Busy season has been…busy. Ugh we’re in full on ‘what am I doing with my life, is it October 15 yet?’ mode. Less than 3 weeks! And then I’ll never have to go through a busy season like this again. Light at the end of the tunnel!
This week we tried a new, seasonal recipe from Gimme Some Oven. It we pretty delicious! I don’t know if I’ve ever really had butternut squash before… Matt even liked it. It wasn’t an ‘omg we need to make this again tomorrow’ kind of like, but he said ti was pretty good and since he knew it was really good for him it made it better. And it was easy with not a ton of ingredients! I will say, this is definitely better fresh and leftovers are just ‘meh’, next time we’ll be making a little less.
Butternut Squash, Arugula and Goat Cheese Pasta
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or any high-heat oil)
- salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 12 ounces whole wheat dried pasta
- 2-3 ounces goat cheese
- 2 big handfuls fresh baby arugula
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or mist it with cooking spray).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butternut squash and oil, and toss until the squash is evenly coated. Spread the squash out the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the squash at the halfway point then returning them to the oven, until the squash are cooked through and soft on the inside. Remove and set aside.
- While the squash is cooking, bring a large stockpot of generously-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook al dente, according to package instructions. Once it reaches al dente, scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta water and set it aside for later. Then drain the rest of the water and return the pasta to the stockpot. Immediately add in the goat cheese along with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, and toss until the cheese is completely melted and is evenly coating the pasta. (If it seems too thick and you’d like a lighter “sauce”, add in a few more tablespoons of the pasta water at a time until the cheese reaches your desired consistency.) Add in the arugula, pine nuts and roasted butternut squash, and toss until combined.
- Serve immediately, garnished with extra black pepper if desired.
Friends, we have a new winner of a dinner dish! I made this a while ago in college and forgot all about it until now. This is a lovely summer dinner dish, I hope you love it as much as we did. I can’t wait for leftovers!
Creamy Pasta Primavera (recipe from here)
- 3 cups penne pasta, uncooked
- 2 Tbsp. Zesty Italian Dressing
- 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1-1/2 cups cut-up fresh asparagus spears (1-inch lengths)
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
- 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt.
- Meanwhile, heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and vegetables; cook 10 to 12 min. or until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Add broth and cream cheese; cook 1 min. or until cream cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Stir in Parmesan.
- Drain pasta; return to pan. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Cook 1 min. or until heated through. (Sauce will thicken upon standing.)
Happy Labor Day weekend! I’m looking forward to the year where I don’t have to work on Labor Day…but until then, we’re making the most of it! I took today off from busy season because it’s Matt’s birthday!! We had a really great day. Went for a walk and got coffee and our favorite bagels this morning (birthday bagels). Then we had people over this afternoon for pizza, food, and hanging out. Despite several of our friends being out of town for labor day, a lot of people came and it was so good to hang out with old friends (3 of Matt’s college friends live in the area) and new friends! Afterwards we just took it easy, which was really nice after a pretty crazy week. Such a solid weekend so far. Good is good, life is good, everything is great!
For the birthday celebration I made a couple of desserts – Cookie Cake and Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle. I’ll spare you the cookie cake recipe, it’s literally a half batch of chocolate chip cookies, cooked in a quiche dish, and then I decorated it:
The chocolate peanut butter truffle is always a hit. My mom use to make this and Matt loved it from his first bite, so she’s passed the recipe along to me (and many others). I hope you enjoy it too!
(We made a couple of new dinner recipes this week but they weren’t spectacular so I won’t be posting those, hopefully we’ll find some more winners soon!)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 pkgs instant vanilla pudding
- 1 ¾ cups milk (2% or whole)
- 12 oz cool whip
- 1 box brownie mix
- 2 eggs (for brownie mix)
- Canola oil (for brownies)
- 6+ Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (frozen)
- Bake brownies according to package instructions, let cool.
- Cut brownies into small (1” or smaller) squares. (I always cut off the edges before doing this. I say it’s to make the pieces in the dessert less chewey, and because it’s what my mom did. But it’s mostly because I love brownie edges and I get to eat them myself this way)
- Melt ½ cup peanut butter
- Mix 2 pkgs instant vanilla pudding with 1 ¾ cups milk, until thickened
- Mix peanut butter into pudding mixture
- Fold pudding mixture into 12 oz cool whip. This makes a “peanut butter mousse”
- Chop frozen Reese’s into small pieces.
- In a larger bowl, or trifle dish, layer brownie, pudding mixture, chopped Reese’s, and repeat.