5.18.11: What’s for dinner Wednesday? Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto anyone?

Fresh pesto tastes amazing yet I always forget how easy it is to make! Recently, while doing the weekly grocery shopping I passed the basil containers and recalled a cold pesto pasta salad I had in Italy that was delicious. Thanks to a quick tutorial from my friend’s aunt who introduced us to this dish, it is easy to make! It’s perfect for summer and you can serve hot or cold. Like I said, I prefer it cold.  Serve with flavored sausage like artichoke heart or sundried tomato. Also a hit with grilled chicken!

Shopping List:
Fresh basil leaves
Pine nuts or walnuts
Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
Garlic Cloves
Grape Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese Balls
Bowtie/Capellini/your choice of pasta

Meat of your choice (see above)

This recipe from Simple Recipes is the fastest!

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Special equipment needed: A food processor

Method
1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

You can cook the pasta while you are making the pesto. Once the pasta and the pesto are finished (if serving cold, run cold water over the pasta and be sure to refrigerate for an hour before you serve, otherwise), combine pasta, pesto, tomatoes and cheese balls in a large bowl, stir and serve!

Perfect summer lunch or dinner…Buon Appetito!

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Trust Your Instinct!

When do you start listening to yourself and stop listening to everyone else around you? As a new mom, it’s a hard thing to decipher when you are feeling overwhelmed and like you haven’t got a clue. It seems everyone else has so much more knowledge know-how and everything you do is wrong and if you’re not careful you’re going to permanently damage your new baby. But then you run into one too many moms who tell you everything you should and should not do and how if you don’t do it their way then your baby isn’t going to see its first birthday – or at least that is how you feel! However, as your baby gets older you start to gain a bit more confidence and by the time you have the second you start to feel like you might have the hang of this parenting business! And if you aren’t careful, you turn into one of “those moms” that is telling everyone how to raise their child.

My eldest daughter is 3 years old and the baby is seven months (and just started crawling this weekend – we are in for it now!) and I feel like maybe I have the hang of this parenting thing! This is typically a short-lived feeling as one of them will do something that will leave me so speechless and at a loss for words that I feel like I am back three years ago when my first was a baby… the beauty of parenthood!

Over the weekend, a girlfriend who is a new mom was asking my opinion about a certain issue she was having and I started to tell her how I would do it and I looked at her and I saw myself as an earnest new parent and how all I needed was someone to believe in me and give me the confidence to make those decisions. I turned to her and said, “Just trust your instincts. You will know what is best for your baby!” She smiled at me and nodded her head and I felt like it was the best advice I could have given her!

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Mama Monday – Breathe Deep

How many times throughout the day do you remind yourself to breathe? Lately, I find myself saying it out loud often. One would think that you wouldn’t have to remind yourself to breathe, but surprisingly with a six month old, a three year old (going on 13) and a traveling hubby, I found myself saying it like a mantra this past week. But you know what? When I actually said it and did it, I felt better!

I have tried this technique, if you will, during the meditation part of a yoga class. It’s one of my favorite things about going –the required 10-15 minutes of relaxation. Sure, I typically mentally, write a grocery list or think about posts for this blog or a million other things. But when I remind myself to breathe and literally say to myself “Breathe in…. breathe out…” and focus on my breathing, I actually do relax! So what if my brain is focusing on breathing? At least it’s not, “Do we have enough diapers to get through the week?”

When my three year old gets frustrated (ever had this happen?), I have started telling her to take a deep breath before she tries to move forward with what she is doing. The best part is that she is now telling me to take a deep breath when she sees that I am getting frustrated… Gotta love that! Sometimes it is the little things that you need to be reminded of.

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

4.20.11: What’s for Dinner Wednesday?

My three year old used to be such a good eater. From the time that she could feed herself, she was eating steamed broccoli and cold plain tofu (her choice, I tried to cook it). Now the only thing she asks for is mac n’ cheese! I was flipping through my recipes and came along this delish zucchini & carrot bread recipe that calls for two zucchini’s & 2 carrots…. We will get veggies in this girl yet!

I made two loaves and brought one into the office pictured here. Guess it isn’t just for kids… I went to take a picture to show you all and it was already half gone! Word on the street is that it is delicious!

Here is the recipe – enjoy!

Preheat oven to 375. You will need (1) 8” X 10” pan or (2) 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½, greased and floured.

Beat smooth
3 eggs
1 cup sugar (raw, if you have it)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil
3 tsp. vanilla

Stir in:
2 medium to large shredded ** zucchinis
2 medium to large shredded **carrots
¼ cup wheat germ (click here for the health benefits if you are not familiar with wheat germ)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

**Use a food processor to make it pulpy and less recognizable for the super finicky kids.

Sift together:
2 ½ cups flour (you can use half wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg

Stir in the sifted ingredients with your wet mixture. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8” X 10” pan or you can use two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½, just separate the batter evenly. Cook for 30-35 minutes for the two loaves or 40-45 minutes for the 8 X 10 pan. Check doneness with a toothpick in the middle. Cool and enjoy!

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

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