Chicken Spaghetti

When I told Beth that I’d bring them dinner once they got home and settled with baby Reagan, I knew exactly what recipe I’d try: Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti. It’d been flagged in my cookbook since the day it arrived on my doorstep. My mom has similar recipes & combined PW’s with her own & warned me it made a lot of food. So as a heads up to you, make this dish with friends or a freezer in mind.

I’m going to list exactly what I did which was a little different than the fabulous PW. Only because I’m a little lazy and I don’t do whole chickens.

1 rotisserie chicken, deskinned, pulled off the bone & chopped by your husband {he rocks & he’s all mine}
box of chicken stock
1 lb thin spaghetti, broken into pieces
4 oz jar diced pimientos, drained
1 small onion {we don’t love onions & my medium-small one was too much for us}
1/4 c finely diced green bell pepper
2 can cream of mushroom soup
grated cheddar cheese {I used a whole 12 oz bag plus a little extra from another bag}
1 tsp seasoned salt {I used Lawry’s}
ground white pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper {I used 1/8 since Beth’s breast feeding. For us, I’d have used more}

As you can see from my ingredients, instead of boiling a whole fryer chicken then using that stock. I bought an already cooked chicken & bought the stock. While Husband took care of the chicken, I mixed water & stock to make a little less than 3 c that I set aside. In a pretty large pot, I mixed water & the rest of the chicken stock. Once that had boiled I broke up the spaghetti into fours & added them to the water.

I sliced the onion {should have done even smaller} as well as the green pepper. I also drained the pimientos. I drained the spaghetti and threw it in what I considered to be a large bowl. Use the LARGE bowl because I had to dump it into another bowl. Add the soups & 2 c of cheese to the spaghetti. Top that with the onion, pepper, pimientos & seasonings. Finally, top with the chicken as well as the stock. Stir it all together. See why I said to use the LARGE bowl?! PW said to taste test. I try to do what she says, so I tasted!

Pour into pan(s). I used a aluminum 9×13 pan for our friends & a 8×11 not as full one for us. Top with remaining cheese. PW recommends another 1/2 c in the cookbook but says more online. I probably did a little more. Recipe says ok to keep covered in frig for a couple days or frozen for a couple of weeks. It didn’t last that long in our house. I covered both and refrigerated for a couple of hours before taking one to our friends & us having the other for dinner.

Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. I baked covered for 30 then uncovered for the last 15 minutes. Enjoy! Then keep enjoying the leftovers!

Tortellini Florentine Soup

Another great thing about going home to my parents’ house is getting yummy recipe from my mom & her friends. We made this for lunch yesterday for 3 of us then I ate a little for dinner last night & there’s still enough left over for my dinner tonight. {Our bowls are angled, the soup & table are level!}Tortellini Florentine Soup
1 9oz package tortellini (we used portabella mushroom & cheese)
2 14oz cans chicken broth
10 oz jar Classico sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
1/2 c sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips (we love these so we used the entire 8 oz jar)
3 c fresh baby spinach
1 oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 lb spicy Italian sausage (we omitted)

Cook pasta, drain & set aside.
Cook sausage, drain & set aside.
Combine broth, alfredo sauce & tomatoes. Heat to boiling.
Then add cooked tortellini, sausage (if using) & spinach. Stir to wilt spinach.
Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!I reheated it tonight on the stove for 5 minutes. I added a little more broth since I figured some would cook off.
By the way, Mom’s friend doubled it & used 3 lb sausage (2 spicy & 1 mild).

Beth’s Pasta Salad

My future sister-in-law, Beth made this pasta salad for her nephew Miles’ birthday party. I loved it. I’m not a pasta salad lover so that’s saying something. She told me & texted me the ingredients so I don’t know specifics. I plan to make it this weekend. I thought it’d be great for easy lunches & to take to the pool.

box of favorite pasta, cooked to al dente
bottle of favorite Italian dressing (She used Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian)
small can of chopped olives (I think she used a few, but I plan to use one)
zucchini, chopped
feta cheese

Mix all together & enjoy!

Mac N Cheese

I needed a homemade side to bring to a potluck for the Chi O alum group dinner tonight. I volunteered to make homemade mac n cheese but truthfully I usually only make Kraft’s from a box. I’m hoping this is a good as Stephanie’s picture makes it seem!
Baked Mac N Cheese (from Stephanie Cooks)
2 cups of dry elbows or small shells
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of milk
2 cups of cheese
bread crumbs
1- Turn oven on to 350.
2- Bring the water to a boil, cook pasta, drain and set aside.
3- In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour and stir until it forms a thick paste.
4- Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly, until the flour is smooth in the milk.
5- Add the cheese, stir until smooth.
6- Add pasta, mix until pasta and cheese are well combined.
7- Pour into a greased baking dish. Top with a sprinkle of bread crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered.