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Grrrrading + Pasta

September 5, 2013

Hi friends—how’s your hump day going?

The past few days have been lonnnnng.  I got my first round of essays and poems to comment on, but I wanted to enjoy the holiday weekend—which is exactly what I did, and I’m glad I did. 

BUT, that meant that on Tuesday afternoon, it was time to really buckle down and get some mass amounts of grading done.  There’s nothing I hate worse than knowing I have large quantities of grading hanging over me—I don’t like having that monkey on my back.  So, I’m usually pretty good about grading right when I get assignments from my students.  Which generally means that I grade LARGE amounts of work in pretty short periods of time. 

Like grading 45 essays in a day and a half.  Plus 16 poems on top of that.

Whew.  When I went off to teach this morning, I felt like my eyes were wearing sweaters.  But at least all that grading was out of the way.

In other news, while I was off grading and teaching, someone had her first music class this morning with Dada:

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We tried to get a picture before they headed out the door, but she was feeling a little shy.  Smile  After music class, they came up to campus to meet me afterward so that we could do the kiddo-switch-off, and then Lila and I headed home so that she could take a nap.

I spent Lila’s naptime this afternoon…yep, you guessed it—grading. Are you starting to pick up on a theme here?  I had 16 poems to comment on, and got the last one finished just as she was waking up from her three hour (!!!) nap.  Perfect timing!

When she woke up, she was feeling a little more camera-ready:

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Winking smile 

By the time dinner time rolled around, we were all pretty exhausted.  We thought about just making sandwiches, or putting a pizza in the oven.  But, honestly, the thought of cooking an actual meal appealed to me more than anything else—I needed to do some mindless chopping and stirring.  Cooking can be so therapeutic after a long day. 

I made this pasta dish:

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…and as soon as the onion and garlic hit the pan, I was glad I’d taken the time to cook a meal for us.  As the school year gets busier and our lives get more and more hectic, time in the kitchen becomes a bit more infrequent—which makes it even more precious.  I want Lila to grow up in a house where Mama (or Dada) cooks most nights—not ALL nights, but most.  My mom wasn’t a slave to the kitchen, but she put a homemade meal on the table almost every night, and looking back, those meals are a big part of the memories I have from growing up.   I want Lila to have that, and it’s up to us to see that she does.  

Orechiette with Kale, Raisins, and Feta

Ingredients:

8 oz. orechiette (or other small pasta)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup golden onions

4-5 large leaves of kale, stripped from the stem and chopped

salt and pepper

feta to garnish

Directions:

Bring a pot of water to boil.

As water comes to a boil, heat olive oil in a pan.  Add onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until starting to soften and turn golden.

Add raisins.  Cook for another 10 minutes.  Add kale and cook for another 10 minutes, until kale is soft and wilted.  Season lightly with salt and pepper and put aside off heat.

When water boils, add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain, then transfer back to pot.  Transfer kale mixture to pot and toss well.

Transfer to a serving bowl or platter, and top with feta. 

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Simple food for sure, but so good.  If it seems strange to put raisins in pasta, just give it a try—the combination of the bitter greens, sweet raisins, and salty feta is so tasty. 

Well, I’m aiming for an early night and hopefully an early morning run tomorrow—goodnight!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2013 10:12 am

    So cute. And taking music classes with her dad?? Such a lucky girl!!
    The pasta sounds wonderful. Kale in pasta? I thin it’s brilliant (I need more kale in my life, I only ever buy spinach….hello Gina, Kale is where it’s at!)

  2. September 5, 2013 12:14 pm

    I’ve made a chicken recipe that included raisins and they are surprisingly good in salty dishes! I’ve got some kale in my fridge that I need to use, maybe I’ll remix this recipe with a chicken breast instead of pasta!

  3. September 5, 2013 12:27 pm

    oh man….Sounds like a long day! I think its great that you guys can coordinate your schedules so you get maximum time with the peanut. That dish looks so good. The addition of raisins is fun

  4. September 5, 2013 2:16 pm

    3-hour nap? I’m jealous of her. And that dish, jealous of you. YUM, just pinned that one!

  5. September 5, 2013 5:42 pm

    That pasta looks incredible! You’ve sparked a craving. 😉

    I love family dinner time. That was the highlight of my days growing up and I definitely plan on continuing that tradition once Trey is old enough to know what’s going on. ha!

  6. September 6, 2013 12:11 pm

    You’re making some delicious dishes these days. I’m following along behind you. Can’t wait to try this. So glad Ryan is taking her to music class. She’ll love it, I’m sure!

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