Before the semester ended, in anticipation of our summer off, Maya (5) and I made a “2015 Summer Bucket List.” One big-ticket item was eat outside as much as possible. I have always thought that food tastes better outside. Not to mention that I don’t have a floor covered with crumbs to clean up!
So … last night we ate dinner outside for the first time. I made a super simple dinner: spaghetti and salad. One of my favorite jar pasta sauces is Trader Joe’s Vodka Sauce. I dressed it up with onions, garlic, kale, mushrooms, and homemade turkey meatballs that I had in the freezer. To defrost them, I warmed them in a covered skillet with a little water and olive oil over medium-high heat. While the meatballs were doing their thing, I sauteed the vegetables in olive oil over medium-high heat. After they browned slightly, I added the Vodka Sauce and a little water. The sauce simmered on medium-low for 10 minutes or so, then I threw in the meatballs. After the spaghetti was cooked, I simply put the spaghetti directly into the sauce pot, mixed to combine, and took the whole pot outside – no need to create more dishes to wash!
For the salad, I made a simple caesar salad with spinach, celery, iceberg lettuce, shaved parmesan, homemade croutons, and Girard’s caesar dressing. I typically don’t like bottled salad dressings, but I really like Girard’s. And I know, I know … I admit it … yes, I like iceberg lettuce. I do realize that there is practically zero nutritional benefit, but there is something so refreshing about its cold crunch! For the croutons, I use 2-3 day-old sourdough baguette. I cut it into cubes and toast them in a large skillet with olive oil. I add them to the salad after they have cooled.
Maya and Nico had a great time eating outside, especially because they could bug our outdoor cat, Miko! We plan to eat outside at least once a day – I highly suggest you do the same!