Reining in the New Year

Happy 2013! Personally, I for one couldn’t be happier that we’re in a New Year. I don’t think the changing calendar has ever been quite as symbolic as this past holiday was for us and we wanted to make it special. So after our marathon weekend of cooking, baking and shopping; and after four Christmas celebrations, Mike, Mr. N, Miss A and I packed up and got out of dodge! We decided to end 2012 on a high note.

Mr. N tests out his magical abilities at Hogwarts!

Mr. N tests out his magical abilities at Hogwarts!

And we wanted to start the New Year on the right foot, by spending a day at the happiest place on Earth:

Miss A doing her happy dance!

Miss A doing her happy dance!

Clearly the kids are ready to rein in their castles, but what does that have to do with Chilean cuisine? Well, for our last recipe from this South American country we’re going to bring you a delicious, warming dish – perfect for hunkering down in this cold weather. The recipe, Porotos con Riendas, translates to beans with reins, with the reins being spaghetti. beans with reins

In our search for traditional Chilean recipes, Porotos con Riendas kept popping up. It’s a stew-like dish with beans, squash, sausage and…spaghetti. I was admittedly skeptical. beans and spaghetti

In all honesty, I wasn’t really looking forward to the meal, but there’s a reason we’re on these culinary adventures. So we hopped to it. To begin we sauteed an onion and garlic, then tossed in some carrot, sausage (we used kielbasa), oregano, paprika and red pepper flakes. After cooking for about 15 minutes, we turned off the heat and set the skillet aside. Next we turned to the remaining ingredients. For our squash we chose the butternut and to save a little time we bought it pre-cut at the store. We also used canned white beans this time around too. Chilean stew

First we cooked the squash in boiling water for about five minutes, next we tossed in the spaghetti. About three minutes before the spaghetti was al dente, we added the beans and then with about one minute left, we stirred in the ingredients previously set aside. Finally, we seasoned with salt and pepper and were ready to serve.

I was still hung up on the use of spaghetti; although, I suppose it’s not that much different than using noodles in chicken noodle soup. Still, there was just something about the spaghetti that seemed odd to me. Fortunately, after the first bite my skepticism vanished instantly. It was fabulous! Porotos con Riendas

Mike and I were truly blown away with how much we enjoyed this dish. It was full of flavor. The butternut squash provided a nice sweetness to the otherwise salty ingredients and the spaghetti actually worked quite well with the beans and squash. We enjoyed the stew so much that it earned our top rating, 4 spoons, from each of us. As you know, this isn’t a rating handed out lightly either. Squash and beans

Unfortunately, the kids didn’t enjoy the meal quite as much as we did. Mr. N is not a big squash lover despite devouring it when he was one years old. Then, however, he turned two and quite literally could not (read: would not) keep squash down. While he hasn’t pulled that little stunt since, he’s still not impressed. I will give him credit though, he does keep trying. So Mr. N ranked it quite opposite of Mike and I – a 1 spoon.

Miss A had mixed feelings. She liked the spaghetti and sausage a lot, but she wasn’t too keen on the squash. When asked, she said it was 2 spoons. Now being as how Miss A usually ranks things she likes with 92’s or 504’s, I’m not quite sure how to read this vote, but she did eat quite a bit.

So where would your ranking fall? With the grown-ups or the kids? Well, I know we’ll be making it again. In fact, I saved some squash in the freezer for just the occasion. I’ll just be sure to set some spaghetti aside for the kids.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Chilean adventures as much as we did. And as we mentioned we have a lot of fun on the way. Next up we’ll share some more of our Florida fun and a little non-recipe Florida treat.

Until then, here’s wishing you a magical New Year. :) Most Magical Place on Earth

Magic at Disney

Print this recipe: Porotos con Riendas

25 comments on “Reining in the New Year

  1. Glad to hear about spaghetti squash. I just assume my kids won’t like the squash taste and I haven’t give that a try (I’d like to try eating it myself tho). How wonderful that you went to Disney World! We want to go there one day! It was fun seeing your happy family pictures, Kristy!

  2. Karen says:

    Sounds like a wonderful way to ring in the new year. Noodles…whether wide ones floating in a broth with chicken or thin ones in a spicy sauce or anything in between…I love them.

  3. Kristy, I am so glad your family got to end 2012 on a high note. What a fantastic trip for the kids. They looks so utterly elated. :) I actually am one of those crazy adults who loves Disneyland. Since we live in So. Cal, we get to go once a year and I love it every time. This dish looks really comforting and so tasty and if it got 4 spoons then I know it MUST be good. You guys are fairly stingy with the fours. ;) Anyhow, I thought I would let you know that my daughter and I have officially added “Snores the mango” into our vernacular. We love it! Have a wonderful week.

