Spring Pasta Dinner

25 03 2013

Lately, I haven’t really been in the mood to cook. Life’s been crazy busy, and ordering Thai takeout is just so stinkin easy! Despite my hectic weekend, I was inspired to get back at it after a quick Publix trip.

IMG_6661A woman was sampling Galileo salami and pepperoni and my growling tummy guided me to her table to try some. It was pretty standard salami, but my hunger paired with the cute little recipe card with a tasty looking veggie + pasta dish on it was enough to make me decide that dinner was going to include this salami. The woman also gave me a $1.00 off coupon, which certainly didn’t hurt.

product-galilio_italian_dry_salame_slicedI already had some veggies in my cart, but I walked back to the produce section to grab some summer squash, zucchini, and some cherry tomatoes for the dish. More veggies in my cart is never a bad thing.

My initial thought when I got home with everything was to make a cold pasta salad. But after looking a little closer, this particular recipe was served warm, with a white wine butter sauce. Cooking with wine is definitely an excuse to pour myself a glass to enjoy  🙂

IMG_6673

So, I got to cooking and was done and ready to eat in the time it took to boil water and cook my (whole wheat) pasta! That’s a win in my book, since I usually find really involved and complicated recipes to delve into!

spring pasta plate

So if you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal, look no further! Grab some of your favorite veggies, some short cut pasta and you’re well on your way! Though it may not feel like spring where you are, hopefully this veggie-licious dish will help you keep your head up and thinking that spring WILL be just around the corner 😉

IMG_6664

Spring Pasta Dinner

(adapted from Galileo’s recipe for Pasta Primavera)

Ingredients:

~1/2 lb short cut pasta (I used orecchiette)
1 tbs olive oil
3 tbs butter, divided
1 cup Galileo sliced salami, shredded  (leave this out to make it vegetarian!)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli florets, small
1/2 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 small summer squash, quartered and sliced
~1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1-2 large handfuls of spinach
1 cup white wine
1/2 grated cheese (I used Digiorno 3 cheese)
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of red pepper flakes (optional)

(Please note, the vegetable amounts are estimates. I used what I had on hand, you can use more or less of anything you want!)

How to:

Cook your pasta.

Meanwhile, chop your veggies and salami and heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat.

When the butter/oil combo is nice and hot, add the sliced onions, garlic, and salami. Cook until the onions start to caramelize. Add the broccoli and mushrooms, cooking for another minute or two. Then add the zucchini and summer squash. Stir frequently and let the veggies cook for a few more minutes. Don’t let them get soggy! When the broccoli is nice and green, and the squash looks just about cooked, add the wine and cook let it simmer for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes right after you’ve added the wine- you just want to heat them through; otherwise they’ll get really mushy! Season with salt and pepper and add the final two tablespoons of butter and stir while it is still simmering. Add a dash (or more) of red pepper flake if you’d like.

In a large bowl, add the fresh spinach. When the pasta is done, drain it, and then pour it directly onto the bed of spinach. Top with the vegetable sauce. Toss to wilt the spinach. Finish with shredded cheese and you’re ready to dig in!





Have You Ever Seen Anything Like This Before?

20 03 2013

My boyfriend is a professional entertainer. He is part of a comedy/stunt/juggling duo, Rootberry, and they perform all over the world. They are also pretty well-known in the YouTube scene, and they post a variety of funny/interesting/fun videos on their channel

We camped in Santa Rosa because Bill needed to be in Destin to collaborate with some other YouTubers to film some never-before attempted tricks on a Flyboard. 

IMG_6476

Yup, just another day in the life of Rootberry.

IMG_6479

If pictures are worth 1,000 words, then videos must be worth at least 10,000. So, I’ll just share the videos that Rootberry, the Legendary Shots, and John Watson created from the experience. I would highly recommend checking them all out!

Rootberry:

Legendary Shots:

John Watson:

 

Question of the day: What’s the craziest stunt you’ve ever seen?





Camping

18 03 2013

So far, I’m 3 for 3 with my resolution to try/experience something new each month. January was Flyboarding, February was Motorcycle School, and this month I went camping! Can you believe I had never been camping before? Some of my friends in college went a few times and I never went with them. I didn’t have any gear and I didn’t want to drop a bunch of money on a hobby I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy.

IMG_6407

Bill has been talking about camping for awhile now but we never could find the time to go, until now! The day after our mountain trip ended, Bill was supposed to be in Destin, Florida for work. It seemed silly to drive all the way back to Orlando and then turn around and drive north again, so we decided to drive straight to the panhandle from Georgia and spend the night at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. I was on spring break, so I had no obligation to be back in town and I was allowed to accompany him to his event (more on that later).

We arrived around 3:30ish (central time!), checked in at the front gate, and were directed to our campsite.

IMG_6405

Bill got right to work setting up our camp.

IMG_6406

I helped him set up the tent (with his guidance of course), but that was about my only contribution. I really didn’t know what else to do!

IMG_6410

In less than 30 minutes we were ready to relax by the campfire and enjoy an early dinner.

IMG_6409

We had stopped by Publix on our way into town to pick up some essentials: kielbasa, hearty bread, spicy mustard, and Yuengling.

IMG_6417

IMG_6419

MMM Perfection!

After dinner, we went for a walk since the sun was still up. One of the cool things about this park is that it is right on the beach! I’d say it was a short quarter mile walk before you spotted the beautiful white sand beaches.
IMG_6421

Unfortunately there were high wind and rip tide advisories, but it sure was a beautiful evening! The wind made it feel colder than the already chilly 60ish degrees, hence our sweatshirts. (Northerners feel free to make fun of me.)

IMG_6426

IMG_6423

One of the things about Florida that is so odd to me is that there are state parks that include beaches. I guess that makes sense, considering they’re on the coast, but before moving here, “state park” in my little world meant lots of forest and maybe a lake. That is so not the case, and I thought it was cool that we were so close to the Gulf that we could hear the water lapping on the shore while we were camping. 🙂

We walked around the campground a little more while the sun began to set. We were back just as it was getting dark and rekindled our dying fire. What a better way to end the night then with some s’mores?

campingcollage

We were in “bed” and asleep by 9:00- still feeling the effects of Daylight Savings time and not yet adjusted to being in Central time.

To be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. In fact, I kind enjoyed being outside, sleeping under the stars, which were SO MANY MORE than I’m used to seeing! I had been preparing for a chilly night- it was supposed to be in the 50s and I’ve become such a wus in the cold weather so I packed a lot of layers. I ended up being just fine in my lululemon pants and my long sleeve winter Nike running top and some Wigwam socks. I was actually kind of toasty under the sleeping bag and ended up ditching the socks. I didn’t need the hat, gloves, scarf, or extra sweatshirts I had brought into the tent. Yes, in retrospect that was probably overkill, but having never camped before and being clueless on exactly what I needed to wear to camp, I feel justified in my rookie mistake 😉

I was proud of myself for “roughing it” for a night, and now I’m curious to put together some hiking with some overnighting. I know that car camping is very different from backpacking, but I’m interested in the experience.

IMG_6445

Since I survived and enjoyed my first experience camping, Bill and I planning our next adventure- maybe a few day hikes in Florida with some camping thrown in before getting “serious” and doing some multi-day hiking in Alaska this summer while Bill is working there! Obviously I have a lot to learn, but Bill’s interest and excitement for hiking/camping is contagious. Only time will tell where this interest will take us!

Question of the day: What’s your best tip for a newbie camper like me?