Back to articles Spring... your way! By Nadine Hughes

Categories: Family Fun

Spring means getting outdoors more with your children; or sending them outside to play while you enjoy the peace and quiet inside. Whatever your preference, you don't want meal preparation to interrupt play time after school or mommy's quiet time!

Here is a quick afternoon snack for the kids that you can have ready for when they come home from school. Ask them to take it outside while you put the water on to boil for a spring Pasta Primavera. While you’re waiting, flip through a magazine, put your feet up and wave happily at them through the window! Enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Sundae Cones

Makes 4 cones


3/4  cup cut-up strawberries

2  cups cut-up fruit, such as apples, bananas, cherries, seedless red grapes, kiwifruit, plums, and/or peaches

4  large waffle cones

1/4  cup toasted coconut (optional)




  1. Place strawberries in a blender and puree until smooth.

  2. Spoon cut-up fruit equally into cones. Drizzle with the strawberry puree. If desired, top with coconut.


Pasta Primavera

Serves 6-8

Preparation Time 15 minutes

Cooking Time 10 minutes

Notes: Pasta Primavera literally translates to “Spring Pasta”.


  • 500g dried Fettuccine

  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen and thawed) green peas

  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped basil (optional)

  1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine, stir and bring back to a boil. Boil for 7 minutes for al dente. Drain but reserve 185ml of the water.

  2. While the fettuccine is cooking, heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until just golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in peas, salt and pepper. Immediately cover and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

  3. In the same skillet over medium heat, toss the hot, drained pasta with reserved pasta water, cheese and lemon juice.

  4. Gently toss mushroom mixture and tomatoes into the pasta. Season to taste, transfer to serving bowl(s), top with basil and serve.

Nadine Hughes is the creator and owner of, The Cook’s Companion and The Menu Companion, through which she offers kitchen consultations, menu planning services as well as private cooking classes for adults and teens throughout Southern Ontario. She is also an award winning author. Pick up a copy of her latest cookbook “The Groove Mamma Goes Gourmet – Easy Ways To Put The Fun Back Into Entertaining” (awarded Best Canadian Entertaining Cookbook at the 2009 Gourmand Cookbook Awards) for $7.98 at