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Back to school, back to Year 2 of Operation Dinner Table in which I try to bring some quick, yummy dinners to my Misses after school and work schedules become hectic.  Total success all the time?  No way.  A for effort?  Most of the time.  Sitting down together for a few quiet moments during the day.  Absolutely.

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo

This recipe is bound for heavy rotation on school nights.  The original recipe (link below) calls for fresh pasta, but I used dried.  Easier for an “on hand” dinner! Once you put the pasta in the pot to boil, start the sauce and the whole thing is done in about 10 minutes!.  If you don’t want to defrost the peas in advance, put them in the strainer and they will thaw as you pour the drained pasta water over them.  So easy!

Lighter Fettuccine Alfredo

3/4 cup half and half, divided

1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg

1 Tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. salt, divided

1 tsp. cornstarch

9 oz. fettuccine

2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Frozen green peas, thawed (optional)

1.  In a large pot, bring water (about 6 quarts) and 1 tablespoon of salt to boil for pasta.  Once you place the fettuccine into boiling water, cook to al dente according to package directions.

**Disclaimer – I skipped step two for 8 and 10 years olds…  2.  Ladle 1/2 cup of the boiling water into the serving bowls and set aside (the boiling water warms the bowls which will help the sauce keep a warm and creamy as long as possible).

3.  In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of the half and half, the nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a simmer.

4.  In a small measuring cup, whisk the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup of half and half until smooth.

5.  Add to saucepan, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.

6.  Remove the pan from heat and cover.

7.  Remove the cooked pasta from heat; reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining, then drain the pasta.

8.  Return the sauce back to the stovetop over medium-low heat.

9.  Whisk in 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.  Gradually add the cheese, whisking constantly to incorporate, until the sauce is smooth.

10.  Add the pasta, and peas if desired, to the cheese sauce and heat for about 1 minute, or until the sauce thickens enough to lightly coat the pasta. (Add some of the remaining 1/4 cup pasta water to thin the sauce if it seems too thick.)

11.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

12.  If you heated the serving bowls, empty the water from them.  Divide the pasta among the serving dishes and enjoy.

Source:  Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures who cites (The Best Light Recipe)

Explanation…

I’ve been missing here for awhile…  I can’t explain it any better than a post my sister wrote on Facebook, so I am stealing her words:

“This is a strange post to write since I have not addressed this at all on FB… but my father passed away yesterday after a prolonged decline in mental health from advanced dementia and physical health from parkinsons. For the first time in years, his mind and body are finally calm and peaceful. As my mom’s neighbor said, “I know he is in heaven playing basketball and working in the yard again.” I hope that is true. He was a very simple man, and the few things he loved to do were robbed from him as the diseases progressed. I am thankful that my sister, my mom, and I were there when he died… after feeling very alone trapped in his own chaos and confusion for so long, he was not alone at the end. And a very heartfelt thank you to my friends who have supported me and my family throughout this time.”

Dad with F

 Love this photo of my dad, back in 2004, with Miss F after her baptism.

Friday Cocktail Wisdom

I shared the first couple of quotes that I have left for the Misses in this post.

This one is all for me.  :)

breakfast wine

Happy Friday!

I started leaving little quotes printed out on the Misses bathroom mirror for the past few weeks (once school started).  My mommy has instilled in me (reluctantly and received in a glass-half-empty-eye-rolling kind of way) that the power of positive thinking is really a legit thing.  “Fake it ’til you make it” is a favorite of hers.

Anyway, I’ve always been a sucker for inspirational quotes, so I’m forcing them subtly reminding the Misses of the powers of their thoughts and actions.

The last two:

Dahl quote

and

littlefiercequote

One of the things I hope for is that my girls will be good, lovely AND fierce! :)

Any suggestions for quotes I can share with them next?

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend.  We went to see these guys on Saturday, so mine was pretty good!  They were hilarious!

I’ve been needing distraction here lately, so thought I’d find a cute monogrammed something for you.  And how cute are these clutch purses?

NavyCanvasClutch

I used to have foldover canvas purses in grade school that I got from a monogram store in the Galleria in Houston. It was THE place in the preppy 80s.  (I can’t find any reference to it online, but it was a little kiosk in the mall that all my eighth grade friends coveted every item in).  They looked  nothing like this, but were a step on my road to a lifelong love of monogrammed goods!

PinkCanvasClutch

How much do I LOVE this hot pink version?? Navy is good too, though… It also comes in lime (swoon) and black for $88 at DKM Accessories.

PinkCanvasClutch2

All images above from DKM Accessories website.

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