Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 3 Week 2 – TV for smart people

So I haven't been feeling very bloggy the last few days. I don't know maybe it is the extreme coldness or the obsessive need to finish the book I was reading. I don't read much, but when I do I get obsessed. I have often made the statement that "reading is just TV for smart people". I mean, it is just as much of a ginormous time waster as TV is. When I am in the middle of a good book I avoid doing anything productive and just sit and read until I finish. (and since I am an incredibly slow reader...we are talking months of little to no productivity). If I do actually have the will power to ignore the book and get my work done then I just stay up all night and read while everyone is asleep. Rendering me sleepy and basically useless the next day. So I stand by my statement. Of course this only applies to fiction novels (which is the only thing I read). I guess if you are reading history books or the bible or any christian materials then it is educational and therefore not as bad as TV. Likewise, if you are watching educational TV like the history or discovery channel then I don't think that counts as rotting your brain in the least. So that takes me back to original statement.... "Reading is just TV for smart people."

I just finished The Help late last night. (Great book!) Having grown up in Mississippi I was immediately sucked into this story. Picturing my grandparents and parents as I read. Wondering if they can identify with it. Honestly, I hope not. But I finished and so today I am getting back to my reality. Cleaning, cooking, changing diapers, and, of course, blogging.

Wednesday night I was feeling ambitious again and tried another new Real Simple recipe, Cheesy Baked Shells and Broccoli. I am continually (or contiuously? I get those confused. Maybe next I should ready some grammar books.) impressed with the simplicity of these recipes. I don't know why... it's right there in the title. But they really are quick and easy and my family loves them! Okay, so I did have to sit and make Amelia eat the broccoli (I refuse to have her turn out like me) but she DID eat it finally. So that's something right? I was a little nervous about having no meat for dinner. I could never be a vegetarian. I don't really feel like it is a decent meal without some chicken, pork or beef on my plate. I mean, it is not like I am a huge red meat eater. (although I do love a good steak!) At home I usually stick to the white stuff Chicken, turkey, and pork. Mostly because I have no idea what to do with the grease. I remember the jar of fat under the kitchen sink when I was growing up. And that just freaks me out. So I stick to the super lean meats when I am doing the cooking. It is just easier that way. Anyway, I shouldn't have worried. This meal was so filling I didn't even miss the meat. Look at me...Im growing!

So here is the deliciousness up close. Beautiful.

And here it is looking lovely on a plate. I figured I would post 2 pics of this meal because I forgot to take pictures of Thursday's meal. It was soup. Yummy but not very photogenic. Stay tuned.

Cheesy Baked Shells and Broccoli
3/4 lb medium pasta shells
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP all purpose flour
2 cups of whole milk
2 cups coarsely grated Cheddar or Gruyere cheese (8oz)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
kosher salt and black pepper
1 - 16oz bag frozen broccoli florets, thawed
(I used frozen chopped broccoli to make it more Amelia friendly)

Heat broiler. Cook the pasta according to the package directions

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Add the pasta and broccoli and toss to combine. Transfer to a broilerproof 8-inch square or another 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Broil until golden, 3 to 4 minutes.

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