I presented my 18-month long leadership project today. I was the last of 12 presentations and I wasn’t nervous until minutes before I was to present. Then, crazy palm sweats! I had worked hard on my slides and the project was one I was proud of. Two people from my department surprised me by coming to watch in the room full of people so I was definitely feeling the love!
I’m glad it’s over! Phewwwww!!!
I left there and promptly came home to walk the dog. It was in the 30’s and sunny and I was craving some activity after sitting, quite literally, ALL DAY. I was also avoiding picking up Shea too early for fear of her wrath – she loves staying on Tuesdays for afterschool care. However, she did ask that she not be the last one picked up. An interesting request from a child who is never the first nor the last child at daycare. Ever.
After my walk with Harlie, I hopped on the Peloton…and the treadmill. I’m trying to finish my book club book for Thursday evening and there’s a high likelihood that that will not happen in time. I wasted too many hours reading the book I was committed to only because I had paid $8 for it and had high hopes for the work of one of my favorite authors. BONK. I need to stop wasting time on book that are uninspiring. I nod off every time I start reading and they take me weeks and weeks to complete.
Next up was making dinner – another pasta meal. I’m not sure what it is about pasta and winter, but it always feels like the right choice. Tonight’s pasta meal was nothing special…marinara from a jar, chicken sausage from the freezer…and green beans from a can. I went simple, what can I say? Nothing like this Cajun masterpiece!
I lightened up this dreamy pasta and I must say, I don’t think it was missing any flavor. Only calories 😉 Packed with protein and spicy Cajun seasoning, this creamy pasta meal is a crowd pleaser and one we’ll SURELY be making again!
- 8 oz uncooked penne pasta
- 2 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
- 6 oz chicken andouille sausage, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced,
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup half and half
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook 7-9 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, season chicken on both sides with the Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken to a cutting board to rest and return skillet to heat. Add sliced sausage and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned. Remove sausage to a plate and set aside.
- Return skillet to heat and add remaining tablespoon of butter. Once melted, add the sliced mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Remove to the plate with the sausage.
- To prepare the sauce, add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Once melted, add the garlic and cook until golden. Add chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, half and half, and milk; bring to a light simmer. Whisk in the Cajun seasoning, paprika and garlic powder and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes more to thicken the sauce.
- Add cooked pasta into the sauce and mix in well. Next add the chicken, sausage and mushrooms back into the pan and allow them to reheat for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.