More Food (Now with Action Cooking Shots!)


More shots of my dinner. I know some out there may be sick of pasta-based dishes, but I'm not. Tonight I made fettucini with a sort of tomato-based zucchini and mushroom sauce.

It's nothing too elaborate; I sliced up some zucchini and salted it, then sauteed it in olive oil. I started slicing the mushrooms after I put the zucchini in; this is important because mushrooms cook down quickly in comparison to zucchini. If you put everything in at once, you'll wind up with dried, shriveled-up mushrooms. Along similar line, I threw in a few cloves of minced garlic just before the mushrooms. While that was going, I put the sauce together, a can of tomato sauce, some olive oil, salt, a bit of basil, oregano, cayenne, and garlic powder (While I had them out, I dashed a little basil and oregano on the sauteeing vegetables, to give them a bit more flavor). I also put a pinch of sugar and a dash of cinnamon in the sauce.

Here we have the vegetables just before I put them in the sauce:


From there, after building up the heat to just under a boil, I left the sauce to simmer with the lid on. Here's the sauce:


Meanwhile, I had a big stock pot of water boiling, and I cooked the fettucini in the usual manner. The one slightly odd thing: After the pasta was done cooking and I had taken it out to drain, I took half a cup of the starchy pasta water and added it to the sauce. This replaces some of the moisture lost while simmering and also adds starch and flavor to the sauce.

From there, I put pasta on plate, put sauce on pasta, and served:


There you go. Dinner. And sauteeing the vegetables had the added bonus of overpowering the smell of cigars from my roommate's poker party last night. Counterbalancing bad smells with good smells is far preferable to my roommate's method of fumigation, opening all the windows in the middle of the night when it's 16 degrees outside. That was not a pleasant surprise when I opened my bedroom door this morning.


Yum! Side note, any advice for me as a SD girl heading for a cold area? What should a buy first? Shoes? Better coat? (I think U of Chicago is where i'm going to spend the next couple of years)

Oh, did you get in? If so, that's awesome!

I think a coat would be good; if you have a chance to get down to San Diego, check out clearance sales for winter outerwear; I got two nice fleece jackets for $10 each when I went shopping just before my East Coast trip last spring. I mean, there'll be clearances in the Bay Area as well, but I imagine they'll come a bit later.

In any case, I'd do your shopping as soon as possible; if you wait too long (I found mid-to-late March was a bit on the late side) you won't be able to find winter wear anywhere. In that case, you'll have to wait until Fall to buy stuff, at which point you'll be paying full price.

Other than jacketty stuff, I'd recommend gloves, foremost. You can only stay outside as long as your least-protected extremity lasts, and I find the hands are the first things to get really cold, what with all the excess surface area. After that, I'd recommend general head accessories (hat, ear muffs, scarf). The scarf is a nice catch-all because, as shown below, you can use it as extra insulation to shore up holes in your protection.

Shoe-wise, I get by with Doc Martens as my everyday shoes. They're tough, fairly water-resistant, and have good traction, which is what matters. I'd definitely be a lot less happy with non-water resistant shoes, what with pools of water and slush.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on February 19, 2006 9:39 PM.

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