Man, do you ever have those days when your heart feels so happy and full that it just calms you down to your bones? Like, in the best and most peaceful of ways?
Yesterday was one of those for me. ♥
I woke up early in the morning feeling thankful and so dang loved after a beautiful birthday evening with all of my favorite people the night before — milling around the kitchen enjoying a dreamy buffet of chips and salsa, keeping the refills coming on everyone’s glasses with fresh margaritas, sitting around the table talking and laughing and enjoying these wonderful people until late in the evening. It was my kind of a birthday, and I’m still smiling about it!
Then, even better, I stepped outside in the morning to one of those gorgeous spring days that you dream about all winter long. The air was perfectly warm and breezy, the sun was bright and shining all day long, and it felt like blooms were flowering everywhere you turned. I immediately threw open the windows and left them open, and Henry faithfully scootched his naps across the floors following the sunbeams all day long.
Of course, it was way too gorgeous a day to stay inside. So I sent a shout-out to my neighbors seeing if people wanted to hang out by the picnic tables out back after work. And even with little planning, we had a crowd. So fun!! Everyone was almost giddy to be back outside after a winter of neighbor-nighting indoors, and stayed outside passing around chicken wings and (my leftover!) chips and salsas and cookies and beer until long after the sun had set. We even had a handful of new neighbors show up, which always makes me so happy to see our little tradition living on.
Anyway, it was one of those really good ones. And made me hopeful about this next year of life. And made me feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
So I soaked it up! And I made a big batch of these springy sesame noodles to share at neighbornight, because naturally noodles are what you bring to celebrate a perfect spring day, right?! 😉
SESAME NOODLES WITH BROCCOLI AND ALMONDS INGREDIENTS:
- 1 pound (16 oz.) uncooked linguine (or any noodles, such as rice noodles, soba noodles, lo mein noodles, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 3-4 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 medium head of broccoli)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly-sliced
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped Blue Diamond Almonds (I used the Wasabi and Soy Sauce variety)
- 1 batch Sesame-Soy Vinaigrette (see below)
- optional garnishes: thinly-sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds, coarsely-ground black pepper, crushed
- red pepper flakes
SESAME-SOY VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or hot chili oil
TO MAKE THE NOODLES:
- Cook noodles al dente in a large stockpot of salted water according to package instructions. Drain, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, as the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli florets and season with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Saute, stirring once a minute or so, for 4-5 minutes until it is slightly charred around the edges and cooked through. Stir in the garlic and continue sauteing for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic is cooked and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
You can find complete recipes of this SESAME NOODLES WITH BROCCOLI AND ALMONDS in gimmesomeoven.com