My favorite sauce/dressing/marinade

I used to hate cold pasta salad. Cold broccoli, pepperoni, olives and bell pepper in a creamy sauce? No thanks. But then I started to experiment, tossing recipes into the wind and attacking my kitchen with reckless abandon.

And the perfect sauce/dressing/marinade was born.

Lemon mustard sauce

Ingredients

2 TBS EVOO

1 garlic clove, minced

Juice from 1/2 a lemon (or lime) or 2 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS stone ground mustard

Dash of salt/pepper

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients, wisk until olive oil is emulsified. Toss with your favorite pasta and veggies, quinoa and veggies, or marinade your chicken for grilling.

 

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Lemon Asparagus Pasta

It is no secret I love lemon. Evidence found here, here, and here. Clearly I should have been born in Italy*.

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*The Hubs’ parents had an exchange student (hi Sylvia!) from Italy a few years back and she was obsessed with lemons. She says it is an Italian thing. I believe her.

Another ingredient that blesses my dinner plate (or snack plate, or lunch pate) with great frequency is the oh so delicious garlic clove.

Asparagus, however, is reserved for special occasions. Such occasions usually involve a trip to the farmer’s market, which means they only happen between May and October.

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Put all of these ingredients together and you’ve got a fabulous summer meal.

Lemon Asparagus Pasta

Serves 5

Nurtitionals: Cal: 307, Carb: 36g, Pro: 9g, Fat: 14g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 3g

Ingredients

Pasta:

8 oz pasta of your choosing (my favorite is Barilla Plus)

2 cups chopped asparagus (approximately 1 inch chunks)

3/4 cup diced green onion

1/3 cup shredded parmesan

*optional: protein source of your choice (chicken, garbanzo beans, tofu), will add extra calories. We added one 8oz grilled chicken breast. (not included in nutritionals).

Sauce:

3 TBS lemon juice

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 TBS stone ground mustard

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

Boil pasta according to package directions. When 3 minutes remain, add cut asparagus to pasta and continue to cook.

Meanwhile mix all dressing ingredients.

After pasta finishes cooking, drain and add back to pot. Stir in green onions, parmesan and dressing. Serve immediately.

A day late, a dollar short.

I had a fabulous time frolicking in Minnesota with my lovely college pals, Veronika and Ali.

This, of course, delayed my normal weekend routines. One of which, is one of my favorite past times: meal planning. Nerd alert!

I came home to discover The Hubs had taken it upon himself to create this week’s meal plan. Thanks Hubs!

Sunday: grilled chicken ceasar salad

Monday:  Insane in the membrane [turkey] burgers + kale chips

Tuesday: pasta (see below)

Wednesday: French Dips (a la crockpot, recipe forthcoming)

Thursday: South Perry Pizza & a trip to the South Perry Farmer’s Market opening day!

Friday: Leftover french dips

Saturday: wild card – help me choose! What is your favorite weekend recipe?

And back to that pasta…I’ve had this bad boy* in the pantry for a few months.

And aside from making cilantro pesto, I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. I decided to whip up a Veronika inspired (i.e. cook pasta with wine) dish. Sadly, it was a big flop, or rather a big sticky mess. I think I needed more olive oil, or more wine, or both? I’m not really sure, but a quick glance at Pappardelle’s website hinted at where I had gone wrong: no cream! The sauce I made is very, very similar to this recipe off their website. I don’t have any heavy cream in the fridge, but I think I may make this sauce in the future.

The process and aftermath, however, were rather pretty. So I’ll leave you with a few pasta pictures to get your mouth watering.

Garlic

Cilantro

Yes, the pasta really is this yellow.

*Pappardelle’s can be found in Spokane at The French Quarter, which is not listed in their locations section.

What is your favorite weekend meal? What should I cook for my wild card Saturday (carb heavy, due to 1/2 Marathon training)?

When life hands you lemons…

make Lemon Sour Cream Cake.

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If you follow me on Twitter, you probably noticed I was recently laid off. My school district laid off 238 certificated staff (including teachers, librarians and counselors) on Tuesday. That’s a whole lotta lemons life handed out.

At the school board meeting on April 27, it was decided that the district would increase class size by 3 students, and an estimated 90-150 teachers would be cut. I pretty much knew this was coming. Therefore I signed up to run a half-marathon on July 10th, figuring I would throw myself into something healthy, (training), rather than stuffing my face, (my normal stress coping mechanism).

However, after I received official notice that I had been pink slipped, I reverted back to good ‘ol comfort foods. I’m giving myself a week to cope this way, and then I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and resume half-marathon training with full gusto.

But until then, I’ll bake.

Friday evening I had a postponed Cinco de Mayo celebration,


a Steve-o de Mayo party if you will, to celebrate one of my Master’s cohorts arrival in Spokane. I signed up to bring sour cream and cheese, only to find out those items were already taken. I was kindly asked to bring some sort of dessert.

Dessert I can do.

But I wanted to use the sour cream I had already purchased, and didn’t have a clue what to make. I googled sour cream cookies, sour cream cake and sour cream dessert. I settled on this Lemon Sour Cream Cake recipe, simply because it seemed the most tedious. I really needed something other than my current situation to occupy myself with, and beating butter for 1 minute solid, and then adding sugar tablespoon by tablespoon for 8 minutes seemed like the perfect solution.

And it was. I followed the directions to a T, which is something I never do. The only modification I made was I did not use lemon peel, and instead doubled up on the lemon juice.

Holy tedious.

Look at how moist it is!

Holy delicious.

This recipe is definitely one I will be pulling out again and again in the future. It reminds me of fantastically-fab wedding cake. It is insanely dense. I think it weighed around 10 pounds. I’m totally serious. I got quite the bicep workout carrying it from my friend’s car to the party.

There are only two slices left. And I am very excited to eat them for dessert tonight.

And yes, that is a Ronald McDonald plate. It is pretty much my favorite plate ever. And I hate McDonalds.

Next on my pink slip cooking agenda: Pink Slip Pie.

What is your favorite sour cream recipe?