July 21, 2013

Mom...Why did you cook?

Dinner tonight is usual in the summer.
Three of my kids have been lifeguards for the past several summers and they always work until 7 or 8.  Plus who isn't taking advantage of the nice summer evenings? Who has time to be inside cooking? I guess...well I post recipes about as often as I cook these days.  I'm not sure if it was owning my little cafe, working as the fraternity chef or managing a failing restaurant that really makes me think...
"Why does food have to be a religious experience?"
But I'm talking about the mundane, day to day food...Not the awesome recipe or the fantastic restaurant .... it's the daily stuff... just get some food in your belly and be on your way.
But's an extravaganza!!!
Whoop Whoop! Roasted Tomato & Basil tossed with bucatini pasta (hollow spaghetti), Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Grilled Chicken, spinach strawberry salad, & Texas Sheet Cake

Oh..By the way...My daughter just came in the door from work.  I quote..."Why did you cook today"
I try but seems they have me figured out...I'm not kidding when I say I really dislike the mundane day to day task that is required to simply fill a belly for about 3 hours.

Sweet & Salty Pecans
These pecans are delicious on salads...
Oven 350
2 cups pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Bake until the sugar liquefies, but STIR OFTEN or the pecans will burn to smithereens like mine did ... OOPS!
They still taste okay...but me and the nuts...I burn them almost every time.
Almonds, pecans, any nut...burn burn burn.

Rustic Roasted Tomato Sauce
Super Easy!
Oven 450
6-8 very ripe roma tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
(homegrown are best if you can get them in the summer.)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh oregano
1 onion quartered and separated
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 shallot, quartered
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp each -  kosher salt, sugar, fresh ground pepper(not in photo)

Prep all the veggies and place them on a baking sheet. Placing the fresh herbs on the bottom will keep them from getting too dried out.
Drizzle the olive oil over everything, then the salt and pepper
Bake until the tomatoes begin to get dark on the edges and the garlic cloves are smooshy. 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and pour everything into a food processor.  A blender will work but pulsing in a processor is ideal.  If using a blender, use the pulse setting if it has one. If not, just try to stir in between blending because this sauce should not be smooth.

Toss the sauce with warm pasta. 
Garnish with a sprig of oregano or basil.

Serve with a salad and some garlic bread if you wish.

Don't forget the chocolate!

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