An Everyday Sort of Meal

We haven't posted much recently, because we haven't been cooking much recently. We just got married, Hillary got promoted, we've been busy. So we've been ordering pizza and going out to eat more often than not. And when we have cooked, it hasn't been the type of cooking that I think of as worthy of a blog post. Posts should be about interesting things. An experiment, a holiday, a giant meal.

"We only make Buffalo wings once a year, that's worth writing about."

Weeknight meals are also more difficult to photograph, since I'm usually just trying to get them over with. I read an article a while ago: Cooking isn't fun, but you should do it anyway. You should read it, but the gist is that cooking is really only fun when you're doing the things I described as "blog worthy" just now. Day to day cooking can be a grind.

I agree, but it can be made a little better by building up your stable of simple, easy recipes. Once you've got some, making dinner on a weeknight isn't so bad. You just need to make yourself do it, instead of visiting your favorite taco truck, even though tacos are easier.

Here's a meal we made for dinner the other night - Penne with squash, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. Very straightforward. The combination of these three (and/or zucchini) is pretty versatile and can be used in many other contexts. We've used it as a pizza topping before with great success.


Yes, this is pretty much everything you need, besides a kitchen. Start boiling some water for you pasta, and chop your squash up into half moons. (As an aside, can you tell where we do our shopping?)

Once chopped, throw them in a frying pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper - cooking until soft, but watch out, as it's easy to overcook squash and it's gross when soggy. Some browning is a good thing here.

I find a tasty beer enhances the joy of cooking.

We've made variations of this meal many times (for real, lots), but I was severely out of practice, so I forgot you should really wait for your water to be boiling before you start cooking your veggies. If you don't, and you don't want soggy squash, you're going to end up waiting while your pasta boils. Slowly.

Hillary helps me wait.

Once your pasta is cooked through, top with the squash, a bit of olive oil, and your balsamic and goat cheese. Now you're ready to eat and watch Jeopardy.


While this meal was tasty (and pretty healthy, I must say) it was lacking a little something. Next time some greens might be a nice addition, or possibly some spice. Which spice, I'm not sure, but something.


Penne with Squash, Balsamic Vinegar and Goat Cheese


One large squash

Goat Cheese

Balsamic Vinegar


Boil your pasta. While waiting for the pasta to boil, chop squash into half moon pieces and fry in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper until cooked through but not soggy. Serve squash over pasta, garnished with goat cheese and balsamic.

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