Playing in the Kitchen

In an attempt to save money and because we now live in a tiny little town without many options for eating out, I’ve been cooking a lot more at home. For the most part I love cooking, however I get tired of the same old recipes I keep going back to time and time again. I constantly watch Food Network and I get daily e-mails from various websites with lots of different recipes to try. So I decided to step out of my comfort zone this week and try a couple new recipes.

The first is Sausage and Tomato Rigatoni from Kraft Foods. I absolutely love this website and their ideas for very simple meals with ingredients I almost always have on hand. Oh and they send out a free magazine quarterly with all kinds of great recipes. Go to Kraft Foods to sign up 🙂

Anyway, the rigatoni dish was delicious and a new comfort food recipe for my collection. The Italian sausage gave the dish a lot of flavor on it’s own. A few things I changed or added:

– I added about a teaspoon of garlic powder to the Italian sausage as it browned
– After adding the onions and tomato paste I added 1/2 cup of water to thin out the sauce. It was just too thick and wouldn’t come to a simmer
– After the pasta was done I reserved 1/4 cup of the pasta water and ended up adding that with the dressing because the sauce was still quite thick
-I wasn’t able to find fresh parsley at the ghetto grocery store by my work so I used dried instead. It probably wasn’t as good, but with all the other flavors going on it wasn’t really missed either.

And last night we had some of hubby’s family over for dinner. Luckily we had no over dramatic conversations or heated arguments. And everything turned out dinner-wise so I’m calling it a success. We were celebrating two birthdays so I made a Malibu Rum Cake. I saw the recipe a long time ago in one of the Sandra Lee Semi-homemade Cookbooks and figured last night was a good time to try it out. From tasting the batter I could tell it would be a nice change from the typical carrot cake we typically have for birthdays around here. It was a hit! . So much so that there aren’t a whole lot of leftovers. I guess that’s a good thing though. The last thing I need to be tempted with is a bunch of alcohol soaked cake 🙂


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