Monday, August 2, 2010

A little bit of everything

Today I've got a few things to share with you- some rain pictures, cupcake pictures, and a recipe! Of course we've been getting TONS of rain this summer, and this morning was no different! We had a lake in our grove, and I drove by the old Sandy Hollow Golf Course and took a few pictures! Crazy! The first 3 pictures below are of Sandy Hollow, and the last 2 are our grove.

Mom's birthday is August 3, so I created a cupcake golf hole for her! :) Turned out pretty good, but it would have been better if I didn't run out of Hobby Lobby's dark green frosting (in a can)... WalMart only had light green. But it was still pretty cool! :)

And now for a recipe- White Cheddar Chicken Pasta.
I made this thinking I had everything in the house, with the exception of white cheddar cheese. But, once I gathered everything turned out I only had whole wheat rotini, and not enough of it. So I used what I had, and added some elbow macaroni.... hence the variety in the picture. :)

For the chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and brown about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

For the pasta:
1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta (I would not recommend using whole wheat pasta, it was pretty gritty)
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir to melt. Add chicken and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce. Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

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