One Pan Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Where has December gone?!  We’ve had a busy couple of weeks to start the month.  Got back from our Bahamas Thanksgiving vacation with my family, worked a few days and then flew to Florida for Matt’s cousin’s wedding the first weekend of the month.  Last week was really busy in general, we had something every night of the week.  But this past weekend was a perfect mix of just what we needed.  A few parties, the wreath laying at Arlington Cemetery, hanging out time, a fun run, and just a bunch quality time with several friends.  Like I said, just what we needed.

Last week was so busy we didn’t have much time to try new recipes, but we did remake this one when we had some friends over for dinner on Thursday.  I re-read the blog post from when we first tried it, “It did not disappoint, we will definitely be having this again!”  It may have taken almost a year and a half to get back to it, but man was it good!  We’ll still be making it again…hopefully before another year and a half pass.

Tonight we picked up a new recipe and boy was is good!  It only takes about 30 min to cook and just hit the spot – One pan chicken and broccoli alfredo.  ONE PAN.  Which means cleaning up isn’t awful either.  When I say one pan I’m specifically referring to this pan.  It is absolutely amazing.  Matt’s aunt gave it to us as a wedding gift, saying we’d use it all the time and she was not kidding!

One Pan Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo (adapted from here)

Serves: 4+

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1¼ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 14 oz can of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • ½ a pound of penne pasta, or any bite-sized shape pasta, uncooked
  • 2 cups of freshly shredded real parmesan cheese
  • 2 crowns of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flat leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Start by cutting chicken breasts into 1 inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Brown chicken in olive oil over medium high heat, it does not need to be cooked through at this point, it will continue cooking as it simmers.
  3. Once chicken is browned, add minced garlic and saute for about one minute.
  4. Add chicken broth, cream, and uncooked pasta to pan and stir.
  5. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes, until pasta is almost cooked through.
  7. While the dish continues to simmer, stir in shredded parmesan cheese until melted and completely mixed. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add broccoli to the dish and cook 3-5 additional minutes
  9. Served topped with fresh minced parsley leaves, if desired.

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Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

A week in town means time for cooking!  I printed this recipe forever ago and never got around to trying it, which really is a shame.  It was pretty quick to make, a good weeknight pick. Enjoy!

Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini (recipe from here)

Ingredients

  • 1 bag regular sized Barilla three cheese tortellini (8 oz) or 16 oz fresh tortellini in the refrigerated section of your grocery store
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh diced onion
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (we used fat free)
  • 1/2+ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Begin by boiling your tortellini noodles until they are al dente (aka ready). Follow the directions on the bag for boiling time.
  2. While the tortellini is boiling, chop the spinach roughly.
  3. Heat a large skillet using medium heat and put the about 1 Tbsp olive oil and the minced garlic and diced onion into it. Sautee it briefly until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add into the skillet the petite diced tomatoes (undrained), spinach, salt, pepper, dried basil, and onion flakes.
  5. Cook and stir over medium high heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
  6. In another bowl, combine the flour and half-and-half. Whisk until fairly smooth.
  7. Add the creamy mixture into the the skillet along with the parmesan cheese.
  8. Heat through and reduce the heat to medium low and continue to stir and cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the drained tortellini and mix together gently.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

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Fettuccine with Sausage & Kale

Happy Wednesday!

Life update – I started the new position at work this week.  Right now I’m doing more training and learning and it’s really great.  I also travelled to New York (near Westchester) today for a presentation about Investing.  Every day this week I’ve had a ‘pinch me, this is now my job!’ moment.  It’s great.  There are some obstacles to overcome, like the fact that the new office is very different from the old one and I can’t even figure out how to print stuff right now.  But the fact that I can walk outside of this office and be in downtown DC, and walk home from work outweigh that.  I did walk home from work on Monday.  It’s like 3.5 miles, but I’m in a step challenge and needed the steps.  It gets dark really early these days…

This new recipe is another quick and easy one.  Since I flew to and from New York today I needed something quick to make when I got home.  It’s pretty good, and since it’s quick and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, we’ll be adding it to our rotation for sure.

Fettuccine with Sausage & Kale

Serves: 6+

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage*, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large bunch kale, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for topping

Directions:

  1. In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain.
  2. In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-low until browned, about 7 minutes. Drain fat if desired.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water and cream; simmer until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil if you drained the sausage fat.  If you didn’t drain the fat, no olive oil should be needed. Add cheese and mix until melted.  If it doesn’t seem very sauce-like add a little more oil and parmesan.
  4. Add kale; toss until wilted.
  5. Remove from heat; toss with pasta.
  6. Sprinkle with parmesan and enjoy.

*Make sure you use spicy Italian Sausage, even if you don’t think you like spicy things.  It give the dish a majority of its flavor.  Also, it’s not that spicy once the dish all comes together, and my tolerance for spice is very low!

