I’m on a rant today. I don’t do it often but sometimes things just have to be said. I scrolled through hundreds of recipes on Fooderific.com today. I take out the ones that aren’t food, are pinched from another blogger, are so blurry I can’t tell what they are, look like dog food or they have writing over the hero in the photo. When I began rolling my eyes, I messaged John and said I thought I was doing this food blogging thing all wrong.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because I will never ever make gummy bear vodka or make chips out of cucumbers!”
“I think that’s probably a good thing,” he replied.
Do you ever look at some of the wacky concoctions that people eat and wonder if you’ve missed the boat somewhere? I don’t mind being adventurous and I know there are some who are way more adventurous than I am but are there things that are just too dumb to put together?
Maybe I’m just weird or old or some other thing but I do think from time to time that maybe I’m out of the loop on what tastes good. Especially today.
Sure there are lots of things I probably wouldn’t make for myself but I don’t find those weird. I don’t eat low/no carb and neither of us has a problem with gluten, or eggs or nuts so the recipes for foods that cater for those things might not be on my blog. I have a lot of respect for the people who share those recipes.
But… I’m probably never going to make chocolate ice cream with frozen peas in it. Say what you will, that’s just wacky.
What I did make today was an easy penne pasta with asparagus recipe that was a one-bowl hit with me. Asparagus is very inexpensive this time of year so my refrigerator is full of it. I also bought (I have no idea why) 2 large butternut pumpkins / squash. I roasted some of the butternut and then I thought maybe I’d use just a bit of it in our lunch. This is my go-to quick lunch when I can’t be bothered doing much else.
I put some olive oil in a skillet and added some thinly sliced some garlic and cooked it on low for a few minutes to get the oil good and garlicky and then I tossed in the tomatoes, asparagus and the leftover roasted onions and butternut. I didn’t have any herbs in the pots, nor in the fridge so we lived without them. When everything was nice and warm I tossed in the cooked penne pasta. Salt and pepper and then into a bowl and topped with parmesan. I think lunch took about 13 minutes to prepare from start to finish. (I did have the butternut left over, remember)
- 225 grams /8 ounces penne pasta (or elbow or anything else you like)
- 4 tablespoons good olive oil
- ½ onion sliced lengthwise (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup roasted pumpkin (or any leftover vegetable you might have - even frozen peas would be good)
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup Parmesan either grated or shaved
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (if you have it, it's fine without)
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes until it's cooked al dente. Stir occasionally.
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low and add the garlic and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft but no color.
- Raise the heat to medium and add the cherry tomatoes and the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. (If you're using frozen peas, add now)
- Add the leftover vegetables and toss just to warm.
- Add the drained pasta and toss lightly
- Pour into a bowl and top with parmesan and serve with some crusty garlic bread.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I doubt anyone would ever say that you’re doing the food blogger thing wrong-ever! Gummy bear vodka? Hehe sounds like fun. I’m worried that I would be one of those bloggers that you think are going a bit nutty 😛
Halloween posts don’t count, Lorraine. 🙂 Did you see Claire’s brain cake filled with bloody maggots? It’s definitely one for future reference.
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
With that recipe title, I can’t even make myself click through! 😉
Keren @ Just One More Spoon says
That recipe title eats my halloween recipe for breakfast!
Dedy@Dentist Chef says
Damn delicious, so colorfull and rich with texture and flavour!!!
Dedy@Dentist Chef says
so colorfull, rich with texture and flavour!!!
This looks delicious! I love colorful pasta dishes like this.
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
I know what you mean about crazy concoctions – not really my thing. I like to think of food blogs as the recipe boxes that our mothers and grandmothers used to keep – only much easier to share than handwriting recipes on cards. 😉 I bet those boxes were filled with their go-to recipes, and to me, that makes sense for food blogs too. I love your pasta dish btw, it’s the kind of thing we make in our house all the time. So versatile!
aw looks delicious Maureen! 🙂 Gummy Bear anything just can’t be good!
Take that back. I LOVE gummy bears. But it has to be the little ones.
I think your rant is spot on!
I ranted not too long ago of the bacon-mania and finding bacon stuffed into every single type of food known to mankind! Ok, I did not see bacon juice going in a baby bottle to spice up the milk, but…. maybe I haven’t paid close attention
as to your pasta, guess what I had for lunch? Leftover orzo with sauteed asparagus which I sliced very very thinly – some herbes de Provence, Parmigiano on top, and that was it. I think we both make justice to asparagus, and the idea of getting green peas into ice cream is revolting.
Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says
I TOTALLY agree! There certainly are a LOT of odd recipes out there. This penned look great. I love that you can make something so delicious with a few simple ingredients. Way to go! XOXO
I’m with you on the rant!! I follow quite a few food blogs and inevitably there are one or two that “Copy” Oh, I meant borrow someone else’s original idea. Why did you start a blog if you are going to copy someone else’s handiwork. The copier has to know it’s just going to get deleted and not actually read and appreciated. Be original! Sheew! sorry, it had to be said!
