This doesn't help a girl out when she needs to, say, plan a birthday party for her boyfriend. My idea of having a mix-and-match pasta bar was basically shot down (for logistic and practical purposes) by my mother, who was here visiting me at the time. She revamped the menu, spent most of two days in the kitchen, and helped me realize that I may have been a little hasty in confidently proposing to feed about 40 people without having ever done such a thing in my life.
Here are some things I learned:
1. Appetizers can, and should, be prepared ahead of time. Those dips and bowls full of random goodness don't just get thrown together minutes before guests arrive (even if it appears that easy!). They take thought, time, and effort (and a whole lot of ingredients brought from the States!)
2. You should maybe have some stand-by recipes to turn to. Thanks to mom's delicious repertoire of Italian dishes, I was saved from what could have been a disaster and a bunch of hungry guests.
3. Although all my go-to grocery stores have entire aisles devoted to tomato sauces, pastas, and cheeses, it's quite possible that the ONLY store to carry penne pasta or ricotta cheese is the overpriced american imports store.
4. It's high time I learn my way around a kitchen.
And so, this leads me to my newest (and hopefully not short-lived) routine. Something I just deemed, "Domestic Thursdays".
Daniel has class on Thursday nights, leaving me generally very available (read: often bored). Lately I have also been holing myself up whenever possible to avoid spending money before spring break travel plans.
SO, hungry and unable to shop, last week I rummaged through my random bits and leftovers and created Quinioa, Lentil and Veggie stuffed peppers!
On Saturday (yea, ok, not a Thursday), I whipped up some Zucchini fritters with Dill Tzatziki sauce!
All in all, I'm quite happy with how things are turning out... although I know I have a long way to go.
(check out my Pinterest page for links to some of those recipes I mentioned!)