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I hope this post finds you well. I want to thank all of you for the warm emails and comments that I have been receiving regarding my heart transplant and recovery- thank you so much.
I have missed all of you tremendously. I can’t wait until I can come back to the blog full time and set a few new tablescapes. My head is spinning with new ideas.
I am in my fourth month post heart transplant and I am feeling much stronger. It has been a roller coaster recovery so far. Some weeks are great and then there are weeks that a few set backs show up here and there that stops me in my tracks. I will not give up or give in to pain or difficult situations that arise, so I will continue to follow all the rules and the restrictions to get myself back to being me.
My husband calls me Diane 2.0, the new and improved.
Speaking of my husband or should I say angel on earth, he has been doing everything while I recover. He is dusting, cleaning the house, doing laundry, making beds, food shopping and cooking three meals a day and continuing to work full time. He is truly a gift from God.
I have more good days than bad lately and one day a few weeks ago, I decided that I was going to cook dinner. I didn’t know what we had in the refrigerator or pantry since I haven’t been shopping so I decided to check out the situation. As I was poking around I felt like a contestant on the Food Network show, “Chopped” where you make a meal from odd ingredients.
Well, I found pasta of course (and one of my favorites, farfalle or the bow ties), prosciutto, frozen peas, chicken breast and half a container of mascarpone (Italian cream cheese). I could do something with that and pasta is always an easy dish. I announced to Bob that I was going to cook and he really wasn’t on board with it at first because I was still not allowed to lift a lot of weight and I have awful tremors from the medication and my hands shake 24/7, but I told him I would start and if I couldn’t do it, he would have to take over. So he agreed. He put the water up for the pasta and I was ready.
Although my body wasn’t as ready as my mind. Because I had just started walking, I still had the walker at all times so I had the walker set up in front of me at the counter and a kitchen chair behind me in case I needed to take breaks and sit. I should have had Bob take a picture of that but at the time I was too focused on being able to make dinner.
I had to sit and think of a plan because I couldn’t move around the kitchen freely and I was basically stationary in front of the cabinets and next to the stove. Bob was a call away, and he had to put the chicken in the oven for me.
I finally completed dinner and I considered it a success when Bob told me how much he missed my cooking. He needed a break from cooking and I needed to get back in the kitchen- my happy place.
The following is a list of ingredients and directions for this first meal I prepared post transplant. I hope you give it a try and enjoy.
I will be posting more and more recipes that I have been preparing while recovering. I don’t have enough strength to cook every night but I am working on that and getting stronger for a tablescape.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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Farfalle with Prosciutto, Peas and Chicken in a Creamy Red Sauce
3/4 lb pasta
1 lb chicken breast
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1 can whole plum tomatoes – crushed by hand or food processor
2 shallots – diced
1-2 garlic cloves – minced
basil, parsley & oregano (1 tsp. of each dried or fresh herbs)
8 oz mascarpone cheese
grated cheese to garnish
salt and pepper – to taste
Place chicken breast in a small roasting pan and add 1/2 cup of broth or water and bake for 25 minutes COVERED on 350 degrees. Remove from poaching liquid, let it cool and dice into cubes
Start to boil your water w/salt for the pasta
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute diced prosciutto until it starts to get crispy and remove to a paper towel.
To the same skillet add shallots and 1- 2 cloves of minced garlic (more olive oil can be added if needed) and saute for 1-2 minutes
Add the crushed tomatoes and herbs, simmer for 10 minutes on medium and add the mascarpone cheese, frozen peas and simmer for 10-25 minutes while the pasta cooks.
When the sauce is done, add the pasta, chicken, prosciutto and some grated cheese. Season with salt & pepper.