Saturday, July 10, 2010

if you want to eat, somebody's got to cook

Everyone at my house likes to eat but not everyone wants to cook. I'm the one who is "expected" to prepare the meals and most of the time, I don't mind.  However, I have two teenage daughters who will need to know how to feed themselves before long. One of them has only a year left at home.

This summer I suggested that one of their goals be to prepare 2 dinner meals a month for the family. That's one meal a week that I wouldn't have to cook and it'd be good experience for them. They were game.

We got off to a late start because this week is the first week that we managed to make this work. The thing with teenage girls is that they're busy -- social life, part-time jobs, swim team, dance team and babysitting.

Last night, the youngest prepared dinner and tried a new recipe. (Lately she's been seen looking at/reading cookbooks. Big smile from me because I do that regularly too.) I loved her choice -- pasta with a no cook sauce. How perfect is that for summer? And, she didn't follow the recipe exactly because we didn't have all of the exact ingredients on hand. Again, something I'm known to do. It was quite tasty and went together very quickly.

No Bake Cheesy Ziti Toss (original recipe from Southern Living Busy Mom's Weeknight Favorites)
8 oz. whole wheat ziti pasta
1-15 oz can pasta-style tomatoes with basil and garlic
1 1/2 c. of shredded cheese, a blend of mozzarella and cheddar
1/2 c. oil packed dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 small can of sliced black olives
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook ziti according to package directions; drain well.

Meanwhile, stir together tomatoes and remaining ingredients in a large serving bowl. Add hot pasta, and toss gently. Serves 4.

A perfect meal. I even got out of cleanup as Lawman took care of that.


kimj said...

Good job Mads!! I should make that suggestion to my boys...although the one that would actually be willing to do it is on another continent right now! :(

Jenni said...

I am so tired of pasta, particularly with red sauce, but my family can't seem to get enough of it, which is probably why I'm so sick of it. This recipe actually sounds pretty good, though. Sun dried tomatoes always pack a nice flavor punch, and this sounds lighter and fresher than a regular red.

I had the same plan to have the kids alternate cooking one meal a week over the summer, but it just hasn't worked out with all the crazy schedules. Josh has been doing construction work with Danny or gone with his friends now that he can drive. (He just bought his own car with the money he had saved from working.) Jo is working weird hours with some split shifts at a local vet clinic, but she does like to cook once in a while. Na is all over the place with summer basketball league and basketball and volleyball camps and practices and swimming and constant activities with friends. (That girl makes me crazy with her level of activity!) It's very hard to get everyone together for dinner, much less to cook. I think it may actually be easier during the school year.


nice! love that lawman took care of the cleanup :)

Nancy said...

@velvet ~ me too! in my world, that's almost better than dessert.

Anonymous said...

Hey, what a great idea. My kids aren't old enough to cook without me yet, but they definately will know how to cook when they are older and break free from Mom & Dad's house.

Sharon said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog! It was so kind of you to comment...I LOVE COMMENTS, and meeting new people!

Your post here made me smile...just today I asked my oldest daughter to take over one meal a week until she moves out in another month or two. She's getting married in the fall and I thought she should practice making meals! It is definitely a good idea...Your cheesy ziti toss sounds delicious...I must put that on my menu sometime!

Amy said...

Oh, that recipe sounds so good, Nancy! I will have to try it- anything no bake and easy is perfect in the summer!