In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

If You Keep Peas in the Freezer, You'll Never Go Hungry


Here's what to make for dinner tonight. It takes 10 minutes. Take that, Rachel Ray.

(honestly. I always wear that to make roast turkey,and then I change into my St Pauli Girl outfit to make pie.)

Cook up a bunch of orzo pasta -- it looks like rice. This takes about 8 minutes. In the last few minutes of cooking, throw in a bag of frozen peas -- the little ones.

Toss the whole mess into a colander and drain it. Immediately put it back in the hot pot that you cooked it in and grate a bunch of fresh Parmesan cheese over it. Salt and pepper and you're in business.

To glam it up you can (do any of the following, alone or in combination)

  • drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil over it.

  • grate lemon zest over it

  • mix it with cooked, crumbled bacon that was cooked with a sliced garlic clove

  • add chopped fresh herbs (dill works, as does basil, flat leaf parsley, mint... even a few thyme leaves)

  • add cooked asparagus (fresh cooked please, in season. not canned.)

  • swirl the peas and pasta in a few tablespoons heavy cream, over medium heat, until the cream thickens slightly. Then add more cheese.


  1. Delicious, Pam! And don't make my mistake of using lemon juice instead of ZEST ~ any acidic liquid will turn the peas gray....

  2. I HAD NO IDEA RE THE LEMON JUICE. thanks for telling. For the record, I made this with asparagus pulled from the ground today ... delicious.

  3. I always said St. Pauli's Girl until someone pointed out that saints don't typically have girlfriends.