I don't know about you but more often than not I just don't seem to have the energy to whip up some time consuming meal for my family. It's not that I don't want to feed them something wonderful and home cooked. I just have no get up and go or the time to get supper on the table before some form of martial arts/Scouting etc has my family rushing out the door. Truth be told I'd rather have a personal chef named Francois at my beck and call to make me supper but we can't have everything, can we?
Maybe it's this blaw lacklustre winter we've been experiencing around here that's been sucking my energy This winter has not nearly lived up to my expectations. As a girl who lived in northern Ontario from the age of 1 to 11 years old I have vivid, happy memories of building HUGE snow forts, downhill skiing, going snow shoeing for gym class, cross-country skiing with my family, snowmobiling and freezing my bippy off attempting to learn how to skate at my outdoor lessons. This winter?? Does ... not ... compare. Not even close!
For example, last night it was all over the news that a big snow storm was coming. We Canadians may talk and complain about the weather a lot but I have to admit that I love me a good snow storm. As long as me and mine are safely inside we're all for a huge dump of snow! Kids in our area were doing happy dances at the thought of a Snow Day. Moms were washing toques (that's a winter hat for you non-Canucks) and neck warmers so we could take the kids tobogganing. Guys were eager to get their snow blowers out for maybe the second time this winter. Weeelll, this 'storm' hit alright. All 5cm of snow. Yup. Five pathetic, meagre centimetres. I could still see the tips of grass poking through the dusting of snow for goodness sake!!
How did we mighty Canadians handle this sad amount of snow?? Well, our local school board handled it by totally wussing out. School buses were cancelled due to the imagined chaos that ensues with .... 5 cm of snow. Sad but true.
The buses may have been cancelled but the schools were still open so my little darlings were herded off to higher learning (and not without an impressive, yet futile, attempt at negotiating and whining to stay home). My motherly advice?? "Suck it up buttercup. Back in MY day we went to school even when it was -30C! I kid you not. I respect you too much to coddle you by keeping you home. You're made of tough northern Ontario stock!!" Apparently not all parents thought like we did and kept their kids home. Boy 1 texted me at lunch to tell me that he only had 11 kids in his Grade 7 class -- cue Mean Mom music. Seriously people!! If you were scared about that amount of snow you might as well just hand over your Cool Canuck membership cards and buy a condo in Mexico!
Ok. My snow rant has ended. My point of this post was to share with you all a tasty and easy meal that you can whip on on a crazy week night all from your stove top. It's a rich dish that will impress but doesn't take nearly the energy that you'd think a dish this tasty would take! With the help of a programmed bread maker you can have this pasta, a loaf of fresh bread and a green salad on the table in 30-40 minutes start to finish. Enjoy!
Rich and Creamy Faux Fredo
Yield: 6 servings
1/4 tbsp butter (no substitutes)
6 garlic cloves, minced
8oz pkg cream cheese -- softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup half-and-half creamer
6oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (approximately 2 cups)
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure that the garlic doesn't get too browned.
Add the pieces of softened cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. This will take several minutes in order to get a smooth texture.
Gradually add the milk and half-and-half, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking quickly and constantly until each addition of milk/creamer is incorporated into the sauce. Stir in the fresh Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt. Stir constantly until the cheese has melted. Cook for 3-4 minutes in order for the sauce to thicken.
Serve immediately over hot noodles accompanied by a green salad and a crusty loaf of bread.
Recipe Inspired by one of my favourite sites: melskitchencafe.com
Option: Add grilled chicken breast or shrimp to this dish.