Category Archives: Recipes

First Birthdays and A Pasta Recipe

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

There are a lot of babies in our family.  In the last 3.5 years, there have been 6 new babies, and there are several more on the way!  This weekend, one of these sweeties turned 1 year old!  He had a Hungry Caterpillar party, and it was the cutest theme 🙂

First birthday parties are a little bittersweet for me because it’s a celebration I won’t have with Hannah.  I won’t get to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her or watch her dig into her first cake.  But, there’s a lot I won’t get to do with Hannah.  There’s a whole lifetime of memories that won’t be made.  And, that’s hard.  But, it gets easier to enjoy these celebrations.  It just takes time.  And, this party is the first one that I didn’t cry at, so that’s definitely progress!  Like I said, I’m learning to be patient with myself!

I made a pasta salad to take to the party this weekend.  It’s made with a vinaigrette instead of a creamy dressing, so it’s a healthier version of a comfort food.  The original recipe is from the Eat Yourself Skinny blog, but I change mine up a little!  I always make extra vinaigrette because i like my pasta with extra sauce, and the leftover dressing is yummy over baby spinach.  Also, I used dried herbs instead of fresh.

You will need:

4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. red wine vinegar
4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 box of Dreamfields penne rigata
1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley (can add more or less to taste)
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil (can add more or less to taste)
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Pasta Salad

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Set dressing aside.  Boil pasta in salted water until done.  Drain pasta and transfer to a medium bowl or serving dish.  Add about 1/3 of the vinaigrette and the dried herbs.  Stir to coat pasta.  Let it sit for a minute to cool slightly.  Stir in another 1/3 of the dressing and the mozzarella cheese.  Serve warm.

Pasta Salad

This is what was left after the party!

I save the remaining dressing for salads or the leftover pasta (it can dry out a bit in the fridge).  I love this version of a pasta salad because it’s not very heavy, and it’s so easy to make.  It doubles easily for a large crowd, too.  Since it’s made with a vinegar and oil based dressing, it’s perfect for summertime BBQs!  I always have the ingredients for this in my kitchen!

I’ve been on a caprese salad kick lately, so I’ve been wanting to experiment with this recipe a bit.  I think a version with balsamic vinaigrette, fresh torn (or dried) basil, fresh mozzarella, and cut up tomatoes would be delicious too!

Enjoy 🙂


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Filed under Grief, Recipes