Family Celebrations – Recipe: Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

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As I mentioned, Sean and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary yesterday.  So, we celebrated it all weekend.

Sean and I celebrated together Saturday by going to dinner and a movie at one of our favorite places.  Thank you, Mother and Daddy, for making it possible.

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Our actual anniversary was Sunday, and Sean cooked dinner for me.

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We toasted our anniversary as a family with 7-up and root beer

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It is important to us that something as huge as a wedding anniversary is celebrated together as a family.  Sean and I started our family 12 years ago by being united together as one.  Then, we started the process of creating a bigger family with the birth of our first, second, and then third and final baby.  Our family blesses us each and every day, and we want our children to know how important our marriage, our family is to us.

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In typical Summer fashion, she performed a post dinner song and dance for us.  As I was videoing it, I thought, “I could not re-create these moments if I tried.”  They are precious and priceless.

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Since Sean prepared an amazingly awesome dinner, I made him a Sweetheart Milkshake.

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We ended the night by Sean being an amazing papa and husband.  He watched Scooby Doo with the littles while I retreated to another room to watch the Golden Globes.  Thank you, Sean!

It was a wonderful anniversary weekend.  We had a date night and a family celebration.  It was truly good and perfect in every way.

Just like this Cajun Chicken Pasta that I found on The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  I have made it several times over the past couple of years.  But, I must admit that Sean’s was the best one yet.  He is an amazing chef, and I love that he prepares delicious meals for me on special occasions.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

This recipe is slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman's Cajun Chicken Pasta.

Ingredients

4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

2 teaspoons season salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound linguini pasta

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter

1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1/2 whole yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup white cooking wine

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon corn starch

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Sprinkle 1 season salt and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper over chicken breasts. Toss around to coat.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir.
  4. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.
  5. Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.
  6. Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining 1 teaspoon season salt and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  7. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible.
  8. Remove all vegetables from the pan.
  9. With the pan over high heat, pour in the cooking wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
  10. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream and whisk in corn starch, stirring/whisking constantly.
  11. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Adjust taste/spiciness according to your family's preference.
  12. Add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate.
  13. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot.
  14. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/01/16/family-celebrations-recipe-creamy-cajun-chicken-pasta/

Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at Delightfully Dowling, Homemaking Haven, Cooking with Karyn, Make Ahead Meals, Skip to My Lou, Frugal Antics, A Southern Fairytale and Add a Pinch.

My Chef – Recipe: Crawfish Etouffee

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I know that I have mentioned my amazing husband just a few times.

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I gush about him because he truly is a wonderful man.

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I am very fortunate that he first became my friend…

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then my husband…

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and then the father of my children.

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As a friend, he helped me remember who I was.  He once told his mom that I was the nicest person who he had ever met.  To this day, that compliment makes me smile.  Because…to be a nice person is truly very important to me.  That is how my parents raised me, and I knew that I achieved success in their eyes in so many ways.  Being kind to others was a huge part of that success.

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As a husband, our worlds intertwined because we truly came together as best friends and as soul mates.  We got married in Las Vegas…because we wanted to do that.  We wanted our wedding to be about the two of us.  While we love our families dearly, we wanted to truly begin that day as one.  And, becoming one completed me…or at least I thought that I was complete….until…

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As a father to our children, Sean truly did complete my world.  He gave me children.  I did not know that life could be any better than it already was…until I held Gabriel for the first time.  And, to see Sean hold our son. Wow…there are no words for that.  When we had children, he gave me a compliment even greater than that of being the nicest person who he knew.  He told me that I was the best mom.  So, yes, he truly is an amazing man – friend, husband, father.

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And, as if it could get better than that…it does.  He can cook, too!  Yep, my man can cook…and he is very, very good at it.  Unfortunately, his schedule does not allow for him to do it very often.  But, when he does…he creates magic in the kitchen.  He is a talented, loving, kind man.  And, he can cook!

For my birthday, he made me Jane Deere’s Creamy Crawfish Etouffee.  If you have not visited her blog, you really, truly should.  The first time that I found it, I immediately pinned no less than 5 recipes.  She has beautiful recipes and some amazing pictures to go along with them.  I found the Crawfish Etouffee recipe on Jennifer’s amazing blog, and I knew that I wanted it for my birthday.   Sean is all about making Cajun food, so I was certain that this would be right up his alley.  I took one bite, and I knew that my birthday was complete perfection….just like my dear sweet best friend, husband, and father of my children.

Crawfish Etouffee

Crawfish Etouffee

This recipe is Jane Deere's Creamy Crawfish Etouffee, with some very slight modifications.

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup celery, diced

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon Gumbo File

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 pounds crawfish tail meat

6 cups cooked long grain white rice

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Saute the celery, bell pepper, and onion on medium heat until the vegetables become tender.
  2. Add the spices and garlic. Saute to combine, and then blend in the flour to form a roux around the vegetables, over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook thoroughly until the roux starts to brown slightly.
  4. Add the chicken stock a little at a time, stirring to bring all the ingredients together to form a thickened stew mixture.
  5. Stir in the crawfish tail meat, and then the cream.
  6. Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve over rice and garnish with parsley.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/11/10/my-chef-recipe-crawfish-etouffee/

Enjoy!

I have shared this recipe at Fireflies and Jellybeans, Momnivore’s Dilemma, Delightful Order, Recipes for My Boys It’s a Keeper, Somewhat Simple and Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.