I didn't have a request today, so I actually chose the theme. I was hoping that we would get some fun new recipes. Pasta is one of the most versatile and universal ingredients. Almost every culture has their own version of a noodle or some sort of pasta.
I make all sorts of pasta dishes, most of them Italian in origin. Though we do enjoy a nice stroganoff and goulash on occasion. I love couscous and orzo salads. Chicken noodle soup is my husband's favorite.
Today I thought I would share an easy peasy pasta dish.
This is my Americanize version of Prociutto and Peas.
Easy "Peas"y Pasta Alfredo
1 Box Penne pasta
1 large ham steak diced
1 bag of frozen peas
2-3 Tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
2 cups heavy cream
1 stick butter
2 cups grated parmesan
1 clove garlic grated
Cut ham steak into bite size chunks. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and brown the ham steak. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a sauce pan, over medium heat, melt butter and heavy cream together. Add the grated garlic and let simmer. Whisk in parmesan and pepper and simmer over low heat.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Salt the water liberally and boil pasta according to the directions. In the colander, open the frozen peas. When the pasta is done pour the hot water and pasta over the peas. Stir peas into the pasta.
Pour pasta and peas back into the pot the pasta was cooked in. Add the browned ham. Pour the alfredo sauce over and mix. Stir in the flat leaf parsley. Serve and Enjoy!
I made the rolls to go with this meal. They are super easy. Even if you don't have a stand up mixer. You only have to knead this dough for 6 minutes or so. It's a very soft light and fluffy dough. I promise, these are SOOOOOO worth the effort.
1 package quick rise yeast
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
2 cloves grated garlic
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 cup olive oil
7-7 1/2 cups of flour
In a large bowl add yeast, warm water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Allow the yeast to bloom. Takes a couple of minutes. Warm the milk in the microwave while waiting for the yeast to bloom. Crack the eggs into a bowl. Once the yeast has bloomed add the warm milk, olive oil, eggs, sugar, garlic, oregano, salt and three cups of the flour to the bowl. Mix together until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Slowly work in the remaining flour one cup at a time. Once all the flour is incorporated turn dough out onto a clean floured surface and knead the dough for 6-8 minutes. This is a soft and a little sticky dough.
Coat the bottom and sides of a large bowl with olive oil. Add dough to prepared bowl turning to make sure it is coated in the oil. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside to rise. The dough should double in size in an hour. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a clean floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Cut the quarters into 6 equal sized pieces.
Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 24 rolls and place on the prepared cookie sheet.
Cover the rolls and let them rise until they double in size. Takes about 45 minutes.
Melt a stick of butter. Brush the tops of the rolls with the melted butter. Sprinkle with a little parmesan and flat leaf parsley.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
I promise you will LOVE LOVE LOVE these, and you will LOVE LOVE LOVE me for sharing them with you!!
O.k...I shared mine, it's your turn. Bring on the oodles of noodles! Link up, leave me some love, and let me know what you want to see here on Thursdays!
My boys walk home from the bus stop everyday. It's several houses down from where we live. So, Kooper calls me the moment he gets off the bus and we talk until I can physically "see" him and his brother.
Last week he called and he was in tears. He was crying so hard I could barely understand what he was saying. I had asked the same question I do every day, "How was your day?"
I got from the conversation that someone had been mean. I just couldn't really make out the details through the tears.
Once he got home I got the whole story. A kid in his class has been bullying him since school started this year. He has been calling my son "fat", "stupid" and making fun of him so that he has quit participating in football with the other boys at recess. He told him the only thing he(my son) could do was outweigh his(the bully) mom.
I was furious to say the least. I felt the sting of anger hit my eyes, and I fought back the tears with everything I had while I consoled my broken hearted son. I asked him several questions about the other child, and fought the urge to make disparaging comments about the bully. We discussed the situation. I told Kooper that the bully was just jealous.
Kooper retorted "He's not jealous of me mom, I don't have anything he wants, why would he be jealous?"
I said, "You do too son. You have friends, and family who love you. Do you know why people say hurtful things like that?"
"Yes Mom, I know that he does it to make himself feel better. It still doesn't make it any easier to take." he replied.
My heart skipped a beat. For a split second I was elated that the things I try to impart in my children are actually sinking in. Then the reality of his words hit my heart and the stinging in my eyes took over. I hugged my baby tightly and told him that I loved him. Told him he was perfect and that no one could take away his dignity unless he gave it to them. I wiped my tears before he could see them.
I told him that obviously this little boy was lacking something at home. Kooper argued that this boy claims how perfect his life is all the time. Boasts about it even. He has everything. He has perfect this, and perfect that. I asked Kooper if he really believed that. He sat and thought for a moment. "I guess not. He wouldn't have to tell everyone if that was true would he Mom?"
"No Koop, he wouldn't."
"He's kinda sad and pathetic huh?"
"Son, obviously he has some issues that we don't know about. Just remember that and try not to let the things he says get to you."
With that Kooper got up and went to play in his room.
I quickly made a break for my room where I no longer fought the anger or hurt and I let the tears fall from my face. How dare that child hurt my sweet tender hearted baby! After I let it out, I washed my face and composed myself.
I spoke to Kooper later and he asked me not to address the situation at school. He said his teacher had seen him crying after recess and that she assured him that she would correct the problem. I agreed that this time I would let it go as long as it was addressed by his teacher.
The next time? Momma Bear is going down to take care of it!
What would you do Smackers? Have any of you had similar issues with school bullies?
This week's theme is CHICKEN and brought to you by the fabulous Juney from 3! a Charm.
