Last Night’s Dinner: Broccoli Alfredo

I sorta followed this recipe I found on Pinterest: Fettuccine alfredo.
By sorta you can probably guess that I kinda fudged some measurements.

alfredo sauce with broccoli

Here’s my version–Mostly eyeballed

Cut 6 tablespoons butter into a soup pot on medium low heat. Saute a diced onion and 3-4 tablespoons of minced garlic in the butter. I added salt and pepper periodically through the cooking stages–To the onion stage and after the cream had thickened a bit. Grate 1 1/2 or 2 cups parmesan and set aside. 

While you’re waiting for the onions to go translucent, start boiling a large pot of water with an eyeballed amount of salt in it. Once the water began to warm I threw in a bag of frozen, chopped broccoli pieces. When the water comes to a boil add a whole box of fettuccine or whatever pasta your darn well feel like eating! Screw the rules of a specific pasta to a specific sauce. I almost made it with bow ties. Set a timer for al dente recommended on the box. Otherwise you’ll forget about it and overcook it….Not that I would ever do that.

Once the onions are ready, add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. Bring to a super soft boil. Make sure you get tiny bubbles but that can be calmed by stirring, which I did almost constantly. I was terrified that I would burn it. All the recipes and cooks will tell you that the cream will reduce.  Folks, unless I had dumped it back into a measuring cup, I would not have been able to tell at all. And who dumps cream into a measuring cup to check? I  had my on a soft boil for about five minutes and the cream did seem thicker.

pasta in bowl

I turned the heat off but left the pot on the electric stove top–It was getting some residual heat. Slowly stir in the grated parmesan little handfuls at a time. When each little handful melts down, add another until your 1 1/2 cups are in the sauce. If you don’t think it will be too thick go ahead and add the extra half cup. I reserved mine as a topping for when I served my pasta.

Next, I used a smallish sieve to scoop the broccoli out of the pasta pot. Mostly the broccoli floated to the top and the pasta to the bottom so it worked out nicely. You may want to test a piece of broccoli for tenderness. Mine was done about four minutes before my pasta timer went off. I threw the broccoli straight into the sauce because it was ready just a couple minutes before my broccoli.

When the pasta timer buzzes, drain it and add it to the alfredo. Stir it around and serve as you like. I didn’t even notice any troubles reheating this on the stove later. There are so many fats in the sauce that I didn’t need to add anything extra. Heat on low with a lid to keep from scorching the pasta.

A quick tip on the parm. I bought a block and grated it myself. Typically store bought pre-grated cheese has added flour (or probably some evil chemicals) to keep it from sticking back together. This also means it can be harder to melt into a sauce. Use pre-grated at your own risk. I’m sure it would work in a pinch. Don’t use the foot-cheese AKA powdered parm tho. For real, just don’t.Pasta close

Okay, I realize how irritating it is to read a recipe in the middle of shitty narrative. So, for those who are simply skimming for a recipe:

Broccoli alfredo

6 tablespoons butter
1 diced onion
3-4 tablespoons of minced garlic
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups parmesan, grated (Grate it yourself!)
bag of chopped, frozen broccoli
1 box of fettuccine/pasta 


-Saute onions and garlic in butter.
-Cook broccoli and pasta (al dente) in a pasta pot together.
-Soft boil and keep stirring cream until slightly thickened approx 5 min.
-Turn off heat and add 1 1/2 cups parm at a time. Stir in until melted.
-When tender, add broccoli to sauce.
-Drain al dente pasta and add to sauce.
-Scarf it down!

It is ridonkulous that that is all it takes to make this amazing pasta.

Finger Knitting

Just before Christmas I discovered this craft called finger knitting. Okay, I might be stretching the truth. I had a pin for finger knitting, but had never tried it and found out the Instructables video (linked below) that Beffers found was much simpler. Beffers (my SiL) learned it and showed me how cool it was. As soon as she showed me what she was doing I demanded she send me the pin and help me along. Yes, demanded is the right word. I lacked the gumption ever try it. And yet, it didn’t need gumption to learn! Just about 10 minutes and then I replayed the video to make sure it sank into my brain. It makes me wonder what other gems are hiding in the depths of my pin boards. Are you a cool pin hoarder too?fingerknitting1

Here is the link to the sweet tutorial video. Before you click I want you to know that the video is a little odd as it is shot upside down and the maker of the vid at one point misidentifies her fingers. Just keep watching what her hands do and don’t worry about silly little things like a mix up in words. Instructables wins again!

Sorry for the fuzzy-vision

Sorry for the fuzzy-vision

There are many different things you can do with your finger knit projects depending on your level of creativity. Bracelets, scarves, and (my favorite) Christmas tree garland. 20131213_212018
Beffers followed the tips on this website, the blogger made several different strands of different colors and then laced them together to make a beautiful rainbow scarf. It helps that Marlena has phenomenal hair to go with her lovely rainbow scarf. Instead of making a rainbow scarf, Beffers knitted orange and gray together then laced the strands to make a huge fluffy scarf to match the handmade hat her hubbster had received as a gift the previous year. You gotta love handmade matching fashion!

Isn't he adorable?

