Spring Planting

This weekend we started one of my favorite spring activities. The planting of the flowers!!!

We started out with my all time favorite… Purple Wave Petunias. These beauties will grow crazy all over the pot and true to their name be a lovely purple wave of flowers.


Then it was on to the front yard standard.. Inpatients. Last year we did all white but this year the girls decided they wanted multiple colors so we blended lots of pink and purple and red.


Big Sis was busy giving Little Sis a lessons in how to get them just right in the pots.


Which inevitably lead to her just taking over. But that’s okay it left the tree bed for Little Sis to take of on her own.

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I have to say that gardening with the kids is as well… relaxing as I’d like it to be but it’s a different kind of fun.

Something You Didn’t Expect: Friday Night Catholic Pasta

Stop that laughing, just because I don’t do a lot of cooking, doesn’t mean I don’t know how. My granny and my mother were/are both great southern cooking ladies. So I was raised around the kitchen I just spend much time there myself these days.

Then recently I realized that my girls probably think that dinner is something that comes from the freezer or a takeout menu and that cooking is something that happens primarily on FoodTV. My granny is sending me guilt vibes from her reward.

So I’ve resolved to do more cooking and realistically weekends are when that is most likely to happen. We’re not catholic but here in the Perfect Neighborhood we’re in the minority. This recipe came from my sweet neighbor down the street who first served it to me when she asked us over to dinner on a Friday Night.

I never would have thought twice about it but when we arrived she reminded us that it was Friday and there would be no meat. I fell in love with this simple pasta dish that night and I make it all the time now but in my mind it is always Friday Night Catholic Pasta.

So here is what you need:


Hmmm.. guess where I shop. As you can see I’m pretty happy with my store brand products. Never thought about it until you line them up like this next to each other. Basically, it’s a bag of spinach, bowtie pasta, 8 oz of fresh sliced mushrooms, butter, lemon juice, whipping cream, garlic, and some fresh parmesan cheese (I like the long shredded variety I can get a the deli)


The recipe calls for 3 cloves of crushed garlic but in the interest of time I like to use minced garlic from a jar. Shoot me. I just take heaping spoonful and throw it in. But because I’m a good girl and I loved my Granny and want her to be proud of me always, I use real butter – 2 tablespoon’s worth. Throw that in the pan together.


Now dump the mushrooms out in a bowl. And add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix them together.


Dump the mushrooms in the pan and keep stirring. They need a lot of stirring as they cook. Did I mention that you need to stir?

Now if you’re me you realize that you’ve neglected to put the water on to boil. Not a surprise and the reason I bought a stovetop that had one of those fancy super elements that will bring water to boil in a nano-second.


Okay so now the water is on to boil, go back to stirring the mushrooms!!! (Note that is not easy to take a picture of yourself stirring)


Keep stirring until they’ve been cooking about 5 minutes


Then it’s time to pour the whipping cream in – one cup.


Now it’s time to confess that I’m one of those people who combines the salt and pepper in the same shaker for cooking.  So salt and pepper


And bring to a boil. Speaking of boiling – that water is looking ready right about now. So take the mushrooms off the burner and let them sit and rest. All that stirring has made them tired.


Time to put the pasta in the water. This a 16 oz box, I use about half so 8 oz worth. Oz or Ozs? … whatever. Notice the mushrooms are now sitting in the back resting? There’s not much fun watching water boil so let’s skip ahead.


When the pasta is almost done and has just about a minute or so to go. Dump the whole bag of spinach in. Yes the whole bag. Shut up it’s good for you.

It is at this point that I realize that fancy people living on fancy cattle ranches have other people helping them blog their recipes because there is just no way to dump boiling water into a strainer and take pictures by yourself. Just imagine that part in your head.


So now you’ve got it drained. But if your life is like mine, while your in the process of pouring boiling hot water into the sink and trying not to spill it all over creation someone in your house will start screaming bloody murder and you will have to run off to a bedroom to find that the cats have finally succeeded in knocking the butterflies off the ceiling fan. Their water will have spilled so you’ll need to bring them back to the kitchen with you.


Assure your daughter who is crying as if it’s a national tragedy that butterflies by nature can fly and falling 5 feet won’t hurt them. Help her verify that all 10 of them are still alive and well. Go back to cooking.


Dump the pasta back in the pot and get ready to combine.


Combine. Then guess what! Stir. Get the creamy gooey sauce all over the yummy pasta.


This part if very important!! Don’t forget to sprinkle the cheese on top after you plate it up. One time I forgot to sprinkle the cheese and we sat there at the table wondering what was wrong for quite sometime. It was very sad. The parmesan cheese on top makes a huge difference.

Now if you were my sweet friend down the street you would serve this with a nice Caesar salad and some lightly sweetened iced tea but frankly if I served something that sensible it might cause a rip in the fabric of the universe or at the very least cause our house would come crashing down around us.


So I to save us all, I throw in more carbs in the form of Yummy Asiago Cheese bread (Damn that Publix bakery and their artisan bread) and a nice white wine. I like a Pinot.

Enjoy. Friday Night Catholic Pasta.