Last year, I began a new chapter of my life as a full-time SAHM. The transition wasn’t smooth. I felt terribly lonely most of the time especially during the first four months. My mind and body wasn’t prepared to the sudden change of environment, like from being physically and mentally busy to a quiet and different pace. I even cried at one point because of extreme solitude. It was like becoming crazy because I’ve got no one to talk to when my son Albert was in school.

I tried to make myself busy but my mind somehow longed for human interaction. I talked to my friends (which were only a handful then) over the phone, but sometimes they were also busy. I realized that being busy all my life with work and business that I forgot to mingle with acquaintances and expand my circle of friends. Fortunately, Gazzel, my long time chat friend introduced me to a bunch of SAHMs just like me. The group met several times a year for breakfast or brunch. I was thankful that they welcomed me to their group, and lucky to meet such kind and wonderful people.

In the last term break, the beautiful mommies decided to have a picnic at Sembawang Park  to have a wonderful day-out with the kids. It was Albert’s first time in this park, which is situated at the northern part of Singapore facing the Johor Strait.  We had the picnic at the shelter facing the beach and near to the playground.  Each one of us brought home-cooked meals. I brought Broccoli, Carrot and Pesto Pasta and Baked Chicken Wings, which is not only easy to prepare and great for picnics, but also healthy. We were blessed with good weather, even though the forecast said otherwise, and the kids really enjoyed and had lots of fun while the mommies had a great time talking to each other.

Photo credit: Stella

 

Broccoli, Carrot and Pesto Pasta

Broccoli, Carrot and Pesto Pasta

Ingredients

  • 5 stalks of basil (or around 25-30 leaves, I only count the big ones), stems trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic (small), peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted
  • 100g (4oz) grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets
  • 1 carrot, sliced diagonally into bite-sized
  • 250g penne
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the basil, pine nuts and 1st half of parmesan in the food processor.
  2. Add the olive oil slowly through the tube while the motor is running, then add the garlic, salt and pepper. Keep the processor running until the contents are blended.
  3. Stop the motor. Using a spatula, scrape the pesto from the side. Put back the lid and turn on the motor for 30 seconds or until fully incorporated and smooth.
  4. Cook the pasta until al dente.
  5. Prepare ice water bath.
  6. Blanch the carrots. Cook until tender for about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a spider utensil and plunge immediately in the ice water.
  7. Prepare another ice water bath.
  8. Blanch the broccoli. Cook until tender for about 1-2 minutes. Remove with a spider utensil and plunge immediately in the ice water.
  9. In a salad bowl toss the pasta, broccoli, carrots, 2nd half of parmesan and the pesto.
http://ahappycook.com/2014/10/broccoli-carrot-and-pesto-pasta/

_DSC3427_01 Broccoli, Carrot and Pesto Pasta l