There is an old saying, “Be careful what you pray for…you just might get it.” Have you ever thanked God for unanswered prayer? I have.
A few years back, a TV network began a reality type show where they asked, “Do You Want to Be the Next Food Network Star?” Since I love to cook & I am an outgoing person, I thought, “Well, yes, I do!”
I knew it was a long shot to be chosen, but I thought it might just be fun. The first season this show was on, I watched it faithfully. I actually saw myself in the assignments the contestants were given. I gave real thought to what I would do if I were them. I dreamed of the kind of show I would do if given the chance.
As soon as the announcement for the 2nd season contestants hit, I began the process. My friend Teri, a hilarious extrovert, & I would buddy up & apply for the show. We had pictures made, filled out paperwork, & produced a video to submit that would present our ‘culinary point of view & the ‘Gourmet Girlfriends’ program was born.
We heard nothing from that 2nd season, so we applied again for the 3rd. Trust me, we prayed about this! Do you hear the crickets chirping in the background? ” Hell-O? God, are you out there?”
It was in watching season 3 that I realized careful editing showed the worst moments for certain contestants giving viewers a purposefully skewed image. One woman I was rooting for was criticized repeatedly for wearing high heels in the kitchen! Get a life people!
I realized then how grateful I was to not be placed in that position of constant critiquing. I’m hard enough on myself without adding anyone else to the mix!!
So…”thank you, Lord, for saying ‘No’ to television!!
A few years later, He said”Yes” to a radio program on my local Christian radio station, WEEC 100.7 FM. You can listen online at WEEC.org Monday through Friday to the recorded segments that run at 11:25 am EST.
I’m sharing today the recipe for Fettucini Alfredo . It is one of the recipes I submitted for the contest.
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
3 c. Half and Half cream
2-1/2 c. rich chicken broth (I use chicken 1-2 tsp. chicken soup base to 1 cup water)
1-2 tsp dried parsley
2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated (the kind in the container is fine for this)
1-2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated chicken, cooked and cut in chunks (any amt)
1 lb. fettuccini noodles
Cook pasta in 3-4 qt’s. salted water for 8-10 minutes. Slightly undercook the pasta as
it will be baked in oven. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in large pan, remove from heat, and stir in the flour. This will be a bit lumpy.
Gradually add the Half and Half, using a whisk to incorporate the mixture until smooth. Return to medium heat and stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken. (This scorches easily, so do not quit stirring.)
Gradually add the chicken broth so that you do not significantly lower the heat of the sauce. When it begins to boil, reduce heat, and add the Parmesan cheese.
(The kind you find in the round container on the store shelf is OK for this dish.)
Continue to stir constantly. Sauce should be thinner than gravy, but thicker than
Remove from heat. Stir in the parsley. If sauce seems too thick, add more broth and extra cheese.
Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add about half of the pasta to the dish and most of the sauce. Stir to incorporate the two. The pasta should be very “loose” in the sauce because it will absorb much of the liquid.
Add as much of the pasta as you can and keep the dish on the juicy side (you
may not use it all). Top with the chicken, the rest of the sauce, and the mozzarella
Sprinkle more of the parsley on top. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is light golden brown. Serve immediately. (If casserole sits and becomes too thick, add enough broth to moisten it up.)
Pasta and sauce may be made ahead and refrigerated, but do not combine until just before
baking. This dish does not reheat well as is, but if you add more broth and any
leftover noodles, you will have the BEST chicken noodle soup you’ve ever eaten.
Yield: 10 servings
Note: I discovered this recipe in 1981 in a “bonus” set of cookbooks that came with
encyclopedias I bought on impulse. After I tinkered with it a bit, I decided it tasted
just like a dish I loved from a famous restaurant near where we were stationed in
California. It is my signature dish and I’m proud to share it with you.