Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dinner for Three and GIVEAWAY Winner!

I grew up sharing meals at a similar table!
As a child my family ate dinner
together nearly every night
until I left for college

And yes
we were your typical 
American family of the day
two parents
two kids
two dogs
{and at times two parakeets
and a hamster or two}

{Happy Birthday 5-13, Little Brother!}

But every once in a while
if my dad was out
and it was just my mom, brother and me
we didn't eat the typical fare
post roasts or lasagna
pork chops with sauerkraut
or meatloaf or manicotti

It was more likely to be
scrambled eggs or waffles
{breakfast for dinner!}
or grilled cheese and
tomato soup.

Sometimes we'd have a
Swanson's frozen meal or
a chicken potpie or maybe
frozen pizza.....

Compared to the normal routine,
these meals seemed exotic--
especially if we got to eat them
on TV trays!  Remember those??

These days, I'm the mom and
I have my own go-to
Daddy is out dishes
that the kids and I enjoy
when we are on our own.

As they have grown they
also like the every man
for himself option where
we plunder the fridge for
leftovers and do our own

But I still crave the camaraderie
of sitting down together,
so I'm always on the lookout
for new menu ideas for the
nights that it is just the three
of us.

One of those nights, this week,
we had baked potatoes, scrambled
eggs and asparagus, which we
all found quite comforting.

It's been a chilly, rainy and
grey week, weather wise, so
this is the type of food that
we have been craving.

Since discovering blogs
I have gleaned many recipe
ideas and today I found a
new it's just us three dinner
idea:  Spaghetti on Toast
from my friend Marie
at The English Kitchen.

One of my favorite English Kitchens from the movie The Holiday
Apparently Spaghetti on Toast
is very popular in the U.K.
particularly among children,
students and starving artists!

Here is part of the recipe....

It has to be grilled toast, with slabs of sliced 
strong cheddar cheese placed on one side and
then grilled until all toasted and bubbling . . .

Then you simply place them onto heated plates 
and ladle the hot spaghetti over top.
With a good grinding of black pepper on top, 
it's a fab supper....It's a no brainer really . . . 

. . . hot toasted cheese with hot tinned 
spaghetti ladled over top.

Thanks, Marie! 

I would love to learn about
your favorite alternate night

Those nights when you are
cooking just for yourself

or yourself and the kids

or don't feel like cooking at all!

PS:  Just wrapped up my first
giveaway to celebrate my first
50 followers!  Thank you for
the 89 comments and all of the
introductions to new blogging
neighbors!   Decided that
was too many to put into a hat,
so used and
am pleased to announce that the
winner is Number 73,
Vonda from Following Splendor!

images [1 2 3  4  5 
6 7-8 Privet and Holly 9 10 The Holiday 11 The English Kitchen 12 Privet and Holly]


Anonymous said...

Sending out a BIG congratulations to Vonda, your VERY FIRST giveaway winner. YAY Vonda!!

The Blue Ridge Gal

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest neighbor,
You speak of things so fond to my heart. We grew up around the same time, so for us, it was pancakes when my dad's paycheck was small! He was always there, but during these lean times, for some reason as a kid, it was fun to be creative in kitchen and watch mom make something out of nothing....a skill that she honed to a "T" being in the lower economic class! But the British spaghetti on toast looks like such a feast! I love your stroll down memory lane..those TV trays bring back times of sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of rice pudding after school, watching Felix the Cat! Wow...I am going WAY BACK!

Enjoy a lovely, cloudy Midwest day! Anita

diane said...

Wow! Never heard of this recipe, but it is definitely worth a try!!! How could it not be good???

Julie said...

Good morning! Well....I think we must be very much alike...this is exactly how I grew up, and what I continue now as a mother...we love our family dinners, but there's something about those "daddy's not home tonight" dinners, isn't there? My girls are older too, and can definitely "forage" for themselves!

We adore "night breakfasts", as we call them....and Marie....ah, Marie! I've loved her since the day I found her last year! So glad you appreciate her, too!

Don't know how I missed your last post on returning the call...I had the same thought about calling cards some months ago and posted about it--vintage cards, of course! Something very beautiful about the idea, isn't there? I thought it would be fun to come up with some kind of cyber card idea, but forgot about it till I saw your post....hmmmmm...have to keep thinking!

Thanks for being a kindred spirit--so glad I met you...Have a beautiful day!

Beach House Living said...

Congratulations to Vonda, enjoy.

Eggs for dinner is one of my favorites. Yes, I remember t.v. trays and looking forward to diving into Swanson chicken pot pies. We have a set of vintage metal snack trays. They are smaller than than t.v. trays and sit on your lap. Every once in awhile I drag them out.