  4. Caroline says:

    Happy New Year!! I’ve wanted to go to the Harry Potter theme park for SO long (nope, not embarrassed to admit that, haha). Looks like you guys had an absolute blast. Hey, I think the dish looks delicious. My ranking would fall with the grown-ups. :)

  5. Charles says:

    Happy New Year you guys – looks like a magical trip indeed! I shunned Disneyland for so long before my wife convinced me to finally go a few years ago. I think I spent the whole day giggling like a school-girl (boy?) and we’ve been back several times since! So much fun!

  6. Deborah says:

    What a fun way to bring in the new year!! I actually love everything in this dish, and think it sounds quite interesting. Especially with a 4 star rating from the adults!

  7. What a great way to ring in the New Year!!! We’ve been avoiding Disneyworld, especially after the negative experience that a couple families we know had there. I’ll have to email you to get the full scoop on this trip. When I read that this received one of your highest ratings I got excited, then held my breath to see if the kids liked it too . . . hmmm, why is it that kids don’t like squash even when mixed in with spaghetti? This looks really good to me!

  8. Happy New Year. Looks like a great way to ring it in.

  9. You went to Disney?! OH MAN! JEALOUS!!! The kids look sooo happy… love that!! Happy New Year, my friend… I wish you a blessed year ahead! xoxo

  10. hotlyspiced says:

    How exciting to be able to take your children to Disneyland. That’s been a dream of mine but an unfulfilled one, sadly! I’m glad this Chilean dish worked out for you. I’m not allowed to cook Chillean here because my husband grew up there and hated the food his mother cooked. The only thing he liked was the bread that was readily available and freshly baked on every street corner xx

  11. I really felt the same sense of relief and expectation with the turn of the calendar page, Kristy. Our year wasn’t horrible, but had a lot of difficulties that just didn’t need to linger on! :-) I love the recipe. This is our kind of meal, quite frankly. Simple and nutritious. I’m so glad you and the family had a Disney World experience. I have so many happy memories attached to our west coast counterpart! Sometimes we all need a little bit of the Magic Kingdom! I’m looking forward to seeing what you have coming up to share from your creative kitchen! :-)

  12. Dawn says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful vacation!!! I’m sure the kids just loved being on the happiest place on earth :).

  13. Good for you guys starting the year off with a BANG! Love it. The pictures are great too – especially like the shots of the evening fireworks. This recipe appealed to me from the get-go (I may be strange that way ;-)) so I’m not surprised that in the end, it was a hit with you and Mike. Thank you for sharing these yummy Chilean dishes with us and here’s to a sparkling new and wonderful 2013!

  14. Mary says:

    How perfect!!! they look like they’re in Heaven! – well I guess they are – kid heaven!
    Happy New Year :))
    Mary x

  15. spicegirlfla says:

    The happy photo os Miss A tells it all!! What a magical way to end the year…now why didn’t I think of that!! This will be a good year for us all, lots of blessings are coming are way, I so believe! And its by faith, not magic!!
    I know I’d like the dish, squash sits well with me! Poor Mr N ;) and, of course, pasta is always my favorite.

  16. Eva Taylor says:

    I had the same thoughts as you Kristy but your high reco’s makes me want to try it…did you say you had some leftovers? What time shall I arrive ;)?
    How wonderful to take the kids to the happiest place on earth.

  17. sallybr says:

    Magical New Year for the kids! and for the parents too, right?

    You maybe saw a post in which I mention sending one beautiful photo of a place each day, my “beauty of the day” series? Well, on Christmas Eve I sent a photo of that castle, with the special lights and all… I thought it captured the spirit just right,

    Everybody loved it! I think we all have inside that soft spot for fairy tales, no matter how old we are – they bring the twinkle in the eye, as the photos of your kids prove so well!

    HAPPY 2013!

  18. Norma Chang says:

    Way to kick off the New Year! Dish sounds interesting, guess if one think of spaghetti as a noodle, which it is, then it is not so unusual.

  19. katrinamillen says:

    Your photo’s of disney are amazing, I really need to go back!!!!!!!

  20. woodentaste says:

    Lovely, I like your posts.

  21. Elaine says:

    Interesting! When I read the description, my first reaction was that it would be too bland, but instead it was flavourful, wow!

  22. You sure know how to kick off 2013 banging! Happy New year my friend!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  23. ChgoJohn says:

    What a treat for the kids to be at Disney World over Christmas vacation! Not too shabby for Mom & Dad, too. :)
    One of the things I like about your culinary adventures, Kristy, is your honesty. If you’re not sure about a recipe before starting, you’ll say so. I doubt if I would attempt a recipe I had doubts about at the onset. You, though, are committed to this project with your kids and stick to it. Good for you! As for this particular dish, if it has pasta in it, I’ll give it at least 3 spoons. I’d make a poor judge on Iron Chef.

  24. A magical start indeed :)
    I just got Jana her first Harry potter book, she would love seeing Mr. N’s picture at Hogwarts!
    We are expecting temperatures to drop below zero in the next few days so comforting dishes like these are more than welcome

  25. rsmacaalay says:

    Only 1 and 2 only, I think my daughter would rate it higher she loves squash and spaghetti whet else if they are mixed

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