You Know It’s Bad When I’m Resorting To Recipes

What should I write when I really have nothing to say?

Should I tell you about The Girl graduating from Pre-K and how she, instead of a picking a toy for her present, chose 2 new outfits instead? It is quite a win-win for a mother when necessities are ranked as a gift. Kind of like my boys using their Christmas Hibbett’s gift cards to buy new tennis shoes. My pocket book let out a sigh of relief on that one – especially considering we get hi-fived every time we bring our three boys through the door of that place. All Employees get to meet their sales quotas on those nights.

Or would you like to know that I wore my cute shoes to WalMart today and a girl chased me down to ask me where I got them? Her husband thought we were both weird chatting it up in the frozen food section over footwear. She said, “Well, are they comfortable?” to which I replied, “Heck no, but who cares?!” We bonded instantly. She said, “It hurts being beautiful, doesn’t it?” Considering my feet were screaming, I responded in the affirmative. I wasn’t even offended when her hubby rolled his eyes. Dudes are just different.

Oh, I know. I know! I could tell you how I made an excellent new dish tonight called Chicken Penne with Smoky Chile Cream Sauce. Shoot, you might even want the recipe so here it is:

12 oz. uncooked penne pasta
1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut in strips or cubed
1/2 chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups Alfredo sauce (I used Ragu)
1 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (I used more because we like spicy)
2 tsps chili powder
2 tsps maple syrup ( I used Log Cabin but I think you could really leave it out)
1/2 tsp salt
8 slices bacon (I used real bacon bits)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (didn’t use this – I hate to bite into cilantro)

1. Cook penne pasta. Drain.

2. Heat oil and cook chicken until done. Remove to plate and reserve.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the Alfredo sauce, chipotle, chili powder, maple syrup and salt. Cook at med-high until bubbly. Stir in chicken.

4. Place the pasta in the pot and stir in the Alfredo and chicken mix. Spoon pasta onto a large serving platter and garnish with the bacon and cilantro.

(Recipe: Family Circle, January 2008.)

This dish was delicious and the whole family loved it. Just a word of caution. If you live in a small town in Alabama, don’t expect your local grocer to have heard of, much less stock, Chipotle in Adobo. And if you see a guy in the store who goes to your church and he asks you what you are doing? Well, don’t tell him you are looking for Chipotle in Adobo (Henceforth known as CiA). He’ll think, along with the guy in the frozen food section at Walmart, you are totally wacko. And his wife will think so too if you text her a picture of said delicacy when you find it just to prove it actually exists – especially if her hubby hasn’t explained it’s significance. And if all that ever does happen to you? Be glad those two love you enough to overlook your fruit-cakiness.

(BTW – You can find CiA at Walmart in the Latin Food aisle for $1.19. You have to have it for this dish. It adds the most wonderful flavor to the sauce.)

Well, friends, that’s all I got. Seems a good place to cut it off for now so I’ll just bid you a good night!