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18 August 2013

Creamy Garlic Shells



Good news: I found a new show to watch! Though it is not any of  the shows my friends recommended. But I did not ignore them-- I just went with a show the hubby suggested first, a long time ago. The plot line seemed corny so I brushed it off, but in my desperate state of needing a new show to watch I succumbed to hubby pressure ;) The show is called Drop Dead Diva (on the Lifetime channel) and also Netflix's instant streaming (seasons 1-4; 5 is currently going). It's a pretty odd plot: pretty, skinny girl dies and is placed into a smart, fat girl, lawyer body; who ironically works at a firm that just hired the skinny girl's former boyfriend and love of her life. The show focuses on this odd love "triangle" (can you even call it that with two people and one ghost), all while trying different cases in court! I know, it sounds sooooo weird and dorky BUT it is pretty darn cute and funny. Though warning, I am a sucker for most things on the Lifetime channel....I know awful!

Bad news: Though I found a new show, I have not been able to watch much of it with the work I've been doing. The apartment is spotless, so I went back to my normal routine of having my life taken over by school work. Yay :/ And yesterday was no exception. I spent most of my Saturday, on campus, doing work! The hubby was really sweet and came with me, so I would not have to be by myself. So sweet-- but still boring. As for today--- more work. I have one report to write and I will do nothing but until it is complete! You probably assumed, that aftewards I could relax-- nope-- because there are about 2 papers and 6 reports that I also have to do :/ Hide me now! But, my goal is to get these done before school starts so I can have, for once in my life, a semi-relaxing semester. Is that possible? I am going to assume it is....

So before I hide myself away-- I wanted to share this pasta recipe I made the other day. I absolutely love pasta, rice and bread so much that I know those low/no-carb diets are almost impossible for me. I would rather do a lot of running than ever give up my carbs. Which is pretty much what I did for the wedding. Though,  I changed my diet, I still did not completely give up carbs. I am Sri Lankan-- curry and rice are like my staple. This recipe was pretty simple, straight forward and absolutely delicious. Ready in about 30 minutes. And it included some other flavor favorites: cheese and garlic! The combination was awesome- and the hubby loved it too. Though- I do suggest you read a few steps ahead so you have everything ready. Also, it is super duper creamy, but the creaminess was really hard to photograph, so it does not show it well-- but trust me that it was.







CREAMY GARLIC SHELLS
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats


INGREDIENTS

8 oz. mini shell pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil (divided)
1/2 bag (10.5oz) of Tysons grilled chicken strips (1 1/2 chicken breasts)

FOR THE SAUCE
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
3/4 c. heavy cream or milk
salt and pepper to taste 
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 tsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt)
cilantro or parsley for garnish (dried seasoning)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium pot of salted boiling water-- cook pasta according to package directions. Drain excess water and run cold water through pasta to prevent sticking. Keep pasta in colander. Do not return to pot. 

While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, saute chicken breasts until warm (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Sauce:
Before making the sauce, it is important to have all ingredients ready-- so as not to burn the garlic in the sauce. So get everything ready now.

In the pot used to cook the pasta, melt butter in remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Once melted, add minced garlic and saute until slightly browned and fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minutes, a thick consistency will be reached. Then slowly pour in chicken broth and heavy cream (milk), while simultaneously whisking-- until mixture is smooth. Season sauce with a little bit of salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, continue stirring sauce until it has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and stir in cheese, 1 tsp. garlic powder and herb seasoning of choice until smooth. Once smooth and thickened, dump pasta back into pot, combining with sauce-- stirring until pasta is evenly coated. Toss in chicken. Taste sauce and adjust salt, pepper and garlic powder if needed. Garnish with additional herb seasoning.

Enjoy,
Chika

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