Bow Ties with Soft Goat Cheese, Walnuts, and Basil

goat cheese pasta

Junior year of college, I lived with five other girls.  At Christmas we hung up stockings, complete with nicknames given to us by the others (If you think that’s silly, you should have seen the pink plastic Christmas tree).  My nickname? “Calories.”  Thanks, ladies, you know me well.

Although some of the recipes I post on this site might lead you to believe otherwise, I am obsessed with calories.  Every day I keep track of what I eat (The Daily Plate at is a wonderful tool!), more out of habit now than anything else.  For every meal, I count and measure and portion, and it’s great fun, really.

Long story short, this recipe is a great lunch I made the other day, so the measurements are for one person.  I’m sure you can do the math to make it for more! 🙂

Oh, and in case you were wondering, one serving has 320 calories.

measure me this

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Tortellini Salad

Tortellini Salad

I’ve never been a pasta salad fan, and when I think about it I think pasta and funky vegetables all covered in a thick mayo dressing…the last thing I want on a hot day is a bunch of fat weighing me down! This salad is different.  It is fairly light (it is still pasta and cheese, but no heavy dressing!), and served cool or at room temperature, and I find it to be very refreshing alongside something hot off the grill.  It is also perfect for a light dinner on an evening in the park.

This tortellini salad has been a favorite of mine my whole life.  The recipe is my mom’s, and I remember it from countless picnics and school lunches.  It’s always a hit and it’s very easy to throw together.  I made it for the Fourth of July, and everyone enjoyed it!

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Baked Stuffed Squash Flowers

squash flower mozzarella stuffing

One of the classic family stories that I’ve heard a million times but don’t remember is this: Little Laura, maybe three or four years old, is asked if she wants some squash at dinner time.  I replied, “Yes, please, but I’d like it whole, not squashed.”  SO cute, right?!  It makes me smile every time.

Not only do I love un-squashed squash,  I love interesting ingredients (like fava beans).  Last week at Gisuppe’s in San Luis Obispo, we ordered the fried zucchini flower appetizer, and after that I knew I was ready to create my own.  Luckily, this past Thursday at SLO Farmer’s Market, I found some for sale and bought a basket – they cost something like $2, and there were probably 10 in the basket, though some were too small to stuff.  I knew I wanted mine to involve mozzarella, and I knew I didn’t want to fry them…so this is what I came up with.  Tomato Basil Mozzarella Stuffed Baked Squash Flowers.  Oh my goodness.
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