Although this is usually Anna’s day to post, she is busy being a Auntie again! Congratulations Anna on the birth of your newest niece!
I want to take a moment here to welcome a new guest poster – Sarah Stelzl! You have probably seen her comment on here quite a few times -she’s been a faithful reader! She currently posts on her family’s blog http://www.stelzlfamily.com. We are hoping to add a few more guest posters this year, so stay tuned!! Welcome to Cooking From the Ground Up, Sarah!!
I’m eighteen years old, and one in a family of nine. We live in the warm sunny state of NC, in a beautiful little place where you can still find back country roads to drive on! I’ve been helping in the kitchen ever since I can remember, whether standing on a chair to watch, looking through recipes in our cookbooks, or making my own messes and having a blast! Probably the most important thing I’ve learned in the kitchen is that my family is my team. I love searching through recipes, combining new ideas, and taking some of this and some of that to create something unique and specifically ours. But it’s twice the fun if I have a brother or sister standing by my side, licking the spoon or stirring the pot, or helping me think things through! I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, which has contributed to dozens of new family favorites. When I’m not cooking, I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling, photographing, writing, and working the land. I love being outdoors (especially the garden!) surrounded by the beauty of creation and the miracles of life, because that is where I feel the closest to God!
I’m excited to be able to share one of my favorite recipes with you (Thank you Elizabeth and Anna!), because it’s come a long way from our first attempt! My brother David helped me cook this recipe up from a basic cream sauce into a tomato cream sauce that everyone in our family loves! It began on one of those days when I was in charge of making something for dinner, but we didn’t seem to have much on hand…
Tomato Cream Pasta (Serves 10)
2 pounds pasta, cooked
1 cup milk
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup (1 stick) butter
Small (bite-sized) broccoli florets, steamed until soft but not mushy
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, marinated (we use oil and some spices), grilled, and cut into small bite sized pieces
1 ½ jars spaghetti sauce (about 40 oz)
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the cream sauce, combine the butter, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan over med-low heat. Use a wire whisk to stir it until the butter is melted. Gradually add parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, stirring constantly until melted (If the temperature is too hot, the cheese will cook together into a lump rather than melting evenly throughout the sauce). The sauce should gradually thicken until it is just slightly thinner than the consistency of a nice Alfred cream sauce.
In a separate pot, combine the spaghetti sauce, grilled chicken pieces, and cooked broccoli florets. Cook over med-heat, stirring until the ingredients are thoroughly heated.
In a large metal bowl or pot, combine the cooked pasta and both sauces. Stir until well combined. Serve hot with parmesan cheese!