Wednesday, November 30, 2011

baked alfredo tortellini pasta with grilled chicken and roasted tomatoes

I made that for dinner. I imagined it up in my head at work and I came home and made it.

Then I took a few pictures. They all came out looking like a heap of hot mess.

After that I ate two plates worth even though I was full after the first plate.

Bienvenu à ma vie.

P.S. How was your thanksgiving? Mine was beautiful. Exhibit A, B, and C:

Anyway, here's how I made the stuff I was talking about before:

 Baked Alfredo Tortellini Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Roasted Tomatoes

Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 roma tomato, diced and seeds removed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • 1 cup pasta (I prefer penne)
  • 1/2 cup tortellini
  • alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Boil water. Once the water boils, add the pasta. When the pasta has 1 minute until it is done (after about 13 minutes of cooking) add the tortellini for 1 minute. Drain.
  2. Take 1 chicken breast and cut off all the sick parts (you know what I am talking about, veins, white flubber sickness, etc.). Pound the chicken until it is flat-ish. Generously sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. 
  3. Turn the oven on to broil.
  4. Grill the chicken on a grill pan for about 5 minutes over medium heat then flip it over and add the diced tomatoes to the pan. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
  5. Place the pasta in a buttered 8 inch casserole dish. Add the alfredo sauce and mix well until evenly coated. Top with chicken and tomatoes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over the top on the pasta and chicken. Broil for 5 minutes until melty and bubbly.
  6. Eat and enjoy. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

What I've been reading

Two posts in two days. When it rains it pours.

I feel compelled to tell you what I am reading. Why? Because it is not enough for me to force my cooking whims on you, I must force my reading choices on you as well.

I apologize. Kind of.

This was an unexpected and unplanned purchase for me. I was at Barnes and Noble and it was in the "our staff recommends" section. I read the back and decided it was worth a try.

The book is narrated by a hysterical 11-year-old girl names Flavia de Luce. She's a bit sassy, sarcastic, and loves chemistry. Basically she solves a murder.

So if you like funny, witty, murder mysteries (and maybe like the occasional chemistry aside) you'll like this. My mom is a chemist and loves detective novels so I bought it with the intention of if I hate it, at least I can pass it on to her and she'll like it.

Turns out I like it to. In my completely made up scale, I give it a "rent it from the library".


P.S. here's what the author says about Flavia:

Q: Flavia certainly is an interesting character. How did you come up with such a forceful, precocious and entertaining personality?
AB: Flavia walked onto the page of another book I was writing, and simply hijacked the story. I was actually well into this other book–about three or four chapters–and as I introduced a main character, a detective, there was a point where he was required to go to a country house and interview this colonel.
I got him up to the driveway and there was this girl sitting on a camp stool doing something with a notebook and a pencil and he stopped and asked her what she was doing and she said “writing down license number plates“ and he said “well there can’t be many in such a place“ and she said, “well I have yours, don’t I? “ I came to a stop. I had no idea who this girl was and where she came from.
She just materialized. I can’t take any credit for Flavia at all. I’ve never had a character who came that much to life. I’ve had characters that tend to tell you what to do, but Flavia grabbed the controls on page one. She sprung full-blown with all of her attributes–her passion for poison, her father and his history–all in one package. It surprised me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash

Happy Halloween!

Oh what...? I'm like a week late. Yeah, I know but I don't really get around to blogging that much these days and I couldn't resist showing off the awesome pumpkins. Guess which one I made.

That's right, I made the spooky ghost/haunted mansion one! Andrew made the cute little guy on the left. He thought it would attract more trick-or-treaters and be kid friendly. Too bad we weren't even here on Halloween so didn't light them or pass out candy.

In keeping with the pumpkin family, I made butternut squash! It's a perfect fall treat! (What? I'm late again and it's already winter? Right.)

And it is a vegetable, healthy, yummy, and best part- incredibly simple to make. ...Once you get the hang of it.

I bought one of these at the store and brought it home super confident that I could do this on my own. I didn't need a recipe to tell me how to make a squash! So I cut it open with my super large knife and stared blankly at the little alien I was looking at.

I brought half of the thing over to Andrew and said, "What do you think I should do with the seed part? Do I cook them with it or throw it them away?" He responds uncharacteristically excited, "YEAH! Just scoop it out and poop them in the garbage!"

...Uhhhh what?

So I gave him a blank stare, and pooped those seeds in the garbage like I was told.


Oven Roasted Butternut Squash
  • One large butternut squash
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the butternut squash open lengthwise. Remove the seeds.
  3. Stab holes in each half of the squash with a fork.
  4. Cover with butter, 1 tbs per side.
  5. Place the squash on a tin foil-covered cookie sheet. Pour the 1/2 cup of water on the sheet- this will keep the squash from drying out while baking.
  6. Cook for one hour or until soft and easily pierced by a fork.
  7. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  8. Eat.