I'm not a vacation person. Maybe it's the clothes. Could be because I'm a Type-A guy and don't know how to relax. All I can tell you is that I don't act like those people in the travel ads.
You know the ones. The ads for airlines, hotels and resorts that show happy people drinking hot buttered rum at a five-star ski lodge, or frolicking in the waves of an azure ocean. First of all, I don't frolic and I don't put dairy products in alcoholic beverages.
The only vacation that I come close to nailing is the beach vacation. It's not because I look good in a Speedo (I don't) or because I'm an excellent swimmer (I'm not, but I am amazingly buoyant). The reason I ace the beach vacation is because I've mastered these five survival techniques.
1. Lighten your load
Unless you're being relocated in the witness protection program, don't pack more than one suitcase. Two suitcases are allowed for females if one contains shoes (Charlotte has taught me that you can't wear the same sandals two days in a row. It just isn't done in civilized countries.)
One of my favorite menu items at the Olive Garden is the Alfredo sauce. If one recipe really got me started, it was this one. My big tip here is to grate your own cheese; prepackaged cheese has an anticaking agent on it, and it makes it harder to get that cheese to melt.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Brush with olive oil and then season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Grill 5 to 7 minutes on the first side and then flip the chicken over and grill for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked through. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Prepare the Alfredo sauce by combining the cream and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Do not let the mixture come to a boil, but heat it until small bubbles begin to form. Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk quickly. Add the garlic powder and continue to whisk. The sauce will thicken after a minute or two.
Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Serve by placing half the pasta on each plate, then topping it with sauce and a sliced chicken breast.
Stephanie Manley is the creator and author of CopyKat.com. Since 1995, she has written recipes for restaurant-style dishes that anyone can make in their own kitchen. While working in restaurants, Stephanie began to write restaurant-style recipes to help save money and stretch her budget. Like many people, she couldn't afford to go out for dinner every night of the week, but wanted to recreate the taste of her favorite dishes at home. CopyKat.com, known for its trustworthy and delicious recipes, is now one of the Internet's most popular cooking websites, and has been featured in publications like the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Woman's World.