Isn’t he adorable?

A couple of quick tips to add to the awesome bloggers and instructors there already are out in the world. To take a break and save your work put your finger loops onto a chopstick. I was going for marathon knitting and couldn’t avoid a potty break any longer so that tip really helped me. If you are teaching a younger person or it is your first time trying finger knitting, avoid the fru-fru fancy yarns and just pick a no frills yarn to learn. Later on you can do the fancy stuff but it is important to learn it at first.

It Takes a Village

ymcalogoIn this case it doesn’t take a village of people to raise a child, but a community to help me get fit. My mum was reading my blog and noticed me mention I wanted to get in shape in the new year.

My biggest issues are starting a routine and to be held accountable for working out. It is very, very easy for me to talk myself out of going to the gym or doing some sit ups. It is much easier to put a kettle on for a cup of tea.

So my mom is sponsoring me at the local YMCA.  She added me to her membership plan–Just so long as I use it. Which I fully intend to do!
I don’t so much have a plan yet or a routine. I’m trying to figure out which machines I prefer, the times I can go and when certain classes are being held.

So far, I am really enjoying the general vibe of the gym. There are people like me that are out of shape and just doing their best. There are also folks there that are already in shape and are extremely friendly. That is not something I felt when I went to my university gym. It is nice to think others are happy you are trying rather than trying to show you up or boot you out.

Today makes day three of my membership and day three in a row I will have gone to the gym. So far my plan is working because each time I go I have a buddy to come with me–I am being held accountable for showing up. My mom is an old pro and goes either swimming or lifting about everyday. My arm muscles are sore today from lifting yesterday. Love it and I can’t wait to lift some more on Monday.

Once I settle on a routine I am hoping to incorporate swimming, toning with the weight machines, cardio on the elliptical. I am keen to get into the zumba and yoga classes. Everyone tells me that the spinning classes are done, but I’m still not entirely convinced. I will try.

So can I get some likes to keep it up?
I promise not to share every single detail of my workouts, but if I reach some milestones I’ll share, or if need some encouragement it would be wonderful to find some here from my readers. Besides, over-sharing is for Facebook. I can’t promise I won’t share a gym selfie. hehehe.

REBLOG: 159. I first kissed her when I was eleven and she was ten

It is harder to pack a load of emotions and meaning into a short story than an epic novel. Well done.

300 stories

I first kissed her when I was eleven and she was ten. It was all very shy and cutesy and twee. Eyes closed, two lips locking, no tongue of course. No spark either. We called it love but was it really anything more than liking each other’s company? A simple sealing of a close friendship?

 

cover

Read the rest of the tale and 100 more stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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Movie: Robot and Frank

robot&frankposterRobot and Frank (2012)

IMDB does a great job with their super simplified plot, so why re-write it?
“Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.”IMDB

Let’s meet the main players:

Frank–A retired codger that wants to keep living in his old house. He tries to keep in touch with his two grown children who are off and away. He loves walking to the library for outdated printed material and to flirt with the local librarian. He hates the idea of needing any caretakers, either robots or nursing homes, but he is starting to forget things….

Hunter & Madison–I think someone tried to write these two characters as vastly different people, but they are siblings and children of Frank. They live busy lives and can’t take care of their aging father. Hunter buys dad a butler/in-home nursing robot as an alternative to committing him to an old folks home. Madison is played by the cherubic Liv Tyler and her character hates robots with AI.

Robot–I was disappointed he never got a name, but the title of the movie kinda tells you that. Robot is programmed to track Frank’s health and help him set up a routine to help him remember. He is not programmed to understand the immorality of theft.

Robot_And_Frankwoods

Jennifer–Okay, I really had no clue that this character had a name. I love Susan Sarandon and she doesn’t disappoint. The librarian is trying to come to terms with the fact that her job, print materials,
and libraries as homes of quiet research are being phased out.

Her library is becoming a community center. She likes Frank.

Snarky or Insight of Some Sort

  • The genre is a Comedy/Drama. I must say that the story was extremely well balanced. I warn you that there are some sad bits because apparently I am a sadness weenie.
  • Please, please, please, give this movie a watch. The run-time is something like an hour and a half. It can be found on Netflix Instant.
  • The acting was good but I found the two children not so lovable. Perhaps there had to be tension so they could explain some back story. Makes me worry how I will treat my parents if/when I must make decisions for them.

Lessons I learned from the movie: 

  • I want a robot as a care-taker. Screw nursing homes and communities.
  • Dementia runs in my family and still freaks me out.
  • Story telling is an art. Witnessed.
  • Liv Tyler always tricks me. She looks beautiful and casual all at the same time.

Would I recommend it to others?
YES, yes, yes, yes!!
What’s so great about it?
The character relationships. I never doubted that Frank was actually conversing with Robot. I completely got sucked into the story. Because the characters have such a pull I was cracking up laughing or on the edge of my seat whenever a twist in the story took place. There are also beautiful woodland scenes throughout.

I would blog more about this movie, but I don’t want to give all the fun parts away and I don’t want to waste your time. Go look it up or check it out and pop some popcorn!
I hope to find a copy of this to add to my collection.

~Kat~