December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

Jan

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

That Fettucini Alfredo Recipe...

Hi everyone!  Happy Saturday to you. 

The sun is FINALLY out here!  Yesterday we had snow, rain, sleet, hail, spit ball snow (the stingy kind of little pellet snow) and strong winds - gusting up to 40 mph.  The clouds were scudding by so quickly, blowing out over Lake Michigan; sometimes gloomy and dark, sometimes bright deep blue sunny patches of sky. All happening in super-fast motion!  The weather was absolutely nuts yesterday.

Today it's cold - cold - COLD!  I woke up to 27 degrees F at 6:30 a.m.  Brrrrr!  So on April 20th I'm still running around in winter coat, scarf, and mittens.  But at least the sun is out today, thank Goddess!  The sky is mostly clear, and a rich sky blue/robin's egg blue, with a few white fluffy clouds.  After nearly two weeks of buckets of rain and constant gloom and bone-chilling cold and dampness, I am sooooo looking forward to Las Vegas.  Current temperature there right now (2 hours behind my time of 10:49 a.m.) is 62 degrees, with an expected high today of 82 degrees, and zero per cent chance of precipitation.  Wooo wooo!

Last night I made up that fabulously easy recipe for home-made fettucine alfredo.  I thought I had posted the actual recipe I used, but nope, I provided a link instead to the website where I found the recipe.

I have made the recipe several times since discovering it at Love, Pomengranate House -- actually it is part of a recipe for fettucine alredo and parmesan chicken that looks as delicious in the photographs at LPH as it sounds.  I extracted only the recipe for making the alfredo sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

  •       2 tbsp butter
    1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a medium sauce pan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add heavy whipping cream and bring to a low simmer. Add 1 cup parmesan cheese and stir until incorporated and melted.
    2. Add cooked pasta to alfredo sauce and mix until pasta is covered.
    This recipe makes enough for one pound of cooked fettucini pasta, way more than I need for feeding myself.  So the first time I made it, I cut the recipe into 1/4 -- using 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, with about a teaspoon of garlic powder (I cannot eat raw garlic, not even sauteed - gives me heartburn), and 1 teaspoon butter.  Worked like a charm.

    But I noticed that sometimes when I made it after that first successful try, my sauce "broke," especially noticeable as it would cool down from cooking temperature.  Didn't know why.  Then one day a few months ago I was watching Cook's Country on PBS and this exact issue came up!  The way to prevent the sauce from breaking is to add cornstarch!  Evidently there is a chemical reaction that occurs among the butter, cheese and cream that may cause it to break -- something to do with how molecules clump together -- but adding cornstarch prevents this chemical reaction from occurring by coating the molecules with the cornstarch that prevents them from clumping together.

    The next time I made up this recipe I pulled out my cornstarch and added like 1/4 teaspoon.  It worked like a charm!  Absolutely no clumps, no breaking in the sauce.  The cornstarch did not affect the texture or the flavor of the sauce, either.

    So, that's a tip from me via Cook's Country -- if you make this recipe, add some cornstarch to it.

    Last night I made a half-recipe and added about a teaspoon of cornstarch.  My sauce did not break, turned out perfectly.  This has turned into one of my favorite recipes - so easy and quick to make and absolutely delicious!  The sauce comes together so quickly that I make my pasta first and then put it on the side (off heat but still in the water) and only drain the pasta when the sauce is just ready to be added to it! 

    Salt isn't needed -- there is plenty of salt in the parmesan cheese.  But I do add a sprinkling of black pepper.  YUM! 

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