Happy Birthday too your brother too.

La Dolfina said...

You always manage to evoke a great memory!! I loved it when my Mom made breakfast for dinner! I still crave it and frequently ask my husband, who is the cook in our house, "can we have breakfast for dinner tonight?"
I'm going to show him this spaghetti recipe from the UK. I think it's right up his alley.
Congrats to Vonda... lucky girl!!!

Kathysue said...

GM, I have the same child hood memory as you. We use to call them fun dinners. We always sat at the table so to eat on a TV tray was a treat. One of the dinners I remember was tomatoe soup and popcorn. We would put the popcorn in the soup just like crackers, it was really good or Mexican hotdogs. A hotdog wrapped in a corn tortilla and fried,yum, we would dip it in mustard and catsup. Fun looking back, thanks for the walk down memory lane, Happy Thursday sweet friend, Kathysue

Morning T said...

Congrats to Vonda on winning your fab giveaway!

I love this post...we also ate at a round table and would have pancakes and eggs on special nights. I don't do that with my family now but thanks to you I've remembered and will start letting loose a bit. :)

PS- I used to LOVE Swanson salsbury steak frozen dinners.

ZAIRA said...

Hi Suzanne, my alternative dinner is pizza!! I try to eat very healthy, the so called dieta mediterranea, so pizza is always a moment of pure joy for me. Or, when I really want to "exaggerate" i go to Macdonald's!!! My mother and I still eat on the sofa sometimes when we're alone, watching a movie. It's nice to see that someone else do it!! They're precious moments xxx

lisaroy said...

Congrats on winning the amazing giveaway Vonda!
We grew up having family dinner every night too and when Dad wasn't around or mom just didn't feel like cooking, it would either be baked beans with weiners or scrambled eggs and toast. I would have LOVED the tv trays though but we weren't allowed to eat in the living room - kitchen table only! But my grandma had tv trays so if I was spending the night at her house as a kid, we used them there once in a while! happy memories. xx

Kim said...

What a very sweet nostalgic post! I enjoyed reminiscing with you. Our go-to meal is pancakes!
P.S. congrats to Vonda!

Vonda said...

I am so excited! I won my first giveaway at my new favorite blog.

Your writings always brings warm thoughts and memories and you think in pictures which brings heart, soul and mind all together.

Thank you so much and I look forward to sharing in your journey with your next 50 followers.


fairmaiden said...

You grew up exactly like me...everything you described is spot on to my memories. I've tried to raise my children similar...we sit down to eat together every night...though since we moved into Sea Cottage, and the kids are no longer kids but young ladies and gents, they like to sit at the kitchen island. Hubby and I are close by, at the kitchen table, but it's not the same as all of us around the same table. Holidays find us all around the big table again. As for meals when Daddy is away...definately breakfast foods...but often bean burritos too or nachos. That spagetti on toast sounds wonderful...I will definetly be trying it! This is such a fun post!!! and thankyou for your continued prayers. ox~FM

Victoria said...

Congratulations to the winner, lucky girl!!! I'm English and grew up eating spaghetti on toast and beans on toast but they have to be the English Heinz ones for me! World Market carries them and a few grocery stores also. Also, for a quick dinner we'd have cheese and onion pie or Welsh rarebit. We rarely if ever ate fast food so to this day I still don't care for it!

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

Hi Suzanne!

Congrats Vonda, you lucky girl!

Spaghetti on toast sounds just brilliant! I always make LOTS of garlic toast to accompany my spaghetti, so this is the logical progression. :-)

Even though it's just my husband and I most nights, we still make it a point to sit together and discuss the events of the day.
Now to be completely, truthful, sometimes that means we're eating leftovers on the bed in front of the TV, but it still counts as "us" time!

Have a beautiful day, my sweet friend!


Marie said...

Great post Suzanne!!! I have signed up as a follower. This is my first visit to your page and I am loving it! So glad you liked the Spaghetti on Toast idea! When I was a kid we love, LOVED it when my mom would treat us to a Swanson's TV dinner! We liked the turkey ones best of all. It was so great, coz it had stuffing and dessert included! It didn't seem to matter that it was turkey roll instead of real turkey! xxoo

Elizabeth said...

