Firstly...Thank you all for the overwhelming support and votes of confidence for the blog. Your great comments and awesome suggestions are so appreciated (and to anyone who happened to stumble upon this blog and is thinking "What comments? I don't see comments. This bitch is crazy!" well then I guess we aren't facebook friends and therefore you probably don't exist in my world). Keep em coming. I like to feel popular...it's new.
Secondly. I am more excited than is healthy to get started on blog topics and recipes that have been suggested to me over the last few days. They might take a little time to orchestrate, because I'd like to actually make the things I blog about, but they will definitely be highlighted in upcoming blog posts (to be accompanied with picture links to the people who came up with the ideas -- get pumped).
Thirdly. I like cheese
Fourthly and most importantly...if you want to be featured on a blog and you live in New York...and you want a free cooking lesson/some QT with yours truly...I am always game to bring skinny kitchen fatty blog to your home and teach ya something tasty. All you have to do is provide the groceries!
Fifth(ly?) and not important at all, but kind of the point of the blog...I cooked today! and I took pictures! yay!
So...I'm poor. I really am pretty dirt poor. It sucks. Anyone who said money can't make life better is wrong. Notice I did not say "money is everything" or "money can solve all your problems" or "I'd trade my first born for a sac o' money" (and by 'trade' I mean 'sell'), but money can make life better in some ways. For instance, if I had a pile of money right now...I'd be able to go to a fancy dinner more often, or cook a fancy dinner more often, or buy more shoes - thus improving my quality of life. Being poor though...sometimes I walk into my kitchen, open my fridge door and think...Damn...you have no food. Today I thought...Damn...you have some food, but not the food you want, and you can't go to the grocery store until Wednesday because you've already done your budget for the rest of the month. But you know what? I rallied. I rally most of the time, which is why I will never starve. I can ALWAYS find something to eat, really. So today I thought...duh LEFTOVER BLOG! or as I would prefer to call it...
SLOPPY SECONDS, HE REALLY LOOKED BETTER LAST NIGHT BUT I WAS DESPERATE, BLOG
My family never really had leftover night growing up. I've heard in some households it goes a little like, Mom pulls out whatever food is left from the meals of the week and people pick and choose whatever they want. I've also heard of strange and possibly dicey casseroles making their way onto the dinner table towards the end of the week...main ingredient? whatever was in the fridge*.
In my family we didn't have leftover night. If we didn't finish it the night we made it, it either rotted in the back of the fridge, got thrown away, or more often than not our family dog gorged himself to puphood obesity on it.
So now, as a young adult, I've had to teach myself to save and reuse and recycle, and admittedly sometimes it's really hard. It's pretty disheartening to know you have to make a meal out of a can of beets, instant oatmeal packets, and half a beef and bean burrito.
So I opened my fridge and there was a whole chicken, lettuce, half a red bell pepper, soy sauce, hot sauce, broccoli stems from a few days ago and the vinaigrette I had made last night. I wanted something more substantial than a salad so the lettuce could suck it, and I didn't have time to make the chicken, but I did remember that I had some whole wheat pasta sitting in the cabinet.
So I put some water on the stove over high heat to boil and figured the rest out.
Here's what I ended up with.
I Won't Sell My First Born So I Guess I Have To Eat This Warm Pasta Salad
Stuff that I put in it
1 cp whole wheat pasta (I used fusilli because that's a fun word)
1 tsp olive oil
2 T reserved vinaigrette from the day before (scroll down for the recipe)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1/2 tsp garlic chopped
2 broccoli stems, peeled and chopped
***Broccoli stems are my favorite part of the broccoli. They don't have stupid little bits that get stuck in your teeth, they are milder in flavor, take to seasoning better, and are generally overlooked which sucks. Make sure you peel them well because the outside layer can be tough, but the light green interior is tender and crisp.
Cook the pasta according to the directions making sure to salt the water generously. If you don't, the pasta itself will taste like paper mache and you'll have to work that much harder to make it palatable, and I don't like working hard...it makes me fussy.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the broccoli, red pepper and garlic and saute, making sure not to burn the garlic.
When the pasta is done and the veggies look a little brown and delicious add the reserved vinaigrette, soy sauce and hot sauce as well as the drained pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Bring the heat to low and cook for another two minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper and adjust accordingly. Serve.
Here's the thing. This recipe is supremely simple. I wish I had the resources to make elaborate meals everyday but I don't. That being said, there is something really satisfying about that coming up with something from nothing sort of feeling, and knowing that even on a limited budget you can eat something tasty. So try it out, because cooking is all about experimenting on a method. I learned how to make vinaigrette and it totally came in handy today. In a while, when I win the mega millions jackpot, I'll still make vinaigrettes, except they will have gold in them, because that's how I roll. And maybe if I want something quick and easy I'll use my golden vinaigrette in a warm pasta salad and think about way back when, when I was poor...and how much that sucked. Then I'll drive away in my Rolls Royce, laughing maniacally while pulling diamonds out of my pockets and well you get the picture.
So get creative with your leftovers, and don't sell your kids for cash.
*note: From this point forward I will always refer to "refrigerator" as "fridge" because I would like to end the constant emotional battle with myself over the correct way to spell said word.