My apologies for being MIA the past TWO WEEKS! NO excuses. It is kind of ironic though that as soon as I decide to try and be an every meal poster I go missing for weeks. Ridiculous, I know. Sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes you lose your way for bit. But I’m back for good and with a renewed sense of self. More on that later.

So this weekend was great! I had sort of a 3-day weekend. I did babysit and I did end up at the lab at some point all three days. But it was still good. I think the weather by passed Spring all together and went straight for summer.

Bryan is still in studying mode. All day everyday 9am – midnight. It is kind of depressing, especially over a holiday weekend. But only 9 more days to go! Then, I need to crack down and study for the GRE. Sigh…c’est la vie.

Anywho – this weekend was Memorial Day and despite living in a tiny city apartment, being on a budget, and Bryan being extremely focused on this test, I was determined to celebrate. So off to Bed, Bath, and Beyond I went in search of a grill pan for the stove top. Then, picked up some fresh parsley and cheese sausage from Eataly. And some zucchini from the farmers market. Some good old fashion American grilling was had! Exactly want I wanted.

This particular pan was only $25 (not bad, not bad). It is also a griddle pan on the reverse side for things like pancakes! I’m pleased with this purchase. I’ve been craving grilled veggies and burgers. Seems as though summer is definitely upon us.

Check out Bryan using his hour break to do something manly and fun. Usually, I do the cooking but I think he enjoyed this. He seemed excited about it anyway.

We paired our grilled items with a simple salad: spinach, tomatoes, and balsamic. We were both pleased and surprised that we were able to satisfy our holiday hankering. Who knew you could get a “grill out” meal and atmosphere in a 10 by 10 box?!

This meal was on Sunday and I kept the spirit up on Monday, the true holiday. Monday morning I decided to catch up on blog reading. Not only had I not been posting, I have not had much time to read anything either. I saw a recipe on Kath Eats for her Strawberry Basil Pasta Salad. Pasta Salad – sounds like a summer cook out meal to me. And I had most of the ingredients from the market too, including fresh picked Strawberries. I adapted the recipe a little bit. Kath’s version called for pesto. I was not in the mood to clean the food processor so I combined all the ingredients for the pesto as a quick dressing.

I have to say, I enjoyed this a lot. It was light, but filling. And really colorful. Perfect summertime meal!  There is just something about the way balsamic vinegar and strawberries mix together. And the pasta brings it together perfectly. Way to go Kath! Her blog has really become an essential part of my meal planning/ cooking inspiration. Here is what I did:

Toss these ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 c. brown rice pasta, cooked and chilled
  • 1 c. chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 c. cannelloni beans (Kath used navy beans)
  • 1/2 chopped cucumber

In make shift pesto dressing (I didn’t measure anything):

  • Balsamic Vinegar, roughly 3-4 T
  • 1 T Olive Oil (I did measure this, I’m stingy with my oils)
  • lemon juice
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper

And serve over spinach and basil leaves. The basil leaves are necessary! They really provide an essential flavor. We also topped our salads with crumbly feta and sunflower seeds. Chilling everything for bit before adding it to the greens would probably allow for the dressing to be soaked up. We just did not have time for that with Bryan’s schedule. But I would recommend it for more flava.

I will return later with an update from what I was up to the past 2 weeks of silence.

Here’s to the start of a shorter work week! Ciao