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Happy New Year, friends, family and lovely readers!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year.  Dr. Matthews and I had a great time visiting family over the week of Christmas, then enjoyed our traditional, low-key New Year’s Eve at home.  We have done this pretty much ever since we started dating, with the exception of one year when we went to another couples’ home and had a low-key celebration with the two of them (hey, Jenny or Tyler, if you’re reading!).

This year we actually missed the count-down for the first time, as Dr. Matthews fell asleep and I tried to sneak in my bedtime hygiene routine and misjudged the timing.  Oh, well!  It was an exciting evening, nonetheless, as we officially announced that WE’RE HAVING A BABY on Facebook and Instagram.  The love and excitement from our friends and family poured in and made for a very happy evening.

This announcement sort of explains why I’ve been taking some short-cuts and doing less exciting recipes, of late.  Let me tell you, I had a pretty easy first trimester in comparison to many women I know, but I was TIRED.  Like, too tired to sing in the shower.  That’s tired.  You will all be glad to know, I’m sure, that I’m back to singing in the shower and have actually felt like cooking since I’ve entered my second trimester.  Which is good, because I’m hungry 🙂

For NYE I made a meal that I usually make on this night each year, one of Dr. Matthews’s original favorites: Spinach Tomato Tortellini.  It’s a pretty simple recipe and I usually serve it with an array of frozen appetizers and desert of some sort, along with plenty of champagne (alcohol-free for me this year – boo) and we end up so full I don’t know how we ever stay up until midnight.

Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Ingredients

  • 1 (16oz) package cheese tortellini (I used two 10oz packages from Trader Joe’s this time and had some left over.  I do not recommend this over our usual, Bertolli brand.)
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsps dried basil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsps all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (I used all milk, as it was all I had on hand)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
If you are noticing that our milk expired 12/29 and I made this on 12/31, don't judge.  I use the "smells like" date rather than the "sell by" date ;-)

If you are noticing that our milk expired 12/29 and I made this on 12/31, don’t judge. I use the “smells like” date rather than the “sell by” date 😉

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the tortellini, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. (or however long package recommends)
  2. While you get the tortellini going, combine the tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, basil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble. (I sauteed the garlic in a little olive oil first, to release some of the flavor)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, milk and cream. Stir this mixture into the saucepan along with the Parmesan cheese. Heat through, then reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, about 2 minutes. (I like to add the parmesan at the end)
  4. Drain the tortellini, but do not rinse, then pour them into the saucepan with the sauce. Stir to coat, and serve.
Use the method of rolling up your spinach leaves and slicing them that way

Use the method of rolling up your spinach leaves and slicing them that way

As you can see, I used a little more than the recommended amount of garlic... shocking.

As you can see, I used a little more than the recommended amount of garlic… shocking.

Tomato mixture simmering

Tomato mixture simmering

I forgot to snap a pic of the finished product, so this one is courtesy of allrecipes.com

I forgot to snap a pic of the finished product, so this one is courtesy of allrecipes.com

I really enjoy this recipe but I have to say, using fresh spinach (or greens of any kind) in the winter is a disappointing endeavor.  I am VERY MUCH looking forward to the time of year when fresh produce is at its best, and the weather’s warm, and the sun shines, and I am not cold ALL THE TIME.  I’ve got a ways to go, though, I realize.

I will leave you with the ultrasound picture I posted to Facebook of Baby Matthews (AKA Peanut, AKA Lovebug).  It looks like he/she’s waving, but in reality he/she was getting jostled about by the ultrasound technician and threw his/her hands up in what was presumably an annoyed reaction 🙂

Can't wait to meet this little love bug!  Grand entrance due on 6/27/15.

Can’t wait to meet this little love bug! Grand entrance due on 6/27/15.

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