Giada’s Green (and GOOD) Carbonara and Some Olive Oil Adventures

First, I’m going to torture you with stories of my day.  Then I’ll point you towards super delicious food.  It looks like this:

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But before I get to the food…

It was a nice day today.  I had a short to-do list, which I thought would guarantee a completed list and a sense of well-being at the end of the day.  And until 5:30 PM, that was true (cue ominous music).

At 5:30, I thought I would pre-make dinner (late night out for ye ol’ husband).  That sounds lovely, right?  Dishes done early with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of life?  Right.

Dinner included three easy-to-prep parts of the meal.  The first part was chicken.  I made it, no big deal.  But after two-thirds of the cook time, it became clear that the sticky glaze had seeped between the aluminum foil and the pan, which I had so carefully double-layered to prevent exactly that.  Burning and somewhat dry chicken and chaos ensued.  Chaos is code for a honeycomb of burned sauce the likes of which I’ve never seen before.  Sigh.

Then I moved on to dinner part two of three.  Rice (my nemesis).  I cooked the rice, and it went swimmingly.  That’s noteworthy in this house.  But then as I put the rest of the rice away in the pantry, I noticed several dozen teeny, tiny, miniscule bugs in the bag.  Double sigh.  They were all through the bag and the rice I had just successfully cooked.

Made more rice from a better-sealed bag in our pantry, threw out the first batch and the rest of that unmade stash.

Then I bathed the cute baby in the house, since it was about that time.  I thought I was still kind of ahead of the game, so why not try to deal with his cradle cap situation?  (For those of you who haven’t had a baby recently, it’s like weird sticky dandruff almost… not a real problem, but if you know it’s there, you probably want to get it taken care of.)  I had read some things, I knew what I was doing.

Famous last words (or thoughts).

I got out the olive oil (home remedy recommendation that seems simple enough).  I put it on Tuck’s head at the start of bath time, washed him as normal elsewhere, let him play with his toys to let the oil sit and soften up the trouble spots on his scalp.  So far so good.

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cute (while still incredibly manly) baby hair before I turned this kiddo into a slicked-back ball of olive oil


Then I washed his hair with lots and lots of baby shampoo, dried him off, and trundled him off to bed.  Success!

Until I kissed him goodnight and realized that his skin was a little bit too moisturized.  And his hair wasn’t normal shower slicked down.  He was in fact a giant ball of olive oil, and he smelled like some kind of pesto/Italian bread factory/plain-ol’-olive-oil.  Oops.  Out of the crib he came, into the tub for a second bath (after I washed the tub out and removed all toys and such that were now entirely covered in a film of oil).  I think he’s about 35% ball of oil now.  Better.

Back to bed for him.

The third portion of dinner was made uneventfully (whew), and I even had time to write about it so you could be dragged through the (not quite really bad) agony with me.  So see, all is right with the world in the end.  We will survive the slightly dry chicken, and Tuck will be just fine playing in his slightly oily state tomorrow.

But man, I didn’t see any of that coming!  Not the honeycomb of burned chicken glaze.  Not the buggy rice.  Not the oil ball baby.

And now you’ve made it through the saga, and you can hear about tasty food instead!!!

I made Giada’s Go-Green Carbonara with Peas last night, and it was delicious.  She calls it something different on her blog.  It’s the same recipe though, I promise.  In our week full of kale and spinach and healthy things, it stuck out as the obvious splurge, but it’s so delicious!  You have to splurge sometimes, right?

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Also, I’ve never made aioli before.  It was fun to watch the runny egg yolks mix with the runny oil and form a non-runny mayonnaise (magic!).  I did cheat and use all olive oil, because I didn’t want to spend money to get grapeseed oil as well.  It might not be as good as her version, but there were no complaints at our house.

And last but not least, I’m terrible at getting fried eggs right.  Lucky for me, I like them pretty firm.  Unlucky for Scott, he likes his eggs fairly runny.  Giada’s is prettier.  Lucky for all of us, this recipe can stand up to imperfect fried eggs on top.

Why do I like this beyond the magic of watching an aioli come together?  The taste.  The creamy egg yolks in the sauce and on top mixed together with the fresh herbs (make friends with an herb gardener or plant a few things yourself; you won’t regret it, and it makes dishes like this downright cheap) and the melted Romano cheese.  Yum.  That’s what’s so nice about this dish.

So go to Giada’s blog and make her food.  You will be glad you did.  Or go old-school and get her cookbook.  There are lots and lots of good recipes in there.

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