July 28: Poor Man's Alfredo

Ruby lost her FIRST tooth tonight!! Clayton lost another one, too. Busy night here for the Tooth Fairy!

I haven't posted a new recipe in a while, basically because I haven't been cooking.

What have we been eating then, you ask?

Well, I have been "cooking," which is similar to actual cooking, except without the recipes and hours spent in the kitchen. It basically involves pulling something out of the fridge and slapping it on a plate, having it delivered, or throwing it on the grill. And some days, if I absolutely must, I expend the extra effort required to put something in the crock pot ahead of time, and it cooks for me. Peanut butter and jelly, lots and lots of hot dogs {if you happen to notice my children glowing in the dark, this is probably why}, fruits and vegetables, lunch meat, hummus, pasta, cheese quesadillas, pizza, salad, and grilled chicken. Between baseball games/practice almost every night this summer and the thought of dragging four children to the grocery store, that's really the best I could manage.

Summertime food motto: If it ain't cheap, quick, and easy, it ain't happening.

But I came up with a random but very tasty concoction at lunch today that was instantly a HUGE hit, so I thought I'd pass it along. I called it Poor Man's Alfredo, because whether you can't afford the time it takes to make gourmet Alfredo sauce or you think the traditional ingredients are too expensive or you just don't feel like running out to the store, this recipe is for you. Instead of heavy cream, which I never seem to have on hand, this recipe uses the cheaper and more readily available substitute of milk and cream cheese. And at the first bite, it was unanimously kid-approved. :)

Poor Man's Alfredo

1 lb pasta cooked al dente
4 T butter
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 cup whole milk
4 oz. Aged cheese {Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago}, shredded
Garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste

Cook the pasta of your choice according to the package instructions, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before straining. Do not rinse or oil the pasta. Using the same pot or another heavy bottomed skillet, add the butter, cream cheese, and milk into the pot and whisk together on medium-low heat until combined. Slowly add in the shredded aged cheese, whisking continually. Once cheese melts and sauce thickens, add garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the pasta back in and stir to combine with the sauce. Add reserved pasta water as necessary if sauce is too thick. Serve immediately. Great topped with grape tomatoes, balsamic drizzle, and grilled chicken breast.