Friday, January 6, 2012

Favorite Friday Go-to Meal!

Missy, here.

Ruthy posted about a quick turnaround meal yesterday since she's deep in edits right now. And whataya know, I needed a quick meal yesterday evening. Mainly because I worked too late. Then I remembered I needed to get it done quickly so I could make my Zumba class!

So I went to my favorite go-to-in-a-pinch meal. Fettuccine Alfredo. Only I didn't even pull out the Betty Crocker cookbook that I usually use when I make it. I just started dumping, rushing through and snapping a couple of photos for you. :) I also decided at the last minute (after my son asked if I could add bacon), that I'd toss in some frozen pre-cooked chicken.

Here are the ingredients I used (approximately, since I just dumped). :) If you want the real recipe, pull out your Betty Crocker Cookbook (and double the recipe for a family with big appetites).

1 box fettuccine noodles
1 bag shredded fresh parmesan (not the powdered stuff!) plus a little bit of a second bag
1/2 stick butter (the real thing. Don't even think about margarine)
Approx. 1/2 cup half & half (enough to make it fairly "wet")
1/2 bag Tyson Grilled and Ready Fajita Chicken Strips (or whatever chicken you have already cooked)
Fresh ground Pepper to taste
Fresh ground nutmeg (Optional, and go easy on it. The first time my daughter got to grate whole nutmeg, she had so much fun she got carried away. Our meal tasted more like eggnog!)

Boil noodles in salted water according to directions until al dente. I usually test it by eating a noodle...or two or three. (Love this part!) :) They need to still be somewhat firm (chewy) for Alfredo. Don't overcook or they'll mush up and disintegrate! Drain, and toss in the butter. Let sit until melted.

Heat chicken according to package directions (this stuff is great--takes 3 minutes).

Add half & half to the noodles. Stir around until coated with the butter and cream. Then dump in the shredded parmesan. Toss.

Then add the hot chicken and toss again. It's all ready! That's dinner in basically the time it takes to cook the noodles.



  1. if that's a go to meal at your house then make room for me to move in! I think I have pasta and some uncooked chicken but I sure don't keep half and half on-hand! (though I would if it were a regular meal I guess!)
    ok gotta get back to cleaing - my friend got me addicted to Gardens of Time on facebook (I don't usually go for the games but it's like I spy and building a garden all in one! all it' smissing is chocolate..) but it's seriously cutting into my reading time and it's hard enough to make myself clean as it is..


  2. Susanna, once I started using flavored creamer, I didn't have half & half on hand either. But I've started buying it regularly for cooking. It seems like I always need it for something. I do end up throwing some away every now and then. But recently I used it when I needed whole milk in a recipe. I just mixed it with skim milk (our regular choice). :)

    I haven't heard of that game! Sounds fun. I always loved the I Spy books that I'd read with my kids. I also loved the online I Spy game that I often played with a little boy at the elementary school who I mentored. So fun (and addictive!).

  3. Actually, in case someone goes looking, I don't think the I Spy game was online. I believe it was on a CD in the computer lab at the school. :)

  4. This sounds like the perfect dish for my middle son - he loves Chicken Alfredo - AND it's something he can make for himself!

    (Boys cooking - with their crazy schedules this year it's happening more and more often!)

    I'll have to keep the ingredients on hand for him.

    BTW - I keep a pint of heavy cream in the fridge for those recipes that need whole milk or half and half - just mix it with skim milk (more or less cream depending on what you need). Another good substitute is evaporated milk - not quite the same flavor as half and half, but it gives the dish a nice creaminess without the fat.

    Susanna - When I decided I needed to get serious about my writing last January I quit the Facebook games cold turkey - I love them, but they're so addicting!

  5. I'm buying the pre-cooked chicken strips this weekend, Missy!

    I love alfredo, even when I'm low-carb... I add broccoli and avoid the pasta, but even just the chicken and broccoli with rich Parmesan cream sauce...

    I'm so hungry for this right now! Yay, you! This is something Dave could do while I work because he keeps saying he'll feed me...


    Missy, thank you!

  6. Ruthy, pass him the laptop and let him try! I bet he can do it. :)

  7. Jan, I hope your son likes it!

    That's a great idea about the condensed milk. I always have that on hand (the fat free version). I've also used the fat free half & half. It's not bad at all.

  8. This sounds like one that is easy to convert to a vegetarian dish just be omitting the chicken and adding a veggie or two or some marinated tofu. I'll have to try it. Oh -- and guess who found broccoli slaw in her grocery storey waaaaayyyyy up here? And bought sunflower seeds as well? But will she have the nerve to pair the two together in a salad?!!!

