Fancy Pasta

September 26, 2011 By Lauren and Tom

It’s a known fact that I don’t cook.  My distaste for cooking has become a family joke and my sister (who is currently in a French baking school) sometimes worries about how terrible my future children’s life’s will be when I am buying store bought cupcakes, DQ ice cream cakes and forcing them to eat Bagel bites on a daily basis for lunch. I truly think she has nightmares about how bad Thanksgiving or Christmas would be if I ever hosted. She can be quite the drama queen at times but its true DQ ice creams are still the best in my mind, I don’t see what’s wrong with frozen food and it’s much quicker to buy cupcakes than spend the time making them.

Tom knew he was in trouble with me when early on in our relationship we both thought blueberry muffins sounded really good for a snack. Perfect, we’d take a quick trip to the store and then we’d have our snack. Well, please picture my confused looked when we get to the store and he starts picking up blueberries, mix stuff and whatever else goes into the batter.

Me: UMMM what are you doing?

Tom: Picking up the stuff to make blueberry muffins.

ME: UMM, I’m really hungry and they already have blueberry muffins over there, in a package and I could eat them in the car on the way home. Why do we need to spend the time making them?!!!!

Tom: Oh, geez. Where did I find you?!

Well, long story short we ended up making the blueberry muffins and yes, they were good. But buying them would have been quicker. Conversations like that one are quite common in our household but I am one lucky girl and married a man who is an amazing cook, loves trying new recipes and keeps me from eating frozen dinners and Wendy’s on a nightly basis.  His only request is that I hang out in the kitchen with him (aka becoming his kitchen runner). I clean up, get whatever he needs and usually ask dumb questions as to why he is doing something.  I’ve just recently mastered grilling the ground beef for taco night…I know, big stuff here people.
My wonderful nightly chef 🙂
Last week I found a recipe for Enzo’s Penne with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Arugula. I thought it sounded good and asked Tom if he would help me make it. I knew there was no way in hell I could pull this off without some serious supervision.  After a nice calm weekend of football, a hike, a 13 mile run in the rain (me, not Tom) and more football, Sunday evening was the perfect evening for me to embrace my inner chef!  We decided to skip the shrimp so we didn’t push Tom’s shellfish allergy over the top (I’d like to keep him around) and I didn’t know what the heck arugula was at the store so I decided there would be no green stuff in my pasta. 
Proof that I’m really cooking.

Now thats no Prego…
We all know I can boil pasta, it’s about the only thing Tom will leave me in the kitchen alone making besides pouring a bowl of cereal.  So that part I had mastered, it was the whole sauce part that had many extra steps than me just opening and pouring a jar of Prego.  I laid out all the ingredients, read the directions a few 100 times and got cooking!
My finished product with bread and white wine.
I have to say it wasn’t so bad…granted we had all the time in world, a glass of wine and more rain falling outside. But I did enjoy getting out of my comfort zone and trying something new. Tom was a great supervisor and there were no fires or lost fingers in the making of my first meal.  Is this something I can see myself doing every night, heck no! I’ll willing go back to Tom’s kitchen runner and get him what he needs as I comfortably watch from outside the kitchen.  Maybe in another 6 months I’ll come across another recipe that I think looks good and I may give it a try but until then becoming a chef is definitely not on my career path.