You know what I thought might be fun and interesting? (Maybe?) I thought it might be fun and interesting if I kept a record of the dinners that I served when my MIL comes for dinner. I used to call them my MIL dinners but now my dad comes, too, so I've taken to calling them In-Law dinners.
This past week, I served Penne with Zucchini and a no-cook Alfredo sauce. We had a green salad and for dessert, I made a chocolate oil cake with a half cup mini-chocolate chips added and a French Creme Frosting.
Penne Alfredo with Zucchini
1 small onion, diced
4 smallish zucchini, halved and chopped 1/4 in or so
Olive oil and a little butter
Salt & pepper to taste
Penne pasta (with a little reserved pasta water, just in case.)
Put oil/butter into large skillet and saute onion until soft. Add zucchini and stir to coat. Cook until tender. (5-7 minutes, maybe?) Turn off heat.
Meanwhile, boil water for pasta, cook penne and make the Alfredo Sauce.
[Here's the recipe for the EASY PEASY NO-COOK ALFREDO. I got it from All Recipes.
I fiddled with it a little. I used 50/50 Smart Balance/Butter Blend instead of straight butter and I used half & half instead of heavy cream. My whipped mess looked less like softly scrambled eggs and more like what I imagine curds & whey would look like, Miss Muffet, but it went onto the pasta just fine and it was great.]
When pasta is finished, drain it quickly and return it to pot. Dump in zucchini mixture & give a quick stir and then dump in alfredo sauce and mix it thoroughly. It will look thin and kind of watery but give it a few minutes and it will thicken up and be WONDERFUL.
(Sorry I don't have any pictures but it miiiiight be a little difficult to explain to my MIL why I am PHOTOGRAPHING my dinner.)
The oil cake recipe is the same as ever. I added 1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips to the batter.
I made this easy and awesome frosting:
French Creme Frosting
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 c milk
1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
-Cook milk & flour together until thick.
-Beat butter/sugar together until light & well blended. Add vanilla, flour & milk mixture & beat until creamy & light.
This frosting is not too sweet and it really is good. I tried to use the 50/50 blend but it is much softer than butter and tends to be too loose to use as frosting. If it seems to liquidy when you're making it (the flour/milk mixture can melt the butter if it's not all the way cool,) just pop the bowl into the freezer for a few minutes and VIOLA! Frosting consistency.