These past few weeks have been INSANE! Last night I catered a wedding! Not just 20 of the bride and groom’s closest family and friends. Oh no, for 100 of the bride and groom’s closest family and friends. And not just a few desserts or finger foods. Oh no, appetizers, dinner AND 4 different desserts. It rains like 3 times a year in southern California and yesterday was one of those time, POURING rain. And the wedding was, you guessed it, outside. Even with that HUGE obstacle, we pulled it off, HOLLA! Oooooh yaaaaa, go me, high 5. Oh wait, I hate high 5’s, I take that back. Just a simple, “nice job Julia.” That’ll do. Unless you wanna give me a foot massasge, I could go for one of those right now too.

After all this I need some rest. I need a simple, delicious, comforting meal. Insert pasta and pesto here (‘here’ being my mouth).

I know Thanksgiving is in 3 days and everyone might be expecting MORE pumpkin recipes… I knew I wasn’t going to post about pumpkin or even Thanksgiving for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. Even if, for some weird reason I was assigned a blog that ONLY had pumpkin recipes, I’d find a way to ever so slightly adjust it to not have pumpkin. I need a little break from pumpkin. Juuuuust a little one. After going through the 6 lb can of pumpkin, I bought another one. Now why’d I go and do that? I don’t know (as I shrug my shoulders). And I’ve been eating a fresh roasted pumpkin too. I think I’m turning orange…

When I was browsing My Catholic Kitchen, I specifically looked for recipes that DIDN’T have pumpkin. Tons, she has TONS without pumpkin! Thank goodness! I also made her party meatballs, they were delicious! People go NUTS for meatballs, it’s bizarre. Which makes them the PERFECT appetizer as we approach “help! I’m invited to a holiday potluck and have no idea what to bring” season. Bring those!

I loved Veronica’s post on Pasta and Pesto. Let me tell you why:

1. It’s pasta and pesto, together, in 1 bowl. MY FAVORITE (peanut butter, salad, goat cheese and frozen yogurt aside, of course).

2. Her entire post is about nicknames. Nicknames are a HUGE part of my life. My name is Julia….go ahead, start rattling off every freaking movie quote you can think of with that name in it… In case you DON’T think I’ve heard the one you’re thinking of, you’re wrong. I have.

Does this movie lines ringa bell:

“Julia Gulia, That’s funny.”
“Why’s that funny?”
“I don’t know”

Thank you ‘Wedding Singer,’ my name has forever changed thanks to you.

But for my REAL nickname, my husband and I call each other ‘Bae.’ Pronounced ‘bay.’ We call the baby, well, more names then you care to read, but my husband calls her Cheeks McGee and I call her Gurdy. Her real name is Waverly, so we call her Wave also. Now, as we’re trying to teach her how to ‘wave’ at people, things are getting a little confusing. Poor kid, we really jacked this whole thing up… I think she’ll forgive us though. Frankly, we only use our ‘real’ names when we’re in trouble, nicknames ARE our names.

Pasta and Pesto
Recipe From My Catholic Kitchen
Serves 4 – 6
1 8 oz package spaghetti noodles (I used whole wheat)
6 tablespoons homemade pesto (recipe follows)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes

Garnish with fresh chopped basil and parmesan

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add pasta and cook 10-12 minutes, until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander and toss it with the pesto, then add the tomatoes and mozzarella cubes.
*Cheese melts as you toss it, so don’t toss it too much, just enough to incorporate.

Sprinkle with basil and Parmesan cheese on top. Serve immediately.

Perfect Pesto
Recipe from My Catholic Kitchen

2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves
1 cup walnuts
1 cup olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a food processor; chop basil, garlic and walnuts.
While the food processor is still running add oil until combined.
Add cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined.

Store in air tight containers for up to 1 week.

Veronica says she’d love to hear all about our nicknames. So ah, Veronica, this one’s for YOU! Everyone, let’s go, what’s YOUR nickname??