Did you all have a fabulous weekend?
Ours was pretty good, Saturday night the Hubs and I went out on a date. Nothing huge. He works... allot. Allot allot. Between the hours he puts in at work and his drive time... he is away from home 70-75 hours a week lately.
I figured he needed a night out for a couple of beers without kids. So I dropped the 3 little ones off at my Mother In-laws for a couple hours and I picked him up at work and we went out.
It's amazing once you have kids what just 2 hours of kid free time with your spouse is like. I wish I could say we do weekly or even monthly dates.... but we don't.
We tend to go out at least once every two months or so.
It's hard when you have 3 kids under the age of 5... finding someone trusted to watch them is a rare thing.
I wish I wasn't so paranoid but I can't bring myself to hire an actual sitter.... I don't trust anyone with the kids except our family members and one of my closest friends.
So as you can imagine.... date nights are rare when you rely on the kindness of family and friends!
We often do an in house date night... Every once in awhile I spend my day making sure everything is perfect for when Hubs gets home... all three kids are fed and in bed. House is clean. And dinner is cooked and on the table ready for him when he gets home.
That is allot harder than it sounds! I have 2 night owl boys who to get in bed by 8 is a task all on it's own. Also a clean spotless house is allot of work when you have two little boys and my giant dog in the house... Most often when Hubs gets home I'm in the middle of the night time battle with the boys or even with Mads (she has her tough nights as all babies do!), or I'm half way done picking up the days messes or cleaning up my baking adventures... ( I TRASH the kitchen when I bake... it's a problem. Seriously!).
So yeah... In house date nights. I tend to make him one of his favorite meals... like Lobster Mac... or maybe make him a special dessert like Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Pie... OR I make this simple pasta dish that he is IN LOVE with.
I started making my Toasted Pasta and Veggie dish about 5 or 6 yrs ago when we lived in a tiny little cabin and I was pregnant with our first. It's simple, it's light, and it's different!
Toasted Pasta w/ Caramelized Onions and Vegetables
8 oz of uncooked spaghetti noodles (half a box)
2 tbs of olive oil
2 tbs of butter (or Earth Balance)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)
1 diced onion
1 red bell pepper sliced thin
1-2 cups broccoli florets
2 cloves of minced garlic
First start by caramelizing your onions. Place 1 tbs of olive oil and 1 tbs of butter in a sauce pan. Add in diced onions and cook on low for about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from burning. When the onions are golden and translucent. Remove from heat.
In a large fry pan or wok melt 1 tbs butter in the pan with your 1 tbs olive oil. Break pasta in half and add to the fry pan. Over medium low heat, toast your pasta. Tossing constantly.
It should start to look like this....
See the toasted pieces? You don't want every piece to toast... just about 1/3. You should end up with 3 shades of pasta.
Slowly add in your stock 1 cup at a time. Continue to cook on med/low heat. Toss pasta on occasion. Let the pasta absorb the stock. (Almost like cooking risotto!) When the pasta is starting to get tender about 15 minutes into the cooking process) Add in your veggies and garlic.
Add as much stock as needed to keep it moist and toss until the veggies are cooked through and the pasta is cooked. Toss with Caramelized Onions.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese.