Creamy Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

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This meal will keep you eating your veggies (spinach and tomatoes) but has a tiny bit of creamy indulgence built in too.

An amazingly refreshing pasta made with spinach & sun-dried tomatoes, topped with pine nuts and shredded parmesan cheese.

This dish may look like it takes forever to make, but I guarantee you it comes together quickly.

Hands down, a wonderful, uncomplicated dinner.

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Pappardelle’s Southwestern Blend with blue corn, red southwestern chile, green jalapeno and yellow maize flavored pasta.

You can get the many flavors of Pappardelle’s Pasta here.

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Fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and ricotta cheese make up the sauce.

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Fresh spinach cooked stovetop without any oil.  Add in fresh pepper, minced garlic and garlic salt.

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To the spinach & tomatoes, you add in ricotta and milk to make it creamy.

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Pour in the cooked and drained pasta to the creamy sauce.

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And VOILA~You got a tasty pasta dish with a wonderful sauce.

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The creaminess of the ricotta cheese sauce, added to the flavored pasta makes this a WIN, WIN DINNER!

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Creamy Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c. diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts
  • 2 cups cooked pasta of your choice
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Cook pasta according to pasta directions.  Drain.

In medium skillet, cook spinach over medium heat until wilted, adding in the sun-dried tomatoes.  Then add in black pepper, garlic salt, ricotta cheese and milk to make a creamy sauce.  I also added in half of the pine nuts to the sauce.  Continue to stir over medium heat until heated through. 

Add pasta in to creamy spinach sauce and stir to mix.  Transfer to serving bowls and top with the rest of the pine nuts and add parmesan cheese to the top.   Also good with garlic bread on the side!

Enjoy~!

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Fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta make up this delectable pasta sauce.

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Pine nuts were a new purchase for me, something I hadn’t ventured to buy before.  They are very soft nuts and a great addition to this pasta dish.

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Yes, I am raving about this dinner.  It was THAT good!

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And I had to make some garlic bread to go with this dish 🙂

Cugino’s makes the best cheesy garlic bread spread ever.  Check it out here.

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This pasta dish will keep your friends and family happy, satisfied and wanting more.

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Very creamy and delicious!  Makes you want to have seconds, for sure!

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I made something similar to this a week ago and called it P&S, I Love You.  To see that post click here.

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Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Seriously Spinached Smoothie

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So for a year or two now I’ve been reading about so many others making smoothies with spinach in them.

At first, I have to admit, it sounded gross.  I am not one to mix certain things together.  Like I don’t want mandarin oranges in my salad.  And I don’t want cranberries in my chicken salad.  I was certainly skeptical of spinach in a smoothie.

But I have to say, I’m sold on this idea now. 

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I gathered up the ingredients and brought out the blender, which never usually sees the light of day for smoothie making unless it’s summertime.

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Frozen strawberries, mangos and pineapple and then a large handful of raw spinach.

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I also added some ice and light apple juice.

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Green gobbley goop.

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But when it was all blended up, poured out and slurped up, it was really tasty!

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Seriously Spinached Smoothie

1 c. frozen fruit mix of your choice (I used strawberries, mangos, pineapple)

1 c. spinach leaves

4 large ice cubes

1/2 c. light apple juice

1 Splenda sweetener packet

Add all ingredients to the blender and zap!  Blend in to frozen green goodness. 

Pour out, slurp up!

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It was the perfect consistency and just as sweet as I needed it to be. 

And even though it’s wintertime, and I never have smoothies in the winter because I am too cold natured, I would definitely whip up another one of these anytime to enjoy!  That’s what electric blankets are for, right?!

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Spinach Smoothie Satisfaction!

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What other way do you eat spinach that is out of the ordinary?

 

What is your favorite ingredient to mix with spinach in a smoothie?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Cherry Tapioca

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I have been eating cherry tapioca for years.  The recipe originally came from my Grandma on my dad’s side of the family.

I love this dessert that is beaming with red cherries.  It’s easy peasy to make too.

I know how you like a cherry on top of your sundae, but these cherries are not maraschino cherries.  These are sour, pitted, frozen cherries.  And you’d like them too on top of this tapioca and jello dessert concoction 🙂  My mom gets a 5 gallon container of these red sour pitted cherries every year from Michigan.  They come frozen in a big container and she divides them out in to freezer tupperwares and always gives me some.  Thanks Mom!

Oh how I wish I had a bountiful cherry orchard in my back yard!

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I have always loved tapioca.  I call them lil fish eggs, even though they are nothing like that.  Some people don’t care for it’s texture, but I happen to like the beady starch obtained from the root of the cassava.

