I Feel Brand New

Hey, Y’all!

First, did anyone else see that moon last night? I rolled over toward the window at 1:45 and thought someone was shining a flashlight in my window. I actually got up to check it out, and to make sure I hadn’t left the outside light on.

We had beautiful weather here today, it was 72° here this afternoon. I had opened all the windows and doors and turned the furnace way down by 11 a.m. I didn’t do much today, until after the kids came home from school. Well, okay,that’s not entirely true. I walked both dogs…oh, wait, did y’all know we kind of have another dog? Our friends/landlords have an 11-year-old Great Pyrenees that we are taking care of. He’s old, kind of creaky, but a sweetheart, so I feel bad if he doesn’t get a walk in. I’ve taken to calling him the “old man.” I think I might have over done it, though. I took him on a mile walk. He’s an outside dog, and spends most of his time in a large pen, but I feel bad for him when he sees Fur-boy and I walking. When I got back from our walk, I intended to watch one or two episodes of Modern Family, (now that we have the internet again), while I drank my coffee. I ended up watching shows on Hulu from about 9:30 until 2. I must have been going through D.T’s. However, I tried to make up for being a slug all day. I played catch with Bug in the yard for a while. Maybe 30-45 minutes. I haven’t ‘played’ with one of the kids in way too long. Unless you count card games and board games. Then after that, I cleaned out the old man’s pen. Yuck! Since it was nice, I hosed it out as well. Then, about 5:00, Bug and I came in to cook supper. Pally was up the street playing with a neighbor kid. This reprieve from normal March weather was what I needed. I feel like my brain has been reset. Of course, the nice walk this morning, kicking through snow in the shady places in the forest didn’t hurt any either.

Dinner was spectacular, except Big Daddy (it kinda feels weird to type that sometimes) is working late tonight. I adapted the recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Pasta that I found here. My changes from the original recipes are in blue. This is how I made it:

  • 12 oz Brown Rice Pasta (I used shells)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 lg. onion, finely chopped (I whirred it up in the food processor, ’cause I was feeling lazy)
  • kosher salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c. Non-fat, plain, Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz. Neufchâtel Cheese, at room temp
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
  • 2 t. lemon zest (which I omitted, because I don’t usually buy organic lemons)
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as you can get it.
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can artichoke hearts, rinsed and squeezed of excess moisture. I also gave these a rough chop.
  • 4 oz.. Mozzarella, shredded (about  1 cup)

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking liquid, then drain pasta.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and a 1/2 t. each of kosher salt and pepper. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally until onions are tender, 8-10 min. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  3. Heat broiler. In a large bowl, combine yogurt and Neufchâtel cheese, Parmesan and lemon juice. Add the onion mixture.
  4. Add cooked & drained pasta to the bowl and toss to coat. Stir in the spinach, artichokes and 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Fold in 1/2 cup of the Mozzarella.
  5. Transfer pasta mixture to a broiler-proof casserole (I used my  cast iron skillet, because I don’t own a single broiler-safe casserole dish!) Top with remaining Mozzarella and broil until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.

It was delicious. Bug had 3 helpings, Pally had two, I had one and a half. The Hubby’s plate is in the oven keeping warm for him.

On a side note, did you know it’s almost Daylight Savings Time again? Yep, this Sunday! We lose an hour. Of course, I won’t notice. We go to bed with the chickens most nights, so I’m not sure I’ll really miss that hour…I will miss that fact that when I dragged myself out of bed this morning (5:40) to make coffee & lunches, the sun just peaking over the horizon here.

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