I was thrilled when Juney asked for chicken, because honestly, I could eat chicken every. single. day. Now, Juney and I disagree on which part of the chicken is the best. Juney likes the dark meat. She's the equivalent of a legs man. I like the breast. I'm basically the boob guy!
I thought this week I would share my boys favorite chicken dish. They are excited beyond belief when they hear the menu for the evening includes Chicken and Rice. All of them love it and always ask for seconds.
I have been battling sinus headaches this week and haven't made this to take pictures (BOO!) but the directions are simple and this is seriously fool proof!
So, my Granny made chicken and rice and chicken and dumplings and chicken and noodles when I was growing up a lot. She would make all three and usually several vegetables to go along side it. Oh, and homemade biscuits to boot. Yeah, um....that's not me. It took her all day. She boiled whole chickens, you know most of the day. She cut them up herself. She was a machine in the kitchen.
I am way too lazy for all that, and I have found shortcuts to get that amazing flavor from my childhood, in a FRACTION of the time.
On to the recipe....
Chicken and Rice
Provided by Google Images.
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 boxes chicken stock
2 cups long grain white rice (do not substitute quick rice)
2 heaping Tablespoons of sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
Cut your raw chicken breasts into 1/2 inch cubes. Salt and pepper the cubes.
Heat a heavy bottom pot on high heat. Add the olive oil. When the pot is screaming hot add the chicken.
Brown the chicken until it is cooked completely through. Takes roughly 5-7 minutes.
Add the boxes of chicken stock. Scrap up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium and let the chicken boil for 10-15 minutes.
Add the sour cream to the pot and stir it in.
Add 2 cups of uncooked rice and stir. Bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Let the rice cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir well. There will be some juice left in the pot. Not to worry. Let the chicken and rice sit for 5-10 minutes and it will be perfect.
I serve this with frozen baby sweet peas, always. In a sauce pan I add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 medium shallots diced finely. Add a little salt to help the shallots along. Once the shallots are transparent, add a bag of frozen baby sweet peas. Stir the peas coating them with the olive oil and shallots. Cook over medium heat until the peas are just warmed through.
Well, that's it Smackers. This recipe really is so easy. Browning the chicken, adding the chicken stock and sour cream, gives this that all day cooked flavor and it doesn't disappoint!
I hope you enjoy as much as my boys!
Now, link up and share your favorite chicken dishes!
Oh...and GO ENTER my giveaway. I have two entries? Really? Please! ENTER! Your chances of winning are um...HIGH to say the least!
I've written before about my propensity to feel the need for speed. I drive fast. I get behind the wheel and my foot hits the pedal and it's a match made in heaven. The moment my foot hits that pedal it's like an instant connection. The pedal knows me and I know it. We jive. If you add to that connection a soundtrack...it's even better.
Just because I like to drive fast doesn't mean I drive unsafely though. I am always very aware of everything going on around me. If you are going to speed that's kind of important. In my younger years I worked just to pay off the state. Which is to say that I was always the recipient of tickets.
Tickets for speeding = points on license.
In order to continue my need for speed I took a defensive driving course.
Taking driving course = No points assessed to driver's license
The defensive driving course really was a huge benefit. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the 4 hours of my life that I could never get back. I learned to be aware of others around me at. all. times. I have successfully avoided a gazillion accidents because of idiot drivers thanks to that defensive driving course.
Anyspeeddemon, one morning a few years ago on my way to work, I stopped to drop off my electric bill. It took BDC like FOREVER to start paying our bills online. Don't ask...it's a whole other post. So I dropped off the payment which seriously cramped my morning time table, and was sitting at the light waiting to get back into traffic.
Being aware of those around me I noticed the guy who pulled up behind me. He was in a black Ford Explorer. I noticed him staring. Craning his neck even. I thought "Damn dude! Take a picture already." Then I saw him shift in his seat. I wanted the light to change already, but the light we were sitting at is notoriously slow. So then I see the guy open his door. My heart raced as he started walking. What the hell? Who does that?
Oh shit! He has something in his hand. He stopped. It's an umbrella in his hand. He then starts toward his windshield wipers with the umbrella. Then I see what he was looking at. It wasn't me he was staring at, making mean faces at. It wasn't me he was after. IT. WAS. A. SNAKE!
He flicked the snake off his truck. He then proceeded to do the freaking most hilarious DOODY JIG DANCE I have ever witnessed and jumped back in his truck. The light changed and as we pulled into traffic he saw me laughing and gave me the faintest of smiles.
I thought about this when I was attacked by the little green tree frog earlier this week. I opened my front door to take my Chihuahua out and the frog fell on my head. It felt heavy for a little frog when it hit my hair. When I swiped the side of my head quickly, it fell to the floor. It was wet and slimy and I did one of those full body shivers and squealed before I saw it hit the floor. I was mid-doody jig dance when I realized it was just a tree frog and I was being ridiculous.
Lucky for me, nobody witnessed my dance. The poor guy in the Ford Explorer had to go through the whole day knowing that I laughed about his public dancing of the creepy crawlies!
Now you all know that I have two ADHD children, which makes for an interesting life, but it mostly means that staying on task, and being able to find your stuff? Yeah, um....we spend lots of time at the LOST and FOUND at school.
The Smack Talker
I'm a fast talkin', smack talkin', food lovin', recipe writin', ADHD sufferin', joke tellin', wit swappin', SNARKTASTIC mommy of five. I married Prince Charming who just so happens to be a Star Wars geek, and we are living happily ever after. I tend to over share, lose my cool and make rash generalizations. I'm teaching my kids to love everyone and appreciate all things. Did I mention I love FOOD?