Easiest Pasta Dish Ever!

I read this recipe on one of my good friend's blog last summer! Molly blogged about this recipe and fixing it for her family. Well it looked so good I made a mental note to try it at some point. I finally found myself a year later going through her blog to find this recipe and here it is for your enjoyment. Not only is it easy and flavorful but also beautiful and colorful!!

Martha Stewart's Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil

Serves 4

* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 8 ounces gemelli or other short pasta ** >> I used rotini
* 3 medium yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
* 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
* 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
* 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves


1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than al dente. Add squash and peas; cook until squash is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta mixture, and return to pot.
2. To mixture in pot, add butter, lemon juice, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. If needed, add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Stir in basil, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan; serve immediately.

Granny's Tomatoes and Cucumbers

This quick throw together side dish is a good way to use summer vegetables. It is one of my favorite things that Granny fixes! Love it, love it, love it!! As with all Granny recipes nothing is precise. So it's always a gamble how it will turn out.

any combination of tomatoes* and
green peppers

*tomatoes are essential in this recipe because of their juice. Otherwise feel free to throw in whatever veggies you think will complement the flavors. And when you only have tomatoes and just cucumbers then go for it!

To your mixture of diced veggies, add:
a couple tbsp apple cider vinegar (other vinegars could be used as well)
dash of sugar
dash of salt and pepper

Stir together and chill before serving.

This is great on a hot summer night!!

Dijon Pork Chops

I tried a new recipe from one of the church cookbooks Granny gave me the other night. The chosen recipe was Dijon Pork Chops! This turned out really well and I can't wait to try it again.

Dijon Pork Chops

4 pork loin chops, 1/2-in thick
1 lg onion, sliced
1 (8-oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained** >> I used fresh mushrooms!!
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Italian dressing
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
dash of cumin** >> I left out the cumin

In a small bowl, combine mustard, Italian dressing, pepper, thyme, and cumin. Chill. Drizzle olive oil in skillet and brown pork chops on both sides with onion and mushrooms. Spoon mustard mixture evenly over each pork chop. Cover and simmer on low to medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until juices run clear. Yield: 4 servings

My thoughts: Unfortunately my skillet wasn't big enough to brown pork chops and cook the onions and mushrooms! So I used two skillets... one to cook the onions and mushrooms then one to brown the pork chops. Once they were both finished I combined the pork chops, onions, and mushrooms into one skillet and then poured the mustard mixture over everything to simmer!

Delicious! I served with rice and good summer veggies.

Into a New Kitchen!

Whew! Finally into a new kitchen. As of June 1st I have been in a kitchen that's been boxed up. The refrigerator in our new place had a pipe burst and flood the first floor the week before we moved. Just last week the project manager and landlord approved everything! So it's exciting to finally have everything back in order and able to start cooking again.

I'm not going to blog a recipe now but instead recount the first dinner cooked in the new place!

Sloppy Joe's -- of course the easiest dinner ever. One can of manwich, hamburger, buns and you're done!

Patrick and I decided we'd cook dinner at the new place a few weeks into renovations. At this point the floors were done but I don't think we had the new refrigerator and everything was still in boxes. Patrick suggested sloppy joe's. I thought finding one skillet would be easy enough so I agreed.

Well finding one skillet turned into finding one spoon, the can opener, and a baking sheet for cookies. Needless to say everything was in a different box! Before I could find a can opener I found a box of Hamburger Helper and suggested we change our menu. But fortunately everything was found and the dinner was delicious! ... except the cookies. We found out the hard way the oven heats unevenly. :-( I do think we salvaged a few though!