Winter has arrived in full force this week. Winter came with blustery winds, arctic temperatures, and worst of all SNOW. I have lived in Michigan my whole life so I am no stranger to Winter.
I remember the Blizzard of '78 (granted I was only 10). I remember school being closed for a week. I remember our dead end country road not getting plowed for three days. Those were the days when you needed to stock up on groceries before a true BIG storm, not when they predict a "storm" of 6" of snow. I mean Seriously! I remember donning my snowmobile suit and my snowmobile boots (the ones with the plastic bread bags inside to keep my feet dry) to go out and make a snow cave in the mounds from the snowplow.
The problem with Winter is that last year and up until now this year, it has been fairly devoid of snow. Here is where the problem lies, I have grown quite comfortable with this Winter weather arrangement. I can still get outside most every day for our walks and can go exploring with my camera. At worst the skies are gray and I have to add another layer to keep the chill out.
This week that all came to a screeching halt, blowing snow and below zero wind chills forced me to stay inside and make friends with the treadmill. If only I could find a way to get Scout on the treadmill, since he is my dog that MUST have at least one walk, preferably two, per day. We did venture out for brief 20 minute intervals during the worst of it. The things I do for that dog :)
SELF-PORTRAITS OF THE WEEK
Our theme for my 52 of You class this week was: Shadows
Thankfully the sun did come out on Thursday, so I was able to find my shadow. Thanks to Scout for his help with the assignment.
This week I lost: 1 lb.
Total weight loss so far: 4.5 lbs
This week I made friends with the treadmill.
At least I have the t.v., or I rigged up a stand for my laptop so I can watch Kim Klassen's class videos.
I made an awesome and healthy pasta salad this week.
Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed and sliced thin on the bias
2 (9-oz.) packages fresh cheese tortellini
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1. Whisk the olive oil, basil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper together in a bowl large enough to hold the pasta salad.
2. Cook the asparagus in 4 quarts boiling water seasoned with 1 Tablespoon salt until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a colander using a slotted spoon (do not discard the boiling water) and run under cold water until cool. Shake out any excess water and toss with the vinaigrette.
3. Return the water to boil, add the tortellini, and cook until tender, following the package instructions. Drain the tortellini thoroughly, then toss while hot with the asparagus and dressing. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
4. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Just before serving, stir the toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, and Parmesan into the salad and season with salt and pepper.
To Make Ahead
The salad can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated a day in advance. Before serving, freshen the salad with a spoonful of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*Recipe source: dinnerideas.us
Have a great week! Savor the Journey :)