I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to Italy five times in the last 18 years; my first trip was a two-week stint with a group of fellow college students as part of a team to help renovate an apartment space for a pastor of a local church in Rome. It was the very first time I’d ever been out of the US; I’d just met The Professor a few months prior – we were good friends but we weren’t dating. That trip changed my life in a lot of ways but most significantly, it opened my eyes to an entire culture different than my own. And even though The Professor and I were just friends, I knew I wanted to make another trip and take him with me.
We’ve just come off of one of the best weekends we’ve enjoyed in a long time; it was one of those weekends where even though there were many items on my ‘to-do’ list, I was successful in setting it all aside and forced myself to just ‘be’. But it was hard.
Musical pairing – I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack (feat. Sons of the Desert)
‘If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants . . .’ ~ Sir Isaac Newton
I’ve sat down a bazillion times in the last month to write a post . . . and I’ve walked away from the computer a bazillion times because I didn’t want to write this post; I find myself looking for every distraction I can so that I don’t have to write this post . . . but here I am again, now crunch time, writing this post . . .
Musical pairing – Primavera by Carlos Santana
I don’t know about you, but I am welcoming spring with open arms . . . just wish she’d hurry up and get here . . . and then hang around for a while; we’ve had wide swings in temperatures and record precipitation these past couple of months. When I hit the grocery store this time of year, I am unapologetically giddy at the sight of seasonal strawberries, fresh peas, rows of potted herbs and vibrant green and purple asparagus!
Musical pairing – Blue Skies by Eva Cassidy
I have always turned up my nose at pasta salads because, horror of horrors, I’m not a fan of mayonnaise and most recipes are dripping with the stuff . . . and cheese . . . and bacon . . . and peas . . . and a multitude of other ingredients making the end result much too starchy and gloppy for my taste.
Musical pairing – Koop Island Blues by Koop
I fell in love with Spaghetti Carbonara during my trip to Rome several years ago and it’s been one of my all-time favorite comfort dishes ever since. Perfectly cooked al dente pasta wrapped in a silky, luscious sauce made with egg yolks and parmesan cheese, doused with copious amounts of black pepper and pancetta folded into the mix. It’s the stuff dreams are made of I tell you!
Musical pairing – Country, Keith Jarrett
We’re year-round soup fans here at Smith Bites – chilled soups during the warmer months and hot soups during the winter months. And with just a few exceptions, we make them from scratch using common pantry and/or ingredients I have tucked away in my freezer. Some soups are broth-based and some are cream-based but every soup is full of flavor and perfect for lunch or dinner. Some have meat while others are full of vegetables: lentil, chowder, lightening fast tomato, chili, roasted red pepper – perfect for The Professor’s lunch or a quick dinner when work is particularly busy and I haven’t had time to get a meal together. Add a salad or some great crusty bread and voila’, dinner is served.
This tortellini soup has just eight ingredients but comes together in about 20 minutes, tops – Girl Scout, cross-my-heart, hope-to-die, stick-a-needle-in-your-eye – I promise. This is real food, real fast, at its finest and does not skimp in the flavor department!
Sometimes you just crave a plate of spaghetti (well at least I do) and now that Christmas is over, the house is empty of guests, our studio is closed for the rest of the week (WHOOPEE! sorry, I digress . . .) AND Jaden over at Steamy Kitchen posted this recipe . . . well, I just had to make it. And boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!