĂºria said...

Hola Ruth! Babies are the best on earth! Congratulations :D

There's something for you in my blog!

Ruth Daniels said...

Noobcook, thanks and I did get your delicious pasta entry...check back on Friday to see everyone's taty dishes.

Nuria, you're right babies are the best on earth. Thanks so much for the Brilliant Award. I blush

Hillary said...

Your dish looks fabulous! I love mushrooms in pasta sauce. You can never go wrong.