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Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts and Fettuccine, Apple Pie with French Crumble Topping, and Shrimp Perloo

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Ahh it’s been a while!  Sorry everyone, busy season got real bad at the end.  But that is in the past and I have some exciting news (and then some recipes to catch you up on)!  As of November 1 I will be transferring into PwC’s financial education practice.  I have worked on some projects with this group in the past and I am beyond excited for the transition.  This has been in the works since June and my current partner and the partner of the new group agreed that I could make the switch after busy season. So what will I be doing?  Basically companies hire PwC’s financial education to be a benefit to their employees.  We do in person presentations on financial planning topics such as cash and debt management, 401(k), pre-retirement planning, and topics like that.  We also have a phone line that the employees can call and ask us financial planning questions, anddd one of my favorite things we have is a “financial fitness assessment.”  The employees can take this and then schedule a one on one call with me or one of my teammates.

‘How did this all come about?’ you may wonder.  Well, you may recall that back in June they were doing a “money matters” series at our church that I was super pumped about.  During the first sermon I’m just sitting there on the edge of my seat, resisting the urge to yell “amen” and clap after everything the pastor said.  I quickly realized that this was a topic that stirred something up in me and started to think about how I could switch into doing more of this for work (I was also already studying for the CFP exam at the time and getting really excited about everything I was learning).  I talked to a few people at work and called one of the managers in the FEP group to see if the switch was something we could make happen.  Since I’d done a good amount of work with the group in the past the answer was a quick “yes!!”  Then it was just a waiting game until my group would give me up.  Knowing the switch was coming was one of the only things that kept me going this busy season.  I’m pumped!  Also, this group does have busy seasons at the same time as the old group (we share people in between tax deadlines and then lose the extra help during tax season), but they’re a lot less extreme and don’t require weekends.  Just icing on the cake 🙂

Alright, now to the recipes.  We made a couple during the last weeks of busy season but I didn’t have time to post them!

First up – Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts and Fettucine.  This was pretty delicious, Matt made it one night during busy season and added garlic to the original recipe – great call on his part.

Second Up – Apple Pie with a French Crumble.  We went apple picking with our friends a few Sundays ago and somebody thought that we needed 12 lbs of apples, so there were plenty around for making a pie.

Lastly – we got Blue Apron this week (thanks to my bday gift from my brother)!  The recipe from the first meal we made had fairly normal ingredients that’s easy enough to remake, and it was pretty delicious too!

Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts and Fettuccine (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine, cooked, plus 1 cup reserved cooking liquid
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Cook fettuccine according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  2. In skillet, cook butter over medium until golden, 3 minutes. Add minced garlic during the last 30-60 seconds of cooking
  3. Add sprouts; cook until tender, 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in pasta, cooking liquid and 1/2 cup each cheese and nuts; season.
  5. Top with remaining cheese and nuts.
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Apple Pie with a French Crumble

Makes: One 9 inch pie (8 inch pies have different proportions! Or just a bit of leftovers from this recipe)

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp shortening, or 2/3 cup lard
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 Tbsp cold water

For the Filling

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 6 cups thinly sliced tart apples (about 6 medium sized apples)

For the French Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup firm margarine or butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

Directions:

For the Crust –

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas (this can also be done in a food processor or a kitchen aid mixer with the whisk add on.
  3. Sprinkle in water, 1 Tbsp at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour moistened and the pastry almost cleans the side of the bowl. (A couple more Tbsp can be added if necessary)
  4. Gather the pastry into a ball; shape into a flattened round on lightly floured surface.
  5. Roll pastry 2 inches larger than the inverted pie plate.
  6. Transfer crust into the pie plate and trim/shape the edges as desired.

For the Filling –

  1. Peel and slice apples
  2. Combine, sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt, then stir in apples.
  3. Pour into the pie dish (already lined with raw crust).

For the Crumble Topping – 

  1. Mix the crumb topping ingredients (flour, butter, brown sugar) until crumbly.
  2. Top pie with crumble before baking.
  3. Bake 50 minutes, cover pie with foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking to avoid excessive browning.

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Matt helped peel the apples!  anyone seen that video of using a drill to peel apples?  He saw it and had to try it!

One Pot Shrimp Perloo

Eh, just go to the website for the recipe – https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/one-pot-shrimp-perloo.   Blue Apron has pretty recipe cards you can print too.  Picture is below, it was delicious and definitely made more than two servings.

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Butternut Squash, Arugula and Goat Cheese Pasta

Busy season has been…busy.  Ugh we’re in full on ‘what am I doing with my life, is it October 15 yet?’ mode.  Less than 3 weeks!  And then I’ll never have to go through a busy season like this again.  Light at the end of the tunnel!

