In different seasons of life, I have had different answers. I remember that in my old job — when I was around people and music all day long — I loved coming home to a quiet house and reading a book in glorious silence for awhile. Nowadays when I close my computer and call it a day with blogging, I generally beeline for the door to soak up some sunshine and take my pup for a walk around the block. Or meet up with friends for happy hour. Or watch an episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker, my guilty-pleasure show that was just released (all seven seasons!) on Hulu.
But as crazy as it sounds after a day of cooking, I have found that one of my favorite things in life is to still stand over the stove and stir something. It could be a soup. It could be a stir-fry. It could be scrambled eggs. I’ve learned that there’s just something about the physical act of stirring that settles my mind and is profoundly relaxing. Plus, stirring usually means that some delicious warm meal is in my future, so that may be part of it too.
Without a doubt, one of my favorite comfort foods after a long day is pasta. And I realized years ago that you can make a mean batch of homemade marinara sauce in the same time it makes to heat a pot of water and cook some pasta. It’s like they were meant to be together, or something. ;)
And as far as marinara sauces go, I have to say that I think this one is pretty tough to beat. It’s made with classic, uncomplicated ingredients. And it’s good on just about everything imaginable.
Today I’m bringing back another golden oldie from the Gimme Some Oven archives that is one of my absolute favorite dessert recipes to make in the summer. I had initially entitled it “Flameless Pineapple Foster” when I first posted the recipe back in 2010. But after receiving many puzzled looks and “pineapple what-was-that-again?” inquiries when I served it to friends this weekend, I decided to rename it with a better description of what this delicious dessert actually is:
Easy. Rum-Soaked. Grilled Pineapple.
Oh, and then top this heavenly grilled goodness with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Reduce the rum+cinnamon+brown sugar marinade into a caramelized sauce, and drizzle it on top. And then maybe even sprinkle on a pinch of cinnamon, if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Oh, and it only takes about 20 minutes of total prep time.
Oh, and no pineapple “foster” flames are required.
Actually, this recipe was inspired by my recent trip to Austin — a.k.a. The Land Of Breakfast Tacos — to kick off my partnership with Old El Paso as part of their Freshest Bloggers program. I will tell you about that in a minute.
Sometimes I wish our culture would adopt the custom of taking siestas.
You know, those naps that the Spanish so famously take each afternoon after lunch? They sound kind of brilliant to me. Because afternoons are without a doubt the time that I seem to move a littttle bitttt morrre slowwwwly. Mornings? I’m super energized and motivated. Evenings? All of my creative juices start flowing. But afternoons? Let’s just say “meh”. Energy and creativity are not quite there, and half of the time I find myself staring longingly out the window wanting to go on a long walk, or jealously at the couch where my dog is snoozing the mid-day away. Naps sound just lovely.
Seriously. My sister and I whipped it up for lunch one day last week when she was in town, and it made a big batch. So then we immediately had it again that evening for leftovers. And then I had some the next day for lunch. And a snack. And dinner. And after 48 hours of this salad, I still wasn’t tired of it!