Monday, November 25, 2013

Calling Ahead + Paste e Fagioli

Today's Get It Done Tip is all about being resourceful.  We have all at some point had a day where we ran from store to store looking for an ingredient, a special toy for our kid, etc...and you know what I have to say about that? 
Screw it.
Aside from it being some alone time, it's not time well spent if you are juggling a career and family.

I ran out yesterday because I realized we had no onions (not resourceful - I know!).  While I was out my husband emailed me that he wanted to cook something so needed a special ingredient.  My plan was to go to a store that is close by, but I worried they might not carry his ingredient. 
What to do?
Call the store!  Not rocket science, I know....but I had a good 2 minutes debate in my head about going to Trader Joe's (closer) or Whole Foods (certain they carry the product) before I just called TJ's to see if they carried it. 
Another example - we had to buy a certain type of shirt for my oldest a few years back and we couldn't find what we wanted online.  At first my husband was talking about which stores we should hit up in order of preference to look for the item.  I said, uh no - let's call the stores and see if they have the right color/size before we waste the day running around.  We wound up hitting up one store and we were done.
Love it.

Tonight's dinner was prepped yesterday and finished off today.

Christmas Eve Pasta e Fagioli
Gooseberry Patch
3/4 lb. ground beef chuck (I used ground chicken)
1 onion, chopped
1 T. oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 T. dried basil
1 T. dried oregano
15-oz can diced tomatoes (I used 3 fresh chopped tomatoes)
4 cups chicken broth
15-oz can canellini bans, drained and rinsed
1 c. ditalini pasta, uncooked
Garnish: shredded Parmesan cheese

Pre-broth and noodles -- I threw in some shiitake mushrooms because I am a rebel
In a large heavy soup pot over medium heat, brown meat and onion in oil until beef is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in garlic, celery and carrot; cook for 4 minutes.
Sprinkle with basil and oregano.
Stir in tomatoes with juice and chicken broth; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Stir in beans and pasta; simmer for 6-7 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through.
Ladle into bowls; garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 4 to 6
I cooked off the pasta right before serving today and put a little scoop of noodles in the bottom of each bowl before ladling the soup over it.

Kid approved!

*UPDATE: Kid approved by the oldest only.  I personally found it bland. 

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