Oh my goodness, I can hardly believe it. We made it.
If you came to the beautiful (yet brown) state of Arizona right now, you would hear the sound of a heartfelt, collective sigh of relief.
I’m happy to report to you that we made it through another summer here and lived to tell the story. Now, I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve learned a few things about summers in Arizona.
Leather seats and short shorts are a bad idea. Ouch!
Did you know that even our swimming pools begin to feel like hot tubs come August? Have you ever told your children that it was just too hot to swim?
And boy can the heat make people grumpy. I think especially women. My friends have told me-
I’ve been feeling not myself lately. So easily irritated and impatient. It’s this darn heat!
Last week we saw highs in the 80’s and even one morning of rain- the kind that just peacefully and steadily goes pitter patter on your windows all morning long. It was glorious. You can almost hear the desert life sigh with relief too. Drink up little plants!
This week’s forecast boasts five straight days of 80 degree weather. My own heart goes pitter patter as I joyously inform my children-
The sun is shining my dear ones! But not so much that you will be roasted alive. So go outside and play!
And this mama enjoys a little peace and quiet, and all is right in the world once again. How about making some Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta to celebrate?
- 3 red peppers chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound linguine
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic pressed through a garlic press
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
- 2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated finely
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a large pot, bring well salted water to a boil for the pasta. Cook according to directions on the box.
- Arrange chopped red peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet, and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast red peppers for 12-15 minutes. You should start to see some blackening on the edges.
- In the meantime, use a medium saucepan to melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over the garlic and whisk for one minute.
- Whisk in cream cheese until melted and smooth.
- Gradually whisk in milk, and allow to come to a slow boil, simmering for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Stir in parmesan cheese. Turn heat to low.
- When red peppers are roasted, you can either add them directly to the creamy white sauce, or you can run them through a food processor. I pulsed my red peppers real quick just to help release some of their flavor and then added them to the sauce. But I wanted to leave them a little chunky for texture. If you have kiddos who think they do not care for red peppers, pulse the peppers until they are smooth and they will never know!
- When pasta is al dente, remove from heat, drain the water, and return to pot.
- Add creamy roasted red pepper sauce to the pasta and stir to coat. Add chopped spinach and mix together. It might seem like the sauce is too runny, but it will thicken slightly after a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.