This Week

Categories: bacon, beef, Bread, Breakfast, Cheese, Chicken, Dessert, Food and drink, German food, Potato, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cream Cheese Spinach Alfredo



That’s the name of one of the local grocery store’s monthly magazine. It really is mostly advertising: coupons and recipes using ingredients that you can find on their shelves. Since it is free, I flip through the pages just in case one or two photos might inspire me.

Of course, the January issue contains recipes that promise to help you with your New Year’s resolutions. Since all of the ingredients in the Lightened-Up Pasta Alfredo happened to already be in my kichen, I decided to tear that page out. It stuck to my refrigerator door as a reminder for me to prepare it sometime this week.

The catch is that I didn’t have the “light” cream cheese or the “low-sodium” chicken broth, so I can’t tell you if their diet-version actually tastes good or has a good texture.

The other substitution I made was lime zest for the lemon, and I don’t recommend it. Otherwise, the no-heavy-cream alfredo was quite tasty.

Ingredients (for about 4 servings):

9 oz spaghetti/fettuccine/linguine (your choice), prepared according to package directions

Zest of one lemon

6 oz fresh spinach leaves, cut into shreds then chopped

1 T butter

2 tsp minced garlic

5 T cream cheese

1 c chicken broth

1/8 t nutmeg

½ c grated Parmesan cheese



Cook the spinach in about 1/2 cup of water until the leaves just begin to wilt. Drain the water off and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Fluff the spinach apart with a fork, and set it aside.

Saute the garlic in the butter for about one minute. Add the cream cheese and chicken broth, whisking to smooth out the liquid. Season with nutmeg, salt & pepper (You can add the lemon zest if you are interested.). Let this mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan.

Combine the spinach and cooked pasta. Pour the alfredo sauce over the pasta, and stir the combination so that everything is coated evenly.

Enjoy! We had some leftover cold ham on the side.





Categories: Cheese, Food and drink, pasta, sauces & condiments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Church Picnic

church picnic shelter

Summer is drawing to a close. Schools have started. Sunsets are coming more quickly.  Since the state parks close at dark this means that the time for grilling at the park will soon pass as well.

Our church family enjoyed a few hours together this past weekend. Planning and organization was made a bit easier by the use of Mailchimp. With this internet tool, attendees are invited via email to R.S.V.P. and sign up for items to contribute to the event.  When you visit the web page you are able to see which other guests have replied and what parts of the menu are already taken care of.  Depending on how the host sets up the form you can choose to be general or specific about what you plan to contribute.

I signed up to bring a side dish. Other categories included designated fruit salad, and bags of chips, so I figured that they were looking for something more like a vegetable when they typed in “side dish”.

Southern Living had a recipe for Street Corn Salad that looked attractive with the variety of colors. The simplicity of preparation was also attractive, since there were only two steps to follow:

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients; whisk in olive oil.
  2. Stir together corn, radishes, and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Gently stir in dressing; spoon mixture onto a serving platter, and sprinkle with cheese.

I made changes to the ingredients list in order to save money: eliminated the $1.99 radishes, used lemon juice instead of fresh limes, sea salt instead of kosher, thawed frozen corn instead of scraping kernels off the cob, substituted grape for cherry tomatoes, and used up the half container of feta cheese that was in my fridge instead of buying Cotija…should I even pretend it is the same recipe?

Here is my list of ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 – 1 lb. bags frozen corn, thawed
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into halves
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled



Categories: Cheese, Food and drink, Salad, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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