Friday, May 9, 2014

Frantic last minute dinner

It may not look like much now, but this is dinner. We were planning to drive up to Dallas tonight for Mother's Day weekend, but became unexpectedly delayed by thunderstorms all through Texas all afternoon and evening. 

We found ourselves with a free afternoon, and did what any normal, well-functioning modern family would do: we sat on the couch and played with our phones and tablets. Hey don't judge; at least we were all together. 

At one point someone (my son, who is usually the one who points these things out) realized it was 7:00, and hey, isn't that dinner time?

Well, in preparation for a weekend trip, I had been avoiding going to the grocery store because I don't know why. Maybe I'm afraid everything is going to go bad in two days via some form of black magic. 

Anyway, everyone was starving and I didn't have anything planned for dinner. We've gone out to eat...a lot. Seems like every day this week someone has eaten a meal at a restaurant instead of at home. And I didn't feel we needed to resort to that again. So I rummaged around to find something - anything! - that I could feed my family tonight. 

Inspired by some posts I've seen on Pinterest, I decided to try my hand at this Italian "wonder pot" everyone has been raving about. It ain't complicated. It ain't even pretty. But it should be serviceable:

Handmade Hell Italian Wonderpot

2 cans veggie broth
1 28-oz can crushed (or diced) tomatoes 
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2-5 minced garlic cloves (or whatever depending on how garlicky you like it)
1 bag penne pasta
Salt, pepper, various Italian herbs as desired

Put it all in a pot. Boil it. Keep boiling it, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. Don't over stir or it'll get mushy. Throw something frozen in during the last ten minutes or so. Frozen meatballs, precooked sausage or beef, I used frozen broccoli. 

Done and done. End result:

Not too shabby for what was essentially less than 30 minutes in progress. Have fun with that. 

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