February 05, 2011

It's about to get interesting in here

We have recently started watching a show in Hallmark Channel called Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn (www.madhungry.com).

Lucinda is not just someone who loves to cook and got a show. Not by any stretch. She is the Executive Editorial Director of Food and Entertaining for Martha Stewart's empire.

We have really gotten into how and what she cooks. Everything in moderation and nothing is off limits. Yet her food is easy, approachable, and can uses ingredients that be found in most (if not all) grocery stores. Seriously. For example. Her Basic Tomato Sauce is:

2 T olive oli
2 cloves garlic, minced
A pinch of red pepper flakes (or more if you like some spice)
1 28-ounce can of low-sodium (or organic) whole plum tomatoes

In a blender (or using a hand blender), puree the tomatoes to the level of chunky or smooth you like. Get the oil hot in a pan and then throw in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook just until you can smell the garlic (about 30 seconds). Pour in the tomatoes and bring up to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Now I add 1 teaspoon sweet basil in the last 5 minutes of cooking and that is it. Now a tip I learned from her is when to add the herb. If you put the herbs in right at the beginning, you will cook out all of the flavor. Instead, add it at the end and then the flavor will perfume throughout the sauce. Huge thing to learn and makes a difference.

Anyway. I was watching her show on DVR, as my wife and I do every day, my 11-year old son came in and sat down about 3/4 of the way through. He was quite intrigued by what was being made. He grabbed the remote to see what the theme was. You can only imagine what his reaction was when he saw that it was an episode on bacon. 

Shortly there after, he restarted the episode and watched it completely. Once the show was done, he went into the kitchen and grabbed my copy of her book (http://amzn.to/hTbkVg).

Studying Lucinda's book quite intently
So when making the grocery list this week, he informed us that he wanted to make everything in that episode. So for breakfast - Bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich (http://bit.ly/gdAaZq). And we are teaching how to properly clean the cast iron - now that we own some.

Making the eggs for the sandwich
The completed product
 Dinner was Pantry Bistro Salad (http://bit.ly/fqGgiJ) and the Spaghetti Carbonara (with whole wheat spaghetti - http://bit.ly/e9dWFA). I believe I could eat this salad with her tomato soup (http://bit.ly/eLdMkV) every day for lunch. Without question! This was a really good dinner. The recipe says that the salad is 4 servings and the pasta is 4-6. For us, the pasta is probably about 8 servings. But I ate quite a bit of the salad (which has a poached egg on it - part of the recipe).

The end results for tonights dinner
Even my 6-year old asked to try the salad and she does not do salads. I now need to get her other two books!

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