Happy New Year!

Show of hands, who is still on the wagon with your New Year’s resolutions? Anyone? Yeah that’s what I expected. I should make a resolution NOT to make resolutions. Ha!

Instead of making resolutions that I’m sure to completely ignore I’ve chosen to make 10 attainable goals for myself in 2013. I also vow to not beat myself up if I fall short.

So, I’m putting it down in writing so you can all keep me accountable. 🙂

1. Blog more.
2. Lose 20 pounds.
3. Hike more.
4. Read at least 50 books.
5. Volunteer more.
6. Paint and take more pictures.
7. Start writing a book.
8. Cook my way through my Kevin Gillespie and Thomas Keller cookbooks.
9. Spend more face time with friends. (refer to #8) 🙂
10. If I spend money going out to eat make it quality time with family and friends and make it someplace worth it!

In an effort to be more conscious with #2 and #10, I’m going to share with you another restaurant knock-off recipe that I have perfected over the last year couple years. You won’t have to wait for hours to get a table, you can control the quality of ingredients you use and you won’t feel compelled to consume the super-sized portion your served. Your wallet and your waistline will thank me. Sounds like a good way to start the year!


Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta DaVinci

(serves 2, can easily be doubled or tripled for friends!)

  • 2 small chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 4 oz. (half a package) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 1/4 cup tawny port
  • Heavy cream
  • 2 cups penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Fresh parmesan cheese, shaved

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While water is boiling and pasta is cooking make the sauce.

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add diced chicken and cook 1-2 minutes or until browned but not cooked through.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook another 2 minutes until the onions get some color.  Add mushrooms and saute 2-4 minutes, stirring often.  Deglaze pan with Madeira and port, scraping up any browned bits (yummy!).  Cook 2-3 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half (it will start to look syrupy and bubbly).  Add the heavy cream (one swirl around the pan) and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook another couple minutes to reduce.  Add chopped parsley and cooked pasta and toss.

Spoon into individual pasta bowls and top with shaved parmesan.


I wish you all a very Happy New Year and a blessed and adventurous 2013!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, looks wonderful!!! Easy dish, I will have to try it soon!

  2. Amanda…what a beautiful plate of pasta…..much more inviting than the original! I love your list of goals instead of resolutions for the new year! Smart idea and I hope you achieve every one of them! : )

  3. That looks FANTASTIC!!! Pinning!!!!! I’m super excited you are going to blog more too!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s