One thing about blogging every day, is that the most frequent visitor ('tis I) gets a little tired of the surroundings. You might have noticed that the blog has gotten a much needed facelift. Huge thank you to Code It Pretty, c.w. frosting, Hot Bliggity Blog, and PicMonkey for all the help in making my blog look fresh and new! If you're a blogger, please go check out these sites. Especially Code It Pretty who is responsible for keeping me up until 2:00 in the morning wandering deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of HTML.
After a couple people mentioned that they were pinning recipes from the blog to Pinterest, I added a Pin it button to my pictures. Finished that around 1:00 am. When I looked today, I saw that I'd accidentally added two Pin it buttons which made me look a little desperate. I also added some banners for Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. So if you're into that kind of thing (and don't mind looking at a lot of pictures of ducks), come and be friendly with me there.
Dinner last night was pasta primavera from Becka's Blog. Becka's husband Rob was my French teacher for two semesters in college. Whenever he sees me, he still speaks to me in French (do not attempt this: only French teachers are fluent in that particular vocabulary). This has led to the impression among my coworkers that I speak conversational French. I don't bother correcting anyone, but keep my fingers crossed hoping no French speaker ever comes to our office needing assistance.
I don't know why I've never done pasta this way before. There's a lot of things to love about it. For one, it's incredibly simple; and if you chop all your vegetables beforehand, this would take only 30 minutes and be literally as easy as boiling water. Second, it lends itself to being doctored up to taste. I added some crushed red pepper and garlic to my second helping, and Matt thought it would be good with some grilled chicken instead of sausage. Third, it pairs pasta - such a criminal in the health world - with healthy vegetables instead of a sugary tomato sauce.
All these zucchini dishes have taken their toll on our inventory, and I had to supplement the zucchini with yellow summer squash. I picked up some colorful heirloom cherry tomatoes at Trader Joe's. Aren't they pretty?
I used our favorite Trader Joe's spicy Italian chicken sausage. In retrospect, even though the sausage is already cooked, I should have browned the sausage before adding it to the roasting pan. I was talking to Daisy (not her real name) about it at work today, and she said I should have used kielbasa sausage.
(12:50) Collins, Elizabeth: I don't eat kielbasa
(12:51) Daisy: you've never had a hillshire farm smoked sausage
(12:51) Daisy: ?!
(12:51) Daisy: Like even in a low country boil
(12:51) Daisy: ?!
(12:51) Collins, Elizabeth: I've eaten it - I don't eat it now
(12:51) Collins, Elizabeth: I know I'm about to be lynched, but...I don't add sausage to my low country boils
(12:51) Daisy: AAHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAAHHHH
(12:51) Daisy: NOOOOOOO LIZ
(12:52) Collins, Elizabeth: I know!
(12:52) Collins, Elizabeth: I have a sensitive tummy when it comes to smoked/cured meats
(12:53) Daisy: oh yeah you can't do pepperoni either right?
(12:53) Collins, Elizabeth: no
(12:53) Collins, Elizabeth: no prosciutto either
(12:53) Daisy: OMG what do you put with a cheese tray?
This is why Daisy (still not her real name) and I are such fast friends. She's really good at getting at the heart of a matter - like what goes on a cheese tray.
But if you can eat keilbasa, then give it a whirl in this pasta primavera.
adapted from Becka Loach
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium yellow pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste (next time I will add crushed red pepper and a glove of minced garlic)
12 oz sausage slices (if using chicken sausage like I did, you might want to brown them in a frying pan first)
8 oz dry pasta - I used farfalle
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place vegetables in a shallow roasting pan. Toss with olive oil and seasonings. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir and add sausage. Bake 15 more minutes or until vegetables are tender and sausage is warmed through. Meanwhile cook pasta according to the package directions. Top the cooked pasta with sausage and vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.