(I've been thinking about posting this for a while now, and I can't remember if I ever actually have. So if this seems a repeat, be a good friend and just pretend its the first time you've heard this story, ok?)
A long time ago I told you how utterly terrible I was at keeping a journal. And while I can never seem to get my "Dear Diary" entries done, I do have some form of "journal" that I keep fairly regularly. For lack of a better term, let's call it my "Happiness Journal".
My Dad gave me this journal back when I was..um..in high school? Maybe? I've had it for a while, anyway. Anytime I hear a quote, read a scripture or poem, or listen to a song that moves me, I jot the words down in my journal. Then whenever I am feeling down, anytime I need a mental hug, I can turn to any page in this book and find the words I need to lift me back up. I love looking through the book and noting how my handwriting has changed from teenager to adult - how at times the ink is sparkly and pink and now it more often than not is blue ball point. I love the random assortment of poems, lines from a book, a random quote, or a scripture. Do you have a place where you can go for inspiration or a little pick-me-up? What do you have written down in yours?
This pasta dish has been on my menu for three solid weeks now. Not that I have eaten three solid weeks in a row, though - each week something has come up to stop me from cooking it. A last minute out to eat with friends; the onion was literally black inside when I cut it open (uh..ew!), and then, I don't even know what the final reason was. And even when I finally did get it made, we were out of parmesan cheese. Really. I went ahead and made it anyway, and I'm going to share it with you, even sans cheese, because its delicious, easy, and fairly healthy.
Penne with Caramelized Onions, Parsnips and Kale (Cooking Light, October 2010 )
2 TBSP olive oil
3 cups diagonally cut parsnips (about 1 pound)
1 large onion, sliced
1 TBSP fresh chopped thyme (don't sub out the dried stuff here, you need the full flavor)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 bunches kale, washed, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, warm half the oil and then sauté the parsnips for 12 minutes, or until tender and brown, stirring occasionally.
Remove and set aside, keeping warm.
In the same pan, add the remaining oil and cook the onions for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are golden and tender.
Cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving 3/4 of the cooking liquid when you drain.
Stir in the thyme and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the wine and cook 3 minutes or until almost all the liquid evaporates.
Stir in the kale and the broth, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
Uncover and cook an addition 4 minutes or until the kale is very tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the drained pasta to the pan.
Stir in the parsnips, 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup cheese, and the salt and pepper.
Cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of liquid if necessary to moisten.
Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.