Monday, June 9, 2008

cookin' in a torn up kitchen

You can only have cereal for dinner so many nights.

And go out.

And then, you have to cook something for your family.

Here is the progress on the kitchen, taken Saturday morning:

The boxes for the wall cabinets were in, and we were in the process of installing the base cabinets. We got really lucky, and were able to slide the old ones out, and slide the new ones in, without having to turn off our water, or pull out our sink, or take out the old countertop. So we can leave that in place until they come to measure for the new countertop. Which is a bonus, as I hear doing dishes in the bathtub really isn't much fun.And at the end of every day, we get to clean up the messy floor. Which we aren't replacing, and it will get stripped and rewaxed when all of this is over.

My hubby has to do all of the dirty jobs, and those requiring a flexible, healthy back:

No, he is not flipping me off. I am not sure what the index finger raised means in other cultures, in this instance I think he was just trying to hang on to the countertop so he wouldn't fall over.

We actually accomplished a TON this weekend-I will wait to show you more pictures, just to keep you coming back for more.

Sunday Charlie declared he wanted to make lunch. Because he had been reading some of his cookbooks. (hint: if you want your kid to cook, get them their own cookbooks, then it is THEIR idea!) So we made a little Korte's run, as my fridge is kind of bare (those of you who know me well won't even believe that, but it is nearly true). And here he is, preparing the panini's:

Here is the general idea of the recipe, if you wish to try them. They were DELICIOUS ! (you know how it is when someone else cooks for you):

Get a loaf of ciabatta bread (or any bread that is kind of soft inside, and has a nice crust on the outside). Mix together 3 Tbsp. of olive oil, 1 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, a couple of teaspoons of minced fresh basil (1/2 tsp dried will work instead), and some salt and pepper to taste. Spread this lovely dressing on the tops of your bread slices. Then lay on some fresh mozzarella and some thinly sliced pepperoni, and put the sandwich together with the sides that are dressed towards the filling. Heat up a big pan on medium heat, and brush one side of the sandwich with a little olive oil. Place it in the pan, olive oil side down, and brush the top of the sandwich that hasn't seen the olive oil yet. Cook it about 3-4 min, and squish the sandwiches as they are cooking with another heavy pan or plate. Take the pan or plate off, and flip the sandwiches over. This can be tricky, and if a kid is making these, a grownup should definitely help. And don't swear while you are doing it, like I did. Cook them for another 3 or 4 minutes, until they are golden and the cheese is all melty, and serve. yummmmmmmmm

And of course you could use different meats, or cheeses, or throw some veg in there, or use a different herb in the dressing. And whoever eats it will love you.

Charlie has already decided he needs to make Shrimp Scampi for dinner some night this week. I am all for that, and have informed him that if he continues on his culinary path he will never want for girlfriends. Or any friends, for that matter. Can you imagine him in college? His roommate will say, "Hey, let's order a pizza". And Charlie will say, "No, how about I make some Pepperoni and Fresh Moz Panini instead?"

And here is what we had for dinner, at 8 pm on Sunday night, when we were STILL working on the kitchen. Light, easy, summery, and tasty. I clipped it out of a mag years ago (thank goodness I didn't throw it away, I KNEW it would come in handy some day!)

Upside Down Kitchen Pasta (not it's real name....)

1 lb. pasta (I would actually make a little bit less, perhaps 13.5 oz? I know they are downsizing the amount of noodles we get in a box nowadays)

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, sliced (less or more, depending on your garlic preference)

3 oz. sliced proscuitto, chopped (I used more than that, we love proscuitto)

1 c. grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c. pitted kalamata olives, halved

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper

1/3 c. packed fresh basil, chopped

While you are cooking the noodles, in the standard fashion, heat up the oil in a skillet over med heat, and add the garlic and prosciutto. Cook for about 3 min, then throw in the tomatoes for another 3 min. or so. Take off the heat, and add the rest of the ingredients except the basil. Toss this sauce with the noodles, and fresh basil. I shredded some parmesan cheese over the top. Oh for yummy. You could also throw some toasted pine nuts on top, for a little crunch.

Easy, fast, healthy, tasty. What more could you want in a recipe?

Did I tell you it was easy?

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