Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hope You Had A Lovely Easter

We socialised more that we have in ages, I cooked lots of dishes, we all ate way more than we needed (and that was before we got to the chocolate!) and Hubby and #2 ended up with a rotten cold that is currently doing the rounds of town.


The socialising - we hosted an orphan's Easter dinner on Good Friday for Hubby's work. Basically, whoever was in town arrived for a potluck dinner. A couple of other friends, who are connected to Hubby through work, also joined us. It was a really nice evening with lots of food and a lovely atmosphere. The kids all played - Hubby set up the playstation on the data projector in the backyard so they had a ball, the adults all ate and drank and chatted and we all just relaxed. I made a tuna version of the recipe I'm sharing today, a zucchini and pumpkin frittata, and a really yummy dessert I'll be sharing later and Hubby got busy on the bbq cooking up some fish he had caught. Among the other goodies brought to the table were homemade pizza, potato bake and a crunchy garden salad. On Sunday we joined some friends for a bbq lunch and had a terrific day relaxing and just hanging out. They have a pool so #1 spent most of the day getting waterlogged while I spent most of the day with a very firm grip on #2!


I cooked heaps of stuff over the Easter weekend but most of it was stuff I'd made before, or the photo's turned out so badly that I'm going to have to make the dish again before I can share it with you! Nevertheless, we ate our way through the weekend and a little bit of exercise wouldn't really go astray right about now LOL.


More illness in the house! Yep, #2's sick again - this time it's just a rotten cold but she has a horrible cough and has been miserable for the last few days. Once she's sick she turns into a terrible sleeper so Mummy doesn't end up with much sleep either. As she is starting to improve slightly I'm keeping my finger's crossed for tonight. Poor Hubby has the bug too though I don't think he was hit quite as hard (although he will tell you he was deathly ill!) and he seems to have improved somewhat today.


And onto the food...


Cheese, Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Grill
From Australian Table, April 2007



250g penne
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
60g butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 cups milk
300g cooked chicken, shredded
½ cup grated tasty cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 Cook penne in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water according to packet direction. Add broccoli for last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, melt half of butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add flour and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook for 4 minutes, stirring, until sauce thickens and is starting to boil.
3. Combine penne, broccoli, white sauce, chicken and tasty cheese and season to taste. Spoon into a 10-cup ovenproof dish. Melt remaining butter and combine with parmesan and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta mixture. Place dish under a preheated hot grill for 2 – 3 minutes, until top is golden and crisp. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: Prepare this dish ahead with grilling, then reheat for 15 minutes in a preheated oven set at 190˚C. To finish pop in under a hot grill so the top becomes golden and crisp.

To be honest, this is something I could make, and do quite regularly, without a recipe but this one already had the measurments and instructions so I decided to do it properly. Also I saw it in Australian Table and knew that my lot would love it, and they did! Of course, I could put cheese in just about anything and my kids would eat it! I made this on shopping day so I grabbed a cooked chook (um… rotisserie chicken for the Americans) and used that. I prepared the whole thing a couple of hours ahead of time and then popped it in the oven to heat through when we wanted it. It browned up nicely in the oven so I didn't bother with the grill.

Simple, quick and tasty. What more could you want after dragging two kids through the fortnightly grocery shop?

2 comments:

Claire said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend. I hope it's cooling off a bit for you now and that #2 gets better quickly. We all like our sleep! :-) I've decided I should get as much as I can now, because starting in June I won't be getting as much as usual due to starting clinicals!

Red Dirt Mummy said...

We really did, Claire. It is cooling down a bit, but we still need the air-con most days. The temp's hovering around the mid-30's so still warm by regular standards LOL.