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Today's good thing 
6th-Jun-2018 06:56 pm
Today's good thing: I was off work today, and after J left for work, Squeaky and I went back to bed and slept so late. I kept resetting the alarm. Squeaky would get up and ask hopefully if we were getting up, but I kept saying no. I dreamed just about the whole time, but they weren't the exhausting kind, just very vivid. I even had my first Anderson Dawes dream. I had just rewatched an ep of The Expanse before I went back to bed.

When I finally got up, I made a Piggly Wiggly run for some of the Wednesday specials, and coincidentally, since Tierra Caliente is right next door, I picked up some lunch.

I also did laundry, potted some plants and planted more zinnias, trimmed some shrubs, watered everything, and just sat on the porch.

I made the recipe below for dinner. I had been wanting to try one of the "one pot" dinners. I made some substitutions:

No wine, so I used the lemon water option. If I make this again, I would either leave out the extra cup of liquid - - I had to dip some liquid out before adding the cheese, and it was still not all that thick - - or cut back on the stock and lemon water.

I used fettuccine, because that's what I had.

I used fresh tomatoes, but they didn't hold up great, so i would use sun-dried next time.

I used 5 ounces of cheese, because that was what was in the container I bought, and it was fine.

J thought it was bland, despite the Italian seasoning, garlic(could probably increase that next time), salt, pepper and onion.

One-Pot Cheesy Italian Pasta and Chicken

8 ounces baby spinach leaves, divided
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and Italian herbs, drained (about 7 ounces)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1/2" bite size pieces)
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 pound dry linguine
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken stock
1 cup (8 ounces) chardonnay wine
4 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded

Combine 1/2 of the spinach with the tomatoes, onion, chicken, garlic, linguine, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pour chicken stock and wine over top. Cover and bring to a boil.

Cook 7-9 minutes until pasta is al dente (with a bite to it). Toss pasta with tongs occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. You will still have some liquid in the pan when the pasta is done cooking. This is going to make the base for our delicious cheese sauce.

Turn off the heat and add the cheese to the pasta. Toss pasta with tongs until the cheese melts into the pasta. Toss in remaining spinach. Serve and enjoy!

DONNA'S SIMPLE KITCHEN TIP: Dried Italian Seasoning is a fabulous convenience ingredient. If you do not keep it on hand, combine 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.

This dish is just spicy enough to make your tongue tingle. For a very mild sauce, reduce the red pepper flakes to 1/2 teaspoon.

I know some people are sensitive to alcohol. The wine adds a fabulous rich buttery flavor and a bright citrusiness to the pasta. If you can use the chardonnay, I highly recommend it. However, you can substitute with chicken stock, white grape juice, or lemon water (1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup water).
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