Tag Archives: Olive Garden

Messes and successes…

Today has been a lazy day in my house.  We had lunch and goofed off, the Electrician has watched Basketball and football most of the day.  I decided earlier today, I would make something out of stuff I had in my kitchen.  The Electrician and I have not been to the grocery store in a while so, I wanted to make a “pantry” dinner.

I did a little research on that thing called “google” after I had scanned all of my cookbooks.  I took stock of the ingredients I had on hand and this is what I came up with.  I am taking you on a picture journey with me….


Yes, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, Artichoke hearts, mushrooms, an onion, garlic, roasted red peppers, penne pasta, chicken base. and because I am a dork, I forgot the parmesan cheese in the photo.


I had looked up recipes for  Chicken Artichoke mushroom dishes, and I found a couple I liked, so, being me, I combined them, to make it my own.

First, I smashed the chicken, and then sliced it…..


Then, I sliced and diced my way through the rest of the stuff…



I’m pretty good with my knife skills, at least, I haven’t sliced and diced any fingers lately, so that must be a plus….





The recipe I was sorta of following said to brown my chicken, so I browned my chicken in my favorite pan of the moment which is a handy-dandy cast iron frying pan, also good if you need to smack someone over the head with it…just sayin….



I decided to brown it in 2 batches because I wanted it to brown and sizzle and not steam and become limp….


I do have to say though, I really, really try not to make a mess out of my stove….uhm…head held down, I did though, my stove was truly messed up when I finished this one and I kind of felt bad when the Electrician had to scrub it to make it shiny and new again.

Next was this…  after taking the chicken out, I threw some more butter in the pan and then the onions, roasted red peppers  garlic and mushrooms.  I stirred them around for about 5 minutes, until everything was sizzling and soft


Then it was time to throw the artichoke hearts in to the mix…




I sizzled these all together for about  8 minutes, and then got busy putting the rest of the stuff in the pan.  That’s when it hit me….oops, should have used a bigger skillet….






I threw in the chicken, and some chicken stock with some butter and flour mixed together, it was supposed to thicken it up…Although this recipe was originally supposed to go in the oven, the Electrician HATES baked chicken, fry it, grill it, broil it but DO NOT bake it.  Yea, he’s a little strange about that.

So I think that’s where it got a little bit messed up.  I went ahead and boiled the penne regate pasta and then drained it and put some butter (yea, well I love butter) and some parsley on the pasta, and then served it up…


We sprinkled parmesan cheese all over it and ate dinner.  I will be truthful here, I only ate half of my plate, simply because I got full fast. Especially after the Electrician asked me, “do you think this is the Olive Garden or something?”  After much discussion, the Electrician and I have come to the conclusion while it was good, we know how to make it better.  We strained out all of the “juice” so to speak and will put the remainder of the chicken concoction in some Alfredo sauce and then I think I will have achieved a master piece.

This was my adventure of today, I hope y’all enjoyed it as much as I did, and by the way, I never really realized how hard it was to cook AND take pictures at the same time, so my hat is tipped to all of y’all that are food bloggers and do this, cuz I have figured out, I really am not that coordinated….


One of those days…..



Some days are good, some days are bad, and then there is “just one of those days”. Nothing bad, nothing good, just so-so.

Momma was Momma today.  I let her sleep in and when it was time to wake her up, she told me she had been in the Australian desert, and to please scrub her good, because she was covered in dust.  Uhm, ok?  I did ask her then “Hey the next time you go somewhere, can I go?”  I got the “look” and was told that while she wanted me to go with her, these were trips she had to take alone.

The Farmer, played in the yard most of the day, and mowed all the grass that’s grown like crazy.  Yes, I did make his pork roast with stuffing wrapped in bacon, with roast potato‘s and green beans (simply because they were left over from the last big meal he had).

I came home and decided to busy myself in the kitchen.  Sometimes when something is bothering me or I just want to stay busy, I play in my kitchen.  I made a batch of cookies for the Electrician, and then decided that since we went to Mexico for dinner yesterday, tonite we would go to Italy.

I searched for a recipe for Zuppa Tuscany soup (like the kind they have at “The Olive Garden“).   I had all of the ingredients, so, I made it.  I even made garlic bread to go with it.  While tonite’s dinner wasn’t as big a hit as yesterday’s was, it was still good.

I’ve been a little distracted all day, so this post might be a little disjointed, for those of you that know me, it’s nothing to do with Momma or the Farmer.  It’s just been “one of those days”.



Wild Week and Soup!

Hey y’all,   I am still laughing at something the Nursing Student told me today.  This has been her first week in the “Official Nursing Program”.  It’s been a week of changes, for her, for me, for Cam-Man, the Electrician, Momma and the Farmer.

