Tag Archives: parmesan

Weeknight wonder #1! Southern Living creamy chicken and noodles

First of all, dispel any notion of any previous recipes for chicken and noodles. Even if you love chicken and noodles, this is a different recipe. It’s like sassy, saucy chicken and noodles. They are like traditional chicken and noodle’s sassy older sister with a mysterious air. Yes. The familiarity of chicken noodles yet with an added something. My mother in law, Deb, makes what my father in law calls dead man noodles. They call them this because she makes them when someone passes away and brings them to the grieving family. They are very delicious and a recipe she has made often. They are comforting and make a ton. I enjoy them. So when I came across this recipe several years ago in Southern Living magazine, I would have passed it by except, this recipe was in a section about meals with rotisserie chicken. I stopped short (that’s a nod to Seinfeld, yes. I love rerun comedies. So said like Frank Cosfanza…”I stopped short!” Lol!) and did a double take. What? No boiling a chicken all day? Well sign me up! At that time I distinctly remember having 3 little bitty kiddos under foot all day long and getting any meal on the table was a struggle most evenings. So when I found this and BD really loved it and the kiddos kind of ate it, I thought score!
This week, I decided to post recipes I consider weeknight wonders. Meals you can either prep ahead of time or throw together quickly using shortcuts. Who does not love that? I like to cook, but I love a good shortcut! AND the list of ingredients is so small, I can recall it easily. After 4 kids and lots of sleep deprivation, that is saying so much. This meal definitely comes together quickly and you can change it up a bit to suit your families tastes.~AMB

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not so long ago, there were 3 instead of 4. Home all day and I cherish every crazy moment. They were 3, 2, and about 7 months…2007

Southern Living Creamy chicken and noodles

Stuff you need~

8 ounces of wide egg noodles
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces (insert ROTISSERIE chicken here…just pick it up at the store and debone it! Done and done!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning packet mix (yes the Good Seasons stuff…or store brand)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Fresh parsley (the dried stuff will do in a pinch. Promise)

What to do with the stuff~

Boil your noodles and drain them. Put the noodles back in the pot. Add the butter and toss noodles to coat. It gets hard now so pay attention.
I am totally kidding it’s so easy that it should be wrong. Ok sorry for my little foray into pranking y’all.
Anyway, noodles are coated in butter. It’s all good. Throw in that cut up chicken. Stir. So now, you toss in your 1 tablespoon of Italian dressing mix. NOT THE WHOLE PACKAGE OF IT!!! Next, throw in the grated Parm. And then the parsley. You are gently tossing to coat this whole time. Now, pour in that good ole heavy whipping cream. Stir it in. Oh yeah. It looks good right? Yes so now, over a medium to low heat, heat this up until it thickens a bit. It is so fabulous. Feels like you really did it up, and yet that wasn’t bad at all. Your family gets fed and you are all awesome mom. Or dad. Check you being all awesome!

*If you want to get real fancy like, you can toss in a cup of frozen peas and pieces of ham instead of the cut up chicken.

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these ain’t your grandmother’s chicken and noodles!

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Mammaw’s Spaghetti and Baked Meatballs

