What’s Cooking Wednesdays

Last night, I had the urge to make something grand for dinner tonight. I knew I was getting off early and I wanted to make a full scale, fancy dinner for my love.

The first place I headed to for ideas was my Pinterest food boards. I searched for the perfect menu choices for 4 hours. I got bupkes, so I searched another 2 hours at work today.

I’m trying to avoid our traditional dinners full of cheese, bacon, or tomato sauce.

My love is a fan of extreme spice while I detest it. He hates sweet meats, while Panda Express’s Honey Walnut Chicken is one of my faves.

While, I avoid citrus and cooked tomatoes because of my chronic acid reflux, yet he loves them. He’s only a slight carnivore, and we’re both not big fans of bread.

Its amazing that we can eat in the same kitchen – or at all, for that matter.

Finally, I settled on something simple – for lack of finding something grand and unusual.

Tonight’s menu:

Pineapple flavored Italian sodas
Blackened chicken with linguine drenched in his and hers pasta sauces
Luby’s butternut brownie pie

…All made from scratch as best as possible.

It took me 2.5 hours to prep and cook, but it was so worth the time and effort.

The low down….

The Italian soda was a layered 33% combo of simple syrup flavored with 1 packet of Pina-Pineapple Kool-Aid, Canada Dry’s low sodium club soda, and a dash of half and half. I loved it. I think him, not so much.
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click here for KoolAid simple syrup recipe
click here for Italian soda recipe

I used this blackened chicken recipe ; prepped in my mixing bowl, and placed strategically on my George Forman with metal tongs. Super easy!! My goal is to replicate California Tortilla’s blackened chicken. I’m gonna keep trying.

The sauce is what pushed this dish over the top for me. For my love, I think it was his well-seasoned blackened chicken. His pasta was covered in HEB’s traditional marinara sauce. Mine took cover under my pink sauce. Pink sauce is a careful combination of a tomato base with a cream base. I chose the marinara sauce as my tomato base, about 3 tablespoons, and about a cup of my homemade Alfredo sauce as the cream base. This was eye-popping delicious. If I didn’t have to pack in dessert, I would have made myself a second helping.
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And now for dessert. When I was around 15 or 16 years old, my mom took us out to Sunday dinner after church to Luby’s Cafeteria – my then favorite place to go. I always ordered the chicken fried steak, but this one particular Sunday I decided to try this weird looking whipped cream pie. With the first bite, I was in heaven. I never forgot that pie and have yet to see it in a Luby’s since. Last summer, I decided to Google what I remembered about it, and BAM, the recipe came up. Butternut Brownie Pie. This is a mass of graham crackers and chopped pecans baked inside a crispy meringue puff and covered with fresh whispered cream. Like I said, HEAVEN.
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get Luby’s butternut brownie recipe here

Today I searched, I shopped, I cooked, I ate, and now, I drift off to dreamland – happy.

Please do enjoy my recipes (or links to the recipes I used) along with some tantalizing pictures.

My tiny kitchen tools I used tonight: (the key is to wash and reuse immediately)
Oven + 1 Pie Plate
Stove burner + 1 Saucepan
George Forman + 1 set Metal Tongs
Hand mixer + Mixing Bowl
2 Holding bowls with lids
Colander
Rubber spatula
Metal Whisk
Measuring Spoons & Cup
2 Medium Dinner Plates or Bowls + 2 Forks