Daily Archives: January 5, 2013

The "Beauty" of Homeschooling ;o)

I walked into B’s bathroom to put a new box of tissue in there and found his Math curriculum (his current Life of Fred book, the copybook where he answers the questions and a pencil inside).  I went looking for him and asked why they were in there.  He said he had to poop while in the middle of his lesson, so he brought it into the bathroom with him because he didn’t want to put it down.  He really enjoys Life of Fred and I’m so glad Julie at Creekside Learning told me about it!

This picture sums up to me, the “beauty” of homeschooling – that learning can be and is done anywhere, everywhere.  Even in the bathroom.  :o)

Recipe for My Creamy Spinach Pasta with Grilled Chicken

A couple of weeks ago I got a craving for some pasta with a creamy, spinach sauce and some grilled chicken on top.  Yesterday, I finally decided to make it for myself for lunch and it was delicious!  I usually make creamed spinach from scratch, but I didn’t have any fresh spinach in the house so I improvised.

1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of minced shallot
9 oz box of frozen, creamed spinach
Milk
Pepper and nutmeg to taste
Butter
Asiago cheese, freshly grated
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
You favorite pasta, cooked

I fired up my countertop grill/griddle with the grill plates, rubbed a little Wegmans Basting Oil onto the chicken breasts and grilled them for 4 minutes with the grill top down.  I put the frozen, creamed spinach in the microwave to thaw.

I heated 1/2 tbsp of butter into a small saucepan (you can use any kind of oil, instead, if you like) and sautéed the shallot for 5 minutes until very soft.  Then I tossed in the garlic and sautéed for another minute or two until the garlic was cooked (you can smell the difference) but didn’t brown.

Then I added in the thawed, creamed spinach and heated it up.  I added some 1% milk (you could also use heavy cream), probably about 1/2 cup, but you can add more or less to get the thin or thick consistency you want. Once the milk was heated through and I had the consistency I wanted, I turned off the heat and grated a palmful of Asiago cheese into the pan, stirring until it melted.  I just happened to have received a hunk of asiago cheese for Christmas, but you can use Parmesan, Romano, whatever you have.

Then I added pepper and nutmeg to taste.  I have the actual “nuts” and love grating some fresh nutmeg into spinach dishes and broccoli soups.  Mmmmm!  I have heard many TV chefs say that if you don’t have fresh nutmeg to grate into a dish, don’t bother putting any in, like the nutmeg in spice jars won’t add any benefit to a dish or will ruin it.  However, I am sure many generations of pie bakers out there would disagree!  ;o)

This made enough sauce for 3 servings of pasta.  I removed 2/3 of the sauce from the pan to a tupperware bowl to save for later, and added 1 portion of spaghetti (my pasta of choice) into the saucepan and mixed it in with the sauce.

I put the pasta with creamy spinach sauce in a bowl, topped it with half a chicken breast, sliced up, and then grated some more Asiago on top of the chicken.  Man, was it good!  And everything, including cooking the pasta, took less than 30 minutes; a perfectly doable lunch.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

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