Today was to be The Day of Productivity.
I woke up with a sense of assurance that I’d accomplish much and achieve more.
I had my to-do list ready, chock-full of errands to run.
The morning started off swell; I did my morning blog-reading and ate breakfast. All was well in the world of Mary Clay.
The world ended.
The First Task of the Day was to take the recycling to the drop-off.
Thirty minutes in (in a town that’s five miles wide), I couldn’t figure out just where
the drop-off was.
Next, I tried to take some donations to the food pantry.
So I ventured to the Catholic Church to take my car-full of clothes to donate. There were lots of clothes in my car to donate.
And lots of cars at the Catholic Church.
So that didn’t happen either.
Next was the most dreaded: Walmart.
I only go there if I absolutely have to, which means my list constitutes of several random items that cannot be found anywhere else in town.
A fish net, anyone? Play sand (which, they were out of. Figures)?
And, because I thought I deserved it, I bought myself a Diet Coke,
which I’ve been trying to quit.
It was warm.
No one likes a warm Diet Coke.
And after being rejected for no apparent reason at the UPS drop-off,
I found myself starving, sweaty, and tenth in line at the post office.
I just wanted this pasta. And to cry.
So I prayed.
Then I started to laugh at myself-
and at this crazy world in which we live.
Sometimes I try ever-so-hard to have it all together that it just
BOOM – combusts – falls apart.
And I have to learn to live with that.
I’m so grateful to have a God who doesn’t care whether I have it together
on my Day of Productivity or not.
It’s only fair that I write this post about this recipe because when I made this the other night, I had a similar meltdown.
I’m such a drama queen. I’m sorry.
My best friend Mary Madeline was coming over for dinner, and her meal was going to be awesome. Man, do I over-anticipate things.
I made this pasta three times in an effort to make it perfection.
Note to readers: don’t try to make this healthier.
The third time was definitely the charm,
although if you’re not a huge fan of lemon, I’d leave out some of the lemon juice.
It was definitely lemon-y. Not that that’s a bad thing!
Just a taste preference.
And I didn’t expect it to be so, so I’m just giving you guys a heads-up.
Anywho, so this is a Pioneer Woman recipe, and Ree seriously knows her stuff.
However, I added some in-season sweet corn, and I totally recommend it.
It doesn’t have to be cooked; just sliced off the cob and thrown in last-minute.
First off, start with your pasta.
Whole wheat penne. And the health stops there.
After the pasta is cooked, start your sauce.
Melt some light butter in the same pot in which you cooked your pasta.
Mix in the juice of 1-2 lemons. I’d use one, but that’s just me.
Add in heavy cream (I know, I know) and half-and-half.
Then your cheese! Parmesan or Romano is fine.
Then add in your pasta and basil. And stir!
Meanwhile, cook your chicken. I just used a bottled marinade from Kroger
(sorry, but it was probably the best decision I made that night, all things considered),
I’d definitely recommend either grilling your chicken or cooking it in a cast iron skillet.
Again, total taste preference, but to me, you just can’t go wrong there.
And there you have it!
Lemony, basily comfort.
In the words of Ree, Amen.
recipe from Pioneer Woman
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
marinade of your choice
8-10 ounces pasta, also your choice
2 tablespoons light butter
juice of 1-2 lemons
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 – 3/4 cups parmesan or romano cheese
2 ears of fresh sweet corn, cut from the cob (about 1 1/2 cups)
handful of basil leaves, chopped
1. Marinate the chicken according to directions (usually about 4 hours or overnight). Cook in a cast iron skillet, searing each side for 5-7 minutes.
2. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water for later use.
3. In the same pot in which the pasta was boiled, add in butter over medium heat to melt. Add in lemon juice and whisk to combine.
4. Add in cream and half-and-half. Whisk. Add in cheese. Whisk. Tired of whisking yet? Whisk.
5. Add in pasta, corn, and basil. If the sauce seems a bit clumpy, add in the pasta water until it’s, well, not.
Happy Monday! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I did eventually cross (most of) the items off my list. I am now (mostly) content. Also, Delta Center Stage is good for the soul.