Thirty, Thankful, & Tributing TASTE

Turning 30 isn’t so bad.  To be honest, I really didn’t have any anxiety about turning 30 to begin with.  Maybe it’s becuase I can hear my Mom saying, “You are only as old as you feel….and I still feel like I’m 25.”  (She is 63, mind you.)  Or maybe it is because I am content with who I am, what I do, and where I have ended up.  I feel pretty fortunate to have married my high school sweetheart, found a career I love, and to be surrounded by so many great friends….those close by and those across the miles.  And did I mention…the best little dog in the world lives at my house (her name is Ruby)…and our first munchkin is due to arrive in August.  All in all…I think this year…my 30th year is shaping up to be a great one!  Thank you to everyone who has made me who I am today…for loving me and supporting…through good times and bad.  🙂

Last Thursday, St. Pat’s, was the big day.  The big 3-0!  Having a birthday on St. Patrick’s has always been a blast….green green green!  Growing up, my Mom made ALL of my birthday food green.  And, once I was older…there was green beer.  LOL.  While I couldn’t indulge in any of the green beer this year, my family and friends ensured that I was spoiled rotten.  First, I woke up to a surprise from Ryan.  A little blue box.

 

I don’t know a girl that doesn’t like the look of a little blue box!  I was even more thrilled with the silver inside.  A beautiful key necklace.  The big key from Ryan, of course….and the little key from Ruby.  Ruby thought I needed a little bling on my necklace, so “Dad” had to order one up with some stones!  🙂  What a thoughtful gift!

That evening, a group of great friends met us out for some pizza.  There was green beer…(no, not for me), lots of pizza, and plenty of laughter to go around.  To the local friends who shared the evening, thank you for being there!

And the next day, celebration continued with my childhood friend, Holly.  Holly treated me to lunch at one of my FAVORITE new restaurants in Iowa City, “Her Soup Kitchen.”  Honestly, the Roasted Portabella sandwich is to.die.for.  Don’t you worry…I will be featuring HSK on Indulge, SOON.  After our lunch, Holly also surprised me with a box of CUPCAKES! 

 

6 White Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and 6 “Robin’s Red Velvet” (yep, named after me!).  I have mentioned Holly’s cupcakes on the blog before, but today, I am going to plug them again.  YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY THESE CUPCAKES.  The white cupcakes were my favorite (but white always is)…super tasty…super moist…super delicious.  I believe my first comment was, “These are ridiculously good.”   Holly & her business partner Sara are now open for business.  I am so proud of them. 

Check out CRAVINGS at cravingiowa.wordpress.com.  If you are local to Iowa City, I am telling you that these cupcakes are tough competition for Yummy’s and Deluxe!  🙂

And finally, for my 30th bday, I am sharing one of my all-time favorite recipes with you.  Spicy Chicken Pasta.  Again, for those of you who are local to Iowa City, this recipe is a tribute to TASTE on Melrose.  TASTE was my favorite restaurant in Iowa City…hands down.  It was eceletic, quaint, and always delicious.  Just before it closed (Feb 2010), I made it my mission to create their Spicy Chicken Pasta at home.  After running through my anticipated ingredient list and rough attempt at creating the recipe with a local Chef, we perfected it!  Everytime I make this recipe, Ryan will walk into the house or kitchen and say, “Am I am at TASTE?!”  The aroma smells just like our favorite little restaurant.  🙂  And the good news is, the final products tastes EXACTLY like it did when the Chef’s at TASTE made it for us!

For those of you who received the Boudreau Christmas Card this year, this is the recipe I included on the last page of the card.  Pull it out and give it a try!

SPICY CHICKEN PASTA

A tribute to TASTE on Melrose

6 Servings

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Can Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce (pureed)
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp White Wine
  • 3/4 Quart of Heavy Cream
  • 2 Big Tomatoes, (cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 Lb Campanelle Pasta
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro

  

Begin by grilling the chicken breasts (~6-7 minutes on each side at 400 degrees) until cooked through.  Cut chicken into thick slices and again in half.  Add EVOO to a 5 qt pot.  Saute EVOO, garlic, and 3-4 tbsp of the pureed chipotle peppers for 2 minutes.  (Remember, chipotle peppers pack heat!  Start by adding 3 tbsp…you can always add more later…especially if you are sensitive to heat).  Add chicken and red peppers.  Sautee for another 3 minutes. 

Deglaze the pot with 2 tbsp white wine.  Add heavy cream and tomatoes.  Reduce on med-low heat for 30 minutes.  Sauce should reduce by 3/4.  While sauce is reducing, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles (~10 minutes).  You will want the noodles to be al dente.  Once the noodles are done, add 1-2 Tbsp of water from the noodles to the sauce.  Stir well.  Add noodles and cilantro.  Serve with a glass of wine & indulge!

  

 

INDULGE.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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