Growing up, my grandmother’s kitchen was always a magical place filled with culinary wonder and the delicious aroma of gravy (not sauce) simmering to perfection. Stepping into her kitchen,and peeking through her cabinets (and sometimes front coat closet) always gave me that anxious feeling of surprise. You never knew what kind of goodies you were going to stumble upon. Whether it was frozen, individual slices of homemade pizza in the freezer, or “Royal Dansk” tins filled to the brim with rock biscotti, anisette cookies or a dozen other varieties of Italian deliciousness, Grandma’s home-cooking always brought a smile to my face (and it still does!!).
Grandma has the cooking “gift”, that instinctive cooking know-how of a little bit of this and a little bit of that, that somehow always yields happy faces and full bellies. She has the magic to take a semi-empty “I’m an on-the-go grandma’s fridge” and turn it into a meal fit for kings… and toddlers!! Grandma how do you do it?
I witnessed this magic a couple of weeks ago when my mother and I decided to take lil’ Jojo in to see his GG (Great Grandma) on a Friday evening. The decision was very last minute, and of course we decided to stay for a meal because you really don’t ever want to leave. But as you know when you have a toddler, sometimes unexpected changes in plans lead to bigger problems (tantrums, meltdowns …you get the picture).So naturally , I began to panic a little because I hadn’t planned on what Jojo would eat for dinner ( he was also going through quite the picky spell…thank you going back-to-school). Silly me should’ve known that GG was on it. Before I could even put the pieces of my brain back together to think about dinner, she was already at work in the kitchen cooking up a dish that was so simple and delicious it made me laugh at how much I stress out about what he will eat. In no time, GG whipped up a delicious acini pasta dish with peas & corn that Jojo devoured. GG knows her stuff!
This recipe is very simple, but we need those simple and delicious meals in our lives for those unplanned dinner days when we would rather spend more time laughing and enjoying the company of our families than slave over an involved meal in the kitchen!
- 1 Box of Acini Pasta
- Frozen vegetable mix (GG used peas with corn)-1/2c-1c
- 1-3 tbsp of milk (sorry for the range, but it you know… it’s a little of this and a little of that!)
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- Cook 1/4 of the box of Acini Pasta according to the instructions on the box. Cook the pasta 1 minute less than the suggested cook time.
- Drain pasta and return to pot. Turn off burner.
- Add 1/2c – 1c of thawed frozen vegetables, milk and butter. Stir until combined and creamy. (You could also add cut -up chicken or beans for protein)
*Jojo loved this quick and easy meal, and I must admit I devoured it too. Yummy! Thank you GG! You can also add parmesan cheese to this dish to give it more of a cheesy “grits” type taste.