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19 September 2007

Pity the fool who tries to live up the Martha's standards

I love Martha Stewart, but I just don't have the time to be Martha Stewart. My former roommate had a theory that people in our age group entertained less because they felt they had to entertain on the scale of Martha, and just gave up before they even began! I would definitely prefer to entertain like Martha, but I just know it is not going to happen. Most women will only come close to entertaining a la Martha on their wedding day, and even then things will probably fall a little short of their Martha Stewart Wedding Dreams for lack of a $100,000 budget.

So, what is a girl to do? Every time she starts to yearn for the perfection of Martha she should channel Lazy Martha instead! Lazy Martha is the busy woman's guide to home keeping on a budget.

My first installment of "Lazy Martha," a new Chic and Charming feature, is a recipe with a lot of personal history: Shells with Pink Sauce. I learned it from my very first boyfriend, when he cooked dinner for me for the first time. Many years later, I prepared it the first time I cooked dinner for my future mother-in-law. This is one of my fail safe dishes that I pull out when I need to impress, but I need to be safe. I will also just whip it up to bring in and reheat for lunch during the week. The beauty of the dish lies in the fact that it is super fast and that you have some flexibility in ingredients. It also seems like you slaved over the stove, but there is very little homemade about this dish.

Your favorite bottled tomato sauce
Your favorite bottled Alfredo sauce
Dried Red Chili flakes (optional)
Chicken or cleaned, shelled shrimp (they can even be frozen)
Garlic (optional)
Wine or chicken broth
Butter or Olive oil
Dry medium or small pasta shells

1. Saute the chicken or the shrimp in some butter or oil with chopped up garlic (and any other seasonings you think you'd like to throw in). Remove from pan.
2. Deglaze pan by throwing some wine or chicken broth in the still hot pan, and scrape up any good stuff off the bottom of the pan. Bonus: deglazing not only makes your sauce tastier, it makes doing the dishes so much easier!
3. Pour this mixture into a pot, dump in the Alfredo sauce and tomato sauce. Sprinkle with chili flakes, to your personal taste. Stir several times to combine.
4. When the sauce gets hot throw the chicken or shrimp into the sauce to rewarm it.

1. Boil water with some salt in it.
2. Throw in some small or medium pasta shells.
3. Cook al dente, strain.

Combine pasta and sauce. Serve!

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Perfectly Plump Preppy 2.0 said...

This sounds great. I will totally try it. You should perhaps have your own show on after Martha's showing us the lazy way to achieve a similar effect. :)

Tres Poshe Preppy said...

Sounds like my kind of recipe. Yum.

Unknown said...

Sounds fab. Since i'm more into seafood than meat, I would try it with shrimp. Thanks for the recipe!

Miss J.

WendyB said...

That picture is hysterical.