Friday, June 4, 2010

Two recipes: Fresh spinach pasta dinner & PB&J oatmeal breakfast

TGIFF - Thank goodness it's finally Friday!  This week has seemed extra long (probably due to the lack of sleep I've gotten the past three nights and the extra fun weekend I was sad to see go), but it was supposed to be a short one!  I mean, it was a short one with the holiday off on Monday.  I live for weeks like this -- namely due to the surprise Friday phenomenon.  Not familiar with the SFP?  Let me explain.

During a normal week, by the time Friday rolls around, your body and brain are expecting it, having worked or schooled your way through five typical days.  But, during special four day weeks in which the Monday is a holiday and therefore a no school/work zone, your week starts on Tuesday, but your brain still thinks it's Monday.  Wednesday feels like Tuesday, and Thursday feels like Wednesday.  Get to what seems like Thursday but, wait -- surprise!  It's actually Friday!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I will always choose to have Monday off rather than Friday.  But this week hasn't quite flown by like I hoped it would.  Aforementioned lack of sleep, a to-do list that keeps growing in the "I haven't been home for more than an hour except for sleep" kind of way, and not much time to spend in the kitchen are all reasons to really really be thankful for this weekend that is now upon us!  So, for your viewing and eating pleasure, two quick and satisfying meals.

First, though poorly photographed (I blame it on the fact that I was in a super rush making this in order to meet friends for a movie), a delicious spinach and tomato pasta toss.  It's colorful, healthy, and incredibly satisfying yet oh so simple.  And who says you need a fancy sauce for pasta?  The creamy ricotta was a pleasant change that I will surely use again this weekend.

Spinach Tomato Pasta Toss
-makes enough for one, but can be multiplied easily

2 handfuls baby spinach
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt & pepper
3/4" thick bundle (or however much you want) dried spaghetti noodles
1/4 cup ricotta cheese

Fill a small pot with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook 7-8 minutes.  Drain, reserving a tablespoon or two of pasta water.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil and add garlic and spinach, stirring frequently to coat with oil.  Once spinach has wilted, add tomatoes, and toss to coat.  Over medium heat, add cooked pasta and toss until mixed.  Remove from heat, and stir in ricotta.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!


Second, this morning's breakfast: peanut butter and jelly oatmeal.  Though it may sound a bit juvenile (so what if it is, huh?), it fit the bill for a morning that had this 25-year-old me refusing to get out of bed until 20 minutes after my alarm had first beeped.  And then pacing around in my robe weighing the idea of taking the day off because I simply wasn't in the mood to go to work.  How very mature of me, right?  Well, suffice it to say that I did make it to work (and on time, at that), but not without an energizing treat of a breakfast.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal
-makes enough for one (whether 7, 25, or 82 years young)

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 Tablespoon jelly or jam of your choice (I used grape)
Dash of cinnamon
1 Tablespoon peanuts

Combine oatmeal and water and cook per directions.  Then, against your grumbling stomach's wishes, patiently add peanut butter, jelly, nuts, and cinnamon while photographing each step at 7am.  After said photographing, stir up (don't photograph this, it's not as photogenic) and enjoy :)

What's on your agenda for the weekend?  If you're in the Pittsburgh area, the Three Rivers Arts Festival is in full swing, and I'm hoping I can make it to enjoy the FREE Guster show on Saturday evening.  I swear, SWEAR, that I will get to weeding my garden.  It's already June and I'm a bit behind on things.  Woops.  I'm officially using this space to promise to show you before and after pictures on Monday.  Don't let me break that promise!  :)  Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. OMG! An arts festival! Did they know I was going to be in the area? I MUST find a way to get there.

  2. Yes! The art gods must have sensed you were coming. Can't wait to see you and your posse this weekend :)