Monday, February 13, 2012


I am not big on Valentine's Day. I mean, I love telling those I love that I love them, but to force a holiday upon people that puts unnecessary pressure on men and women to do something above and beyond - and spend lots of dollars - is just not fun in my book. That said, we still "celebrate" Valentine's Day, but on ground level.

Usually my husband and I give cards to each other expressing love, appreciation, and devotion. Occasionally some flowers show up from one of us. Tonight, we celebrated a little early as work calls my husband out tomorrow night.

Today, the kids and I made homemade cards for my hubby: Little dude listed out 20+ things he loved about Daddy while "Sunshine" wrote "DADDY" out for the first time and mastered her name after learning to write a "D" today. {So proud of my writers!}

I'm not sure a boy could adore his father more.

Did I mention she's just 2?? {Insert proud Mama smile.} THREE this Monday!
Daddy loves fresh fettucini with a hearty, vegetable-heavy Bolognese sauce, finished off with homemade chocolate chip cookies, so that was the menu tonight.

Eager to try out a new, but basic, chocolate chip cookie recipe, the kids and I made these cookies from earlier in the day. I tried Yummy Mummy's Kitchen first, but realized I could get lost on blogs quickly if I searched so I settled for AllRecipes's "Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies", with a few alterations {agave nectar in place of white sugar, egg whites in place of eggs, whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour, dark chocolate chunks, and reduced amounts of "Smart Balance" - I resisted the urge to add ground flax or chia seeds}.

Dinner was delicious. Conversation was sweet. Then we started a new tradition: "cheersing" with our cookies in front of the fire, eating slowly, and taking turns singing whatever song comes to our head. We had some great laughs.


I *did* find this great recipe for Apple Oat Breakfast Cookies from Yummy Mummy's Kitchen that I look forward to making some time in the very near future. I'll let you know how they turn out!

Wishing you much love in your life.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Dinner in 20 Minutes

While visiting some friends in Denver, Colorado a few years ago, we were introduced to a recipe I can't believe I haven't passed along to you already. It's my favorite kind: 

- fabulous
- super easy
- nutritious
So what is it? Fresh Fettuccini with Roasted Chicken and Broccoli Rabe, courtesy of the Food Network's lovely Giada de Laurentiis. 

We use broccoli rabe when it's available and affordable, but often times we just saute or roast any yummy, green veggie, chop it up, and stick it in the pasta. 


Fresh Fettuccine with Roasted Chicken & Broccoli Rabe


  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 (9-ounce) container fresh fettuccine pasta
  • 1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups shredded roasted chicken (from 1 roasted chicken)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli rabe to a large bowl of ice water. Once cooled, drain broccoli rabe and set aside. Add the fettuccine to the same pot of boiling water and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. 

Meanwhile, bring the broth and lemon juice to a boil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Boil until the broth reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add broccoli rabe to the chicken broth and stir to combine. Add the pasta, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, pine nuts, parsley, oil, and lemon zest. Toss to coat, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Mound the pasta into bowls and serve. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.