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This is how the tapioca looks when it is boiling in water.  It is sticky.

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Jello.  Sugar.  Frozen cherries.  Together this team makes a fabulous dessert!

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It’s red.  It’s gooey.  It requires a spoon to eat.   It’s scrumptious!

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This fantastic dessert will brighten your day!

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Cherry Tapioca

  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup large pearl tapioca
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 small pkg. cherry jello
  • 2 cups pitted cherries (I used frozen sour pitted cherries in a 5 to 1 sugar ratio)

Boil tapioca and water for 25 min.  Remove from heat and add in jello, stir until combined fully.  Then stir in sugar and cherries.  Let cool before serving.

I used Splenda sugar blend and sugar-free jello.

Enjoy!

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Yummy, sweet and smooth!

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A cherry jello sundae with cherries on top and mixed in!

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A cherry sundae!

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See the little pearls of squishy tapioca!

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Mmm, a bite full of cherries, tapioca and jello!

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Love this stuff, it is so refreshing!

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I am a dessert person.  As if you haven’t noticed.  And this is just another one of my favorites~!

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The picture above is from our trip to Napa Valley California where we stopped at a road side stand to get some fresh cherries.  Man were these good! 

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Yummm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Have you ever tried tapioca?  What did you think?

 

Do you eat cherries?  What is your favorite thing to make with cherries?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 8 Comments

A Chocolate Surprise!

Of course I love Max Brenner’s Chocolate By The Bald Man. I’ve delighted my tastebuds in the restaurant in NYC and Las Vegas. But who knew they had a cookbook.
This chocolate dessert recipe collection book arrived in the mail today and I didn’t order it. Hmm…who is it that sent this to me? I love you.

How about I make the veg-out chocolate cornflake TV wraps. Or the control freak chocolate spread? Intimate chocolate scones sound delicious and so does the Parisian new life chocolate dream cake. Or a philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie. Maybe the high school bonfire chocolate melting heart cake will fulfill my craving. I’d really enjoy eating the forever young white chocolate custard. But maybe first I’ll make the love and hate doughnuts with dogmatic raspberry chocolate raspberry filling!

And yes, there is a recipe for chocolate guacamole in the book too.

Sigh.

Posted in A Scene | 9 Comments

Spinach Romano Soup and Bruschetta Biscuits with Feta

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What a wondrous meal this turned out to be for us.  I mean, I love spinach and I love Romano cheese, so the soup couldn’t be bad, right?!

To go along with the soup I knew I wanted to make some sort of bread.  My mom had given me the recipe for the bruschetta biscuits with feta and they sounded just like something that would satisfy my tastebuds.

Soups perfect sidekick:  Bruschetta Biscuits with Feta Cheese

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Santa had set out this soup mix with my stocking for Christmas.  All I had to do was add 6 cups of water to it and cook on the stovetop.  I also added in half of a chopped onion.  It wasn’t quite thick enough for my liking, so I added in a little cornstarch too.  I am more of a chowder girl!

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Olive oil, milk, chopped spinach, chopped basil and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

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Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

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Form a square with the dough and cut in too pieces.  Top with feta cheese and pine nuts.

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Bake biscuits until browned.

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The recipe called for kalamata olives, but I put black olives in half of the biscuits for my husband.

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Bruschetta Biscuits with Feta

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried tomatoes (not oil packed) chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. pine nuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a bowl combine milk, oil, spinach, basil, tomatoes and olives.  In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Make a well in center of flour mixture.  Add milk mixture all at once; with a fork stir until moistened.

Gently knead dough on a lightly floured surface until dough holds together.  Pat into an 8×8-inch square.  Cut into 9 squares.

Place biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.  Brush lightly with milk.  Sprinkle with feta cheese and pine nuts.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden.  Cool slightly before serving.

Makes 9 biscuits.  Store in refrigerator.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.

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A topping of cheese seasons everything to perfection!

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A hearty meal to warm your soul!

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This meal was so tasty! 

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Is it weird that I don’t like tomatoes but that I will eat sun-dried tomatoes?

And I don’t like bruschetta because it has fresh chunky tomatoes in it, but I love these bruschetta biscuits!

Is there a veggie you don’t like?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

You Might Be A Nurse If. . .

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You can’t phase a nurse.  

We’ve seen it all, more than we ever wanted to see.

We have to exhibit a “whatever it takes” attitude for the sake of our patients.

Why patients are modest around us, I don’t know.  We’ve seen it all, thousands of them. Butts and boobs all look the same after a while. 

We have to smile NO MATTER WHAT we are asked to do.

