Friday, February 15, 2013

What's a Girl to Do?

It's likely because of the cold weather and biting winds we've had lately but this momma has been CUH.RAY.VING. some good old fashioned comfort food. In particular, as I was compiling my grocery list Tuesday night, I was craving a heaping dish of The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti. But my frugal side could not bring myself to actually fork over the money at my nearby grocery store for such recipe specific ingredients when I wasn't at my normal "discount" store. It was meant to be a quick run out for just the immediate needs. But the craving would not go away.

**Side note - I've let this month's meal planning and regular grocery shopping slide far too long with the crazy grumpy weather we've had so it's my own darned fault, I know. I'm sorry. Moving on.**

When I got home from the quick run, I took stock of the pantry and left-overs to plan Wednesday's dinner

What's a girl to do when she has a big batch of left-over shredded BBQ Chicken and can't face eating one more sandwich from it?

What's a girl to do when she finds a huge R*bberm@id container of whole wheat spaghetti left from Monday night's family feast? (Shaggy has been gone since September and I'm still making spaghetti portions like his carb lovin' self is at the table every time! Oh well. He's coming home Saturday so why bother adjusting portion sizes now?!)

(Yes! I said Saturday! Shaggy is coming home on SATURDAY!!!!!! 
Yay, Yay, YAY!!!!!)

Where was I?
Oh, yeah. The spaghetti. Lots of left over spaghetti.
Here. Right there. See?

Well, the girl gets inspired and turns on the Phillip Phillip tunes while she creates her own knock-off of a yummy family favorite! Who knows? Maybe the girl is about to stumble upon a brand. spankin'. new. family favorite? Crazier things have happened 'round these parts. Here's how it went down. In case you want to try such craziness in your own kitchen!

I warmed both containers up slightly, to loosen them up and make them easier to mix. Please. DON'T forget to cut up the spaghetti in smaller pieces once it's warmed... it'll be a lot easier to blend in with the other ingredients. NOT that that ever happened here. Heh. I'm just sharin' the benefit of my mistakes, er, wisdom.

I put all the meat and long stringy spaghetti in my largest mixing bowl and started adding the yumminess.

For my-sized crowd, I used about 2 cups of cheddar. 

If I'd had two cans of beans, I would have used both.
But one can, rinsed and drained well, went into the bowl.
Followed quickly by these little green bites of scrumptious,
drained lightly, of course.

It was a little thick and hard to mix thoroughly,
so I added a can of this. Low fat, low sodium.
Cuz that's how I roll with the cass-ah-rollz!

It looked like this while I was adding and mixing.

Poured it all into my trusty P@mpered Ch*f
9x13 deep baking dish.
Well-sprayed to avoid sticking and staining.

I slid it into the oven without covering it.
Voila! Dinner was done before 1:00 in the afternoon!

Do you use your timed cooking and delay start
options on your oven?
If you have them, you should use them.
I LOVE them. They have set me free from the madness
that is 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. 'round these parts.

Homework, lessons, chore charts, meltdowns, you know what I mean.
Back when the older kids were really little,
my mentor-mom-friend called them the "witching hours."
Cuz if a momma isn't careful, 
she can get pretty witchy-like.

Yeah. You know what I'm talkin' about!

Anyhoo..... back to our story.

As the madness subsided, I had Li'l Empress and Baby BlueEyes set the table.
LadyBug made the salad and all the fixin's for it.
All that was left was the eatin'. Mmmm, the eatin'.

Oh. Wait. Can't forget that once it cooked all it's yummy goodness
together for about 45 minutes, I added a little bit more of this on the top.

I cooked it for another 10 minutes or so
till it got to this stage of melty, ooey-goodness.

You can see, we almost forgot to snap a picture before digging in!


You're welcome.

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