Friday, February 18, 2011

Missing the Olive Garden?

We used to enjoy going to the Olive Garden in our early years of marriage. Quite often we were able to go "out on the town" for dinner and a movie. It was fun then to get dressed up and be able to just jump in the car and fast forward to present day and it has been a LONG time since we have eaten at that particular restaurant.  It's kind of expensive there for a family of five to have a meal (and that's not including dessert!), and seeing as the children are just as happy with the dollar menu at McDonald's.....well, we just don't make it there often!
At this season of life, with hungry, squirming, sometimes mischievous little ones in tow :), lingering over a multiple course meal just does not happen.
It's alright, though. I would rather have the three children we have been blessed with more than anything else. Having the privilege to be their parents is worth way more than being able to do whatever we want, right when we want to, such as in our pre-children days.
There will come a time in the future where we do not have to cut up food on their plates, have to request extra napkins,
 or need to be getting up to rush a child urgently to the restroom. There will not be child care to arrange. Someday we will even be able to have uninterrupted conversations without french fries flying through the air!
So, for right now, fine dining out has to be reserved for those rare times when my hubby and I get a date night alone. (And I'm really okay with that!) Since that doesn't happen but a handful  of times in a year if that, I do try to make meal times at home nice. Occasional candles and fancy glasses can transform even simple fare into something a bit more special. I like to try new recipes and make my family home-made treats.It is my hope that the children will have fond memories of meal times as a family while they were growing up.

Recently, I was thinking about those Olive Garden bread sticks. I went searching for a soft bread stick recipe that was similar to the signature ones served there.
The Food Network website has a great recipe for Almost Famous Bread Sticks, and I must say that they were not only simple to make...but they actually DO closely resemble the real thing. I spread mine with olive oil before baking. Everyone loved them! They went perfectly along side lasagna for supper (and then the next day were still equally as yummy when spread with peanut butter and jelly as a quick snack for Isaac). I will definitely be making these again! Even if you don't usually make your own bread, this recipe is so easy--really!
Now if I could just replicate Olive Garden pasta dishes.....

1 comment:

  1. What a wise woman you are becomming in your "young", older age. You have realized that "this is the first day of the rest of your (and your childrens), life.