Those that know me know I rarely follow recipes. To me recipes are idea starters. A place to go for inspiration. Sometimes I’ll ditch the recipes altogether and just get creative in the kitchen. It’s fun seeing what I can make with whatever we have on hand.
My oldest daughter is starting to take after my adventurous ways in the kitchen and this past weekend we got a chance to collaborate on a dish. We had the perfect opportunity because my wife was working late and my youngest daughter was at a school dance.
We started knowing that we wanted to use some of the shrimp that we had in the freezer. From there we could have gone in several directions but went with whole wheat spaghetti noodles. While the spaghetti was cooking we got working on what we’d mix with it.
Since we’re garlic fans we sautéed 4 or 5 minced garlic cloves and a bunch of chopped green onions. Next we added a half bag of fresh spinach and cooked it down. After that the shrimp and a can of mushrooms were added to cook.
We stirred in a little olive oil and tasted our dish. It needed a little something and my daughter suggested lemon juice. I was skeptical because lemon juice isn’t one of my normal “go-to” additions when cooking… but I agreed. I didn’t want to stifle her creativity.
It’s a good thing I didn’t. The fresh squeezed lemon juice was a great addition. She started out using just a little and ended up adding the juice from half a lemon. Another taste called for just a little salt. Then it was time to mix it with the cooked spaghetti.
My daughter plated our food and we sat down to a fantastic meal!
I share our experience to encourage you to get creative in the kitchen. See what you have and then see what you can make.
Not every dish you make will be a home run but if you use ingredients you like it’ll more than likely be edible. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across some new ideas… just like I did with the lemon juice.
Have you ever made up a dish as you went along? How did it turn out?
It’s Homecoming Week for our school district and my daughters and their classmates are all geared up for a fun week of special events and school pride. As they were planning for their week, I started thinking about Homecoming Week when I was in school.
One of the favorite things about Homecoming Week were the theme days where you wore a different “costume” to school each day. There might be a “50’s” day or an “occupation” day but I remember there usually being a “dress up” day which meant a tie for the guys.
Thursday night was Spirit Night were everyone packed into the gym to see who would be crowned Homecoming King and Queen. My Senior year I didn’t make the Homecoming Court but I did get to announce them and read their bios as they walked onto the gym floor.
To be honest, I probably had more fun doing that than if I had been selected for the court.
After the coronation it was time for the Snake Dance. Our local fire department had their trucks parked out in front of the school and kids lined up behind them and paraded through town. Since my Dad was on the fire department I got to ride in the trucks when I was little.
From the Snake Dance the party shifted to the football field for the powder puff game and bonfire.
The Friday afternoon of Homecoming week brought the Wacky Olympics. It had each class squaring off against each other in crazy games in the gym.
This was one of my favorite parts as an elementary student because we got to get out of school to watch. The event that sticks out in my mind the most was the ice block sit to see who could hold out the longest.
The football game was Friday night and the Homecoming Dance brought Homecoming week to an end on Saturday night. It was always a busy and fun week.