Friday, July 22, 2011

A Family Phenomenon in Paradise

It has always been important in my family to have dinner together, which were always made by the parents.  Now that we are older and live in different states, family dinners don't happen all the time.  However, when they do happen they are always filled with good food, wine, and laughter. While growing up this was a time where each child was to share what happened during our day.  Often though it sounded a little like this:

"I woke up, I had breakfast, I brushed my teeth... (insert here one sister saying to another... ewwww she's breathing my air...)."

This tradition has been something that my parents have instilled in all of us since we were little.  The tradition is now being passed down to the next generation.  So being all here (well maybe more like 5/10 which is 1/2), my sister and I wanted to turn the tables around and actually make dinner for them.    

This meal was a nutritious and family focused summer treat.  The key to making the meal is to stay on top of the clean-up.  That way more time can be spent playing a competitive game of CatchPhrase with the family.

The meal consisted of: Texas Caviar as the appetizer (shout-out to Jenny-Dubbs for the recipe!!), Vovo's Vegetarian Tortellini, salad, olive bread and dipping oil.

Make the appetizer first because it is much better after it has had a chance to sit in fridge for 30 or so minutes.

 Texas Caviar Ingredients:
3-4 celery stalks
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 can black beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can pinto beans
1/2 can corn

1/8 cup olive oil (or slightly less)
1/8 cup sugar (or slightly less)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Whisk oil, sugar and vinegar together then pour over ingredients above.  Mix several times. Let sit for 30 about minutes or so.  Serve with your favorite chips.

We wanted a nice presentation and found this bowl.  When discussing how to arrange the chips and the dip, I said to my sister think of it like a math problem.  At which point she immediately became stressed and shut down.  As a sidenote, math anxiety was my masters thesis, with my sister as my main focal point!

Onto the dinner now...

Olive Oil
Chicken Broth
Grape Tomatoes
Sugar Snap Pea Pods
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Chop the garlic and the scallions (chef's choice to amount) and saute in olive oil.  

Add in the mushrooms and cook until brown. Then combine with a can of chicken broth.    

Chop the tomatoes and pea pods and leave to the side 

Boil water and cook tortellini.  Which the tortellini are cooking (about 7-9 minutes) add the tomatoes and pea pods to the mushroom mixture.  Normally I would also add shredded carrots to the dish, but according to my high maintenance sister "they taint everything in their path." At the last minute add some feta and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, again chef's choice as to how much.  Place the mushroom mixture over the tortellini on your favorite serving dish.  Top with a dash of sea salt.    

Again, be sure to serve with your favorite wine!

~Eat Well and Be Happy~


  1. It was a wonderful evening;thank you very much!Good food and even better company.

  2. I am cooking this tonight but using zucchini instead of tomatoes (Since I don't like my tomatoes hot) - very excited, thanks for idea Vovo and Yellow Apron Experiment!