  9. KAV!!! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!!!!


    You will love it. I had Dave restock my sunflower seeds and raspberry vinaigrette dressing... right before I ate two brownies yesterday and a cookie today.

    I am my own worst enemy.

  10. Definitely vegetarian, Kav! In fact, this is the first time I've added chicken. I've sometimes added mushrooms or broccoli.

    Glad you found the broccoli slaw and got some sunflower seeds! Live dangerously! LOL

    You're going to love it. I also like roasted almonds or pecans on a salad. :)

  11. I just got home from the grocery store. You guys should have seen me in the produce section, wavering between the baby spinach and the broccoli slaw...back and forth...which do I choose...

    It was the spinach. I'm so hungry for a blackberry/spinach smoothie - it must have been the 70 degrees we had yesterday...

    Oh, and picked up some kale, too. Kale chips this weekend!

    The broccoli slaw will go back on the list for next week. Definitely.

  12. Jan, I'm...speechless...I've never...

    blackberry spinach...smoothie?????????

    Wow. I would never think of combining those! Are you big on juicing? You'll have to share some recipes with us! I would love to try it.

  13. I don't juice a lot, but a friend of mine urged me to try spinach in my smoothies - you can't taste it at all! I was amazed!

    The spinach does change the color, though...kind of a purple-ish brown...and if you use strawberry yogurt, it really makes an interesting color.

    Here's the recipe I put together:

    1/4 cup frozen blackberries (or other fruit - I have a lot of blackberries in the freezer)
    1 container yogurt - your choice of flavor.
    1/2 cup fresh spinach
    1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
    skim milk - add as needed to get the thickness you want
    5-7 ice cubes

    Mix blackberries, yogurt, spinach and coconut oil in your blender until smooth. Add milk to your desired consistency, and then add ice cubes one at a time and blend until you have a nice puree.

    This is an expensive breakfast, Weight Watcher's point-wise, weighing in at 9 points. It has 336 calories - but if you leave out the coconut oil you'd save a lot of calories and fat. Even without the oil it's super nutritious.

    You can also add oatmeal (1/2 cup - uncooked!) to make a complete meal out of it, but then it has even more calories (and more nutrition).

  14. Oh, wow! I'll have to be brave and give it a try! :) Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    I bet a little bit of oil makes it really creamy.

    I actually just saw something on Good Morning America (I think) showing some good breakfast foods. One was a smoothie with oatmeal added. And I could have sworn they said dry oats. When I checked out the recipe online, though, it said to cook it. But I think either way would be good. I just love oatmeal.

  15. LOL, Ruthy! Come on. You're plucky. Go for trying something unique! :)

  16. Go for it, Ruthy! You've got to keep your energy up to chase after those babies!

  17. ok I've heard of people putting spinach in smoothies - I've also heard of people who take up parachuting and hanggliding and I sorta put all those in the same category of 'ain't no way'! I was more than adventurous tackling the kale!

    how do ya'll do low carb? honestly I'm not even human or functional with no carbs..get shaky and headachey and that's just the start! I do try to balance them more with protein (except when I gt a candy craving...)because I do tend to snack on too many carbs but going super low to no carb not for me. a friend was die-hard atkins a few times and was successful at losing but wasn't ablet o keep it up - the last time because she got preggers and didn't want to risk staying no carb while pregnant.


  18. Susanna, I don't think it's healthy to go no carb or extremely low carb. I, too, found out that I gained weight back that I lost on very low carb/high protein diet. I think the trick is to pick good, complex carbs, like whole grains. Try to cut out the processed, "white" things--and of course, the candy. :)

    Or maybe candy for a rare treat. :)

  19. I agree with Missy. I don't banish carbs. But I limit them a lot.

    So I stay away from treats. (this was not true yesterday... oy!!!) No baked goods, no candy. But I do grab a few dark chocolate chips when I'm desperate because there's little sugar there. And I feast on salads, eggs, jerky, cheese, veggies (the Calif. blend with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots? To die for! The carrots have a few carbs, but I don't care.)

    And it helps, Susanna. Nothing is foolproof, but I try to just be a little more careful than I used to, and it helps.

    But not over the top because then I just get MAD. And I'm a jerk. What fun is there in that???

  20. 'kay thanks 'cause I think I went too over the top 'cause I was grouchy and the 'B' friend was too but s he didn't seem to notice so maybe since I noticed I was even worse than I thought! I do need to ban the sweets- I think I'm addicted to sweets :-(