Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hard Day, Easy Dinner

You know those days when you get home from everything you had to do and realize it’s five-thirty and you haven’t prepped anything for dinner? I’ve been there. And on those days I have a go-to dish that is probably not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s fast and easy and my kids eat it every time.

I call it: Improv Pasta.
Picture borrowed from KRAFT

2 frozen chicken breasts (optional, or beef if you prefer)
1 lb (or just one box) uncooked pasta
1 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 bunch broccoli (optional, or some other veggie you like or have laying around)
Parmesan cheese (lots)

  1. Cook the meat! On short notice, I tend to not have anything defrosted so I’ll put the chicken in a pot of water and boil (while I prep everything else and make the kids wash their hands) for 20-30 minutes or until I cut into it and it’s not pink. For beef, I defrost it in the microwave and then fry it up the rest of the way, adding salt/pepper and then draining excess grease. Set your meat aside in the bowl you’re gonna mix everything in.
  2. Using the same pot you cooked the meat in, boil water and then cook the pasta according to directions. 
  3. If you’re adding a veggie, cook it now. I usually do broccoli and steam it in the microwave, but I have a microwave steamer. If you don’t, you can put it in a pan with a small amount of water and cook it on low heat with a lid on for about 5-7 minutes or until it’s tender enough for your tastes. 
  4. Mix the pasta, veggie, and meat, including the butter until the butter is melted. Dump in salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and parmesan, and mix well. Taste it, and adjust according to your preferences. (I sometimes also throw in a tiny bit of milk at this point just to help the flavors spread a little easier and cool things down so my kids don’t have to blow on it too much.)
It’s become pretty routine in my house, and I’ve learned how to adjust it according to what I’m cooking and what I have available in my fridge/pantry. It’s pretty basic but always tasty. Sometimes if I’m feeling adventurous I’ll throw in some mozzarella or even cheddar cheese just to shake things up. Have fun with it!

Darci Cole writes fantasy novels for YA/MG readers, and is currently seeking representation for her work. She is a Gryffindor, a fangirl of many fandoms, and a wandmaker for Colevanders. She loves Dr Pepper, pepperoni-pineapple pizza, and stars.

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  1. It reminds me of a couple of recipes I have on hand for when I don't really feel like cooking.

  2. Sounds delicious! And easy enough for me to master...or at least fix.

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  4. Your blog is very useful for me,Thanks for your sharing.



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