Beans & Rice

IMG_5982Though we’re all still a bit timid with our eating, beans & rice seemed like a safe enough bet. I served them with roasted carrots and simple guacamole (just avocado, lime & salt).

For the beans, I used this recipe, with the modifications posted here.

• Roasted Carrots •
Preheat your oven to 400. Cut carrots into even strips by halving and/or quartering until the pieces average 1/4 to 1/2 inch in width. Toss with olive oil and salt, and roast on a tray until cooked through and a little bit brown, about 30 minutes.

Where we’ve been

The stomach bug hit our family like a sack of bricks. It hit me last, and culminated with a 12 hours visit to the ER. There hasn’t been a ton to post about dinner-wise in the past few days, our few meagre attempts, plus one good-lookin’ cake are posted below.

Gastroenteritis recovery meal 1

IMG_5979I think we were all pretty happy to be sitting upright a the table together again. Rose and Shane had the Grandma Pizza from the newly renovated local joint, Due Fratelli. Still recovering from the stomach bug, I mostly had mashed avocado and lightly-buttered carrots.

Recovery-ish meal, plus cake!

Mid_Virus_IMG_5970I have the stomach virus and barely made it to the table tonight for a few bites of plain pasta. Shane is home and we’re so glad to have him here, because we love him, but also because he takes care of us and makes dinner (pasta with and without sauce and prosciutto).

Sometime in the day prior, I dragged myself off of the floor to help Rose make this lovely Cookies & Cream Cake to welcome Shane home. I have yet to try it, but I hear it’s really good.

Eggs for the egg ambivalent

IMG_5955It turns out Rose has Strep, not a stomach virus. She’s feeling better but doesn’t have much of an appetite, and is still on pastina soup. Shane is away for a few more days. The moment he got a break in his stomach virus (which may, or may not be Strep), he took off for the biennial, 5 day collage-a-thon, 100 Hours in the Woodshed IV.

I figured I should take advantage of my family’s absence and poor health, and experiment with some recipes. As a mostly vegetarian, sometimes pescetarian, I feel like I should eat eggs a lot. But more often than not, eggs don’t taste good to me. This has been a lifelong thing and I don’t know what makes an egg work for me and what doesn’t, except that most of the time a lot of cheese helps.

Tonight I combined one egg, an ounce of grated cheddar, an ounce of chevre, a tablespoon of half & half, and salt & pepper. I poured them into a greased ramekin and baked them for about 15 minutes at 350. The result was okay, but needs improvement. I wanted them to be creamier and custardier, I think. Perhaps more cream or (gasp) egg?

If you have suggestions, please do leave them in the comments section. Thanks!

Canned soup, from scratch

IMG_5948When my 5-year old, who has barely eaten in the past 48 hours, asked for “orange soup,” I was thrilled. I wondered which orange soup she wanted. Was it squash? Carrot ginger? I was also confused, because I don’t recall her tasting even one, of the many orange soups I’ve made in her lifetime.

With a bit more probing she revealed that she wanted “you know, the kind of orange soup with abc’s in it.” And it hit me that she was asking for soup from a can, that reddish-orange goopy stuff, with the extremely mushy, over-cooked, alphabet pasta in it.

If you’re wondering how she would even know about canned alphabet soup, I wondered too. The answer can only be my mother-in-law.

Highly-processed food didn’t exactly seem like the most nourishing thing I could put in my sick kid’s empty stomach. My solution was to make it from scratch. It was simple, good, and best of all, she liked it.

• Canned Soup from Scratch •
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup pureed San Marzano tomatoes
3 cups broth (I used vegetable, you could use chicken)
salt to taste
2 teaspoons sugar or honey (optional)
1/2 cup stars pastina

Roast two yellow peppers in the oven. While the peppers are roasting, sautee a small, finely chopped onion in two tablespoons of butter until soft and translucent. When the peppers are done, let them cool, then seed and peel them them and add them to the onions with the San Marzano tomatoes. Add 3 cups of broth, bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Puree soup using a hand-held (immersion) blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning, add salt and if it’s a little to acidic, you can add some sugar or honey. (I find that the San Marzano tomatoes vary in sweetness from can to can, so sometimes you need a little sugar or honey, and sometimes you don’t.) Bring broth to a simmer and add pastina and simmer until cooked. You’re done.



We’re a goddamn mess

IMG_5940This morning at exactly 6:45, my daughter and husband simultaneously came down with a stomach virus. Just to make things extra-fun, I have another migraine.

When I was sick my mom always made me pastina soup. I do the same for my family, and since I had little energy to do much more, we all three ate pastina soup for dinner. What do you feed your family when they’re sick? Is it what your mom fed you?


Leftover pizza

Pizza_IMG_5920Rose decided to have a keychain-making party today. Seemed like a good enough idea for a school holiday afternoon. All was going well until the pizza place forgot about our order.

Our hero Shane, ran out to another parlor, Due Fratelli, to score us a pie. An hour and a half later, five hungry girls and four moms were eating. It was pretty decent pizza, though Rose would tell you not as good as Pepe’s. The square pizza made with basil and fresh mozzarella, was particularly good.

Shane was out mourning tonight, so Rose and I had the leftovers for dinner.