Three Day Weekend – Recipe: Fall Pasta

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The littles are at home today because we have a three-day weekend.  How I love it when the weekend is lengthened, which, in turn, makes the school week shortened.  It then leaves me thinking that every weekend should be three days….hence every school/work week should be four.

We had planned to go to the Pumpkin Patch to soak in the fun of the season.

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But, it rained.  And, we are not complaining.  We had not received real, substantial, ground-soaking rain since the first week of June. We had received a couple of showers the past couple of weeks, but nothing like this – thunder, lightning, rain.  Rain so hard that it sent the middle little straight into bed with us.  And, it was good, very good.

So, we are spending the day in our pajamas, baking, watching movies, playing games.  Just enjoying being at home.

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And, it is pasta night, which is always a family favorite.  I created this fall pasta with cream sauce, and it was a hit.  I love how we can still keep our theme nights, while mixing in the flavors of the season.  It is truly one of the joys of cooking – always finding new ways to enjoy old favorites.

Fall Pasta

Fall Pasta

Ingredients

16 ounces vermicelli

1 sweet potato, diced

1 butternut squash, diced

4 gloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

cooking spray

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 ounces cream cheese

3 ounces creamy goat cheese

Seasoned salt, to sprinkle on vegetables

Ground black pepper, to taste

Kosher salt, to taste

8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Parsley flakes, to sprinkle

Paprika, to sprinkle

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking pan with foil, and spray with cooking spray. Add the chopped vegetables. Drizzle on the olive oil and minced garlic, and sprinkle with the seasoned salt. Bake for 30 minutes, until tender.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with hot water.
  3. Add the whipping cream, cream cheese, and goat cheese to a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking together while the cheese melts. Reduce heat slightly. Allow to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, while the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the pasta to a pasta bowl. Add the cream mixture, and toss together. Add the vegetables, and gently toss together. Sprinkle the bacon, parsley flakes, and paprika on the top.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/10/10/three-day-weekend-recipe-fall-pasta/

 

Enjoy!

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Exchange sponsored by Le Creuset.

I have shared this recipe over at Skip to My Lou, Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, A Southern Fairytale, Eat at Home, and Mrs. Happy Homemaker.

Game Days – Recipe: Chicken Stir-Fry

Since it is still hot, and we have not received any rain, allergy season has hit us all hard.  I was the one in the family who never had any allergy symptoms until this past year.  And, now, I am sniffling and sneezing right along with everyone else.

If you have allergies, you know how it can just wipe you out.  Well, I had a cold last week, followed by more allergies this week, so I have been taking it easy.  Summer loves taking it easy days because that means that we stay in our pajamas, play games, and watch movies while the boys are at school.  Yes, I am admitting that we have stayed in our pajamas for the past two days.  And, you know what?  It has been great.  Sometimes slowing down and taking it easy is just what the doctor ordered.

So, we have been playing a lot of games – Bingo, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and Operation.  My girl loves to play games.

Needless to say, my creative juices were zapped today, too, so I decided to post a family favorite recipe – Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry.  Honestly, besides the fact that it is truly delicious, one of the things that I love about this recipe is that you can do whatever you want to with it.  You can use beef or shrimp instead of chicken, add what vegetables you prefer, and even switch out the broth to beef or vegetable broth.  Just have fun with it, and make it your own.

Chicken Stir-Fry

Chicken Stir-Fry

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 glove of garlic, chopped

3-4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1 red bell pepper, cut up or sliced

1 green bell pepper, cut up or sliced

1 cup broccoli

1/4 cup carrots

1 yellow squash, cut up

1/2 cup soy sauce (wheat free)

1 cup chicken broth

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 Tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 Tablespoon corn starch

salt – about 1 teaspoon

pepper – about 1 teaspoon

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil to stir-fry pan; heat to medium high heat.
  2. Add chicken and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, whisk together soy sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, and corn starch.
  4. Cook chicken until slightly pink (about 10 minutes) and then add the vegetables.
  5. Cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the soy sauce mixture and cook another 3-5 minutes.
  7. When the sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat. Serve over rice.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/21/game-days-recipe-chicken-stir-fry/

I know that there will be busy days and weeks ahead, so I am really soaking up this week.

Monday is Pasta Day – Recipe: Vegetable Pasta with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

This was the scene outside bright and early this morning.

The boys do not really like early mornings anymore than I do.  But, they are young and full of energy, so they wake up, truly wake up, much quicker than I do.  Watching this scene unfold helped me really open my eyes this morning, to appreciate the beauty that was unfolding in front of me.

Boys who were happy to ride scooters in the cool of the morning air.

A big brother who is always happy to help his younger brother.

Two brothers who always light up at the sight of each other.

Summer, on the other hand, well, she just likes to cuddle in bed for at least 30 minutes.  And, since it is her last year at home until Kindergarten, I will just soak up the lazy mornings with her, knowing that this year will pass in the blink of an eye.

As I have mentioned before, I try to stick to theme menu days – pasta on Mondays, tacos on Tuesdays, etc.  I do not make the exact pasta or tacos each week.  I just give myself a jumping off point by knowing what type of recipe I want to make for that day.  It makes it easier when I am planning our weekly menu, and it still gives flexibility to try new things.

Monday is pasta day.  We often do spaghetti, pasta with cream sauce, or plain noodles with olive oil and vegetables.  I experimented with this pasta last week.  I had vegetables, pasta, and the makings of a cream sauce.  So, I decided to put it all together and see how it turned out.

The result.  It was fantastic.  Everyone enjoyed it…well, Summer ate plain noodles.  But, as I have said before, she has not developed as much of an appreciation for food as the rest of us.  She will get there in her own time.

Vegetable Pasta with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

Vegetable Pasta with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

Ingredients

Chicken and Vegetables

2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

1/4 cup onion, sliced

1/4 cup carrots, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

1 cup broccoli

1 zucchini, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 glove garlic, minced

1 package gluten free pasta

Sauce

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1-2 ounces of goat cheese

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon corn starch

Old Bay Seasoning

Kosher salt

Pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in stir-fry pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, and then add the vegetables. Put the lid on and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the sliced chicken and remove from heat.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  3. Mix together the almond milk, olive oil, and corn starch. Cooking over medium heat, add the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted. Add about 1 tablespoon of the Old Bay Seasoning, kosher salt, and pepper, according to taste.
  4. Drain the pasta and rinse with hot water.
  5. Put the pasta into a big pasta dish. Add the cream sauce and vegetables. Stir until combined.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/08/29/monday-is-pasta-day/

Enjoy!