I had a situation come up that was unexpected & discouraging. I was exhausted for no apparent reason, & committed to catering an event at church. I had no back-up plan, no one to take over. I was depressed, tearful, & felt as if I was freshly grieving for my husband who had died more than 2 years previously. It simply made no sense!
I have noticed in this grieving process that sometimes feelings just HAPPEN! Fatigue seems to blow things out of proportion, so I strive for balance daily. But for whatever reason, Grief was triggered.
To add to my frustration, a centerpiece that I had designed needed to be reworked along with the meal for 75 that was in the making.
A wonderful group of ladies surrounded me that day. As I stirred the fettuccine sauce, tears streaming down my face, & overwhelmed with a sense of emotion I simply didn’t understand, these ladies made salads & set up the drink & dessert stations. They pretended to ignore the emotional mess that was at the stove concocting the main dish. :-)
My friend Barb is a woman of discernment, & she has the gift of encouragement!! I had asked her to pick up something at the grocery store I had forgotten.
While there, the Lord brought to mind a book she had read & enjoyed. She thought I might like it. She also had no idea at that time what I was going through that day. The grocery store had a book section, & Barb stopped by to check it out. Yes…there it was!
It was about living beyond your feelings & written from a Christian perspective. I am SO grateful for the insight I got from this book. I marveled at how God prompts His children to encourage each other so specifically.
I was encouraged THAT day because of Barb’s thoughtfulness & those wonderful ladies that came to help. I made it through. Thanks to new insight from my reading, I am better equipped for those fickle feelings that I’m sure will crop up again.
Today I’ve posted my Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recipe. I’ve served it so many times over the years, I guess you could call it my ‘signature dish.’
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
1 lb. fettuccine noodles, cooked
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
3 c. Half and Half cream
2-1/2 c. chicken broth (I use chicken soup base and water to make a more concentrated broth)
2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
chicken, cooked and cut in chunks (any amount)
1-2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
Cook pasta in 3-4 qts 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-high 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 most of the Parmesan cheese, saving some for topping. (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 cream. Remove from heat. Stir in the parsley. If sauce is 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 cheese. 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 well. 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. (In my humble opinion.)
The sauce can be frozen for future use.. Thaw completely & stir before proceeding with the recipe.
Yield: 10 servings
Note: I discovered the base for 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 where we were stationed in Sacramento,California. It is my signature dish and I’m proud to share it with you.