21st on our The Best vs Worst parts of being an aspiring novelist countdown: setting a schedule vs. keeping a schedule
Setting something to blog about every Monday is good - until you have something else to talk about. (If we stop on our countdown now we'll never finish in December. And it IS only a monthly theme.) And setting a writing (running, etc.) schedule is good - until something else comes up. Even setting an eating/mealtime/snacktime/calorie counting schedule is all good and fine until you're invited out for dinner or to a party of some sort or someone brings donuts in to the teacher's lounge at work. Or something.
So with the topic of our themely countdown taken care of, on to today's recipe. (You may notice extra adverbs in my posts. Real or made up. I am trying very hard NOT to use them in my manuscript. So in order to help with my withdrawl I'll use them here instead.)
Here's an appetizer to munch on while you wait for the meal. Oh, who am I kidding. There's not that much wait time involved. It's a quick, easy and YUMMY meal to make. Munch anyways. Or serve the appetizer with the meal.
My husband's new stuffed mushroom recipe. He made this just last week. Came up with it out of the blue when he discovered we had semi-old mushrooms and no cream cheese to stuff them with. He still stuffed them. Here's what with:
You'll need 1 carton of baby bella mushrooms (about 15 baby bellas)
1 slice of bread (we had split top wheat on hand)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of onion flakes and/or 1/4 cup diced onion for more texture
1- 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic powder
(4 oz cream cheese if available)
1 1/4 tablespoon ranch dressing
1 1/2 tablespoons
1-2 pinches of salt
Rinse and pull off stems. Save half of the stems for the stuffing.
Chop up the stems.
Melt butter in a saucepan on stove over high heat. Place mushrooms in pan (open side up) for about ten-twelve minutes.
While that cooks, break bread up into small pieces into a microwave safe bowl. Add stems and all other stuffing ingredients to the bowl. Place bowl in microwave until ingredients are soft and mixable.
Mix ingredients. Use a scooping spoon to add a spoonful of stuffing to the middle of each mushroom.
Turn stovetop down to medium heat. Heat mushrooms with stuffing for about five minutes.
Place mushrooms on a serving pan or plate.
Fettuccine Alfredo con Chicken and Broccoli (totally rivals Olive Garden) (makes four servings)
1 cup heavy cream
8 tablespoons butter in slices
2-4 cloves of garlic chopped fine
2 cups parmesan cheese (shredded)
3-6 sprigs fresh parsley (or parsley flakes)
salt and pepper to taste
fettucine (or other pasta) enough for four servings
chicken breast strips (1 lb)
broccoli (enough for four people)
(italian bread, butter, garlic powder, optional)
Boil pasta in large pot (12-15 minutes) until soft.
Place chicken in large pan on stove top over medium heat (add water to cover bottom of pan, sprinkle pinch of salt and pepper over chicken). Cover pan. Cook until no longer pink in middle.
If using fresh broccoli rinse, cut off stems, add to boiling water for a five minutes, until soft, OR steam as per directions on your steamer, OR use steamfresh package of broccoli and place in microwave. When finished, add butter along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
While the pasta boils, chicken bakes and broccoli softens, blend/mix all other ingredients until smooth. (I have a magic bullet...that's where the recipe came from. Use the cross blade if you have one, too.)
Place container of mixed ingredients in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or on stove top until sauce is heated thoroughly.
(While heating, slice italian bread, spread butter over each slice, sprinkle with garlic powder (and parmesan cheese and parsely flakes) and broil in oven until brown.)
Then blend/whip heated alfredo sauce for a few seconds more (3-4 pulses with the magic bullet flat blade) and serve over hot pasta.
Dice chicken. Add chicken and broccoli as toppings to the pasta dish. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.
We ate this meal this past Saturday night after getting our Christmas tree. We treated my parents and brother-in-law to dinner after a fun outing in the cold. There wasn't any snow yet this year, but it was cold. My son's teeth chattered the whole time and he just wanted to get back into the car.
Grasshopper Ice Cream Dessert (serves four)
Fill up a blender with vanilla ice cream. Pour in cream de menthe to taste (4 shots). (Add 1-2 shots of brandy. Optional) Blend. Serve in glasses with straws.
Here's our perfectly crooked and beautiful tree. My four year old picked it out and is incredibly proud of his choice. So are we. He is certain Santa will love it as much as he does.
Have a great week everyone!