Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Secret Sayings

Every family has their own inside sayings and phrases.  Those ones that everyone knows exactly what they mean and what they mean usually isn't what they sound like.  Just like in The Godfather, they all knew what it meant when the phrase was uttered to "take 'em to the mattresses".  We have a similar phrase in my family although it has nothing to do with war amongst rivals.  We are Italian, but not THAT Italian ;-)

Now that we are all adults we joke quite often about "Going to Popeye's".  This isn't nearly as delicious as it sounds and it has absolutely nothing to do with fried chicken.  It originated because growing up we had Popeye's for lunch on Sundays.  Sunday, as it goes, is the day after Saturday night and usually a day where you were in trouble for something you did one of the two previous nights before.  My Mom was a very strict mother, but she was normally calm and collected in her strictness.  She was the school disciplinarian so her parenting frequently mirrored that style.  She was gathered and diplomatic in her disciplinary actions, but oh so pointed!  She wasn't one to cause a big scene when we walked through the door late or forgot to call when we changed our plans (these were minor offenses, since one day my son might read this I will leave the really bad stuff to your imagination).  She wouldn't utter a word about it and she would let you go to sleep thinking you had won and you had gotten away with your dirty deed.  But then she would come into your room the next morning and announce you would be taking a ride with her to Popeye's to get lunch for the family.  If she said, "get dressed, we are going to Popeye's" you knew you were toast.

I am one of four children and we all talk about those car rides now that we are adults.  Each of us experienced our fair share of them.  The things she uttered to us on those trips to Popeye's are funny now, but they had us shaking in our boots at the time.  Those one on one sessions where we were put in our places were never fun, but they were very effective.  And to this day if any of us are "getting in trouble" in a one on one fashion we still call it "Going to Popeye's".

I do most of my fancy cooking on Sunday's.  I work and my weeknight meals tend to be less involved.  I save all of my very detailed or time consuming recipes for Sunday lunch and dinner.  As I stood over the stove pulling together this recipe (which by the way was easy enough to be a weeknight meal), I thought about those Sunday trips to Popeye's and how I would be depriving Rex and any of our future children of those life lessons if I continue to cook on Sundays.  I need to think up a substitute car ride I can take my kids on when they are teenagers, should they ever need it.  Any suggestions, Mom?


Guinness Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Cooking Light April 2013



  • 8 ounces uncooked rotini pasta
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 6 ounces bulk turkey sausage
  • 3/4 cup diced onion 
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup Guinness Stout beer
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2.5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 ounces light processed cheese, shredded (such as Velveeta Light)
  • Cooking spray 



1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

3. While pasta cooks, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add flour, pepper, and salt; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in beer; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Add milk and cheeses,

stirring until smooth.

Stir in pasta.

Mix to incorporate.

Divide mixture evenly among 4 ceramic gratin dishes coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Top with fresh parsley or dried parsley flakes and serve.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't have enjoyed your "get dressed, we are going to Popeye's" you knew you were toast" more. I felt like I was right there as I read it. :)
Oh and I enjoy your blog so much.