Pasta Possibilities!

I love making pasta.  I feel like the possibilities are almost endless.

Now, I know I said I try to limit the number of occasions that I make traditional pasta in one of my previous posts— but let’s be honest– there’s nothing like a good fettuccine!

I received a stainless steel colander to review and used it to make one of my favorite recipes.


Here’s a bit of info about the colander:

  • The stable base allows you to safely strain hot liquids even in busy and wet kitchen environments.
  • Micro-perforations let the liquid quickly drain away while keeping the food safe in the bowl.
  • The entire colander is easy to carry.
  • Aside from straining, this is also a great solution for grease cooking, splatter control, frying, sautéing and other liquid-heavy cooking.

Anyone who loves to cook knows the importance of a high quality colander. The Pro Chef Kitchen Tools round colander is strong, stylish and efficient and I’m happy to have it in my collection.  When I’m not using it to cook, it also doubles as a great fruit/veggie holder on my counter top!

Now that you know a good bit about the colander, here’s the all important recipe and some photos of the colander in action!

We made this dish using another Blue Apron recipe.  (This isn’t a sponsored post — I just REALLY like Blue Apron and they post ALL of their recipes online, so you can use them even if you don’t subscribe.  I LOVE THAT!)

Spring Chicken Fettuccine


  • 8 Chicken Tenders
  • 6 Ounces Fettuccine Pasta
  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • ½ Bunch Asparagus
  • 1 Bunch Rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons Crème Fraîche
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


  1. Prepare the ingredients:

    Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Snap off and discard the tough, woody ends of the asparagus; cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle. Remove and discard the kale stems; finely chop the leaves. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and chop into bite-sized pieces; transfer to a bowl. Season the chopped chicken with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

  2. Cook the chicken:
    In a large, high-sided pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.
  3. Cook the pasta:prochef_chicken_fettuccine1
    While the chicken cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.
  4. Add the vegetables:
    While the pasta cooks, to the pan of chicken, add the asparagus, kale, rosemary, 2 tablespoons of water and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and the kale has wilted.
  5. Finish the pasta:prochef_chicken_fettuccine2
    To the pan of chicken and vegetables, add the cooked pasta, crème fraîche and half to the reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring vigorously to coat the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Plate your dish:
    Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cheese. Enjoy!






Are You Ready For Some Football?

It’s Football Season, which means it’s that time when I get to make tailgating snacks.

See, I could care less about who is playing.  I’m a “Carolina Girl” living in Saints Country, so I’m really just here to make the food.  And tablescape.

I found some really cute yard-line print table cloths at Kroger on an extreme markdown (were talking 99% markdown) when I lived in Mississippi and I knew it was meant to be.

So I’m just here to cook the food and go with my party theme.  I’m a simple woman. 😉

I received this Sriracha CHA! by Texas Pete® to review and my Carolina Girl, heart was sooo happy!

For those that don’t know, Texas Pete is a North Carolina Company.  If we know anything in North Carolina, we know our sports and we know our food!  Winston Salem is the home of hot sauce and Krispy Kreme Donuts… I could go on and on about how much I miss Carolina Style Barbecue, Hush Puppies, and Robert’s Famous Chicken Salad, but I’ll get to the point of this post– THE RECIPE!  

I used this item to add some kick to one of my favorite tailgating snacks: “Fran’s Famous Meatballs.”


Fran’s Famous Meatballs: 


  • Frozen Meatballs (You can make these fresh if you have the time, we keep meatballs in the freezer since I make these on demand). I usually allow them to thaw before cooking.
    • This recipe makes 1, 16 oz bag of meatballs
  • 1/2 Cup of Grape Jelly (YES– JELLY!)
  • 1/4 Cup of CHA! by Texas Pete®
  • 1 Cup of Barbecue Sauce (I normally use Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce, but I tend to go with whatever brand is on sale or what we have available in our pantry)
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic (Can you tell that we like Garlic? 😀 If you’re not a fan, just leave this out)


(If you are making your meatballs from scratch, you will need to brown them first, before beginning these steps. You can do that in the oven or using the stovetop)

  1. Warm the jelly over medium-high heat (until it is dissolved). Be careful to stir continuously so that the gelatin does not burn.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients and the meatballs, stirring until the meatballs are coated on all sides.
  3. Allow meatballs to simmer in sauce for 5 minutes while covered.
  4. Then transfer meatballs to a crock pot or serving dish where they can remain warmed for serving.
  5. Stir occasionally to prevent meatballs from scorching.

This is really a simple recipe, and can spice it up by adding in a new item like I’ve done with the CHA! by Texas Pete® or changing the barbecue sauce that you use. Sometimes I even change the jelly– I’ve used apricot jelly, grape jelly, and blackberry jelly in the past. You can mix it up, but don’t leave it out.  The JELLY is key!