When I taught middle school, January and February were the hardest months. It seemed that everyone had the winter doldrums. There was little wind in the sails to move the days along. Once March and April arrived, everyone was infected with spring (and summer) fever, and it was equally difficult to draw the attention of young minds. These past few days, I have found myself equally distracted by the beauty and life all around. I love my classes and am immensely thankful that I have this opportunity, but I am so thankful for the weekend. It is the time to stop and look around at magnificence, to enjoy friends, to spend time with my husband.
This weekend was exceptionally glorious; the beauty all around just begged to be celebrated. And so we did. We celebrated Friday night with a date night. I celebrated Saturday with a leisurely brunch outside with a good friend, a long walk outside (a first in a long time), and some alfresco reading. I celebrated Saturday night by opening the windows in our apartment to enjoy the slight cool breeze and listen to the neighborhood children learning how to play backyard baseball. My husband and I celebrated Sunday by worshipping with brothers and sisters at church, enjoying their company at lunch, and then strolling down the main street of our neighborhood. I love moments and days like these.
As I dive headfirst into another school-week (only four more days until spring break, but who's counting?), I'm going to leave you with our date-night meal. The combination of oven dried tomatoes, crisp-tender asparagus, basil, and boursin cheese was so fresh.
Bow-Tie Pasta with Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Asparagus and Boursin
Adapted from Bride & Groom, First and Forever
For the oven-dried tomatoes:
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
small pinch sugar
4 basil leaves, julienned
Preheat the oven to 225. In a small baking pan (I used a round cake pan), place the cherry tomato halves, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil. Tuck the garlic cloves in between the tomatoes. Bake for 3 1/2 hours. The tomatoes should be shriveled, but still have some moisture. Refrigerate tomatoes and garlic until ready to use.
(Recipe continued below)
3 roasted garlic cloves, chopped