Friday, June 24, 2011

Veggie Pasta Toss and Amazing News!

Any So You Think You Can Dance? fans out there? I am loving that we are finally in a new season! Anyway, D and I are keeping score this season with who can predict eliminations... after last night we are tied at 1. :) I knew they'd keep Ryan (even though we both think Missy was h.o.t) and D figured Ricky would get to stay after that solo! We shall see how the season progresses! 

Moving on. :) I still have lots to share from Father's Day weekend and a few more recipes to catch up on...this week has been quite the whirlwind!

But I am sharing this recipe today because there is also a little bit of AWESOME news to go with it! 

I will officially be teaching 
8th grade English in the Fall!!

After 3 1/2 years of searching, God has blessed me - not only with a job - but the job I WANTED! I was prepared to teach any subject, any grade... anything necessary to get me in the classroom. Instead, He gave me a job teaching something I am most passionate about. My 8th grade English teacher is the one who instilled in me the desire to teach Language Arts, and now I am going to be teaching at the very same middle school where she inspired me years ago! This is literally my dream job. I just found out about it yesterday and it still kinda feels like a dream. :D Thank you, Jesus!! 

D had work and softball obligations last night, so I went over to my bestie's house to celebrate with some lovely girlfriends! I had planned on cooking, so I cooked this dish for the girls and I thought it was yummy! It's also a 30-minute meal, which is always a plus!
I didn't get any pics of the cooking process this time, sorry!

Rachel Ray says this is a 4-serving meal... 
but we easily made six servings of it! 
Her recommended portion sizes are kinda huge!!

Veggie Pasta Toss
(Courtesy of Rachel Ray)

You will need:

-Salt and Pepper
-1 pound short cut pasta (I used penne rigate)
-1 10 oz box of frozen spinach, defrosted and wrung out to remove liquid
-little bit of extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium zucchini (cut in half then little half moons)
-12 cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
-1 medium onion, thinly sliced
-3 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 TBSP unsalted butter
-2 TBSP all-purpose flour
-1 cup chicken stock
-1 cup skim milk
-1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
-1 1/2 cups fat free ricotta
-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
-1 cup fresh basil, about 20 leaves, chopped

Start your pasta water first and have pasta cooking while you do the veggies. HEADS UP: You will need to reserve about a ladle full of the pasta water before you drain the pasta.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes more (until the onions are tender). Finally, add the defrosted spinach, separating it into small bits...toss to heat them through. Transfer the veggies to a dish and return the skillet to the stovetop. Add the butter and a little more olive oil. When the butter melts, add the flour, stir and cook for a minute or so, then whisk in the chicken stock and the milk. Bring the sauce to a bubble and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until reduced and thickened. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Slide the veggies back into the sauce.

Place the fat free ricotta in a large shallow bowl and combine it with the ladle of boiling pasta water. Add a couple handfuls of the grated Parmesan cheese. 

Drain the pasta and toss it with the cheeses. Add the vegetables and chopped basil (reserve a little basil to top it with), toss to combine. Adjust seasonings, enjoy! :)




Congrats on the new job and following your passion!

Jessica Renee

that is SO awesome, congratulations!!


Congratulations......that is fantastic.


I'm jealous, you get the whole Summer off.
Congratulations on the new job. I'm happy when people are happy. I'm sure you'll be great! m.


Congrats on the job!! Following you back:)

Lara N.

Followed you on GFC from the Finding New Friends Weekend Hop! Please follow me at :)

Congrats on finding a job that you love! That's wonderful!


WOW Thank you, Jesus indeed! That is soo amazing, I am so happy and excited for you!!! And I may just have to swing that pasta soon - the husband is a huge pasta fan!

Belly Charms

Congratulations on the job!!!! I am a new follower and I love Daphne and Dexter. I have a long haired black and tan named calls him my 3rd child. He is next to me now:) His pic is on the About My Family page on my blog:) Have a great weekend.

anthony stemke

Congratulations on the new job. Best wishes.


Hi, I just landed here from Boost My Blog Friday. I'm a brand new follower.

Congratulations on the new job.

Bella Vida by Letty
Have a great day.


Congrats on your new position and I'm sure those are going to be some lucky students. I found you via the weekend hop and now following you via GFC


Congratulations on the new job, very exciting!!!
Thanks for joining Feed Me Friday and grabbing our button! I'm following you back. Hope you join us again next week!


Hello! I found you on a blog hop! I'm a new follower. Would love a follow back at


Yay!!! Good for you! It is always so great when you have a job you love.

I am a new follower and voted for you on the fence.

By the way, I have a linky up where I am voting for those Picket Fence bloggers who follow me on GFC, twitter and face book. I will vote daily for the month of July. If you don't have the facebook or twitter, you can follow my emails and still get voted daily. Here is the link

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Your comments make me smile. :D Plus, it's nice to know someone reads my ramblings. ;)

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