Cookies & Pasta


Fettuccine with Chicken Marsala Sauce 


You read the title of this post and thought, “Poor girl, has she lost her mind?”

Michael {still in the air, high above the Atlantic ocean, en route to Helsinki, Finland} left  just this morning and have I resorted to feeding the children cookies & pasta for dinner?  No, no…not really.

I woke up with Michael this morning at 4am and, after his departure, I just could not get back to sleep…thoughts & plans for the week ahead deterring me from another hour, or so, of sleep.  After pouring myself into a very thick, white robe & a warm pair of woolen socks, I made my way downstairs to start the coffee.  Hot mug in hand, I sat in front of our bay window and listened as fog horns called from the Bay alerting us to the fact that we would not be seeing the sun for a while.  Sure enough, morning light crept in revealing the dark, gray blanket of fog which covered much of the Bay area well into the afternoon.

I knew, when I hit the button to publish this week’s menu on Saturday morning, that I was not thrilled with tonight’s dinner choice…the Turkey Chowder.  Whatever made me think that Thanksgiving left-overs {if any} would be desirable {or food-safe} to serve 4-5 days later?  As luck would have it, there were none to be had, but…what do I make in its place?  In an effort to dodge this question, as well as the rest of the Monday chores, I decided to make a double-batch of chocolate chip cookies…you already know the recipe, the one on the back of that yellow bag of semisweet chocolate chips, so I will just share a few quick photos…perhaps tempting you to go whip up a batch for yourself.

Welcome home from school…

For sure, by now, I would have figured out a dinner plan for tonight…NOPE!

I had my iPad in the kitchen while I was processing the many batches of cookies in and out of the oven and, while I was surfing the waves of the Web looking for dinner inspiration, I came across this recipe for Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread on one of my favorite sites:  101 Cookbooks.  With a few ripe bananas staring at me from the kitchen island, the rest of the ingredients, miraculously, on-hand {and the oven already heated up}, I took as signs to keep on baking.  The kids will love a slice of this bread, toasted warm, in the morning for breakfast {I skipped the glaze set forth in the original recipe…maybe next time}

Now I must deal with dinner…

I had picked up crimini mushrooms Saturday to put in the Turkey Chowder so I started from there.  I also had some leftover roasted & diced chicken from last night’s risotto.  The combination of chicken & mushrooms led me to a variation of chicken marsala.  Because the chicken was already cut up, I decided to make a substantial sauce and serve over pasta.  Here is how it played out…

Fettuccine with Chicken Marsala Sauce 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ pounds crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup Marsala
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 box fettuccine noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • freshly grated parmesan {optional}
  • fresh Italian parsley, chopped {optional}
  1. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat & then add the onion and mushrooms.  Cook until all of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.
  2. Add the marsala and cook until liquid is almost fully evaporated.  Add the stock and chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with the flour using a fork until a paste forms.  Add butter-flour mixture, stirring to thicken sauce, about 2 minutes.  Season sauce with salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Remove pot from heat and spoon sauce over pasta noodles, garnishing with the parmesan cheese & parsley, if desired.

The kitchen is now…CLOSED.

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