Cilantro Pesto Pasta, S’mores Brownies and a new home

The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster, but we finally settled into our new (to us) place last week. There have been some nice surprises (beautiful sunsets, tons of girls in the neighborhood who are so wonderful at including our girls) and also some challenges (cooking on a camping stove until we get a proper one and fixing a little bit of almost everything). Overall, the transition has been a smooth one and we are settling in nicely.

The last day of cooking on the camping stove, I was feeling tired and uninspired. I opened up the fridge and found a bunch of cilantro and from there came this meal. It turned out to be pretty delicious and we will be making it again.

Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Roasted Zucchini

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Ingredients:

1 pound of rotini pasta (I usually use Barilla Plus – healthier than the average pasta and tastes great)

1 bunch of cilantro

Big handful of pumpkin seeds (toasted in a toaster oven or on the stove)

1 clove (or more to taste) or garlic

1 lemon

Olive oil

1/2 – 1 cup parmesan grated

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can chickpeas, drained

4-5 zucchini or any summer squash

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the pasta according to the directions.
  2. Slice the zucchini lengthwise or in coins to 1/4 inch thick. Coat a baking sheet liberally with olive oil and lay out the zucchini in a single layer. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-15 min until cooked through, flip them over and cook until brown and crisp at the edges. Repeat until all of the zucchini are cooked.
  3. In a large food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, 2-3 glugs of olive oil, parmesan cheese, pumpkin seeds, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Process and add some of the pasta water to thin it out as needed.

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3. Once the pasta is ready, combine with the pesto and drained chickpeas. Mix in some of the roasted zucchini. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper if you like a little kick. Enjoy!

S’mores Brownies

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When we moved in, I wanted to bake something to “break in” the new house. We chose these s’mores brownies from Joy the Baker, they were easy and didn’t require too many different types of prep. We ended up omitting the graham crackers because we didn’t have any and they still turned out amazing. We also didn’t have unsweetened chocolate so we used semisweet and decreased the sugar by half – they were a little less sweet than regular brownies but the marshmallows balanced it out and made them perfect.

Here is the link to the recipe: http://joythebaker.com/2009/04/smores-brownies/

Have a happy Wednesday everyone and to those who celebrate, Happy Diwali!

Love,

Pooja

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