Friday, September 18, 2015

Colorful Chicken Fettuccine & Bullet Points

It is a rainy Friday morning. Mr. Hippie got me up early (like he does every morning). He brought me my coffee at 6:00, we talked for  few minutes, and then he headed out to a breakfast meeting.

While I kinda-sorta wish he'd have let me sleep in (or that I would have just rolled over and ignored the light and coffee), I am glad to have gotten in some early morning devotions and Sunday School prep that would have been harder to do later today. What with school and all.

Who's idea is school anyway?

Mornings really are my best time. Even though I sometimes crave the sleep.

Because of the quiet, and the lack of interruptions, I was also able to start the laundry, make breakfast for the kids, watermark some photos, AND finally get this post started...

So, here is a summary of my week in bullet points...

*We are well and truly into our fall schedule. BSF started this week for all of us. Myself and 2 kids on Monday night. Mr. Hippie and another kid on Tuesday night. Meres on Thursday morning. It's good to be back with old friends, studying the Bible.

*I've been reading Quiet by Susan Caine. Such a good book! It's all about introverts and extroverts. I love her explanation in the first chapters of how our culture moved from a character-based culture to a personality-based culture. And how that progression is evident in our school system. And how that is evidenced in the question that home schoolers inevitably get asked..."how will your children get socialized?" Not educated, but socialized. It's been rather riveting. Well, except for the two chapters I am currently wading through. They are more concerned with the physiology and biology of introversion. I am contemplating just skipping these technical chapters and moving on to the next bit-how this all plays out in real life. 

*Do you see those gorgeous quarts of tomatoes up above? I did those. On Thursday. I used to do a ton of  canning. But, due to some bad crops, it just has not been cost effective the past couple of years. This year though, I've seen some decent prices on tomatoes. Not like 5 years ago prices, but prices that I could work with. I toyed with the idea of doing some tomatoes, but life has been kind of full-what with school and training. I saw some for sale a couple weeks, and was thinking about going for them. But I just wasn't working up the motivation. I probably would have let the season pass by without canning tomatoes.

Yesterday morning we ran (literally) past a farm stand less than a mile from my house. He had 2 bushels of tomatoes, for a decent price. He said he would put them aside for me. And, so I was committed. I picked up my tomatoes, and ended up canning 34 quarts yesterday. I was reminded how much I actually enjoy canning, but also how much work it is. I was tired when I was through.

And, while I had planned to write yesterday, I just have a hard time writing when I am physically tired. It's like my mind just can't muster up the thoughts to wrestle into sentences.

*The good thing about fall scheduling is that Mr. Hippie and I are getting back into regular dates. Dates that don't involve training or races. Last night we went to a cider mill, and sampled their wares. Then we headed out to the beach and walked the pier. It was dark, but pleasant. The lake was crazy waves. The sound was amazing.

*Meres is making me laugh and groan. This week we were riding in the car. I had the windows down, and she kept rolling hers up. Because we have the "shampoo" on. It took me a pause to get her connection. Shampoo-conditioner-air conditioner. 

*We survived our triathlon. It was just as cold as predicted, and I've never seen so many wet suits in my entire life. But, it was good. I think I liked the course changes. The big hill was actually not too bad. We are motivated to try again next year.

*I've been cooking through one of the She Plans Dinner menus. The Variety Late September menu. I've made most of the recipes before, but I didn't have them all photographed, and last week I needed the convenience of a pre made grocery list. It has been fun. We've been enjoying a lot of pasta recipes.

One of which is this colorful beauty below!

Orange carrots. Green broccoli and peppers. Red peppers. So pretty!

It is quite saucy. I think you could easily add another 4 ounces of pasta to the sauce, and it wouldn't go awry. The sauce is mainly chicken broth, with some cheese, cornstarch and sour cream to thicken it up. Fairly light. But, neither gluten-free or dairy-free.

We all enjoyed it. It is perfect paired with a salad and bread or rolls.

Colorful Fettuccine
Prep/Cook time: 30 minutes
16 ounces fettuccine
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 Tbsp oil
1-1/2 cups julienned carrots
1 sweet red pepper
1 green pepper
1 head broccoli
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 cups chicken broth (or water with bullion)
1-1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp thyme
3 Tbsp sour cream
3/4 cup (3 oz) Parmesan cheese

-Cook the pasta according to package directions.
-Julienne the carrots and peppers. Chop the broccoli.
-Cut the chicken into strips.
-Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high. Sauté chicken until no longer pink. Remove from pan and keep warm.
-In the same pan, sauté carrots 1 minute. Add the peppers and broccoli and sauté 3-4 minutes, until crisp tender.
-In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, broth, lemon juice, and seasonings. Stir into the vegetables. Bring to a boil, and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the sour cream, parmesan cheese and chicken.
-Pour sauce over the noodles and stir to coat.

Have a great last official summer weekend!