This week I decided to make garlic spaghetti and hot fudge cake. I know it sounds like a weird combo, but allow me to explain. My family loves loves loves pasta…especially Ryan. He would literally eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let him. Back in 2010, my entire immediate family took a trip to Harbor Springs and Mackinac Island. We rented a big house, and spent a long weekend together…it was the best. While on this vacation, I actually let Ryan have pasta for all three meals, and he thought he was in heaven! Anyway, over the weekend, my Dad and my sister decided to come over for a visit. I was going to make them lunch, and wanted to serve the panzanella that I wrote about last week. In addition to the panzanella (which was divine) I wanted to make a pasta dish too. I wanted to try something new, but was quickly running out of time. As I was getting ready for the day, I had “The Food Network” on in the background. It was while I was applying my make up and listening to “Ten Dollar Dinners” that I came across this recipe. The host of the show, Melissa d’Arabian, made this meal. I couldn’t believe the timing. I was wanting to make a new sauce for my pasta dish, and here was a recipe that was: a. pretty simple, b. I had all the ingredients, and c. I had the time required to prepare the dish before my family arrived at my house. BONUS!
I immediately went into the kitchen and got to work. It takes about 40 minutes or so to prepare the sauce, but it is totally worth it! My family LOVED the garlic spaghetti. My Dad and sister wanted the recipe, and I sent the left over garlic spaghetti home with them. My Dad actually said it was better than any spaghetti that he’d ever eaten at Buca de Beppo, Olive Garden, or Carrabas! I was super excited that my family enjoyed it so much. I ended up making a few pounds of pasta. This recipe only requires one pound, but I wasn’t sure if the kids would like it. I also knew Ryan would want plain pasta with butter and parmesan, his ultimate favorite food, so I made some extra. I am really glad I did too, because after my Dad left, Dan and I wanted more. I ended up making another batch of the garlic sauce on Sunday night, and we had garlic pasta for dinner too. YUM! Here is the link to the garlic spaghetti recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/garlic-spaghetti-recipe/index.html
I love love love having my family over, and I especially love to cook for them. The fact that they enjoyed the food so much was the icing on the cake. Speaking of cake I made hot fudge cake for dessert. In fact I made 2 desserts. I had ice cream that I wanted to use, as it was taking up much-needed freezer space, so initially I made hot fudge brownie sundae’s. We had chocolate and vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, hot fudge, whipped cream, Oreo cookie bits, and of course brownies.
It was while the brownies were baking that we began to discuss cake-y versus fudge-y brownies. By the way, we decided that fudge-y brownies rock, and beat cake-y brownies any day of the year! Anyway, the conversation then shifted to a particular dessert that my sister Amy and I used to love. When we were kids, one of our favorite restaurants was “the Sveden House.” We loved that it was buffet style, and there was a ton of food to pick from. Most of all we loved the chocolate cake they had for dessert. It was like a cross between cake and pudding. There was always a cake-y top, but underneath there was a fudge-y chocolate river that was like the consistency of thick pudding. OMG…that cake was to die for! When I was pregnant with Victoria, I found a recipe for “Hot Fudge Cake,” and it was just like the cake we used to get at the Sveden House. Then last year, I found a crock pot version of the same recipe! Well as were debating brownies, we somehow got to talking about that cake. I’ve never made it for my Dad and sister, so I decided “what the heck” and made a second dessert. This cake recipe is absolutely sinful…honestly it is probably a sin for food to taste that good. At the very least, anyone who eats it can easily commit the sin of gluttony, as it is so hard to stop eating. It’s especially good with whipped cream or a little scoop of ice cream on top… sinful I tell you…sinfully delicious! Here is the link to the hot fudge cake recipe:
As I mentioned above, I love to have family and friends over. When I was a little girl my whole family got together for dinner every weekend. On Saturdays we’d go to my Sito and Jido’s house (my Mom’s parents) and have a nice dinner with the whole family. I got to play with my cousins, and have some really yummy food. Then on Sundays, we’d go to my Dad’s parents’. All of my Dad’s siblings and their families would come, and we’d hang out together, and then have a great meal. Growing up I loved the weekends, as most times I got to see my whole family. I felt so lucky to have such a big wonderful family, and I remember thinking that I wanted my kids to grow up the same way. Eventually as everyone got older, the schedule got more complicated, and things changed. I still recall those family weekend dinners as some of the happiest times of my whole life. I only hope that when Victoria and Ryan are older, they will recall their childhood’s with the same fondness. We see my Dad and Sister every weekend, so my kids get to see their cousins on a regular basis. It isn’t the same as when I grew up, but I am doing my best to make sure my kids grow up surrounded by family and love. For a long time it really bothered me that the weekly family dinners came to an end. I hate goodbyes, and I felt as if I was saying goodbye to a HUGE part of my younger self. I felt that Victoria and Ryan were not going to have the same wonderful family experiences that I had growing up. After much reflection, I have come to accept that letting go of what once was, doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to “give up” my wonderful memories. Maybe it means that I need to accept that some things just cannot be anymore. Those memories are safe in my heart, and I can go back anytime I want. I can fill my children’s lives with loved ones…whether we are related or not. I recently came across a quote that represented exactly how I feel. It goes like this… “Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life, who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.” So thanks to “my family,” you are the butter to my bread, the garlic to my pasta, and the hot fudge to my cake. XOXO