If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane. - Jimmy Buffett
Now, THERE is basis for complete agreement! And for those of you who have very limited food budgets, perhaps shopping at a food pantry or using food stamps or food commodities, laughter is one way of releasing some of your pressure! Food and the outcomes we present to our families can provide some laughter…
For example, we could look to my first attempt to make angel food cake as a new bride. It looked fine when it came out of the oven. In those days, we used a soda pop bottle to cool the angel food pan. By the time it cooled, it was just a tiny little pad of dough. My new husband asked, quite innocently, “Why do you have the pizza dough in this pan with a hole?” I was not amused at the time-I was in tears- but now I can see the humor and it does make me laugh out loud.
As we pass from the old, worn out year into the fresh new year, filled with hope, I wish for you that laughter may assault your lips! I hope every pocket of every pair of jeans you own will magnetize hundred dollar bills! I hope the issues of 2008 will lose your home address and I hope your neighbors will hear the laughter coming from your happy, healthy home!
Meanwhile, we must prepare dinner! Today’s recipe idea comes from the Tecumseh Central Market. Now, bear in mind that they are, understandably, selling their store brand…if you do not have their brand you are allowed to use the products you got from the food pantry. The Food Police will not be knocking on your door to check the skillets or the menu!
CHICKEN FETTUCCINI STIR-FRY
1 pound fettuccini pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2″ strips
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups snap peas
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 grape tomatoes, cut in halves
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Heat oil in large saute pan or wok over high heat Add chicken and stir fry, stirring occasionally until cooked through (3-5 mins) REMOVE chicken from pan
Add onions to pan; cook until soft, about 4 minutes
Add garlic and cook one minute. Add snap peas and cook 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium. Add half and half and butter; cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Add cooked pasta, chicken, tomatoes, parsley , salt and pepper; toss to combine and heat through
Serve immediately, garnished with a sprig of fresh basil, if you have it.
This makes a beautiful dish and it’s quick and easy while nutritious at the same time. Don’t fret if you don’t have SNAP PEAS, regular peas will do. If you have no half and half in your fridge, it’s no crime to substitute milk, even if it is the dry, prepared kind.
I was pleased to see that Tecumseh Central Market is featuring chicken breasts in their sale circular this week; maybe your market has a special going, too. Checking it out will be worth your time.
If you have grape tomatoes to cut, but little time, try this trick I learned from watching Rachel Ray: Put a deli lid on your counter and place the tomatoes (this works for grapes, as well) on the lid and place a SECOND lid over the product. Using a serrated edge knife, and holding the top lid in place with one hand, slice from side to side, between the two lids. You will have perfectly sliced tomatoes or grapes in a fraction of the time it would take to do them one by one!
We hope you remember to consult with our professional partners at Saving Dinner when planning and shopping for menus in your home! And if you have not entered your name and email address for our series of cooking tips, please visit Food Stamps Cooking Club !