It is finally starting to feel like spring around here.
Actually … it feels more like summer.
Every year it surprises me how we seem to go straight from winter into summer. What happened to spring?
Anyway, here we are in sprummer (summing?). There are so many wonderful things about the the change in the weather. We were finally able to get the garden planted. We have been able to have “no car days” again. :) The grass is green. And flowers are popping up everywhere. Especially these lovely “yellow flowers” that cover our backyard:
Now some of you might call those “yellow flowers” dandelions, but in our house, they’re flowers. :) And as you can see we have a lot of them. My daughter picked this beautiful bouquet for me and didn’t even make a dent in our lovely carpet of yellow flowers. Sure, we could take steps to get rid of the dandelions in the backyard, but why would we want to do that. There are so many fun things to do with dandelions in all their forms. Who doesn’t love to make wishes on dandelions? And lest you think our whole yard is an eyesore, we do control the weeds (in an environmentally responsible way) in the front yard. We do live in the suburbs, so that’s to keep the neighbors happy. :)
Besides enjoying the dandelions, it has been so nice to have the windows open and enjoy the fresh air. My only problem with this weather is that I REALLY hate cooking in it. Who wants to stand in front of a hot stove when it’s 80 degrees in the house? Let alone turn on the oven! During the warm months we definitely stick to quick stovetop dinners. And I do my baking first thing in the morning!
So here’s a super-fast dinner you can make in the time it takes to cook pasta:
don’t listen to the towel – pies are for cold weather
Pasta with Broccoli
16 oz. whole wheat penne
1 bunch broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets (save stalks for broccoli slaw)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp ground thyme
salt, pepper to taste
Optional: mozzarella or parmesan to grate over the top
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water, melt butter in olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme and saute for one more minute. Stir in broccoli.
Meanwhile, add pasta to the water and cook according to package directions.
Add about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the skillet and cook until the broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain your pasta and toss with the broccoli mixture. Top with cheese and serve warm.
* This dish is also great with some toasted walnuts tossed in. *
Add some fresh veggies or a salad and you have a healthy dinner that doesn’t have you breaking a sweat!