This week we tried a new, seasonal recipe from Gimme Some Oven.  It we pretty delicious!  I don’t know if I’ve ever really had butternut squash before… Matt even liked it.  It wasn’t an ‘omg we need to make this again tomorrow’ kind of like, but he said ti was pretty good and since he knew it was really good for him it made it better.  And it was easy with not a ton of ingredients!  I will say, this is definitely better fresh and leftovers are just ‘meh’, next time we’ll be making a little less.

Butternut Squash, Arugula and Goat Cheese Pasta

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or any high-heat oil)
  • salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 12 ounces whole wheat dried pasta
  • 2-3 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 big handfuls fresh baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or mist it with cooking spray).
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butternut squash and oil, and toss until the squash is evenly coated. Spread the squash out the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the squash at the halfway point then returning them to the oven, until the squash are cooked through and soft on the inside.  Remove and set aside.
  1. While the squash is cooking, bring a large stockpot of generously-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook al dente, according to package instructions.  Once it reaches al dente, scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta water and set it aside for later.  Then drain the rest of the water and return the pasta to the stockpot.  Immediately add in the goat cheese along with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, and toss until the cheese is completely melted and is evenly coating the pasta.  (If it seems too thick and you’d like a lighter “sauce”, add in a few more tablespoons of the pasta water at a time until the cheese reaches your desired consistency.)  Add in the arugula, pine nuts and roasted butternut squash, and toss until combined.
  1. Serve immediately, garnished with extra black pepper if desired.

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Creamy Pasta Primavera

Friends, we have a new winner of a dinner dish!  I made this a while ago in college and forgot all about it until now.  This is a lovely summer dinner dish, I hope you love it as much as we did.  I can’t wait for leftovers!

Creamy Pasta Primavera (recipe from here)

Serves: 6+

Ingredients

  • 3 cups penne pasta, uncooked
  • 2 Tbsp. Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups cut-up fresh asparagus spears (1-inch lengths)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt.
  2. Meanwhile, heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and vegetables; cook 10 to 12 min. or until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Add broth and cream cheese; cook 1 min. or until cream cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Stir in Parmesan.
  3. Drain pasta; return to pan. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Cook 1 min. or until heated through. (Sauce will thicken upon standing.)

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Gremolata Bowties & Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry

Another week has passed!  Busy season is going surprisingly well so far, but there are still almost 7 weeks left until October 15 so I’m sure I’ll be eating those words in a week or two.  Still working overtime, but not as much as I’ve historically been slaving away at this time of year so that’s a big win!

This week was the last week of the Financial Peace class I’ve been helping out with at church.  Gosh that stuff was so good.  People can hate on Dave Ramsey all they want, and while I will admit that I don’t agree with everything he says (and that’s okay!), I will say that the man is changing lives.  And if more people could get into this and follow the principles he teaches, this world would be a different place.  It’s funny how big of a difference having a written budget makes!  It sounds so simple, but that’s really at the heart of this.  I think people hear the word budget and think they’re only for people who are poor or living paycheck to paycheck, but it’s for everyone!  It is AMAZING how much money we’ve “found” since starting to just actually keep a budget.  I could go on forever.  If you want to know more about that stuff, ask me some time.  But be warned that apparently I get really excited and talk really loud when I get going about it (Matt shhh-ed me a few times while I was on the phone talking to mom today).  I’m really excited to see where this stuff takes us.  We’re probably going to be coordinating another one in the new year, it’s going to be great!

Another two quick, easy, and few ingredient recipes for you this week!  Both were absolutely delicious, easy, healthy, and will be made again (probably in the next 6 weeks…).  The bowties are the PERFECT mix of lemon, garlic, cheese, and deliciousness.  And the stir fry I was definitely skeptical about, but ended up being very pleasantly surprised with how good it was.  That lime did a lot for it.  Thanks, Rachel Ray.

Gremolata Bowties (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta (aka farfalle)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup grated pecorino
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 2 tbsp. juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions, reserving ¾ cup of the pasta water.
  2. In skillet, cook chicken in oil over high, stirring, until cooked through; season.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients to warm; season.

*Note that peas are not pictured in the pasta below because someone conveniently “forgot” to get them….

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Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 14 ounce bag coleslaw mix
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lime (1 tsp. zest and 1 tbsp. juice)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Optional: thin sliced bell peppers

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook coleslaw (and peppers, if desired) in 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high, stirring, 2 minutes; season.
  2. Stir in lime zest and juice; divide among plates.
  3. In same skillet, simmer remaining oil, sriracha and 2 tbsp. water over medium-high, 1 minute.
  4. Add shrimp; cook, stirring, until opaque in center, about 3 minutes; season.
  5. Top plates with shrimp and sauce and enjoy.

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