Child Safari and Bruschetta Pasta

bruschetta pastaBrunch for four turned into a child safari this past weekend as we hosted our first “adult” brunch in over a month – meaning, we made something with garlic and put out cloth napkins. As per our usual start to Sunday mornings, we began with a pot of strong coffee and Deadmau5. After herding our two boys to the table, we actually managed to eat food on plates, remain in our chairs and share complete stories for about seven blissful minutes. And then abruptly, there was more food was on the floor than on anybody’s plates as Asher announced he was DONE and Everett stubbornly stood up in his high chair after unbuckling his safety belt and my husband and I scrambled around alternatively picking up each child, wiping oily fingers, and placing them at enticing toy stations in hopes that they would entertain themselves for just a minute without choking on a Lego or making stabbing motions with their plastic Chefs knives from the toy kitchen. How dare we adults enjoy ourselves and sit on our butts when there is so much wreckage to be done?

And so, with an apologetic smile and a good-natured laugh, we respectfully invited our brunch guests to join us upstairs to play in Asher’s room. And thus began the two-hour process of slowly upturning and investigating every room of the house which included; playing in Asher’s circus tent while Everett took a nose dive into the empty bath down the hall, settling in small uncomfortable nooks in the hallway as the kids practiced walking backwards, watching in horror as Asher threw all our dirty laundry out of the hamper, playing catch with a bouncy ball in the master bedroom, changing several diapers in the middle of the floor, and nestling in the den to watch three episodes of “Batman”. And throughout the madness of it all, our very dear and very patient friends Adam and Alexia never politely excused themselves with an undertone of “… NEVER AGAIN…”

And so today I am grateful. Grateful for friends. Grateful for flexibility. Grateful for my husband who is willing to listen to our toddler scream all day long that he ONLY wants mommy, and grateful for pie from Hoosier Mama Pie Company which makes it all worth while. So come join us for our next Child Safari brunch, or host your own with today’s simple recipe for Bruschetta Pasta!

BRUSCHETTA PASTA
1 pound of linguine pasta (my photo depicts angel hair)
1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes soaked in water for 15 minutes
4 large Roma tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil
1 cup medium green olives, pitted
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until blended but still chunky. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook 8 minutes. Drain well then combine with tomato mixture and toss until the pasts is coated. tomatoes

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Hoboken Black Bean Burgers

BURGERThis weekend I had the immense pleasure of escaping to NYC for my friend Stephanie’s baby shower for two glorious nights and three full days. From sunning on their rooftop deck in Hoboken overlooking the musky Manhattan skyline, to prancing around Times Square searching for overpriced NYPD-themed stuffed animals for my boys back home, to spending $11 on the smallest glass of wine in the world during intermission at the powerful performance of “All The Way” at the Niel Simon Theatre, I loved every minute of the energy, power, and thrill of the big city. But more importantly, I loved being present to welcome my friends into the wonderful world of parenthood … and to wish them luck with her 5-floor walk-up.

On Saturday evening we had a little BBQ and I experimented with a new recipe for black bean burgers from Skinny Taste which featured a kind of pureed salsa in the base. I have always struggled with keeping black bean burgers from falling apart, and after a little research I learned that freezing the patties for 2 hours prior to cooking actually keeps them intact. So I had to impart this little nugget of knowledge on my blog! Not sure Frank Sinatra would approve of these Hoboken Black Bean Burgers, but I sure do.

HOBOKEN BLACK BEAN BURGERS
16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 jumbo egg
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup quick oats

In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork until thick and pasty. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, cilantro, onion, and garlic. Mix in add oats, eggs and spices. Then stir into mashed beans. Divide mixture into four patties and place them onto a flat surface covered with wax paper. I did add a few tablespoons additional oats to help keep the mixture firm. Freeze at least 2 hours before cooking or keep frozen until ready to cook. Bake at 375 degrees or pan fry 7 minutes per side. I served with a nice dollop of guacamole.