I have 63 people coming over Sunday. So why exactly am I writing and cooking? That is an excellent question. One that can only be summed up with the answer that I am really quite strange.
It’s not that I don’t have things to do – because of my severe urge for parties to feel personal I’ve resorted to hand writing party favor tags to match the feel of the invites, making a play list personalized of L’s favorite songs to jam out to, cooking a huge pot of fall black bean soup from scratch, working on including the theme of the party throughout the home, baking, frosting and decorating 63 cupcakes, and roasting countless veggies for an antipasto spread and a rustic fall salad.
I look at this list and all I see is someone really odd. And annoying. Why can’t I call a wonderful bakery and order a cake and pick it up? There is nothing wrong with that. I love cakes from bakeries. I love woman who order cakes from bakeries. What is wrong with me?
Of course I enjoy the process of cooking and baking thoroughly but even someone who loves to bake will get a bit irked the 5th time a tray of cupcakes are sliding into the oven. And I’m sure the decor on the 47th cupcake won’t be as adorable as the 3rd one. But hey I have to embrace the madness within. It’s too late to call a bakery now.
So in times like this I need two things 1. a satisfying one pot meal that can stretch and 2. a glass of good French Bordeaux. Just one glass though – I have a lot of hand writing ahead of me.
*Recipe note: This meal is incredible versatile. I can make it (and feel like I have at times) in my sleep and I literally throw whatever I have on hand into the pot. It’s never the same twice but it always turns out wonderful. The recipe below is what I made tonight.
- 1 pound of meat. You can use ground beef or chicken. Italian sausage also works great as well.
- a glug of olive oil
- 1/2 a chopped onion
- 1/2 a chopped zucchini
- 1 chopped green pepper
- 6 sliced mushrooms
- a cup of corn
- a cup of peas
- fresh oregano
- chopped parsley
- You can use dried herbs as well, about a tsp or so of each
- 3/4's a bag of uncooked whole wheat pasta, a smaller noodle
- two handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 28 ounce can over chopped tomatoes
- Begin with 1 pound of meat. You can use ground beef or chicken. Italian sausage also works great as well. Tonight I used chicken Italian sausage. Saute with a glug of olive oil over medium heat heat until the meat is browned.
- Throw in your veggies. I used 1/2 a chopped onion, 1/2 a chopped zucchini, 1 chopped green pepper, 6 sliced mushrooms, a cup of corn, and a cup of peas. Mix together for a few minutes. You don't need to soften them - they'll cook on their own later.
- Time to season: again, use what you have. Tonight I used fresh oregano, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper. You can use dried herbs as well, about a tsp or so of each. Always use salt and pepper.
- Time to layer: Cover your veggie/meat mixture with 3/4's a bag of uncooked whole wheat pasta, a smaller noodle. Cover with two handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese and pour 1 28 ounce can over chopped tomatoes over the top.
- Dial the heat down to low, cover the pot, and go put your feet up for an hour while it cooks. Who am I kidding? Run around the house like a crazed person until the timer goes off.
Make this recipe your own – I’d love to hear about it!
P.S. My little Wild Thing is turning 5 – stay tuned for a full report on the Wild Rompus!