Friday, February 8, 2013

“Pasta Shells With Walnuts & Cream Cheese” To Celebrate My Dad's Birthday & Valentines Day

Welcome readers…Here we are upon a Blizzard on Long Island called Nemo. This storm is supposed to bring much havoc to the Eastern states by a super snow storm this time. Last October (2012) we had Super Storm Sandy which brought devastation to many states along the Eastern seaboard. The year before that was Hurricane Irene, which was horrible as well. So now we are on the fringe of major snow totals. They, meaning the weathermen are saying that this could be the snow storm of the century. As you, my readers know that I love SNOW, but let’s not get crazy here. 

This weekend I have plans, so I hope that we can dig out because Saturday, February 9th is my father's Birthday and we are having a family dinner to celebrate. He will be 86, but you would never know it. He is as active as ever. He and my mom are always out either visiting friends or family. My dad has a lot of compassion, love, and strength. He is sensitive and will do anything he can for you. Commitment has always and still will be very important in his life. If he commits to anything, come hell or high water he will be there which is a great tribute to his character. I always admired his dedication to his family and his faith in God. He can be funny, warm, honest, fair, organized, and shares his wisdom to others. One of his commitments is to St. Thomas More Church where he is a member of the choir and is also the president of “The Young At Heart Senior Club.” My dad has a passion for puzzles, music, sports, reading, food, and most of all spending time with his family.

Besides my dad’s birthday this week there are other celebrations to be acknowledged such as Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras) which is the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Then on Thursday, February 14th is Valentines Day. A day where love, romance, and indulgence is in the air. Your loved ones may receive chocolates, flowers, and cards to express your feeling towards a special person. Some find romance on this day with couples becoming engaged. My dad proposed to my mom on Valentines Day in 1949 and they married in 1951. This year it will be “62” years of blissful marriage for them. My parents told me the story on how they got engaged when we went to dinner the other night. Seems that my dad took my mom to a Chinese restaurant that Valentines Day and he put the ring in the tea cup. Just before he poured the tea, my mom said, “What is in this cup?” And low and behold she saw the ring and that is how it all began. So the moral of the story is always look in the cup before you have some tea! 

Mom & Dad
My recipe this week is to honor my dad with something he loves called, “Pasta Shells with Walnuts and Cream Cheese.” My dad loves cream cheese, nuts, and pasta, so this has all of his favorites. This dish is something you can create for Ash Wednesday as it is meatless. This pasta recipe would also make a delicious creamy romantic dinner for your special Valentine too! The combination of the nuts with the creaminess of the pasta is very pleasing to your palate. So enjoy your Valentines Day, stay safe with the storm, and I will tell my dad Happy Birthday for you.

Pasta Shells With Walnuts And Cream Cheese

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 people

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp oregano
1 oz of unsalted butter
4 tbsp of whole milk
4 oz of cream cheese
4 oz of walnuts, chopped very finely
(Keep some extra on side for presentation)
Salt and pepper to taste
10 oz of pasta shells
4 tbsp of cream
Parmesan Cheese, grated

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the crushed garlic and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add the butter, milk, cream cheese, chopped walnuts, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir and leave to simmer gently for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta shells in plenty of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until shells are tender but firm. Drain in a colander, shaking to remove any trapped water. Put into a warmed serving dish. Remove the sauce from the heat; add the cream and stir. Pour over the shells and toss to coat evenly. Garnish with the walnut halves. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese on top and a big tossed green salad.   Bellissimo!!! (Lovely)

Till next Time……………………..

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  1. Tell Mom and Dad hi and happy birthday to your Dad. No way he is 86.

  2. Thanks, Lucy Ann. I will tell my parents that you said hi and Happy Birthday. Yes, dad doesn't look his age and he is amazing! Hope that you are enjoying reading my blog. Be well, Dottie

  3. What a beautiful and yes, flavorful post, Dottie. I love that you have such a close knit family. It's so hard to keep up with family traditions when everyone is scattered about in all directions.

    Thank you so much for sharing...I'll be emailing you:)

  4. Thanks Louise,
    Our family is very close, and I am very grateful for that. To have a family around you is a way we can continue our traditions and teach the younger generation all about what family really means. I know it is hard when your family is in different parts of the country, but now with Skype, computers, texting, etc. there are still ways to communicate with your loved ones. Thanks, Blessings, Dottie :)