Now I am quite certain there are many of you out there who have their own tried and true spaghetti and meatball recipe.  I am also quite certain it is absolutely delicious.  This is not your traditional Italian spaghetti and meatball recipe, I wouldn’t think, as neither Big Daddy or I have any Italian roots in our family….just about everything else…just not Italian.  Growing up, my Momou made spaghetti and meatballs for Sunday lunch when we would go visit and my mama made them pretty regularly too.  It was always a big event and my daddy was always, always so excited.  We had these big ole bowls he would eat spaghetti and meatballs from and he did it just right…twirling his pasta in the spoon with his fork.  He taught me and my sisters how to do it as well.  My mama and Momou could sure enough make up some spaghetti and meatballs.  So when Big Daddy and I started dating, his Pappaw passed on Mammaw’s spaghetti and meatballs recipe to me.  I gave it a try as my Momou could never verbalize exactly how she made hers. Magic, I suppose.  🙂  She did try though and I knew there was sugar in it and I had watched my mama enough to know kind of sort of how to do it.  Remember though, I was in college.  I was 19 and needed a dang recipe.  Lol!  So I got Mammaw’s and I got to it.  Well, turns out, her recipe and Momou’s and my mom’s must have been very similar.  It definitely hit the spot.  So for the most part, when I want to do a big spaghetti and meatball dinner, this is the recipe I always use.  My kids absolutely love it, even my oldest picky child.  He nearly licked the bowl clean the other night.  So I wanted to share this recipe with ya’ll just in case you are at a loss how to recreate your mom’s or grandmother’s spaghetti and meatball recipe.  Or you need a good recipe for this in your recipe box.  I hope you enjoy this.  I have definitely shortened it and simplified it to some extent.  I don’t think Mammaw would mind me taking liberties with her recipe as she was a very sensible woman indeed.  She would be a fan of “ain’t nobody got time for that!” if she were here today.  So make up a big pot of Mammaw’s spaghetti and meatballs and share them with someone special.  Sit around the table and laugh while you twirl your spaghetti in the spoon with your fork and then pile it into your mouth.  Just don’t forget the napkins!!!

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Big Daddy, Mammaw and Pappaw making sweet memories….

Mammaw’s Spaghetti and Baked Meatballs

Ingredients

For sauce you will need…

olive oil

3 cans tomato paste

6 cans of water

1 onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced,

sugar (about 2-3 Tablespoons depending on taste)

salt and pepper (about 2 tsp. of each give or take…I use kosher salt)

2 bay leaves

For meatballs you will need…

1 pound ground chuck

1 pound ground pork

1 tsp. each of  salt and pepper

2 tsp. dried parsley

milk

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove of garlic

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a big wide pot or a deep one (I use my big blue wide pot) over medium heat.  Add finely diced onion and garlic in the olive oil and saute this for about 5 minutes or until onions are tender.  Add in cans of tomato paste one by one, giving a good stir in between each one.  You want to incorporate the onions  and garlic into each can of paste.  Gradually stir in each can of water.  Add bay leave, some salt and pepper and about 1 tablespoon of sugar to start with.   You can taste it and add more if you want at this point or wait.  Now, the sauce should be bubbling a bit at this point, so turn it down to low and let it simmer.  Ok, put the lid on and let this simmer for about 2 hours.  Stir occasionally and adjust heat if needed.  Mammaw made sure to note on her recipe and Pappaw made sure to reiterate to me…”the secret is in long slow cooking!!”…to me that means two hours.  LOL!!

While sauce is simmering, you can go ahead and make your meatballs.  Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Put your meat in a large bowl.  Add in your salt, pepper, parsley, grated Parmesan,  a splash of milk and minced garlic.  Mix it up really well with your (clean) hands.  Really get in there and work that seasoning in ya’ll!  Good times!!  ha ha!!  Ok, once you have your meat well seasoned (feel free to add in more seasoning if you think you need to.  My measurements are approximate). Now, take about 1 heaping tablespoon of meat and roll it gently into a ball.  You want uniformity more than anything so that they will cook evenly.  Put the meatballs on a rack inside of a baking pan (this allows fat to drip away from the meat).  Mammaw called for pan frying the meatballs in her recipe.  I changed it up because baking the meatballs makes them more moist to me, plus it is a healthier way to make them.  Put your baking pan on the middle rack in your preheated oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes.  They don’t have to be completely done as they will cook a little while in the sauce.  You just want most of the pink gone.

Add your meatballs to your sauce one by one.  Give them a good stir and then return lid to pot and let the sauce continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.  Serve over cooked pasta of your choice and you are golden!!  Sunday supper for real!!!

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Big bowl of love!!