our favorite spaghetti with clams

I'm all about nipping things in the bud these days.  That's the way we've lived when our kids were little, but as they get older and the issues change, I still find this to be true.  You fuss and aren't respectful, something is going to be nipped in the bud.  Your face gets red and you complain every time tomato sauce hits your lips, we're gonna nip that in the bud.  Not the complaining here.  The tomato sauce. 

When Anderson was a baby his face would turn red whenever he had tomato sauce.  He didn't like it, and to this day isn't a fan.  Spaghetti and meatballs is as easy as they come for weeknight meals, but trying to cut out the complaining and more importantly cutting out foods that make him complain is more my priority these days.  I've found when I cut things out what makes us complain, everyone is happier.

This past summer we had the chance to get back to Cape Cod and so when we made linguine and clams one night we weren't sure how they'd react, but we also knew there wasn't much not to like.  Well, they loved it, Tucker espeically.

It's not summer yet and there's no ocean in sight, but for whatever reason a light bulb went off and we realized we can make this year round.  I've attempted a few recipes now and wanted to share our favorite so far, and one I won't quickly be straying from.  This recipe hails from Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home Cookbook.  There was a time I was a HUGE Martha fan.  One of the best days of my life was in NYC getting to see Martha live, and then Paul Simon with my best friend from growing up when she lived in Brooklyn.  She worked at a bakery there and we ate delicious pizza on the steps of the concert hall before seeing Paul.  What sweet, and tasty memories those were.

These days I think Martha paved the way for people like Chip + Joanna to be their own Martha's of sorts.  Honestly, I'm not to sure what Martha is up to now, but I do know this recipe is a winner.

What You'll Need:
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds littlneck clams, cleaned
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons butter.
  1. when you get the clams home put them in cool water so they spit out any sand.  I try to do this first thing.  I learned a good tip too- when you get them at the store don't seal the bag up- they could die!
  2.  Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon of salt.  cook the spaghetti 2 minutes less than what the package says, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water
  3. Heat the oil up in a large skillet, or I like to use my dutch oven.  Cook the garlic and pepper flakes about 2 minutes then add in your clams and wine.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and cook, opening occasionally to stir things- 3-4 minutes or until they open- discard any that do not!
  4.  Stir in the parsley and transfer to a bowl.
  5.  Next add your reserved pasta water and lemon juice and bring that to a simmer for about 3 minutes.  Next whisk in your butter and add in the spaghetti and clams.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes so the pasta soaks up all the clam sauce goodness! 

Friday Favorites

This week brought with it another "snow" day (where's the snow?) and a delay because of ice.  Really they were two ice days and it's really just become silly.  My friend told me her daughter will look outside on a perfectly fine 45 degree day and say "maybe we won't have school tomorrow" because they seem to delay or cancel quite easily around here.

Today I decided to do a little "Friday Favorites."  I love when other blogger's share things they've been loving, and I wanted to hop on that train as well!

I found these pillow fort from Target stuffed animal busts (??) or whatever you want to call them on clearance for only $5.96!! I walked in there for printer paper and light bulbs and came out with these.  Benjamin said I shouldn't be allowed in there without kids as a barrier, and I agree.  We got them up that night because otherwise they were becoming punching bags and I'm so happy with how they turned out!  Now to find some prints to go in the Home Goods frames for over their beds.

Easy Lunch Boxes.  
These were a purchase before school in August and I use them every day.  I make 3 lunches for all and don't deal with a lot of plastic bags.  Perfect portion sizes and no fuss.  Highly recommend.  You can find them here too.

Write the Word.
I've been trying fairly successfully to wake up at 6 to get in some prayer and Bible time before the kids wake up.  I've learned even 15 minutes of quiet, coffee, and prayer really fuels my day.  I use this Write the Word journal and love how doable it is.  I didn't want a lot of fluff or a book I had to read other than the Bible, so I like that this helps me focus on a verse and then gives me a page to journal. You can now find it on Amazon here, or find lots of other goodies from Lara Casey in her Cultivate Shop.

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup.
Anderson has been asking for Chicken Noodle Soup and this recipe looked like a winner.  We made it and it was delicious- the only thing I'd say it since the Instant Pot does get so hot and you can't turn it down, make sure you have the onion and other veg chopped before you start it.  You don't want burned garlic!  I'd also add some thyme to the veg!  Overall super tasty!

Hope that helps- I know many of you were asking about the chicken noodle soup recipe!