This week’s column is dedicated to the Hoffmans – glad to see you back!

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta

6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, uncooked

1/2 cup creamy Alfredo sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 cup broccoli florets, chopped

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (rotisserie chicken from the super market works well)

1/4 cup basil, chopped

2 tablespoons oregano, chopped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, stir together the sauce and broth over medium heat until simmering. Add the chicken and cook until warmed through (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add the broccoli and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the sauce to the pasta. Toss the pasta with basil, oregano, and Parmesan. Garnish with parsley.

Chocolate Mystery Cake

1 package (18 ounces) German chocolate cake mix

1 1/2 cups root beer (not diet soda)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 container (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

1 1/2 tablespoons root beer (not diet soda)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 13 by 9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine cake mix, 1 1/2 cups root beer, oil and eggs in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at low speed 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Beat frosting and 1 1/2 tablespoons root beer in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until fluffy. Frost top of cooled cake. Cut into squares.

Pretzels

1/8 cup hot water

1 tablespoon dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

1/3 cup brown sugar

4 to 5 cups flour

In a large bowl, mix hot water and yeast. Stir in warm water and sugar. Slowly add flour. Knead. Roll into golf ball size balls. Roll into ropes and shape. In frying pan, put 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons baking powder. Bring to a slow boil. Place pretzels in water for 30 seconds. Put on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 475 degrees for 8 minutes, or until brown. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt or cinnamon sugar.

Cheese Dip

1 cup light Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 1/2 cups medium cheddar cheese, shredded

1 small onion, grated

Shred cheese, grate onion. Combine mayo, cheese and onion in 8 by 8 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve hot with chips or crackers.

Our thought for the week: “Worry gives little things big shadows.”