The Sweetest Day

It’s cold here in North Carolina. The proposition of snow Monday morning has folks spooked again. No snow yet but most schools have already called it a snow day tomorrow. It was cold outside today, so we didn’t feel too bad about spending most of the day inside cooking.

On Valentine’s Day, we share a special kind of bond as a family. My bride and I had our first official date 13 years ago to the day. We stayed at my place on that day, and I cooked steak for dinner. Nothing fancy, but a tradition we carry on as a family. Without that goofy first date, things may not have turned out the way they have.

After church, I took a tally of the votes, and spaghetti with meatballs won out. Swung by the store and picked up a few items missing, and tried to nail down a recipe. Lady and the Tramp nearly always comes up when we talk about spaghetti dinner, and Valentine’s Day  was a very fitting time. 

A variation on the recipe below. Didn’t realize until now, I forgot the egg! 


Turned out well, and everyone was pleased. Even Bella had a chance to sample the goods.

Good night, and Happy Valentine’s Day.



Times like these

Nights like this make being Dad the sweetest job.

It was late already, and my nice lady did not have her cake done for the morning. She was fussing  that the cake frosting would not stick, and had really worked herself up. Couldn’t help but look inward, and remember that I struggle with the same hard-headed tendancies when faced with a challenge. She was sent to take a shower and center herself.

I helped little man finish his project, and headed toward the kitchen. At this point, I was mostly concerned about not having time for a blog post. Considering I had missed the night before, 2 posts were going to be a tall order.

The frosting was not in perfect condition, but managed to spackle it on. Word quickly spread that Dear ol Dad was manageing the impossible task, and giddy delight was heard from the shower. Nice lady and I finished up the cake together, as joy filled both our hearts. 

It’s hard to digest the praises of “Best Dad EVER” from the little ones. We tend to shy away from the title, looking back at mistakes and doubt of our competence. We find ways that we are not living up to the duties and role as a father that have been tasked from above. Tonight, I’ll take the title. It was a great night to be Dad, but I hope in the end, I’m the second greatest Dad they will ever know.


Chicken Wal-Marsala

I can’t help myself. When I get something in my mind to cook, I research, and get it done. I get tunnel vision, and have to find every ingredient.

Two nights ago, we had the basics for chicken and noodles. My better half left it up to me to fill in the blanks, so I stopped at the only real place to get anything on my direct route from work to home – Walmart. Chicken Marsala is a dish we both enjoy, but Jaime especially. It had been on my list of learn-to’s for some time, so I decided it was the day. I found a decent recipe on my phone, and then had second thoughts on actually pulling this thing off. Tunnel vision, meet pragmatism-

  • Flour – King Aurthur’s is notoriously the cheapest at Walmart, and just read an article mentioning the company
  • Kosher Salt – got it in the pantry
  • Olive oil – always on hand at home
  • 4 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto- ok here is where we begin to improvise – we have bacon at home
  • 8 ounces Crimini or porcini mushrooms – again, an opportunity to overcome – the white ones will have to work
  • Sweet Marsala wine – this is where I remember giving up before, but we will find a way – Barefoot Pino Noir it is
  • Chicken stock, butter, and parsley – rounded out and ready to go-

It worked. I’m no Pioneer Woman, but it worked.