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Friday, December 16, 2011

Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

I forgot to take pictures of our supper last night, but it’s a great, fast dish and I don’t want to forget to tell you about it. Bryan made this for me the night we got engaged and every year around this time, the time we got engaged, I get hungry for it.
Food is very nostalgic for me. Once a year I splurge and buy a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I try to eat oatmeal or Fiber One cereals so Cinnamon Toast Crunch is quite a treat! I love it because when I was a kid my Grandma and I would eat this cereal together when I went to her house. I cannot see Cinnamon Toast Crunch without thinking about my Grandma.
This chicken pasta is the same. Every time I make it I remember the night we got engaged, how excited we were, and how we spend the most of the remaining weekend on the phone sharing our excitement. Just last night we re-lived some of those fun memories.
Chicken Pasta
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can tomato soup
1 soup can milk
1 tsp basil
2 c. Penne pasta
Brown the chicken breasts in a pan. Remove the chicken and place the soup, milk, and basil in the pan. Combine with a whisk and simmer on low. Add the cooked chicken to the mixture once the soup and milk mixture is combined. Meanwhile, cook pasta per package directions.
Serve the pasta and tomato sauce on a bed of pasta. Serve with corn or a side salad.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Extreme Baking

I have not blogged for almost 6 months. I cannot say that I have a good excuse and I assure you that we have eaten in the last few months. I wrote (but never posted) this post in September. Bryan was gone on a work trip so I was at home to entertain myself. Read on to find out what happens when I’m stressed and alone. And, look forward to more frequent blogging.
I got home last night and I wanted to relax but I felt the need to accomplish something so I decided to bake. For me, baking is a great stress reducer and results in a good smelling and awesome tasting product. I did what any not-so-normal human being would do; I whipped up a double batch of my Grandma’s cinnamon rolls and a batch of monster cookies.
This made perfect sense to me, you see, because while the sweet roll dough was rising I would make the monster cookies and in between tending to the dough, I would bake the cookies. In addition, I would use the oven and not have to turn it on later. This is multi-tasking and makes me smile because I’m lame like that.  
You should be asking why a family of two needs a double batch of cinnamon rolls and monster cookies. The honest answer is that we don’t. However, we were moving in October so I knew we would have much help. These items freeze well and will come in handy later.
I wish I could say that I had pictures but my hands were so covered in flour, dough, and cookie particles that it just did not happen. I also wish I could say that I remembered how much a single recipe of my Grandma’s cinnamon rolls makes! My arms got sore during the kneading process – so sore they were shaking. (This is a sign that I need to work on my arms strength but I am going to ignore this fact. I hope you do too.)
Then, I made the monster cookies. There was nothing new there. I put them in the fridge to chill and went back to the rolls just as my mom called. “What are you doing?” she asked. I nonchalantly told her about my baking expedition and she said, “You know that Grandma’s cinnamon roll recipe makes TWO 9x13 pans on its own. You are going to have FOUR 9 x 13 pans of cinnamon rolls.”
Oh. Shoot.
The rest of my night involved a cinnamon roll assembly line of rolling, buttering, cinnamon-and-sugar-ing, rolling, slicing, and baking. I did not get to the monster cookies (imagine that) but my house smells great and I have a freezer full of goodies to feed an army. At 10:30 the last pan of rolls came out of the oven and I naturally wanted to eat one. Should someone really indulge in a cinnamon role at 10:30 at night? Alone? I didn’t think so, so I considered taking a pan to my neighbors. They would certainly enjoy them, but I do not think baked goods and a random visit from a neighbor is really welcome after say, 9:00 PM. So, I did the only logical thing. I ate the smallest one – you know – for quality control. They are good and will be better with frosting. Next time I will take pictures and blog about these rolls and post some tips and tricks I remembered through the process.
I am going to bake the monster cookies tonight but I am a slow learner as I also have plans to make a carrot cake, a salad for work, and a salad for supper tomorrow night.
If you do not hear from me please come find me under the piles and piles of dishes!
I made it out of the baking extravaganza and our moving crew really enjoyed the cinnamon rolls. I have had at least two additional baking extravaganzas since this September night but I will have to tell you about that later.