Monday, March 26, 2012

Light Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

I decided to share this recipe because it is a huge favorite with my family and it's lighter than any other fettuccine alfredo I've had. I've always enjoyed alfredo sauce-based dishes, but most are so rich that I can usually only eat a few bites. This recipe has the perfect balance of richness and light flavor. This recipe can also be tailored to your taste or needs. It could be made without the chicken. I've made it with shrimp. Vegetables could also be added to your liking. All in all, it is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I hope you try it and enjoy! Please let me know if you do and how you liked it. The recipe follows the photos.

Light Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle one boneless, skinless chicken breast with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Bake, uncovered, in a pan for 30 min. Cool chicken and chop into bite-size pieces.

[NOTE:  I highly recommend having the sauce ingredients measured out and ready to go. It is a very quick process and it helps to have everything ready. Even then, it is very easy to scorch the garlic. Be careful.]

[NOTE 2: DO NOT FORGET TO SAVE OUT THE PASTA WATER FOR THINNING BEFORE YOU DRAIN THE PASTA. This is VERY IMPORTANT for the recipe to turn out correctly. I've forgotten in the past and had to use milk. It turned out okay, but not as good as with the pasta water.]


-1 Tbsp butter
-1 clove garlic, minced
-zest of one lemon
-2 tsp all-purpose flour
-1 cup 2% milk
-3/4 tsp salt
-2 Tbsp Neufchatel or low fat cream cheese
-3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (not powdered)
-3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-12 oz. fettuccine pasta (fresh or dried, I use dried and cook for 14 min.)


Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley, chicken and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, boil fettuccine in salted water until al dente, stirring often. RESERVE ONE CUP OF COOKING WATER BEFORE DRAINING. Return drained pasta to pot.
Immediately add sauce to pasta along with about half the reserved pasta water. Gently toss until pasta is coated, adding more pasta water to thin sauce. (I usually use about 3/4 of the pasta water.)
(This recipe easily makes 8 reasonably sized servings. I am including the nutritional info from the original recipe. It is calculated as making 4 servings and DOES NOT include the chicken meat.)
Per serving: Calories 490; Fat 15 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 48 mg; Sodium 734 mg; Carbohydrate 66 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 20 g

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sensible Shoes.......or, I Must Have Been Temporarily Insane

I plan to be married in May. We are not having a lavish affair and will be going to the courthouse and be married by a judge. Still, being a woman, I felt the event justified a pretty dress. I visited a bridal superstore last week just to be sure of my choice. Being a 50-year-old bride makes finding just the right dress very difficult. Given the choices at the bridal shop, I could have chosen to look like a prom nightmare or an elderly mother-of-the-bride. I wanted neither and decided to stay with the pretty white silk chiffon I ordered from Macy's website. Although white is not my first color choice, (not because I'm not virtuous, but because white isn't the most flattering color for my complexion), I believe that I can pull it off by adding some color by choosing pretty shoes and jewelry.

Let me note here that I have suffered from degenerative arthritis for several years. I have endured several surgeries, including two surgeries on my right knee. I have been told that I will someday need to have knee replacement and I hope that is very far in the future. I am very careful to avoid activities that might result in any injury to my knee.

That being said, I was led like a lamb to the slaughter to the shoe section of the bridal superstore. Knowing in my mind that I cannot tolerate much more than a 2 inch heel because of my knee issues, I allowed the (very kind and helpful, I must note) salesgirl to lure me into buying these 4 inch heeled beauties....

......and this is what I must have looked like while giddily writing the check for my purchase....

Let me tell you this: while shopping for anything wedding/marriage related, even the most mature and sensible 50-year-old becomes a starry-eyed bride-to-be and cannot be trusted with important decisions. Never ask financial or life advice from one of us at these times; you may regret it if you follow said advice. Consider yourself warned.  So that is the excuse I'm going with on how I came to buy a pair of shoes that I have no hope of ever wearing.

After the bloom was off the rose and I was home with the shoes, I tried them on again.....remember the stepsisters in Cinderella desperately trying to shove their giant feet into the dainty glass slipper????....that's pretty much what went on in my bedroom that evening. Even after struggling into the shoes, I was almost unable to walk in them. Even exchanging the shoes for a larger size would not remedy that fact.

So. I have a photograph of lovely shoes that I'll never be able to wear. I also have the assurance that I will be able to walk and enjoy my honeymoon week by choosing to wear a shoe that will not cripple me. But look out....I may just have those sensible two inch heels dyed a bright blue or purple just to show I still have a bit of life left in me! Just watch me!