Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Night Dinner at Home: Pasta and Its Accessories

Tonight's dinner was mostly about the accessories. I knew I was going to have spaghetti as the main dish, and while I'm certainly not adventurous enough to try making it from scratch, I've pretty much perfected the sauce-in-a-jar standard. Sure I infuse my own style: tri-colored rotini in place of traditional spaghetti noodles; garlic, onion and fresh mushrooms mixed in with ground beef; a sprinkle of cheese - but at the end of the day, it's still just your typical jar of red sauce (in this case: Newman's Own Five Cheese, which I love).

I decided the creativity would lie in the sides: garlic bread and dessert. Despite the simplicity of this Tuesday Night Dinner at Home, I still managed a couple of gaffes. This photo shows everything cooking at once: dessert prep on back left burner, noodles on front left burner, garlic bread prep on back right burner, spaghetti sauce prep on front right burner.
I grabbed the garlic bread recipe on my way out the door this morning from Rachael Ray on foodnetwork.com. Here's the garlic, butter and olive oil melting together in a small saucepan.
And here's the finished product with the garlic oil brushed on the bread my roommate made from scratch yesterday and topped with fresh parsley and Romano cheese. I know it doesn't take a rocket scientist to discern that it was a bit overdone. In fact, I needed help scraping off the blackened parts. Let's just say I haven't quite figured out how to use the broiler yet.
The good news is that you couldn't really even taste the burnt parts. The bad news is that it wasn't quite delicious. There was too much garlic...a strange comment coming from me because I love the stuff. I also wasn't all that impressed with the Romano cheese, but that could be because I didn't have the opportunity to put it back in the oven to fully melt (since I'd already started to burn it after all).

The picture below illustrates the finished product, complete with a side salad prepared by my roommate: baby greens, crumbled bleu cheese, salt and pepper. I used both French and Parmesan Romano dressing, because I wanted it extra fattening and delicious.
The real fun tonight came with dessert. I'd been craving "puppy chow" ever since I tried Chex Mix Select - Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Melting the chocolate and peanut butter.
Placing chocolate/peanut butter/cereal mixture into large plastic bag with powdered sugar for coating.
Letting the scrumptious treat cool.
The best part about puppy chow is that it's incredibly easy to make yet tastes like perfection.

Puppy Chow Recipe
1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
12 cups Crispix
desired amount of powdered sugar

Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in large saucepan. Stir in Crispix. In large baggie, combine cereal mixture and powdered sugar; shake to coat cereal with sugar. Fan out on cookie sheet to cool.


  1. Puppy Chow is one of our family favorites. My kids love it, and so do I. In fact, now that they don't live here...I can't make it or I will eat it all.

    I can make my own spaghetti sauce, but most often I use Newman's too. We like the Sockaroni (??) one. I think you did well. I like my bread a little toasty.


  2. Thankfully I have roommates to help eat the puppy chow :)

    Maybe I'll try homemade spaghetti sauce sometime this winter.