Friday, April 29, 2011

Super Simple Meal for a Very Busy Night

As some of you know, I'm a journalist. A journalist based in Birmingham, Alabama. Which means this week I've been "in the field" 12-14 hours a day covering the destructive tornadoes that flattened much of our region.

For international readers who haven't followed the story, this is the tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa, just 60 miles southwest of Birmingham (warning: the people who recorded this video are crazy. Seriously, people, what were you thinking?!?)

And here is video of that same twister skirting just north of downtown Birmingham (I was huddled under my desk on the southside of downtown, filing stories for NPR when the tornado passed.)

To get an idea of the destruction and hear from some of the survivors you can listen to the feature story I produced for my local station (and NPR national).

All this to say that just when I was getting back into the kitchen after two weeks of being sick, I was suddenly thrust into the field reporting a devastating story that is such a huge reminder to hold dear all we have.

And by "have" I don't mean houses, clothes, or cars. It seems obvious, but a reminder like this really drives it home. As one survivor told me, "You can replace the stuff. But your family and friends? You can't replace them. Hold them close to your heart every day and thank God they're here."

That's what I'm doing this week. I hope you'll take a moment to do the same.

And when you're done hugging, do what you can fill their bellies with something yummy. Maybe something super simple like my friend Helen Todd's Make-It-Up-As-You-Go Pasta.


  • Pasta (we used linguine)
  • bacon
  • green onions (chopped)
  • mushrooms (quartered)
  • spinach
  • brie

Helen's version doesn't call for tomatoes, but remember -- it's "make it up as you go", and I like tomatoes, so I added some (the cherry version).


Boil pasta according to directions

Meanwhile, cook the bacon.

When it's done, pour off the grease, add the onions and mushrooms and saute.

Once onions/mushrooms/tomatoes are tender, add the spinach.

Drain pasta, add to veggie mixture, stir in brie and serve over pasta.

Quick, simple and delicious. A way to honor your loved ones without spending all of your time in the kitchen.


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