I can honestly say that the last few months of my life has been insanity. Insane in many good ways, and yes, I am exhausted, with a full heart and ready for whatever comes my way. I feel like a bad ass, I often feel this way, but now more than ever. I am usually a humble person, but I have been through a lot and have accomplished so much recently that I have to pat myself on the back and then share with all of you! All too often we don’t place enough importance, or greatness on an achievement or goal we have reached. It is not a trait to be admired in our society, we are supposed to be humble, and lay low, or we may be seen to have an huge ego. As I was visiting family and I was honestly boasting about my accomplishments, all I am doing, have done, and have in store for my future, they chuckled and said my ego was too big for the room. They opened the door, jokingly. I continued boasting, because I hardly ever do, it still felt good. It may sound “bad”, but I have worked my ass off to get to where I am, and I did it all by myself. No one held my hand, I did it all. I had and continue to have to support of my teachers, mentors, family, friends, and boyfriend of course. Their support helps and drives me, but I have had to dig deep to get to where I am today. And I did it, so yes, I am very proud of myself. And I am ok with all of it.
I haven’t even had a moment to write about my last quarter in culinary school where I took Food Service Financial Management, and Asian Cuisine. I will update that soon enough.
The Food Blogger Bake Sale was a success, check out the post here!
I graduated a few weeks ago with high honors, and it felt good, very good. But a few days after I graduated my Mama got a call for a last minute cancellation for her back surgery, so off I went. I did get to enjoy my graduation with my family, go to the beach, several beautiful dinners, and sunsets. I did relish. Yet I feel like I want more, most likely because of the few weeks of madness!
Off I went to Sacramento for my Mamas surgery, it went very well, and she is cured! I am happy to see her walking and being herself again, she is obviously in so much pain still, from the actual surgery but the old pain is gone. I have my Mama back, it’s been a while, I am grateful. I was in Sacramento for two weeks, which was so nice to see my family and friends for that time. But after two weeks of taking care of Mama, I made my way to Southern California for The Big Travelling Potluck in Temecula.
Week three, wow! It was a unique, filling, amazing experience and it needs its own post, so I won’t go into details. From afar I was putting together the Food Blogger Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry. Then I was in Orange County visiting my older brother, his wife, and my niece to end this trip with my family.
I was gone for three weeks and it is good to be home. Bitter sweet at best, as I miss my family so much. But I have my little family here with me, Brian, and the kitties. We all missed each other so very much. My heart is full, my belly too. I have come home with many ideas, a full calendar, and so much to look forward to, it will be awesome!
For now, this is my life, and update of sorts…
A trick for pasta, especially when you are making a simple sauce with olive oil, and lemon, is saving some of the water where the pasta was cooked. It is great for flavor, and thickening a simple sauce. I reserve a cup or two anytime I cook pasta, so I can adjust my sauce if needed. It is better than using plain water.
Kale, Mushroom, and Bell Pepper Pasta with Parmigiano and Olive Oil
1 lb pasta
2 chicken sausages already cooked, cut into small pieces, you could also use leftover chicken (optional)
1 bunch of kale, stem removed and torn into medium pieces
2 cups button mushrooms, quatered
2 red bell peppers, chopped
¼ cup good olive oil
¼ cup water from pasta cooking
¼ cup fresh grated parmigiano reggiano
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf Parsley
1. Cook pasta as package states. Remove pasta from pasta water and reserve ¼ cup of pasta water for sauce.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. If using sausage, add it now and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Place the mushrooms and peppers in the pot, sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a pepper on them. Sauté for 3 minutes over medium low heat, add the kale and stir. Add the rest of the olive oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt and a ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Add the pasta water to the pasta, using a spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta and stir to combine.
3. Add the lemon juice, and the Parm Reg cheese, stir to combine. Taste, does it need salt or pepper, if so, add a pinch at a time until it is well seasoned. Add the fresh chopped parsley, stir to combine. Serve warm.