Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lemon Spaghetti with Chicken and Spinach

I am home! Well I have been since Tuesday, but have been catching up on life. Here is a rundown of some things that happened last week. 
The day we got the news about my grandmother I had Emily's baptism to go to. Since I wasn't flying out until the next day and I was grieving alone (J was working), I decided it would be good to go. Boy was it ever. These 3Bs of mine are true Christian sisters, helping me through my deep sorrows. We rejoiced with Em as she publicly displayed her heart for Christ. I held Sarah tight as she comforted me with her SWEET heart! Megan and Sarah took me home to love on me until J got off work. Thank you sweet sisters, you mean the world to me!
 We had a rough week saying goodbye to Gongie. She was more than just a grandma to us, She was our best friend, Mother, and Matriarch. It was incredibly moving to see how many lives were touched by her. Thank you friends and family for all of your outpouring of love and support. We will miss Gongie but we are so glad that she gave us a life to aspire to. We love you!  
While in her hometown of Lamesa, TX we visited the hospital her father built. This is a picture of the mosaic that she did for the hospital. She was the most talented person I've ever met.

On to a more happy topic. My favorite little girl, Sarah. I kept her a few weeks ago. Along with painting fingernails, and watching Disney movies, we made this dinner together. I got a sense of what it would be like to have a toddler and try to do my blog. I think I can do it! I gave her some tasks to help me with and she was delighted. Here is the dinner we made (thanks to Katie and Brian for introducing the recipe to me).

Lemon Spaghetti with Chicken and Spinach
Seasoned Chicken:
3 Chicken Tenders
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion
1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 Pound linguine
4 clove garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 lemons
3/4 cup half and half
1 cup parmesan
1 cup baby spinach
3 Tsp olive oil

Mix together spices for chicken.Preheat oven to 350.
Season chicken with spice mix. 
Sarah wanted to help. She did a great job sprinkling the spices evenly over the chicken.

In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add chicken and sear for 2 mins per side. 
Remove pan from heat, cover with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Cook pasta according to instructions.

Zest both lemons.
Juice both lemons.
Grate parmesan
Measure out cream and chop garlic.
Remove chicken from oven and transfer to another plate. Use same pan to cook sauce. Add 3 Tbsp olive oil to the pan and minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until it begins to sizzle.
Add half and half and lemon juice.
Add 2 Tbsp pasta water to the sauce. Turn heat to medium low and allow to simmer for a few minutes, until thickened.
Dice chicken.
Drain pasta, add pasta, chicken, parmesan and lemon juice to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Add spinach to the pasta and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat.

Taking pictures with a 2 year old.
She wanted to eat it right then!
Got one in there.
There goes a noodle.
Watching her favorite, Beauty and the Beast!
Such a cutie!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Buffalo Skirt Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce

It is a very sad day for me as my beloved grandmother has passed away. We are all mourning her sweet spirit, but rest in knowing she is in heaven with our Lord Jesus. Keep me and my family in your prayers as we will be together the next few days celebrating her life and saying our goodbyes. She was the best grandmother anyone could ask for and I was blessed to have had her in my life for the past 26 years.

I want to share a VERY delicious recipe with you today. Gongie LOVED food and she deserves to have something yummy for me to share today. I found this recipe on Plain Chicken's website. She has shared a couple of my recipes on her blog and I am glad to share something from her's. Thank you for creating this steak, the hubby and I will also be adding it to our rotation.

Buffalo Skirt Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce

1 skirt steak
3/4 cup Franks Redhot
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup blue cheese
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Melt butter and stir in hot sauce, Worcestershire and onion powder. 
Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce in a bag with the steak. Set aside to marinate for 20 mins. Do not put in the fridge since the butter will harden.
To make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour to the pan and whisk until it is blended.

Add milk to pan and cheese whisk until blended and begins to boil, then turn down heat.

Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan. Whisk until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
Remove steak from marinate. Grill on high for 5 minutes per side.

Remove and allow steak to rest for 2 minutes. Brush reserved sauce on steak.
Slice against the grain.

Serve with Blue Cheese sauce and extra hot sauce.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pasta in Velvety Stewed Tomato Sauce

I have been having some fun with fashion lately. A few weeks ago I did a fashion presentation for a MOPs group (Mothers of Preschoolers). It was so fun to teach these ladies the importance of being a cute mommy.

 This year I joined a fabulous organization called Operation School Bell. I volunteer once a month and we dress under-privileged elementary students with clothes, shoes, backpacks, socks, and under wear. They are so cute and appreciative! Once a year we also put on a Prom Day to dress homeless high schoolers for their senior prom. It was a blast! We had tons of dresses, shoes, and accessories. 

Here is one of the girls that I dressed. Click here to see a video of her being interviewed for the news.
 We even had fashion stylist, Cojo, come to help style the girls.

Now that the sun is out, I have some yummy recipes for you! This one came from having NOTHING left in my fridge but some basil and cherry tomatoes. It was delicious! I have made it 3 times since. I made it for J for lunch the other day and he was scraping at the sauce in the bottom of his bowl.

Velvety Stewed Tomato Sauce over Pasta
1/2 pound pasta, I like to use the Orecchiette
2 heads of garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon of Italian seasonings (I had a mix called Pizza blend, it is mostly Italian seasonings with some red pepper flakes in it)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sliced basil
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2-4 Tbsp reserved pasta water
parmesan shavings

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some pasta water, then drain.
Slice tomatoes, slive basil, chop garlic.
PS I made this dish twice and also took pictures both times, that is why there are 2 different pots in the photos, sorry if it is confusing.
Heat oil in a pan, add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add white wine and lemon juice.
Heat on medium until the liquid is reduced by 1/2.
Add the sliced tomatoes. Turn to simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes or until wilted.
Add Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. If sauce has reduced too much you can add some reserved pasta water to thin it out.
 Stir in butter and turn off heat.
 Add pasta and sliced basil to the sauce. 
 Stir and serve.

Top with parmesan shavings.