Did everyone end their 2016 battling sickness or is it just us?
Pretty much all of November and December was spent with my boys passing back and forth some sniffles and coughs. My mom caught the head cold when she was here in early December and it clung to her for 3 weeks. And, unfortunately for Treat, it developed into an almost ear infection and some precautionary antibiotics before our holiday travel.
My mother-in-law came to visit a couple of weeks before Christmas. She took a week to spend quality time with her children out in California. My sister-in-law lives in Napa working in the wine industry and we’re down in the Los Angeles area, so she took advantage and planned a multi-city travel itinerary.
Firecracker simply loves it when the grandparents come to visit and has come to expect crafting projects when his Tilly (my MIL) comes to visit. Of course, she didn’t disappoint and had some adorable alphabet themed Christmas crafts to do. Crafts that have inspired me to begin planning some 2017 Christmas crafting already. (I’m just going to leave that there, chuckle at it, and land my feet on the ground knowing that’ll never happen. At least not in advance!) See my Instagram posts for adorable holiday crafting fun.
My mother-in-law was coughing a little bit and her voice was starting to go. Her trip took a turn for the worse and she ended up spending her last day in California sleeping in her hotel room. Upon returning to Alabama, a doctor’s visit revealed she had bronchitis.
At least we managed to stay clear of that!
We then traveled to Florida for Christmas. Our 2nd day there was the start of illnesses. Treat ended up having some projectile vomiting and we weren’t really sure what to chalk it up to, thinking it was just a side-effect of his medicine, mucusy coughs, or teething. But then the next night, I was the one battling what was evidently a stomach bug. That bug continued its way through our family reaching my dad, my brother, Firecracker, and my brother’s mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nieces. My best friend’s husband had it, too.
My weakened immune system meant that I got that lingering head cold from my mom. Dad did, too.
Needless to say, our holiday vacation was one spent mostly on the couch.
Not much really. Except that the pasta I used was a package my mother-in-law found while up in Napa. She brought me quite the fun kitchen gift set including holiday towels, colorful pasta, and a chocolate raspberry sauce.
Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce
- 1 C toasted walnuts
- 1/2 C mascarpone cheese
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 C grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 lb pasta of choice
- 1 C reserved pasta cooking water
- 2 tbsp butter
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions. Reserve 1 C of the cooking water before draining the pasta. Toss pasta with butter and return to pot to keep warm.
- Put toasted walnuts, olive oil, cheese, basil, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with S+P.
- Add sauce to the cooked pasta with 1/2-1 C of the pasta water. Serve with extra grated cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.
*This recipe is adapted from Andrea at http://cookingwithmammac.com/linguine-with-creamy-walnut-sauce/ *