As much as I love him, there are things that he does that annoy me to pieces. My biggest pet peeve is regarding his grocery shopping habits. Irregularly, and I mean very irregularly, he will go off track and decide that he wants to get something to eat at the market. I groan and roll my eyes because it means he'll want to pick up junk or unhealthy or inappropriate foods. 90% of the time this is not an issue but the 10% of the time he gets it into his head to buy something, I just lose my marbles.
If he decides to go shopping with me, my strategy is to lose him. I'll say that I have to get my things and I'll bolt to which ever section I need to, leaving him to muse and think about what he wants to eat to tantalize his palate. Invariably I'll find him in the chips and chocolates section, because these are foods I do not buy for our home. However, this one particular trip I found him staring at a wall of dairy.
"Do you want some yogurt?" I asked.
Husband shook his head.
"Are you thinking about pudding perhaps?" I venture again.
Another shake of the head.
"Perhaps you'd like some soy cheese then?"
Husband threw me a dirty look, and finally responded. "I want cottage cheese."
I cocked my eyebrow and said, "Wah?"
"Cottage cheese," he replied firmly. I want to eat a tub of cottage cheese."
"Honey, you know you're not going to eat it," I protested. I had visions of having to eat the cottage cheese myself and it wasn't all that appetizing to me.
"No I really want to eat it." He picked it up and stuck it into the cart with a firmness that seemed to say that this cheese was going to be consumed by him goshdarnit.
However, during my quest to eat out my fridge, I found the cottage cheese, one day away from expiration, sitting uneaten, unopened, and unloved in the back of the fridge. And my blood began to boil, because Husband was NOT around to eat it, and it meant that I had to either eat it myself OR throw it away. Neither options appealed and I came up with a third - cook it. Use it in something.
I happened across a pasta dish that used cottage cheese in it. I decided to make it, and at the same time clean out my cheese drawer that had odds and ends of sliced cheese in there. I had some grated mixed mexican cheeses, some sliced cheddar and some sliced swiss. I simply cut it all up into small pieces and tossed it with sour cream and cottage cheese. I also added some green peas. That's called cleaning out your fridge.
In the end, I had to be somewhat thankful for husband's ability to make me nuts, because in the process I cleaned out the cheese drawer in my fridge, used up cottage cheese and sour cream, and actually discovered a really yummy easy to make baked pasta dish. So although he does make me bonkers, there is always something good that comes out of it.
Baked Pasta and Cheese
Adapted from Pam Anderson's Perfect One-Dish Dinners
1 pound medium sized pasta (shells, macaroni, or radiatore)
1 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used sliced deli cheese cheddar, swiss and jack - cleaning out my cheese drawer)
16 ounces cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounces light or regular sour cream
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped scallions or fresh parsley
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13X9 inch baking dish.
Bring 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil in a large pot over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions, one minute LESS than package recommendation. (If package says 9-10 minutes, cook 8 minutes) Drain.
Meanwhile, mix cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Add hot pasta and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning, including salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to baking dish.
Mix bread crumbs, parsley, and butter in a small bow and sprinkle evenly over shells and cheese.
Bake until casserole is bubbly and crumbs are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve.
Out of husband's annoying habit comes this dish.