Thursday, August 26, 2010

Are my eyeballs huge?

I have been very ill with Valley Fever for a couple of months now.  Wouldn't ya know it, school decided to start (not sure why it had to start now, maybe something to do with the fact that education is mandatory!).  I was running around all weekend trying to get last minute school supplies, exchanging school clothes, etc.  I'm sure we all were.  Sunday night (the night before school) we were up sorta kinda late.

 I must say that I cannot do too many things at home at once.  I lose track of time.  I tell my child to go to bed dang it and she PURPOSELY derails me somehow, someway, every time.  OK tangent over.

I am in the laundry room wildly folding clothes, looking horrible like I was in a scene from Night of the Living Dead, ready to burst into tears from sheer exhaustion....when I hear:

"Mama!  Are my eyeballs huge"?

And I turn...

And I look at this:

And I died right the spot.  Then I told her "you are SO lucky you make me laugh.  This is exactly why I haven't eaten you yet."  Some mothers in the wild eat there young you know.  Really.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lemon Basil Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Did you faint dead at the sight of that picture?? I did when I saw it for the first time.  Ok well the picture on Ree's website is phenomenal.  Really just a work of art.  I immediately ran all over creation and back looking for all of the ingredients.  This is our favorite pasta dish.  I can't say "of all time" because Oodles of Noodles is really our all time fav.  But this puppy is so.....sooooo lemony!  I originally got the recipe from The Pioneer Woman but had to alter it.  Because I'm, as I have said before, mildly retarded.  I could NOT get the cheese to melt (sniff sniff) and it was nearly inedible, unedible, not edible??  Man where is spell check and why are these words not red! You get my drift.  It looked.....clumpy.  No one wants to eat clumpy, clotted looking food.  But the taste makes you literally close your eyes and say OMG with every single stinking bite!  Its a heart attack on a plate I tell you.  Heavy cream, butter, half and half.  You MUST make the recipe with those ingredients.  NO altering it NO sir or I will unfriend you from Facebook!  And fresh basil only puhlease!  Even Walmart sells it for Pete's sake!

Ok, seriously, if anyone actually starts reading these posts, I will post step by step photo's if needed.  Or I will just hold a cooking class.  I've done that for a couple of my friends!  Now read until the end of the recipe and I will tell you how I altered it at the end:


  • 4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
  • 1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
  • ½ sticks Butter
  • 3 whole Lemons, Juiced
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cups Half-and-half
  • 1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!

1st edit:  If you  have GINORMOUS lemons, you may only need 2.  Taste it before you put in the cheese.
2nd edit:  DO not purchase the preshredded cheese, it has a coating on it to make the little shreds not stick together and it does not melt as well.
3rd edit:  I used preshredded cheese that was only coated in cornstarch and it actually melted better.
4th edit:  DO NOT plop all the cheese in at once.  I only used about 3/4 cup of cheese and even that wouldn't melt all the way.  Unless you want clumpy, save the rest for the top of the pasta!
Fresh basil is a gift from God.  Ok its da bomb diggity.  To easily chop or julienne, simply stack the leaves on top of each other all facing the same way, roll them up from stem to top the slice the little roll :)
I used McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Actually I use it on about everything except hot dogs.  Hmmmmm may not be a bad combo.
This pasta dish is meant to be eaten ENTIRELY that night.  It does not reheat well.  I've tried everything!  Butter, milk, cream and half and half to reheat it in to give it that creamy goodness.  Trust me.  Don't reheat.