Oh my goodness, you guys, it has been awhile since I’ve posted on here! I went back to work on October 12 after being off on a year-long maternity leave, and life has taken on a whole new level of busy! Here are some random things I’ve learned about being a working mom after a month of being back at work:
- Working is a break from parenting – at work, I’m able to go to the bathroom whenever I want, enjoy my coffee uninterrupted, have a free lunch hour where I can go to the gym or go shopping, etc. I am so grateful to have had the luxury of a year-long mat leave, but I’m not going to lie, I love the independence of being back at work again.
- That being said, there is no better feeling in the world than going home and seeing my baby’s big smile and outstretched arms, ready to embrace me!
- I am exponentially more efficient at work after coming back from mat leave. With a baby and parental responsibilities waiting for me at home, I am not able to put in extra hours at work anymore. As a result – I am superhumanly efficient at work. Time spent away from my baby is a huge sacrifice so I make sure that every minute is utilized smartly. I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve gotten done at work this month!
- I am so tired. All the time.
- I’ve never meal planned so hard in my life. With me working Mondays through Fridays, and my husband working shiftwork, all of our meals and grocery shopping trips are planned out at least a week in advance. Lunches are packed the night before, I know exactly what I’m having for breakfast the next morning, and our dinners are planned out for the week.
If you follow me on Instagram and watch my Insta-stories, you would have seen me experimenting with a new pasta recipe. This shrimp, asparagus and sun-dried tomato penne is definitely one of my new weekday favourites. I’m always on the lookout for easy weekday recipes that my baby can also enjoy, and pastas are usually a huge hit with both the baby and husband. We were over at a friend’s house for dinner last weekend, and they had served a shrimp and asparagus pasta. I had never thought to combine shrimp and asparagus in a pasta before, so I was inspired to create my own recipe.
This recipe was so delicious! The combination of tomato paste and heavy cream made a perfect rose sauce and the addition of freshly grated Parmesan added another hit of creamy texture. Make sure to buy a hunk of Parmesan cheese and grate it yourself though. It’s worth the expense! Pre-grated, canned Parmesan contains fillers in it and it doesn’t melt and combine as well.
I loved having these leftovers for lunch the next day, so I will for sure be adding this to my regular weekday meals rotation!
Shrimp, Asparagus and Sun-dried Tomato PennePrint Recipe
- 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, chopped and drained
- 1 tbsp of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 lb (one small bunch) of asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 15 pieces of uncooked Black Tiger shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined (feel free to use more shrimp!)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried crushed chili flakes
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used an Italian pinot grigio)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- one box (500 g) of penne
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and saute for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to a bowl.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes, shrimp, 1/4 cup basil, garlic, oregano, and chili flakes to the same skillet and saute until the shrimp are just pink, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the asparagus.
Add the chicken broth, wine, tomato paste and heavy cream to the same skillet. Boil until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 7-8 minutes.
Turn the heat down low and add the shrimp/asparagus mixture into the sauce. Let it simmer on low.
Cook the penne according to package instructions. Drain and add the pasta to the skillet with the sauce.
Add remaining 1/4 cup of basil and the grated cheese.
Toss the pasta until the penne is well coated with the sauce.
Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!