I love your show! there’s never a re-run 🙂
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Nothing wrong with your blogging – Maureen – and I get exactly what you are saying. I frequently think did this person really eat or even taste this!
Jill Colonna says
Rant away – I hear you, Maureen. And I’m so glad you posted succulent asparagus (this is when I’m jealous with your different seasons while we’re bringing out the scarves!) and didn’t put chocolate ice cream in it. Love what you do.
Shashi at runninsrilankan says
Cucumber chips you say…hmmm…as long as it tastes good – and looks edible – am in! 🙂
Speaking of tasting and looking good – Maureen – you photos are fantastic – superb – you always have wonderful photos, but today they are so eye-catching!
The Squishy Monster says
What a lovely new re-design. This meal looks terrific. I love all those components coming together for one delicious meal!
Kitchen Belleicious says
i just adore pasta like this that is simple yet so satisfying with the different flavors and textures of the pasta and veggies It looks delicious!
Hi Maureen, I hear you, ranting is good for the soul. Penne is my favorite pasta, love the veggies that you added.
I feel the same way about a lot of recipes I see on sites I subscribe to. I can admire the technical expertise and the ingenuity involved in coming up with a recipe that’s no gluten/no egg/no nut etc but I’m never going to make them. I like getting ideas for new combinations of meat/veg/starches, soups, and of course, desserts I can salivate over. Though I’m not going to make most of THOSE either. Especially the ones made up of 4 or 5 different recipes to come up with one amazing creation. I’ll order THOSE in a restaurant. 🙂
That said, I really SHOULD add more veggies to my diet and even though I make not make THIS particular dish, a veggie lasagna with asparagus, roasted squash (pumpkin doesn’t really appeal) and a marinara sauce instead of cherry tomatoes would be delicious.
If it works it works. Simple or wacky it’s all good. What I’m not a fan of is wackiness for wackiness sake. There should be a good reason for each ingredient used.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
No peas in my ice cream, thank you. 😉 There is some wacky stuff out there, I agree. But this dish isn’t one of them. 😉 We do like to experiment with things, but things have to make sense, too. Gummy bear vodka? Just wrong. 🙂
Glamorous Glutton says
I don’t do the intolerance recipes very well either. Instead of filling in what special diets my recipes are suitable for on the app, I’m filling in what they aren’t right for. They always seem to include dairy, gluten, wheat, nuts…… There’s room for all of us and you’re certainly doing it right. GG
Lizzy (Good Things) says
There certainly are some strange recipes out there Maureen! Thankfully we have cooks like you, who present magical meals like this one! Glad you had a rant… makes me know I’m not the only one xox
Hotly Spiced says
Yep – as a food blogger you sure do see a lot of the unusual. And having your Fooderific site would give you access to such a range. Now this pasta is fantastic. I love how simple it is, how it’s made from what’s in season and how it can be quickly put together for a snappy lunch. It’s colourful too! I’ll be seeing Santa in about six weeks and I’ll be asking him to give you a metabolism like my little guys – he’s the envy of a lot of middle-aged women! xx
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I can’t blame you for the rant, some people! (Insert eye roll ;)) Love this pasta, and anything that takes only 13 minutes is a winner to me!
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! I do get to see some “creatively unusual” combination of flavors, textures etc and while some revolt me, some actually do intrigue me!
I guess I may be perceived as one of the wacky ones for recently making wacky cake, but if we all enjoyed the same things, the world would be a boring place!
Great recipe Maureen! I love reading each and every one of your posts! Always so inspiring to me!
Oooh, boy, you’ve seen some doozies! I’m glad my foodie friends like you share dishes that I’d love to make and/or eat! Your pasta looks divine…perfect weeknight meal.
I like to eat and cook healthy but not stupid 😉 I love the colours in this dish and that it takes as long to put together as it takes to boil the pasta – now that is the sort of fast food I can eat.
I agree with you, Maureen. I cook and share recipes for me and other real people. Some bloggers and TV cooks just seem to try and see who can come up with he most outrageous food combos. It is crazy IMHO.
Your Penne with Asparagus Plus looks colorfully divine!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I’ll take this over icecream with peas any day!
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext says
This looks delicious, Maureen! Love simple pasta dishes and penne with roasted veggie’s is definitely one of my favourite dishes!
Tania @My Kitchen Stories says
Oh really you are definately not alone there Maureen, There are some really bad looking photos and wacky ideas out there, You must see so many! You have put together the perfect kind of lunch for sure Quick and full of vegetables. BTW love the photos too
Sandra - The Foodie Affair says
I love that you say it as you see it. I confess, vodka gummies may have been consumed by me on a weekend trip with the gals. Are we still blogging buddies? ; ) Beautiful pasta dish Maureen!
