Saturday, February 14, 2015

Lighter Chicken Alfredo Pizza

 I kept seeing all of these delicious pizza recipes made with Alfredo sauce, but the idea of cooking heavy cream and slathering it on dough was a little much for me.

Enter...delicious experiment.

This is by no means a diet dish. This is what it is:

  • An Alfredo pizza with no heavy cream.
  • Kid friendly, husband approved.
  •  Versatile, easy, and tasty.
 After making my regular pizza dough and shaping it on the pan, I grilled some chicken and chopped it until it was almost shredded. Then I made the sauce.

Lighter Alfredo Sauce:

2 Tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 tsp. flour
1 1/2 cups low fat milk (I used 2%)
3 Tablespoons low fat cream cheese
1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
fresh parsley
salt and pepper

A small amount of shredded mozzarella
Bacon bits

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, and then add garlic and lemon zest. Cook for two minutes. Add the flour, and cook for one more minute. Whisk in milk and a teaspoon of salt, stirring continuously until thickened. This will take about five minutes. Add the cream cheese and Parmesan, whisking until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

I spread two-thirds of the sauce on my prepared dough, followed by a sprinkling of parsley, the chicken, and then drizzled with the rest of the sauce. I finished with a handful of mozzarella, some bacon bits, and chopped scallions. Then I baked at 425 for about 15 minutes.

This was tasty and a little different from our regular homemade pizza, but next time I'll add some spinach and chopped tomato. 

It only lasted long enough for this quick picture.

On a side note, I can't begin to tell you how frigid it has been here. Could I really be planting peas a month from now? It doesn't seem possible. My garden is a barren wasteland inhabited only by tiny birds frequenting the suet feeders. A hot pizza supper on a Saturday while on snow-watch  sounds good to me. 

When Your Cup Runneth Over (But You're Complaining of Thirst)

 Some years ago, on a cooking blog that no longer exists, I used to follow a young wife and mother who shared her wonderful creations. Once, she wrote a post in which she gave a tour of her lovely kitchen, complete with photos. It was then that she made the startling announcement that, with the exception of two counter top appliances, she hated the whole room. Everything in it. In fact, she hated her entire house.


The kitchen was brand new. The whole house was new. How could this happen?

She elaborated on everything she felt was wrong with her kitchen, but no matter how hard she made her case, I just couldn't see it. After all, I didn't even have a kitchen. We had just torn out our kitchen right down to the dirt crawlspace. Here is what it looked like:

Yes, that's The Mister, our dog, and a room with no floor.

Don't worry, we had a temporary kitchen set up in another room of our home. It was a necessary inconvenience.

Anyway, you can just imagine what ran through my mind as I read the words of this ranting ungrateful queen in her castle who hated her new cabinets and new counters in her spacious kitchen in her brand new home. Also, why was she wasting time complaining about this? The rest of the time she was busy showing off delicious meals and baked good concocted in this inadequate kitchen. So, why THIS?

You probably think I'm going to call her spoiled, and a host of other titles of discontent. I probably did call her many things, in my head, many moons ago. But here is what I'm really here to say: I can out do her. Or at least, there was time, when I could have blown her out of the water in a contest where having it all was not enough. That was back before I had to build a kitchen from scratch. Back when I was young and felt the same. Far before I realized that everything I have has been given to me and it is a gift. Everything.

Now we've built a lovely kitchen filled with things I have collected and love. I'll share some of those things with you in this post.

I saw this wreath on Etsy for $40. I made it for less than $20.
We found that 29 cent box of canning lids in a barn at my in-law's.
 Still, I am bombarded with hundreds of images a week of breathe taking kitchens that make me second guess everything from lights to faucet handles. Even after personally selecting the finer details of my kitchen, something will find me and send me into a tunnel of wonder. Did I pick the right faucet? That floor was an awful choice. Should we have bought the lot next door and just made the whole thing bigger? (No, definitely no, on that one!)

My enamelware collection and Grandma's old kettle.
Finally, I remind myself that I have a working country-type kitchen and could never be bothered with cleaning tomato splatter off of a chandelier, so just stop it already. I'm annoyed I even had to have a debate with myself over having a chandelier in my kitchen. Stop the madness. At it's core, my kitchen is a tool for sustenance, not a museum or gallery. It was made with our own hands, paid for in cash and sweat. It's fit for the daughter of a King.

Sometimes it is a refuge, my happy place to knead and sigh and hastily type out a note to a friend.

I'm not kidding when I say it's a refuge.
But that young woman mired in a spirit of discontent? She lurks, and I catch glimpses of her sometimes. Lock your pantry, ladies. She may be prowling in a room at your house next. If she whispers in your ear that you need a chandelier, soundly evict her.

Be alert. 

She is We. 


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