Tuesday Night Dinner with Poppy, No. 1


Some nights you just need to cook! Not that it had been a bad day at all, but we had take-out last night and I was in the mood to cook. In the spirit of full disclosure, Mrs. Poppy was out having dinner with some friends. It was just me and daughter #1. Okay, let’s be honest, maybe the gauntlet has been thrown down. I wanted to create a meal on a limited budget from Ferguson’s Shop N’ Save that was equal to the upscale dinner Mrs. Poppy was enjoying. (Somehow I feel much better now.)

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli from the refrigerated section ($4.29), Asparagus ($4.23), Sweet Potato ($.99). The block of Parmesan cheese I had on hand, along with the Marinara sauce. {sidebar- If you’re buying prepared pasta sauces, look for the ones with the fewest ingredients, the one I used contained only tomatoes, EVOO, Onion, Garlic, and Basil}.


Sometimes it’s the Beatles, Dave Brubeck, Jimi Hendricks, Doc Watson or Jack Johnson. Tonight was a Dylan night. I guess it’s possible to cook without music and an adult beverage, I just haven’t tested that theory.

Roasting the sweet potatoes was the most time-consuming part of this dinner. I preheated the oven to 400°, and commenced to peeling the potatoes, cutting them into 3/4″ thick pieces then quartering. Tossed them in EVOO and started roasting on a foil-lined baking sheet. After 20 minutes, I flipped them over and sprinkled on a bit of Cajun seasoning.


The asparagus was very thin, ruling out roasting. I decided to just grill it on a grooved cast iron pan. Before tossing it into the pan, I coated it with EVOO in the same bowl I used for the sweet potatoes. I prepared a simple sauce for the asparagus, using just a couple of tablespoons of butter along with a couple cloves of garlic, pushed through a garlic press. That mixture was heated in the microwave until the butter melted and the garlic got to know each other.


From there it was just a matter of assembly, the ravioli only took a few minutes to cook.

If for some reason you’re under the impression that Poppy is some sort of sophisticate, let me put you at ease. The parmesan cheese was grated into a plastic Mickey Mouse themed bowl, courtesy of my grandkids.



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