Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Recipe: Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

I love asta alfredo, but usually steer clear of it because of the fat and calories that go along with the tastiness. Thanks to Iowa Girl Eats, and her Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, however, we can once again enjoy pasta alfredo, minus the fattening part.

This easy-for-weeknights dish is healthy, filling, and delicious. Just make it and see for yourself.

Here's the list of ingredients needed to make this dish:
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces (I cut corners on this step and used Honey Roasted Perdue Shortcuts)
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli (Again, I took the easy route and bought steam-in-a-bag broccoli florets)
  • 8 oz. Rotini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk (any kind, I used lactaid milk left over from a recipe last week)
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Once you have everything set out and measured, you are on your way to enjoying Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo.

First, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, reserving 1/2 a cup of the starchy pasta water before draining. Set aside.

Next, heat the EVOO in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.

Add in the garlic

And stir constantly, until golden brown (about one minute).

Sprinkle in flour

Then whisk the mixture and cook for an additional minute

Next, slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk

Whisk in the Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper

Turn the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer until thickened (about 2-3 minutes)

Turn the heat off and stir in the Parmesan cheese

Next stir in the chicken

Pour the mixture over the cooked pasta

Next add in your cooked broccoli and stir well. If the sauce is too thick, add in a bit of the reserved cooking water.

Serve and enjoy!

Check out the recipe for Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo and other tasty recipes on my What's Cookin' page.

Messy Jess C.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Spring 30 for 30 - Outfit 30
Banana Top (similar and similar)/ J.Crew Skirt/ Nine West Shoes from DSW (similar)/ Forever XXI Flower (similar)/ J.Crew Necklace (similar)
There is a place where the sidewalk ends, along with my Spring 30 for 30, and this is it (see where the sidewalk literally ends?).

It's been a fun month of outfits, but I am excited to wear some different clothes. And, although there were a few items of clothing I chose to include in my 30 selected items that I only wore one or two times, overall, my items served me well for this season's 30 for 30.

Until the next 30 for 30, stay tuned for my Summer Shopping Wish List, more delicious recipes, Friday Favorites, posts about tackling the rest of my 30 for 2012 list, and even some new outfits.

Also, a huge thanks to all of you for helping me stay motivated to write Messy Jess C. I hope you continue to enjoy this blog. If any of you have suggestions for posts and topics you would like to read about in the future, please leave a comment below or email me. Thanks again for helping make Messy Jess C. a success!

Messy Jess C.
Love Messy Jess C? Then don't miss it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend in Photos

Good morning friends! Hope you all had a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. I had a great weekend with my family. Here are some picture highlights from my trip. Check out more fun weekend photos and follow along on my Instagram Page.

See you all tomorrow for the last day of my Spring 30 for 30!

Messy Jess C.

Love Messy Jess C? Then don't miss it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Favorites

Spring 30 for 30 - Outfit 25
Bloomingdale's Blazer/ Gap Top/ Thrifted Pencil Skirt/ Thrifted Nine West Heels
Well friends, we made it to the end of the week. I hope you all have a very safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. While you are enjoying the unofficial start to the summer I also hope you will all take a moment to remember those who sacrificed their lives to protect each and every one of us.

Here's one of my favorite Toby Keith videos for the occasion.

As we head into the holiday weekend, below is a round up of this week's Friday Favorites. Enjoy! See you all next week.

Check out these Memorial Day treats.

Patriotic Cherry  and Blueberry Pie from Pinterest:

Memorial Day Cupcakes from 3rd Generation Cake Lady blog

These pretzel sparklers from Le Top Blog

And this parfait from Better Homes and Gardens

 While we are on the topic of food, how fun are these ways to play with food?

Veggie Boats from Oh Happy Day blog

And these Mason Jar Salads from the Daily Muse

As someone who is geographically challenged, this wallpaper from apartment therapy would be perfect for me.

For those of you who work in an office, enjoy The Office: According to Stock Photos from the Daily Muse, including the following photo which conveys that "it's not that we're all extremely uncomfortable with one another and feel the need to appear important by making pretend phone calls to the office the instant the meeting was over - we really are that important.
 And for all of us whose worlds revolve around the Internet, this graphic on what to do when the Internet is down also from the Daily Muse.

From Cheetah is the New Black blog, check out these picks for a day at the beach

The perfect quote

And finally a funny video that will make you laugh as we head into the weekend. Enjoy!

Messy Jess C.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Recipe: One Pot Macaroni and Cheese

There's nothing quite like the comforting taste of homemade Macaroni and Cheese. Unfortunately, homemade Mac and Cheese also comes with the price of a lot of dishes to clean, along with waiting what feels like forever between prepping and eating.

Well my friends, everything you know about Mac and Cheese is about to change thanks to White on Rice Couple blog with their recipe for One Pot Macaroni and Cheese. Yep, you heard that right - homemade mac and cheese made with just one pot in about half the time of baked mac and cheese.

Here's what you need to get started:

2 cups large elbow Macaroni, uncooked (about 1/2 lb)
2 cups low fat Milk (about 16 oz) and if needed, an additional 1/4 cup milk or water for final cooking

1 tablespoon Butter, for flavor; 1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder; 1 teaspoon Salt, plus additional for final season later; and a generous dash of Nutmeg

1 cup Grated Cheese, any one or combination of ( jack, cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan*, asiago*, pecorino*) *Hard cheeses are best combined with a secondary, softer, better melting cheese; additional toppings: bacon bits, bread crumbs, chopped parsley, diced tomatoes (optional); and black pepper to taste (optional)

Once you have all of your ingredients, place the raw elbow macaroni in colander and quickly rinse under water. Let it drain.

Next, in medium sauce pan, add milk, raw elbow macaroni, salt, butter, mustard powder and nutmeg.

On medium heat, slowly bring mixture to a simmer, stirring the macaroni frequently as it comes up to a simmer. This will separate macaroni and keep them from sticking together. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE! (unless you want a big mess on your stove).

Once the mixture comes to a simmer, immediately turn the heat down to LOW. Stir the mixture frequently so the macaroni cooks evenly and absorbs milk evenly. If you don’t stir your mixture frequently, you will get a big clump of macaroni in the end! Stir, stir stir!

Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until milk has been fully absorbed. If macaroni is not cooked fully, add a little more milk or water to mixture (in small amounts) until macaroni is fully cooked (another 5 minutes)

Once the milk has evaporated, stir the cheese evenly into the macaroni.

Then, turn off the heat and place lid on top of pan and cover for about 5 minutes. This rest period will allow macaroni to plump up and absorb any excess milk.

Add any additional toppings of your choice and stir one final time to mix everything together. Serve immediately.

On the whole, I am pleased with how the recipe turned out. Still, if I were to make this again, there are a few things I would changed to make it even tastier.

First I would have used non-lactaid milk. Being lactose intolerant, I thought this might make it easier on me, but it added a sweet taste to it that mixed with the nutmeg and then cheese just didn't jive very well.

Second, I would use regular noodles. I was trying to be healthy using whole wheat noodles, but they taste slightly different that regular noodles and take a bit longer to cook, so I would want to see if this helped improve the flavor at all.

Finally, I would probably add a bit more cheese and maybe use a different mix to give it a bit more flavor as well. This time I used a mix of cheddar and monterey jack, but I might use a mix of this along with something that has a stronger flavor next time.

Still, you can't go wrong with one pot macaroni and cheese that is ready in under a half hour.

Check out this and other delicious recipes on my What's Cookin' page.
Messy Jess C.

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