Monday, March 3, 2014

Up Too Early

March is definitely coming in like a lion and it is so hard to even think about Spring being on the way. I spotted these daffodils poking up in my front garden yesterday morning. These poor things do not know what they are in for over the next few days. Freezing rain, sleet, 8-12" of snow and bitter cold. The kids, Kevin and I are all home (yet again) today because of the weather. Today is the kids' 9th snow day this school year. Fairfax County Public Schools uses an online learning and educational tool and the kids were both told on Friday that their teachers will be posting work and study assignments for them to complete in the event of a snow day today. So, at least they will have something to do, even if just for a short while. 

Yesterday morning, after looking at the forecast for the next few days and not knowing when I would be able to run again, I went for a great 8 mile run. Although it was cloudy, it was not terribly cold and there was no wind. I still had to bundle up but, as I well know, it could have been so much worse. Kevin also got a long run in so we should be set for a couple of days. I just hope it warms up soon and that this snow doesn't stick around for too long.   

The recipe below is going to be our dinner this evening. I saw it posted on a blog (can't remember which one) and cut & pasted it into my "dinners to try" file. 

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
8 oz rotini pasta
2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups skim milk
1 small container plain Greek yogurt (between 5 and 6 oz)
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup light blue cheese
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons buffalo wing sauce, divided
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rotini in a pot of boiling water until just under al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain then set aside.
2) Spray a large skillet over medium-high heat with nonstick spray then add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and then cook until no longer pink. Remove to a plate.
3) Turn heat down to medium then heat olive oil in the skillet, add garlic, and saute for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour then whisk until smooth and cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in milk while whisking then cook until thickened, (this can take 2-5 minutes). Remove the skillet from heat, then add Greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, and blue cheese. Stir until smooth then stir in 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce.
4) Add cooked pasta and chicken to the skillet then stir to combine. Transfer mixture to an 8×8 baking dish then top with panko bread crumbs and drizzle remaining 2 Tablespoons buffalo wing sauce over the dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are light golden brown. Serves 4-6.

We are all huge fans of "buffalo" anything - wings, dip, pizza, you name it - and I expect this dish will be a hit. (I need to get my approval rating back up after the last fiasco.) Surprisingly, I am not going to make any modifications this first go round. 

On a side note, my cousin and his wife made the Pan-Seared Scallops on Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce using the original recipe and reported that it was delicious. Merrily's photo of their dish...
Yum! I wish they lived closer because I would have invited myself over for dinner.

Have a great Monday!

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