The Fairly Good Garden ~ Update!

I’m having a blast watching my garden grow … Like Miss Mary Quite Contrary.

Garden 11 days after planting

Garden 11 days after planting

I’ve even already harvested my arugula & made my spring arugula & bacon pasta dish.  Only this time I made it with lemon pepper paparedelle pasta from Trader’s & MAN, was it the most PERFECT pasta to go with the flavors of this dish!!  Summer Pasta with Arugula & Bacon | The Fairly Good Mother

Artichoke! | The Fairly Good Mother And, I see a little bud on one of my artichoke plants!  That makes my mouth water.

We’ve already picked and eaten some of the strawberries & they were decadent!  The Boy is loving our garden.  Tristan & Loran Variety Strawberries | The Fairly Good Mother

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Spring Pasta Dish: Linguine with Arugula, Tear Drop Tomatoes and Bacon … mmm, Bacon!

In Southern California, we have two seasons: Spring & Summer. They are almost indecipherable & you will hear me start to really complain about the heat come September.

Well, it’s only April and already 80 degrees! When it gets hot, I don’t want to be slaving over the stove or messing around in the oven. I want something light, easy and (of course) delish to eat for dinner.  And we’ve established (via the brussels sprouts post) that bacon makes everything awesome!

And since The Husband’s work days are getting later and later, it has to be something that I can whip together & not too heavy because we’re eating at 8pm or so.

Lots of variations on this simple dish

Lots of variations on this simple dish

This dish is in my rotation during the spring & summer months (aka March – November.)  I short cut it by purchasing the refrigerated pasta, (you can use linguine, fettucini or paparedelle -which is tough to find around here, but it’s my favorite pasta for this dish.)  And, depending on what tomatoes they have in the store, I use yellow tear drops, grape tomatoes or both!

Spring Pasta with Arugula, Tear Drop Tomatoes & Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta (refrigerated or uncooked) Pappardelle, Linguini, Fettucini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup halved yellow tear-drop tomatoes (and/or)
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups loosely packed chopped arugula
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (OPTIONAL, if you don’t eat meat)
  • Parmesan cheese (grated, shaved or shredded & OPTIONAL if you don’t eat cheese)

Method:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and garlic to skillet; cook 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute, stirring gently. Remove the skillet from heat; stir in lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt & a few twists of fresh ground pepper. Combine the hot pasta, arugula, and warm tomato mixture in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Top with cheese and bacon

Cranberry Apricot Sauce … YUM!

I don’t know about you, but I am not a big cranberry fan.  It has to be coupled with something sweet … like, I really dig Cranberry Grape Juice.  And that’s about it.  Hahaa … I never liked the cranberry jelly that was always sitting on the Thanksgiving table like a jello mold of a tin can.  No bueno!

I went on the search for a deliciously sweet cranberry side dish.  And I found one about 3-4 years ago.  I copied the recipe & I’m sorry that I cannot credit it to the proper source, but I did make a few adjustments, so I’ll say it’s kind of sort of my adopted own.

Enjoy!

Cranberry Apricot Sauce
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsps finely grated fresh ginger (just use your microplane)
16 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen, I prefer fresh if possible)
2/3 – 1/2 C granulated white sugar
1 C fresh orange juice (I’ve used store-bought OJ & it’s fine to use, and FYI: 2 large navel oranges produce about 1 cup of fresh OJ)
½ C – 3/4 C Apricot Preserves / Jam

Method:
In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the ginger and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.  Stir in the cranberries, sugar, OJ & apricot preserves.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens – about 20 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.

Make-Ahead Note: The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance.  Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to re-heat.

Voila!  The house smells Dee-Lish!  And people rave about this dish.  Now, you can mix it up by using different preserves & juice – the sky is the limit with these cranberries.  Enjoy.

Note:  In my store, they sell 12 oz bags of cranberries, so I have to get two bags … I use 1/2 of the other one to put in the bottom of a vase & fill with white roses or mums … or any kind of holiday-type flower.  Very pretty & the cranberries last for a while.