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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beach day & Pesto and Broccoli Pasta with Feta and Balsamic Glaze

It was hot today. And by hot I mean, hotter than usual. It's always pretty much perfect weather in the Bay Area. Reason #2 why I'm so very very happy to be back living here. 

Anyways, It was hot enough to warrant a spur of the moment trip to the beach to cool off. If it's hot inland then it's usually perfect at the coast, and it was. We only live "over the hill" from the coast so the nearest beach is a mere 10 minute drive away - but our favorite beach (lots of other children usually running around) is a 18 minute drive away (so says Siri) - the extra 8 minutes is worth it. 

Now that we live so close to the beach I like to make it as easy as possible to just "pop to the coast". When you have 3 kids it's so easy to make an excuse not to go anywhere (I'm so very out numbered) but it's also vital that you Get. Out. Of. The. House. often. For sanity's sake. 

So I always have a beach bag packed and ready with the basic essentials.

  • Beach Towels
  • Blanket
  • Beach Toys
  • Sun Screen
  • Hats
  • Water
  • Basic snacks (dried fruit and nuts usually)
Extra's can get thrown in last minute - or if I've planned it i may pack a picnic but really thats all we ever need for an hour or two down by the ocean. 

Now as anyone knows being out at the beach totally wears it out of you and makes you HUNGRY (it's all that fighting with sand). The kids and I got home and man.... they were demanding snacks before i'd even cleaned the sand out of their lil bottoms. But dinner time  was around the corner so I might as well throw a real meal at them. So we ate "early" at 5 (which actually totally isn't early if you have two kids under 3)

I did my basic "quick meal" trick where I grab a veggie - throw it at some pasta and then wonder what kind of sauce I can make that will allow me to add cream. 

Cream you say?! Yes cream. Cream is awesome. If you don't like cream then something is seriously up with you. Cream is what cool people like. Fur realz. This sign is above my kitchen door. 

I'm all about the healthy and "clean" eating, my friends, but as we all know everyone has their own interpretation of clean eating. Mine is basically no nasty chemicals and as close to the source as possible.

Cream is that. Especially when it's organic and hormone and GMO free! 

Did I seriously just go on a rant about cream? 

Anyways, the recipe. It was a hit. The kids scoffed it down and Phil did too when he got home. I topped it with balsamic glaze (because that shit goes on all the things. kids are lucky I don't top their oatmeal with the stuff because YUM) that I felt MADE the dish but Phil wasn't a huge fan. But hey! What does that guy know?! (actually probably a lot since he knew marrying me would be an awesome idea)

Broccoli and Pesto Pasta with Feta and Balsamic Glaze

  • 4 cups Uncooked Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 2-3 cups Broccoli florets
  • 2/3 cup pesto (I used a homemade basil but any would do!)
  • 1/2 cup Organic cream
  • 4 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup Feta cheese
  • drizzle Balsamic glaze (apparently optional...)
Cooking Directions
  1. bring a pot of salty water to the boil (the Italians say water for pasta should be as salty as the Mediterranean!) and add the pasta. Depending on the pasta you use cook for 10-13 minutes (just before al-dente)
  2. add the broccoli to the pasta and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes until the broccoli turns bright green (and no longer!).
  3. Drain the pasta and broccoli. set aside for a minute.
  4. using the same pot add the cream and pesto and on a medium heat stir to combine. Throw the pasta and broccoli back in the pan and then add half the Feta and Basil. Toss it all together and warm through.
  5. Serve topped with the left over feta and basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

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