Second Take

Happy Sunday readers! I hope that everyone has been enjoying their weekend, I know I have been! My Blackhawks won last night and are potentially one game away from winning the Stanley Cup again! I sure hope they do so we can take another picture like this one:

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Last Sunday was a very special day for Zach and I…it was our TWO YEAR anniversary! I really can’t believe it has already been two years! It still seems like yester day that this happened…

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followed very quickly by this…

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I am a very lucky girl that I got to marry my best friend and he still makes me laugh…even when he is driving me crazy. I also can’t believe that it has been almost a year since I started this blog! I will admit it has been a lot more work than I was expecting and I haven’t been nearly as dedicated as I thought I would be, but I am learning so bear with me!

A lot of things have changed in the past year though…a few weeks ago some friends were going through something and not knowing what else to do I offered to make them dinner, a year ago I was barely willing to offer to make Zach dinner. I turned to two favorites, cheese enchiladas that I will definitely have to share with you guys and my personal favorite tetrazzini. When I was making the tetrazzini I realized how far I have come, from documenting my first time ever making it here on the blog, to practically knowing it by heart and adding my own personal touches.

Now for the new and improved Tetrazzini!

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For this recipe you will need Angel Hair pasta, butter, flour, salt, white pepper, poultry seasoning, ground mustard, milk, shredded cheese.

(Optional and not pictured onion and chicken/turkey).

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Bring large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook for four minutes. Drain.

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Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. If you wish to add onion do so now and cook and stir until tender.

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Stir in flour until well blended.

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Gradually add milk and stir so no lumps form.

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Season with salt, white pepper, poultry seasoning and mustard.

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Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly till it thickens.

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Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/3 cup shredded cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

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Add cooked pasta to the sauce and stir until noodles are well covered.

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Add meat if desired, I highly recommend using shredded chicken, and stir until well combined.

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Pour pasta mixture into 9X13 pan and sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup shredded cheese.

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Bake at 400 for 25 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is toasted.

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Serve topped with crushed Ritz crackers. Enjoy!

Tetrazzini

  • 1 16oz package Angel Hair pasta
  • 2/3 cup onion, if desired
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 4 cup milk
  • 2 cup shredded sharp cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

Preheat oven to 400.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook for about 4 minutes (until almost tender). Drain.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, if desired; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour until well blended, then gradually add milk and stir so no lumps form. Season with salt, white pepper, poultry seasoning and ground mustard. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly till it thickens. Remove from heat and add 1 1/3 cup of the cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

Stir in pasta and shredded chicken. Place in 9X13 baking dish.  Top with remaining 2/3 cup cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is toasted.

Serve topped with crushed Ritz crackers.

I love feeling like I have made this recipe my own over the past year, I love making it and it is great for leftovers!

What is a recipe you have made your own over the years?

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Something New

Hello readers! It has sure been awhile but now that spring actually seems to be here I am ready to get back into things! Zach and I have been a busy pair, working and playing. I keep joking that we are almost real adults, we have been casually looking at houses and in a few weeks the lease on my Mini is up and we have been looking for a more practical car. With the four cars we have owned recently none could comfortably hold more than two passengers, sure the Mini does have a backseat but people can only sit behind me since I have to have my seat pulled all the way up…yay short legs! So the search has been on for an SUV, we think we have decided what SUV we want now we just have to find “the one.” I will admit I am kind of sad to see the Mini go, it was my dream car since BMW rereleased it back in 2000, I am proud of myself for achieving that dream, but on to the next dream.

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My current Mini (Dorothy) with my first Mini (Bluebell)

In other news, Toews is exactly the same, napping all the time and “helping” me around the house, she’s also very good at taking up an entire side of the bed (usually Zach’s side). I will admit she still cracks me up daily and I can’t imagine our life without her.

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Lately I have been trying new things around the house and I am way too excited to share this one with you today. I have always had a dislike of cooking meat, in fact I avoid it pretty much all together. I kind of joke with Zach that when I am cooking we are vegetarians because I avoid cooking meat as often as possible. Sure I can make tacos with some browned ground beef, and I will gladly heat up the pre cooked meats you can buy at the grocery store, but I have stayed away from raw meat, I always worry that I wont cook it correctly and make us sick.

Well a few weeks ago my mother in law asked me to guest post on her blog, MaryFranSays, she is having Sweeps Week and is featuring 5 guest bloggers. I was so excited she asked me and I got to work figuring out which recipe I wanted to showcase for her readers. After a lot of thought and some input from her, I landed on an old favorite, the only problem I would have to make shredded chicken, it seemed I was going to have to get over my aversion to cooking raw meat. Well the good news is, I DID IT!! and it actually turned out really well and now that I know how easy it is I will be using this recipe many times over, seriously you can use it for just about anything that requires shredded chicken or create your own recipes!

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For this recipe you will need olive oil, chicken breasts, salt, pepper and chicken broth or water.

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Pour some olive oil into a nonstick skillet, I used about enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

If desired you may season the chicken with salt and pepper prior to the next step, I did not because of what I was going to use them for, your call if you want to.

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When the oil is hot enough pace the chicken breasts into the pan, top facing down and let cook for 5 min until golden brown on top.

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Flip the chicken and add the chicken broth or water.

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Cover the pan and let the chicken simmer over medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. While simmering add additional liquid as needed 1/4 cup at a time if evaporates too quickly.

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Let cool slightly.

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Place chicken breasts into mixer with paddle attachment, turn on, it will thunk around for a few seconds then shred nicely.

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Tada! Look at that beautifully shredded chicken! I made that!

Easy Shredded Chicken

(Two breasts make about 2 cups)

  • Olive oil
  • 2 (about a pound) Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or water

In a large nonstick pan with a lid, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium heat until hot and rippling. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides if desired.

Place chicken top facing down in the hot pan and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes until golden brown.

Flip the chicken over, add chicken broth or water, cover the pan and let chicken simmer over medium heat for 7-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. While chicken is simmering add additional liquid 1/4 cup at a time as needed if liquid evaporates too quickly.

Let chicken cool slightly before shredding. Place chicken breasts into bowl of mixer, using paddle attachment, turn mixer on medium speed. The breasts will thunk around for a minute then will shred nicely. I actually walked away for a minute or so to let it shred.

Use immediately in any desired recipe or it will keep in the refrigerator, well covered, for up to 3 days or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Enjoy! This chicken was too easy to make and is super versatile.

Now that I shared my newfound excitement for shredded chicken you must check out my mother in law’s blog on Thursday to see how I used it, the recipe is one of my absolute favorites and now that I know how easy shredded chicken is I am so pumped. Check out her blog by clicking here or visit marylamphere.com to read more. Check out the other guest bloggers that will be posting all week starting today!