Thursday, May 30, 2013

two hundred and fifty

When I stepped out the door to walk my husband to the train station this morning, I was practically punched in the face by my least favorite season.  When I left the climate controlled lobby of my apartment building, the rush of heat and humidity was enough to cause me to stagger backwards as my asthmatic lungs struggled to convert themselves into gills to process the aqueous air.  Okay, I'm being a little bit facetious, but the high on this lovely May day was 93 degrees.  Blech.

I know that June is just around the corner, but I had honestly expected another few weeks before I was facing temperatures in the nineties!  If you've read my posts from last summer, you know that I simply don't like the season.  The heat, the sunburns that I get despite wearing sunscreen, the fact that I have to run the air conditioner.  Those are a few of the things that I dislike about this time of year, but the number one culprit is the stove.  The heat of my gas stove combined with the outside temperatures leave me with zero interest in cooking, let alone eating, hot food.

The obvious solution to my problem would be to spend all summer doing that hip raw food thing, but I'm far too unhip to be able to survive on cold food alone.  The slow cooker is a help, but there are only so many slow cooked roasts that one can eat without getting bored.  So, what does that leave us for meal options?  Simple: one pot meals--and we're not talking Hamburger Helper here.

Mac and Cheese for Grownups

(Cheesy Penne with Sun Dried Tomatoes)

1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons salt
2-12 ounce cans of evaporated milk
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or garlic powder)
1/2 cup diced sun dried tomatoes
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1 cup provolone, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
1/2 cup romano, shredded
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Once pasta is cooked and drained, return it to the pot in which it was cooked.

Turn the burner on to medium-low, then add evaporated milk, basil, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, and the cheeses to the pot with the pasta.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted and the tomatoes look softened (the sauce may be tinged slightly pink), about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

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