Under the nurse umbrella we are also a waitress, maid, repairman, plumber, activity director, counselor, transcriber, slave driver and secretary.  And we are expected to do all these jobs flawlessly and with a smile.

This post is dedicated to all my fellow hardworking caretakers out there.  Your job is priceless.  You are valuable and needed.

This should make you laugh 🙂

You Might Be A Nurse If. . .

  • You don’t get excited about blood loss unless it’s your own.
  • You believe anything can go wrong, will go wrong and if nothing has gone wrong, you obviously don’t understand the situation.
  • You’ve ever said, “Why am I here?”
  • You hope there is a special place in Hell for the inventor of the call light.
  • You believe that everyone gets treated the same…until they piss you off.
  • When you call the MD for orders, the MD says “You write the orders, you know the patient better than I do.”
  • You’ve seen a patient with 12 tattoos say “I am afraid of needles.”
  • You stare at someone in utter disbelief when they actually cover their mouth to cough.
  • You believe the government should require a permit to reproduce.
  • You believe that every waiting room should have a Valium salt lick.
  • You have a special shrine in your home to the inventor of Haldol.
  • You believe the patient needs TLC: Thorazine, Lorazepam and Compazine.
  • Your sense of humor seems to get more warped every year.
  • You call some of your co-workers “Flowers in the Field of Medicine” because they’re bloomin’ idiots.
  • You hope there is a special place in Hell for the inventor of the call light.
  • Everything only happens all at once.
  • You believe that the problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
  • Your new lunch time is 1600 and your breakfast time was at 0600.  Patients before food ya know.
  • You have the bladder capacity of five people.
  • Your feet are flatter and tougher than Fred Flinstone’s.
  • You get an almost irresistible urge to stand and wolf down your food even in the nicest of restaurants.
  • You always try to schedule days off around the phases of the moon.  Working when there is a full moon suck.
  • You constantly feel the veins in your husbands arms, boasting “I could hit that one easy.”
  • You believe in the underwear theory of charting, “Keep your ass covered.”
  • You have seen more moons than the Hubble telescope.
  • You wash your hands before you go to the bathroom.
  • You remember, in medicine, to always remember never to say always and never.
  • You’ve been exposed to so many x-rays you consider it a form of birth control.
  • Your idea of fine dining is sitting down to eat.
  • You call subcutaneous emphysema Rice Krispies.

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Nurses are angels in comfortable shoes.

Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.  ~Val Saintsbury

When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me nor I them.  But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing.  ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, A Daybook for Beginning Nurses

Nursing care comes in many forms.  Sometimes it is the ability to make someone feel physically comfortable by various means.  Other times it is the ability to improve the body’s ability to achieve or maintain health.  But often it is an uncanny yet well honed knack to see beyond the obvious and address, in some way, the deeper needs of the human soul.  ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, A Daybook for Beginning Nurses

THANK YOU TO ALL MY FELLOW RN’s!

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Now onto some food!

Looking for a great snack, dessert or breakfast?  This one will hit the spot.  Delicious!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie

  • 1 smashed banana
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
  1. In microwaveable bowl, mash banana with a fork and mix in egg.
  2. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Add in the oats, baking powder and cinnamon.  Stir until fully mixed up.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Microwave for 2 min.
  6. Spread peanut butter on top and enjoy the cookie while warm!

Recipe from A Foodie Stays Fit.

Scrumptious!

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Banana, smashed, then oats and cinnamon added with egg white and mixed up.

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The baked cookie came out looking like this.  You have to eat this cookie with a spoon!!!  Yummy!

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Do you have a healthified cookie recipe that you would like to share with me, please?!

Are you a nurse?  If so, tell me, I’d love to “meet” you!

Posted in Fabulousity | Tagged , | 17 Comments

For All You Peanut Butter Lovers Out There!!!

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For all you fellow peanut butter lovers out there, how about this delicious flavor!

White Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter.  Are you salivating now just thinking about it?

You can buy this fabulous peanut butter here from Cherry Republic in Michigan.

They also have delicious Boomchunka cookies and Wonderbars sold here.

I love cherries and I love all their stuff, so yummy!

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Here I am standing outside the Cherry Republic store in Michigan a few years ago.  And yes, I’ve got a bag full!

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Riding dune buggies on the sand dunes was a blast!!!

And walking up and down the dunes was hard work!

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Just a glimpse of our trip to Michigan a few years ago.

I really just wanted to share the peanut butter with ya, but thought I’d add in a few pictures too.

Happy Saturday!

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What is the most outrageous flavor of peanut butter you have tried?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged | 14 Comments