TV Dinners

Growing up we were never allowed to eat dinner in front of the TV, we were not even allowed to have it on quietly in the other room while the meal was in progress.  Unquestionably this led to a lot of food hurriedly gulped down to minimize the time away from any particularly important bit of viewing but it also meant that we we forced to interact with each other for at least a few minuets every night and when the family is together we still dine that way.  In our house every meal was a chaotic blend of kids, dogs, friends and a couple of parakeets and years of the unending din made me long for culinary solitude.  Now I basically live alone and when I am at home, excepting those few occasions when my roommate makes an appearance, I dine alone and in front of the TV.  Its bad form, I know, and every book on healthy eating warns against it but its like having a dinner date with a mute button and only one set of dishes.  This is part of the ugly truth about single life and the ugliest part is that I like it.

I can best defend myself by saying that I never eat frozen meals in front of the TV, too cliche.

Tonight for my TV dinner I made chicken with pan sauce and Broke Ass Gourmet’s Brown Butter-Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with some  lightly steamed asparagus I purloined from my roommate.  I am currently obsessed with this chicken recipe which is absurdly easy and produces a super moist chicken with a creamy mustard sauce for about 290 calories.  I have reduced the recipe down to one serving and I always intend to put aside half for tomorrows lunch but somehow it never makes it till the next day.  I fear for the consequences of making a full 4 serving batch.  The mac and cheese was a new recipe for me, I just picked it up after my sister suggested the BrokeAss website.  I love the site’s format and the way she individually costs each item to give a total cost of a dish.  I also love the idea of a lightened up mac and cheese, especially one which uses pumpkin which fits perfectly into my whole fall vegetable kick.  I used an Australian  Boxing Cheddar, suggested to me by the helpful cheese monger at New Seasons Market,  and, because leaving well enough alone really isn’t my style, I did add a little extra Parmesan to mix.  At first I wasn’t sure about the flavor of the mac but once my palate adjusted to the mix of sharp cheddar and pumpkin I discovered that I actually really enjoyed it.  The creamy sweetness of bechamel and pumpkin was cut by the sharpness of the cheddar in such a way as to create a surprising contrast.  As the damp winter continues I can see myself making this cozy recipe again but I think next time I will use whole grain noodles and substitute rosemary for the nutmeg.  I finished the meal with a bottle of Chateau Du Seuil, the last of my summer dry pink wines, probably not the best pairing but delicious.

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~ by whatsheeats on October 28, 2010.

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