Spaghetti on cheesy toast, sounds yummy and easy!Easy is just what I'm looking for!
I've been having alot of the I don't feel like cooking, how about a bowl of cereal kinda days.
But that doesn't fly to well with a house full of hungry growing boys.
I'm definitly going to give that recipe a go!

hometown girl said...

my mom cooked every night for us too and i have fond memories of sitting down with my siblings and parents to dinner. tv dinners and tv trays, how fun! i'd almost forgotten all about them! we my hubby isn't home i usually do breakfast, the kids love it and it's just fun! my gram made the best pancakes so i use her recipe and i love that the kids know it's her and it makes me feel like she's with us! hope all is well!! susan

koralee said...

Love your posts...thanks for bring back the memory of TV dinners..I think that one you have posted was my favourite...can you still get those? Yes watching TV and eating was a big treat in our family...which hardly ever happened. Extra hugs today my friend..for the weekend is near. xoxoxo

Fearless Nester said...

Happy Birthday to your brother! It's also our son-in-law's birthday too. Love that image of the kids with the doggie checking out the fridge. That's my kind of fun, eating leftovers when I don't feel like cooking! Sweet post with sweet memories of precious mealtimes with family. ~Lili

Marcy said...

We always ate dinner together too. I love breakfast food for dinner - yum! But since my husband doesn't, that's often what we'll have. And TV dinners were a treat - usually when our parents were going out.

I love the idea of a cyber calling card! I am a faithful reader of many blogs but can't always comment on each one - how nice it would be to just leave a card to let the person know that I had stopped by.

{And may I just say that you leave such sweet comments - it just made my day! Thank you!}

Splendid Willow said...

Suzanne, how on earth did I miss your lovely giveaway and your 50 followers (I was too wrapped up with the Princess, I guess!)?!!

Congratulations girl! You deserve all the success. Your blog is fabulous - and so are you!

And congratulations Vonda, you lucky girl!

ox, Mon

Jennifer said...

It would make me super duper proud to say I take ALL the photos on my blog but I don't some are from very talented others that share their work. Jennifer

Amy @ Varnish said...

Congrats on your 50 followers!

Alisa said...

Congrats Vonda!

When I was a kid, we alway sat together at the table for dinner too. And we also had "special" meals for when one parent or the other was out of town. If it was my dad gone, then my mom fixed speghetti-o's with cut up hot dogs mixed in... which my father didn't like. If it was my mom out of town, then dad ordered a pizza... which my mother didn't like.
And I fix breakfast everytime.

Jeanie said...

My favorite alternative dinners are breakfast! Eggs -- any style, except boiled -- and sausage is a nice plus! Potatoes? Sure! I really don't do dinner for breakfast nearly so often as I'd like!

Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

When alone, I tend to fall back on cereal with fruit. But then I love cereal with fruit and have it every morning. I think I could eat breakfast three times per day. I like the medley of foods that don't usually go together. Sounds like great fun to me!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh yes dearest neighbor and friend, that is YOU! Thank you for the inspiration and kindness....I am off today to celebrate the success of a former student of mine...she named me an inspirational teacher in her life and I am beyond touched. I hope you have a splendid weekend of love, kindness and peace...I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET YOU! Anita

Karena said...

I did the same thing, my children would love having breakfast for dinner!!

Giveaway by Beth Cosner Design is up on my site....come visit!

Art by Karena

cityfarmer said...

we had a "breakfast supper" at least once a week growing up on the farm ... still love it ...

a friend of mine used to say " it's omlettes or we go out" ...

you will see me at nada on Friday night ... I thought about stenciling "savvycityfarmer" on my jean jacket" hehe

love u girl!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

What great meal options you 3 had!!
Thank you for evoking my childhood memories of meals when Dad was away.

Ours was usally Fish and Chips.
In New Zealand they come wrapped up in old newspaper.
We couldn't wait to get home to open our steaming newspaper parcels - sheer bliss.
I can almost taste them now!!

Lovely post!

trash talk said...

Do I remember TV trays...honey, we're still using a set from the '60s! One of our favorite meals is "scrounged supper". We just get in the kitchen and start throwing anything together....kinda like that supper in "Signs"!
P.S. We also have a table like your childhood one in the kitchen.

Londen @ Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

You have a beautiful blog here! I love the way you get your point across....wonderful writing and pictures!
I remember having chicken pot pies...they were such a treat:)
Im your new follower.

pretty pink tulips said...

Tonight Daddy is arriving on the late side, so the little lads and I enjoyed the chocolate chip pancakes that I made for breakfast (again for dinner), some strawberries (they are really tasting good now) and a little vanilla yogurt to round it all out. Breakfast is my boys' favorite meal, so when I just need to get to bedtime without a fuss, I find it's best!

Love the blog. Love the music (I could listen to acoustic guitar for hours). Look forward to knowing you better --- off to explore your blog!!