For the past few weeks, I have been lost in my own thoughts at night since Blair has been away, they keep me up at night and I don’t sleep my best. I am happy to report that Blair arrived home on Saturday from North Carolina and I feel so fulfilled again. This also means that all those restless nights will be long behind me. It really is true that distance makes the heart grow fonder, I missed this man so much. Before Blair traveled to NC, he interviewed for a job here in the Philadelphia area and I prayed and prayed that he would get it, of course he did! He starts July 1st and I feel incredibly lucky that we get a little bit of time together before he starts his new job! We travel to Bermuda at the end of next week for a long weekend getaway. I just can’t wait to spend time with him over the next few weeks.I am so proud of him and very excited for this new opportunity of his!
Ever since he has been gone, I just haven’t felt myself, like part of me was missing. Hence why this blog has gone by the wayside, not only have I had no motivation to cook, but one of my number one fans has not been here to push me. He really is my cheerleader, photography assistant, and number one taste tester. This week on the menu plan are some new dishes that I hope to be sharing with all of you. Thank you for being patient with me as I took a little break.
Clearly, the summer countdown has been on for a little bit, I have been so focused on things with Blair that I had a hard time getting excited for summer break. I have 5 more days with the kids and I have been somewhat emotional about it. I am really going to miss this class of mine, they have grown so much and although they can make me nuts some day, I really am going to miss them. I also am going to miss the current 6th graders, they were a great class of mine, they will be moving on to the middle school. I have received several thank you letters from them this past week, and my goodness they made me cry. Makes all of those hard days worth it.
With summer break right around the corner, I am looking forward to so many things. Of course BBQs and get-togethers with family and friends are always at the top of the list. This caprese pasta salad is a nice twist on the traditional pasta salad. I put it together for a Memorial Day BBQ at my parents’ house while my aunt and cousins were visiting from TN. It is has the freshest taste and comes together very easily. The dressing is simple as olive oil gets infused with garlic, tossed with some vinegar, and you have a lovely summer meal. Simple ingredients, big flavor.
Caprese Pasta Salad
1 lb. pasta shapes, such as shells, bow ties, etc.
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 lb. fresh mozzarella, cubed
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
What you’ll do:
Prepare your desired pasta shapes according to package directions. Drain well. Rinse with cold water to remove starches. Drain again and set on a kitchen towel to catch any extra water. While the pasta is cooling, in a small skillet, combine the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) over medium-low heat. Let the garlic and olive oil warm, do not let the garlic burn, stir often, cook for 5-10 minutes until flavors are infused. Set aside to cool slightly.
Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes and mozzarella, toss. Pour the olive oil mixture, vinegar, and basil over the mixture. Fold gently until evenly coated evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Source: Annie’s Eats