Thursday, May 12, 2011

Summer is a comin' in...

Busy few days around these parts...I've been working doggedly on my research paper (for a change) and expect to have it in the bag by the end of this weekend. Also, the days have been absolutely gorgeous so we've been spending a lot of time outside, going for long walks, working on the garden and visiting with friends.
The roomie came over for dinner on Monday when I had made whole wheat fusilli with canned Italian tuna, chilies, pine nuts and lemon - this dish is muy fantastico...I'll post the recipe at the end - easily made with pantry ingredients, cheap, fresh-tasting, and for those on the Baby Led Weaning tip - perfect for bambinos. He ate this right along with us and loved it - even with the little bits of chilies. Good thing he's not allergic to pine nuts. The recipe also has capers in it so it's basically the most flavourful thing he's eaten in LIFE.

Tuesday night I made that lentil and spinach salad with fried goat's cheese and toasted baguette, that's one of my favorite meal-salads:

I've been going running lately fairly regularly and we've been trying to eat healthfully and refrain from desserts as much as possible - we made an exception yesterday to have cupcakes when my friend M (from the Canoe days) came to visit. Look at this adorable photo of her and the Big Yam - doesn't he look so cute and stylish in his madras shorts and his white little cap (which is already too small for his giant noggin)?:

I'm the worst host ever. I basically made M watch as I planted stuff in my garden and reorganized our front vestibule/enclosed porch area. But oh! If you could see how nice our vestibule looks now! So tidy and neat and everything in bins and up off the floor, organized by use and with plenty of space for the bike trailer I just ordered. After doing a long and hard comparison I ended up going with the Chariot Cougar 2 in orange - they're really the best trailers on the market - made in Canada, retain their value well, safe, lots of bells and whistles, and collapsible. So I might not be getting a new bike this summer, but the Big Yam will definitely be riding in style!
I also bought the stroller and the biking attachments. The most annoying thing about the Chariot line is that you only purchase a chassis and then have to buy the separate attachments for converting it into a jogger/stroller/biking/skiing (!) vehicle on top.

For dinner I made us another BLW-friendly meal of spicy beef udon with kimchi. The Big Yam ate everything minus the kimchi in his portion, but he had a grand ol' time sucking back udon noodles and gnawing on enoki mushrooms and tofu:

Tonight is academic book club - we're discussing Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and I expect the conversation to be ripping. For dinner I'm making us French onion soup with either BLT sandwich or a BLT salad (probably salad, to keep up with the healthful eating).
I'm also over-the-moon that my dear friends Tillers & Jenny Calendar had their sweet daughter in the wee hours of Monday morning!!! She looks absolutely precious and I can't wait to go and snuggle a newborn babe. The little lady and the Big Yam are going to be as thick as thieves. So many babies!!! Xtina & Buns had their son over the Easter weekend so the Big Yam is going to have a whole posse of young padawans to mind-meld with.

Gotta go back to grinding it out.


Pasta with Tuna, Pine Nuts, Lemon
serves 4-6 people with a salad

1 box of whole wheat fusilli (or you can use orecchiete, but not penne! you want nooks and crannies for the sauce to stick to)
2-3 cans of Italian tuna packed in oil
1/4 c. olive oil
1-3 t. chili flakes (or to taste)
zest of 1 lemon
2 T. capers, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. pine nuts
1 red onion, small dice
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
chopped parsley for garnish
- boil the pasta until al dente, reserve 1/2 c. of pasta cooking water
- in a wide pan, toast the pine nuts until golden brown, stirring frequently, remove from heat
- heat the olive oil and sweat the onions and garlic until fragrant, add the chili flakes and cook until the chili flakes start to colour and become fragrant
- add the tuna, the oil from the tuna cans, the capers, the lemon zest and pine nuts, and heat through, trying not to break up the tuna too much
- add the pasta, reserved pasta cooking water, and parsley and toss to combine, season to taste with salt and pepper (shouldn't need very much salt as the tuna and capers are plenty salty).
- serve hot, warm, or cold.

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