Friday, April 4, 2008

Finally....Friday Night Together!

It has been 3 months since Chris and I had a Friday night together due to Chris’ 7pm-7am shift. No more! Chris is done with nights and I am so very happy! To celebrate many more dinners together these upcoming months I wanted to make his favorite meal.
I have mentioned what a picky eater he is and posted his favorite dish in March 2007 Chris loves chicken alfredo (he orders it everywhere we go). At home, I have been making the EXACT same sauce for over two years. I decided to go CRAZY and try a new recipe (which is very daring since Chris likes to stick to a good thing when he finds it). :) I am so glad I was feeling adventurous! Chris loved the change! I was inspired by a recipe I found on In an attempt to sneak some “green” in to my picky husbands diet, I added one of the only vegetables he will eat….broccoli. Chris’ review….”Mmmmmm”.
In addition to the pasta, we had some delicious Oven Fried Chicken Tenders. I recently read (I apologize for not recalling which of the many food blogs I read that I saw this post) someone used cereal and bagel chips to coat chicken tenders. I decided to give it a try! The result….delicious! A simple, Chris pleasing meal. :)

Chris’ Special Broccoli Alfredo Pasta
Inspired and modified from

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 teaspoons minced garlic
8 ounces pasta (I used thin spaghetti)
1 bag steamed broccoli florets (Birdseye Steam Fresh)
3 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (Adds a great kick!)
salt to taste (additional for pasta water)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Parsley (garnish)
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Combine broth and garlic cloves in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
After the garlic has simmered about 10 minutes, cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring often, for 9 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, add cornstarch mixture to simmering broth; whisk it until slightly thickened, about 15 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk in sour cream, nutmeg, pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt. Return the pot to very low heat to keep the sauce warm. (Do not boil.)
Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Add bag of steamed broccoli. Add the sauce and 3/4 cup Parmesan; toss to coat well. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately, passing the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan separately.

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders
Cooking Spray (I used Pam Olive Oil)
1 cups rice-corn crispy cereal, (I used Crispex)
2 cups broken bagel chips
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in to strips (4 strips per breast- 8 total)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

First, combine crispy cereal and bagel chips in blender or food processor and pulverize until crumb consistency.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a resealable plastic bag or shallow dish, combine cereal/bagel chip mixture, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Brush each chicken breast with Dijon mustard. Add chicken to seasoning mixture with tongs and turn to coat both sides. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Bake 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

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