Saturday, February 11, 2012

Italian Pasta with Chicken and a Side of Skier's Thumb

Exactly a week ago I made Italian pasta with chicken for dinner. I had it ready right as Paul got off work. After dinner we were to go to Chestnut Mountain just outside of Galena, Illinois for a night of downhill snow skiing. Being a lover of all things with cream cheese I had decided to try out the Philadelphia Cooking Cream I found in the store. It was an easy, quick way to add a delicious sauce to a pasta dish. I used the Italian Cheese and Herb flavor. As we devoured our Italian pasta with chicken, little did we know that later in the evening we would have a side of "skier's thumb".

We arrived at Chestnut at about 6:30pm and began skiing down the various ski runs, enjoying the rush of adrenaline, then relaxing as we took the lifts back up the runs. We were having a wonderful ski night; the snow wasn't too icy considering our Midwest conditions for skiing, and it was an exceptionally warm night in the beginning of February. At 11:30pm we were trying to get our last couple of runs in before Chestnut closed at 12. We were skiing down our favorite run called Crazy Horse when all of a sudden I saw Paul sprawled on the snow. One ski was above him and the other one below. Paul is an advanced skier; he skis black diamonds in Colorado every year, so when he doesn't get up right away I know something is wrong. His first thought was that he broke his thumb. Thankfully we were close to the bottom of the run. I helped him get his skis back on and we made it down to the bottom and found the ski patrol. At the base of his thumb was a huge bulge. Our guess was that it was popped out of its socket but ski patrol said it looked like a case of "skier's thumb".

Hoping the Doc at the ER in Dubuque would be able to answer our questions of what "skier's thumb" is,  we were in the hospital until 2:30am and left with a heavy-duty splint, a prescription for pain medicine, and a note to call the orthopedic doc on Monday to take a look at it. When Monday came rolling around Paul found out that his thumb was dislocated with a fracture that fragmented the bone in two spots, requiring surgery to fix. Apparently this type of accident is common among skiers; hence the nickname, "skier's thumb."

Paul's surgery was successful. He now has two permanent metal pins holding his bone fragments together. Currently he is learning to perform daily activities with one hand until he has recovered six weeks from now. Thankfully his accident was fixable with surgery and some healing time. Despite Paul's accident we still had a great night skiing and enjoyed the Italian pasta with chicken dish.

Now for the recipe you've been waiting for...

Italian Pasta with Chicken

Italian Pasta with Chicken

1 T Garlic
1 tsp butter
2 chicken breasts processed in the Marinade Express
1 container of Italian Cheese and Herb Philly Cooking Cream
Noodles (eyeball it to how much pasta you like in your dish)
1/2 bag of frozen broccoli
2 cups of frozen peas
2 hand-fulls of fresh spinach


1. Cut the chicken that has been processed in the Marinade Express (using either the unflavored or Italian  MX seasoning mix) into bite-sized pieces.

2. Begin boiling the pasta in water. Boil until the noodles are tender.

3. In a large pan cook the garlic in butter just until the garlic is browned.

4. Add the chicken. Keep stirring so the chicken cooks evenly.

5. Add the frozen broccoli and peas and fresh spinach. Cook until the vegetables and chicken are cooked through.

6. Add the container of Italian Cheese and Herb Philly Cooking Cream to the pan. Make sure the sauce evenly coats the mixture and is melted. Serve immediately.

This dish is quick, easy, creamy, and healthy. The best part about it is that you can use whatever kind of frozen veggies you have on hand or fresh veggies, or any kind of meat. There are endless possibilities. I will be testing out more variations of this recipe with the Philly Cooking Cream, but I will omit the side of skier's thumb.

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