My schedule changed this week, I have now learned to open my little eyeballs anywhere between 5:30 and 6 am.  Out the door no later than 7:30 am, and flying down the road to get to her house by 8 am.  I’m okay, but I either need to invest in a coffee pot for her house or win the lottery to afford those cappuccino’s for both of us every morning.

Some days, I just stay at her house for the 4 1/2 hours of school she goes through, but mostly, I just wait until Cam-Man wakes up, feed him breakfast and then down the road we go.  Sometimes to my house, (when I need to catch up on those domestic diva duties) or sometimes to go visit with Momma at the Nursing Home. This past week though he and I have been traveling the roads doing errands.

I do have to tell you about the other day though and how Cam-Man is learning how to “strut his stuff”, at the Nursing Home.  The Nursing Student (his Momma) works at this establishment, so, everyone knows her and Cam (although they haven’t seen him that much and can’t believe how much he has grown).

I got Cam-Man up fed and dressed and asked him if he was ready to “rock n roll”, to which he smiled big, grabbed his blanket and we were off.  I had told him that we were going to see his Greatgrandma, and he was ready.  We got to the Nursing Home and I got him out of the Rav4, and he DID NOT want to be carried, he wanted to walk.  So, he walked into the Nursing home and I swear he had a little swagger.  We got to Momma’s room (after he had to say “Hi” to every Resident in the place, and hug his Momma’s friend Terry, and stop and look out the window).  He strolled into Momma’s room and went right up to her (she was in the process of getting out of bed) and started talking a mile a minute.  Momma smiled at him and then they had a conversation.

Momma was on her way to therapy and so we followed her down there.  We get to therapy and that place was packed!  Cam had to make sure he said “HI” to everyone, and then get praised and told how cute he is.  Cam was on a mission, to collect all the balls in the therapy room and play with them.  I had just taken a couple of them out of his hands, when the Farmer showed up and a BIG re-union ensued.  Cam saw the Farmer and HAD to be picked up and give a big hug.

Cam was a little restless after the re-union so I took him on a walk (several) down the hallways, and he kept telling everyone “Hey”.  I think he just liked hearing about what a cute little kid he was.  I had several of the Nurses ask me how old he was, and then realized WHO he was and couldn’t believe how much he has grown. 

I finally decided after our 3rd trip to therapy that it was time for us to go.  So we went back to the Nursing student‘t house, and found a snack.  Then because Camsgranny is NOT techno savvy and had no clue how to work their t.v. we put in “The Lion King”  VHS into his t.v. and proceeded to play and alternately watch the VHS tape.   Folks, that little kid wrestled with me and I almost lost.  I need to figure out how to bottle that energy and WHAMMO, I’m gonna be rich.

When the Nursing Student arrived after her first week of classes, she was whacked.  I think her brain is on overload, cuz I know I sure couldn’t do it.  Her and I looked up some recipes, because I wanted to have soup and salad for dinner for the Electrician. 

 We found a recipe for one of the soups they serve at “The Olive Garden“, called Pasta Fagioli . I made a couple of substitutions, as in, I used some andouille sausage instead of hamburger and then I added some hot paprika, instead of smoked.  What I failed to realise though was just how much soup I would make. 

Today was spent, taking some soup to the Nursing student and her family, taking some to the Farmer, and then visiting Momma.  Momma was doing semi-good today.  She was gripped with Parkinson’s and we had to wait for the meds to kick in.  I will say that Momma has a deathlike grip when she wants to, because my fingers are a little sore after the one she had on me today.  The Farmer was already there when I got there and we all three enjoyed each other’s company.

The rough part is when it is time to go.  I’ll let y’all know a little secret, I prefer to leave when she is sleeping, only for the fact, I HATE to see Momma get upset when we leave.  Momma had been snoozing, when the Farmer and I decided to take our leave.  The fact that she woke up right as we were trying to exit her room sucked.  Especially when she made the statement  “Am I crazy?”,  “No, Momma you are not crazy, you are getting better in leaps and bounds, and right now you need to rest up so we can hit it again tomorrow ok?” “Both me and Dad love you ok?” and the Farmer even chimed in “I Love you Annie, get some rest ok?”  That seemed to appease her because she promptly closed her eyes again and went back to sleep.  Although she had a death grip on Mr. Bear, I think she was ok.

Plus I know the Nursing student is working this evening and I know she will be fine.  So, until tomorrow I bid you all a good night.  Sleep good and hug those close to you tight, and don’t forget to tell your special peeps, you Love them.  It’s very important.