Friday, August 22, 2014

Pinterest Challenge Week 1 : Creamy Garlic Shells

Yesterday morning, after I took the ham out of the freezer for dinner,  I started rummaging through the pantry, as I seem to find myself doing most days, for a side dish.  (I know, I know; I should have a meal plan in place, but I'm not that organized!)  I will be the first to admit, I don't enjoy cooking.  At All.  Baking? Yes.  Cooking, real food? Not even a little.  I'm not very creative in the kitchen and try to find ways to cut corners every chance I get!  Even a "corner cutter" like me hates canned veggies.  Aack!  Sure, I have them in my pantry but I hardly ever serve them as they come.  I will always add a little of this or a little of that to make it a bit more appetizing to my kids (and me too).   But, we had green beans the night before and the kids all vetoed corn.  Already had rice this week, and potatoes too.  Soooo, where did that leave me?  Bing! This was the perfect opportunity to try out one of my forgotten Pins.  So, to the computer I went.   After scrolling through my endless board of recipes, I settled on Creamy Garlic Shells.  One, because it looked easy and I had all of the ingredients and two, pasta is something that almost everyone in our house can agree on.  See the original pin here.   




DISCLAIMER:  I have to let you know that I am terrible at photographing as I go.  I promised myself that I would show you each step but the truth is I completely forgot to take pics of a few steps when I got into the nitty gritty of the recipe.  Sorry.  I'll do better next time.   Now, on to why you're here.


I would be willing to bet y'all have all of the ingredients in your pantry because I did, and I am terrible at keeping my pantry stocked, so if I had everything then you definitely do!

So here we go!




Start by cooking your pasta.  Please don't overcook it like I did. Lol.  You'll see in the photo of the finished product that my pasta kind of fell apart due to me getting distracted and cooking it a minute... or three too long.


Once your pasta is done, drain it and set it aside until later.
Ok, return your pot to stove and melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sauté it until it's golden brown, being very careful not to burn it, unless of course you like that burned garlic flavor.   (it literally took less than a minute). 


  Add the flour and whisk, cooking for 1 minute.  As you continue to whisk, pour in the milk and chicken broth. Whisk until it as nice and creamy.  Add your salt and pepper and keep stirring until it thickens up and bubbles gently (not a boil!)


Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parsley, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese until all of the cheese has melted and mixture becomes creamy. 

(Who noticed that I forgot to take the pot from the burner???)

  

Mine doesn't look nearly as pretty as the original!
Now,add the pasta and stir gently.  Really gently if you've overcooked your pasta...  And you're done!



Ingredients:

8oz. pasta shells 

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced2 Tablespoons flour3/4 cup chicken broth3/4 cup milk salt and pepper1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons parsley flakes



Directions: 

1. Go ahead and cook your pasta.  The original recipe said to use mini shells.  I used spirals and it was fine.  Any pasta that will grab the sauce will work.  Drain and set it aside.                                                            
2. Return your pot to stove and melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté it until it's golden brown, being very careful not to burn (it took less than a minute).  Add the flour and whisk, cooking for 1 minute.  As you continue to whisk, pour in the milk and chicken broth. Whisk until it is nice and creamy.  Add your salt and pepper and keep stirring until it thickens up and bubbles gently (not a boil!)
3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the garlic powder, parsley and parmesan cheese until all of the cheese has melted and mixture becomes creamy. Now,add the pasta and stir gently.






Okay,  so there you have it.  My thoughts:  This recipe wasn't quite as "easy" as I had originally thought it would be. (clearly I didn't fully read the instructions before starting... oops.) Dinnertime is a bit chaotic as it is.  I think my kids are programmed to have a meltdown when I get busy cooking dinner.  All of you mama's know what I mean.  

I was looking for a quick, easy to throw together, side dish. It wasn't hard by any means, it just needed my full attention, which didn't work out so well.  I mean, I got sidetracked and overcooked the pasta right off the bat!  But, by the time I realized just how much babysitting this recipe needed it was too late to back out.  Aside from forgetting to "remove the pot from heat" before adding the rest of the ingredients, I did alright.  

Now, for how it tasted.  It was alright.  Ok, it was good. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be though.  I was hoping for more flavor and quite honestly it just tasted like Alfredo sauce.  So, if that's what you're after then you'll probably like this.  Even though this didn't make it onto my list of favorite recipes I definitely wouldn't call this a Pinterest Fail,  Two of the tree kids ate it (remember when I said almost everyone in our house likes pasta?) and liked it.  That's a 66% success rate people!  So, I would say my first challenge went well!  Now, I'm off to find my next challenge!  See you next week!






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