As my work day was coming to a close today, I had NO clue what I was making for dinner. I wasn't even in the mood to cook. Hubby offered to pick up dinner and bring it home, but being a vegetarian on a diet doesn't really make it very easy to eat out. 

I told hubby I'd come up with something. As I was driving home, I was flipping through the channels on the radio and stumbled upon "My Guy" by Mary Wells. Instantly I thought of MY guy, and I was in a better mood than I was previously, and was ready to get home and make dinner. Also, who doesn't love Motown? When I was growing up, my dad owned a restaurant that played oldies. I know all of the songs by heart and they take me back to many happy memories.

I get home and start rooting around to see what we've got in. I see some asparagus that needs to be used. Hubby mentioned wanting pasta. I crank the Motown station on my speakers in the kitchen, then I see my another point of inspiration: 
A good friend of ours gave us this bottle of wine about two weeks ago. We ended up not drinking it for the occasion we were given it for, but tonight seemed like a perfect time. Now, onto dinner. I just want a simple, but most importantly DELICIOUS pasta with some veggies. And wine. I'm dancing around the kitchen, happy as a clam, making a delicious meal for my hubs who is on his way home.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
4 oz. green onions, white/light green parts cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup white wine 
1/4 cup vegetable broth (chicken would be fine)
3/4 lb. asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup peas
8 oz. campanelle, or other medium pasta
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese - however you like it (I like shaved or shredded)
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Bring a large pot AND a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the large pot and cook as directed on original packaging. Cook the asparagus in the smaller pot until tender, 2-4 minutes. Remove the asparagus and transfer to and ice bath to stop the cooking process. 
While those are boiling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and shallot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, but do not brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Add broth and bring to a simmer. 

After removing the asparagus from the boiling water, add the peas and cook about 2 minutes or until just tender. Transfer to bowl with asparagus. Drain vegetables. Add veggies to broth/wine mixture and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. 
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Add pasta and parmesan cheese to the veggie mixture. Stir to mix, adding pasta water in small increments if it seems dry. (I added the full cup to mine.) Taste, and re-season with salt and pepper to taste if you need to. 

Divide among 4 bowls. It won't hurt if you add extra parmesan! Pour a glass of wine and get ready to tuck into a fabulous meal.
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We eat and head back to the kitchen. Motown is still playing, and hubby asks me for a dance. 

Louis, Etta, Marvin, Stevie, Smokey, & Gladys keep us dancing and enjoying each other's company. Finally Sugar cuts in. Why should the humans be the only ones having fun? 

From not knowing what to make and not even wanting to cook - to wining, dining, and dancing - on a week night! THAT'S the power of Motown.

 
 
January is half way over....Are you still keeping up with your resolutions to lose weight and eat healthy? I'm a firm believer in portion control. I don't believe in starving yourself or saying things like, "I'll never eat dessert ever again!" Both of those statements will set you up for failure.

Have you ever truly looked at a serving size or portion on a food label? If you haven't, you're in a for a shock. Let's say you're about to have some nuts - they're heart healthy fats, right? Yes, but not when you eat half the bag! The average serving size for nuts is about 28 grams. 
Doesn't look like much, does it? You and I both know that if we were sitting on the couch, watching t.v. while eating these straight from the bag, that we would consume MUCH more than 28 grams, therefore consuming too many calories and leading to weight gain.

Invest in a kitchen scale, and keep those resolutions going!
 
 
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Thursday was my birthday, and I got to celebrate it over the weekend. (No one wants to work a 10 hour day hungover do they?) We didn't do much Thursday night, but I did come home to beautiful lilies! 

Naturally, when deciding where to go for dinner, I chose CO'M. Remember the place I blogged about awhile back? 

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The plan was to have dinner there with friends, then head back to my place for delicious cupcakes that my hubby ordered and to crack open a few bottles of champagne. 


*If you're ever in Atlanta, you must try The Little Cake Bakery. Their cupcakes are the best in Atlanta (and there are A LOT of cupcake shops here)!*

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We get seated, catch up with each other, and order. I get to open cards and the birthday love is pouring in! I ordered the drink special, "Aloe Breeze" that goes down as smooth as silk. It's aloe vera, apricot liqueur, pineapple juice, and rum. Delicious! As always, the food was fabulous. Hubby and I filled up on tofu tempura, spring rolls, and a fabulous Vietnamese crepe. As we were finishing up and getting ready for the bill, our waiter informed us that the owner would like us to move over to the couches to get comfy. 

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We move over and were greeted with 6 glasses and a bottle of champagne! What a lucky girl I am! A few minutes later, the staff heads over towards us and starts singing "Happy Birthday." They present me with a gigantic piece of their to-die-for chocolate cake! I know we've got cupcakes at home, but I can't say no to chocolate cake. I am spoiled. I am so lucky to have such wonderful family & friends to celebrate with. We had a fabulous time and I really loved turning 29. I enjoyed it so much, I might try it again next year! 

 
 
Looking for a quick and easy dinner that's also delicious and filling? Look no further! Click HERE to get the recipe for my delicious veggie enchiladas!