From now on I’m keeping my mouth shut. I should have known someone I love would eat vodka gummy bears. 🙂 I will always love you. I might raise an eyebrow. LOL
Sandra - The Foodie Affair says
Haha! I’m good with that xo
Mary Frances says
Maureen I completely understand your feelings, there are definitely recipes out there that I just can’t see the point of, let alone want to cook! As your pasta proves, simple, delicious and well-made food is what really counts!
Fran @ G'day Souffle' says
Oh, I’m glad there are bloggers out there submitting blurry photos- makes me feel better about my photos. Then there are those recipes like ‘Red Curry Pig’s Feet with Pumpkin’ that sound weird but probably taste good Oh well, thanks for sharing!
I’m talking photos so blurry you can’t tell what the food is or so close that it looks like a rug. Everyone has a right to put anything on their blog – no complaints. I’m only going to list photos that look like food. 🙂
Catalina @ Shades of Pink says
I like pasta, I like how it taste, how chewy it is, and that its such a nice bed for many flavors. Adding colorful and healthy veggies, and that fresh grated cheese on top, makes a simple dish look so fancy and appealing.
Kate @ Babaganosh.org says
I have a slightly different kind of rant (although I totally know what you mean about the wacky concoctions!) – my rants are for people who get their picture of dried beans (yes, just dried beans in a bowl) approved on foodgawker, or people who are able to publish a successful cookbook when some of the recipes in that cookbook are “avocado with salt” which is, literally, an avocado half with some salt on top.
And it makes me think, really?!?? Haha. But it doesn’t matter, I love to cook and share recipes, and I am learning more and more about photography as I am doing this, so someday my picture of plain old beans will be good enough to get approved by foodgawker.
ANYWAY. Your pasta looks awesome – simple, classic, delicious, colorful. Just like food should be. I love it when you can toss together some leftovers with some fresh ingredients and create something delicious super quickly.
You are so funny…chocolate ice cream with frozen peas? Yes, I like to be creative, but I agree with you, there are things out there that I would not dare to try hehehe!
This pasta looks great…simple and full of color, which I love!
Hope you are having a great week Maureen 🙂
Gourmet Getaways says
Nice pasta fix with a great veggie assortment! LOL, I will probably not put frozen peas in ice cream, too!
Carol at Wild Goose Tea says
I know you are ranting, but you made me laugh. Yep, some odd things out there. I will probably get my website banned, but if I see another kale recipe I am going to run screaming. AND the funny thing is I like kale. However, there have been times I wondered Why Why Why are they using kale in this type of a recipe. I am jealous you have fresh asparagus in quantities right now. Now see everything I see asparagus in a recipe I take a look. But so far nobody has made fudge out of it or added it to chocolate chip cookies.
Too funny, how about ice cream with gummy bears?? LOL
I don’t have a sweet tooth and I feel sick when I see that in gelato shops.
InTolerant Chef says
Lovely ‘real’ food recipe indeed, sometimes recipes can definitely go over the top. My asparagus is growing faster than I can eat it Maureen! Luckily my dog is eating all the bits growing through the fence, he does love his veggies 🙂
Sherry from sherryspickings says
I love asparagus so this sounds like a winner. Yes there are some whacky recipes around for sure. The thing that annoys me the most is when people steal other peoples recipes and have no qualms about it at all. I once questioned a person who makes and sells food and kept blithely lifting nigella Lawson’s recipes verbatim. When I quizzed her about it she wrote me an email and a long email justifying that it was okay to do this. I was gobsmacked!
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
You are funny! Admittedly, there are some combination of ingredients that just doesn’t jive and I personally know a few people that love experimenting with weird ingredients. I bet it will usually taste as horrid as it looks 😀
This penne pasta on the other hand, would never disappoint. YUM is the word!!!
sherry mackay from sherryspickings says
my comment seems to have been swallowed up! anyway I was just saying I love asparagus so this recipe looks great. And how annoyed I get when people just steal recipes holus bolus and put it up as though it were theirs! that gets me steaming. I queried one person who had put up a recipe of Nigella’s verbatim and was not in the least embarrassed when i called her on it. And had some excuse as to why she was allowed to plagiarise! grrrr.
Keren @ Just One More Spoon says
This looks so fresh! I have been having raw asparagus for weeks now… (partly because it’s healthy, but mostly because I’m lazy). Great simple recipe!
Choc Chip Uru says
Haha I for one can tell you that gummy bear vodka is the best thing ever 😛
But to each their own no?
Beautiful looking penne pasta, I love cherry tomatoes so much!
Choc Chip Uru
LOL I’m just too old!!
I love pasta dishes loaded up with veggies.. this one fits the bill. 🙂
Nice, healthy and delicious! I want a bowl now 🙂