Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday - Cooking, Baking & Candlestick Making!

Just kidding about the candlestick making but it is on my 'list'!  As for cooking and baking...I am sorry to say I did neither unless you call heating a hot dog in the microwave and putting a piece of cheese on a saltine, I didn't think so but alas...I have cooked in the past and I am here to share a favorite recipe of 'the grands' when they visited this past Summer.
Be assured, I would never share a recipe that I myself have neither cooked or eaten unless I leave a disclaimer to that effect.  In fact, I did cook this week and once again , I fell for a Pinterest recipe by one of those 'flashy' bloggers that have ads and are always asking you to sign up for their newsletter.  How could I be so gullible...again?  I made pizza casserole in the crock pot and it made a lot which I have been eating all week long!  It was so bland and tasteless I had to cover it with blue cheese dressing and Parmesan cheese just to add some flavor!   Do these young women just make up this stuff?  Do they ever test or eat their own recipes? will NOT see that recipe on here for sure!
So here is the recipe (not necessarily a healthy one) but one that got the approval of the grandchildren and their Mom and Grandma too.  It is definitely a comfort food and it did seem to take me a while prepping for it.  I think I would divide some of the tasks to the day before.   This recipe is by Lisa Fain of The Food Network and from her cookbook "The Homesick Texan's Family Table".   I think I made a similar recipe by Rhee Drummond  (The Pioneer Woman) that was also very good.  I should do a comparison and 'cookoff' between the two recipes and see which one I like better...........both are very good so it will be a tough decision!  If you do a search on "Cowgirl Spaghetti" here on my blog you will find the other recipe.

Chicken Spaghetti

8 oz spaghetti
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and halved lengthwise ( I use green chili's in the 4 oz can chopped already and not so hot....2 cans)
4 cloves garlic left whole (or you could use the minced garlic in the jar that I use...such a time saver!)
1/2 yellow onion
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk, plus more as needed
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
salt and black pepper
4 cups shredded cooked chicken

Lightly grease a 9 X 13 inch pan or baking dish.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions in a large pot of boiling salted water.  Drain, rinse, and transfer the spaghetti to the baking dish.  Meanwhile, turn on the broiler and place a rack 6 inches away from the heating element.  Place the grape tomatoes and jalapenos (if you are using them) on the prepared baking sheet, skin side up, along with the whole garlic cloves (if you are using them) and onion.  Broil for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to blacken.  Remove from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, chop it all up.
Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F.
To make the sauce for the spaghetti, in a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Whisk in the flour until well combined and slightly browned, about 30 seconds.  Slowly, pour in the milk and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens just a bit, 3-5 minutes. (You want to coat the back of your spoon, but not be too thick, like custard.  If it gets too thick, you can slowly add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time).
Once the sauce thickens, immediately turn off the heat and slowly stir in half of the cheeses, about 1/4 cup at a time, until melted and incorporated into the sauce.  Stir in the chopped vegetables, along with the cumin, cayenne, cilantro, and lime juice.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and black pepper to taste.  Pour the sauce into the cooked spaghetti and then stir in the shredded cooked chicken,  Cover the spaghetti with the remaining cheeses.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until brown and bubbling.  Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Enjoy and Happy Trails!!!!


  1. That DOES look good. I make a baked chicken spaghetti that I think is the Pioneer Woman's recipe. It's delicious. I rarely try recipes unless someone I know recommends it. Sorry you had a bad experience this week.

    1. I need to make PW's recipe again so I can pick one and stick to it! LOL! I think hers might have been easier? I can't remember now.

  2. I haven't made this in a long time...looks so good! Love seeing Fall decorations too. You're giving me ideas! But then....I have to keep crafting! haha! You sure you don't want to enter my giveaway to add to your junk? lol Come know you need MORE and MORE junk! Lots of hugs, Diane

    1. Your giveaway is not junk! It is very lovely and someone younger than me would really appreciate it. I remember when I had young children and there was never money left over for things I wanted so there is someone out there who can't afford 'pretty things' so I want someone like that to win your beautiful journal.

  3. Mmmm, Sam I love everything about this recipe, thanks for sharing! I tried making candles btw, a few Blue Moons ago, I wasn't very good at it...they looked like crooked pretzels lol...maybe one day I'll try again! :)

    1. I would just make container candles as I have so many containers and I'm always using candles. i do want to get away from the 'smoking' wicks and wax though. The soot leaves marks on my ceilings and everywhere I'm sure. I know soy is best and/or real beeswax plus I need to research wicks. We'll see....I have too many irons in the fire right now....per usual! LOL!

  4. Oh my, that looks so good! I love white sauces on Italian food, but my half Italian husband is a stickler for tomato-based sauces. :(

    1. Tomato based is probably healthier for sure but yes, those white sauces are yummy! LOL! When my kids were little I would make both and we would put a little of each on....that was good!

  5. I make a different chicken spaghetti and that looks so good too. I haven't made it in years. I need to make that this weekend or next week. Yum!

    1. I think there are probably several good recipes for this out there. I just know that everyone really liked it across 3 generations! LOL!

  6. We like Chicken Alfredo every once in awhile. I just buy the mix in a packet and add the baked chicken from the deli:) I just loved your squash sausage recipe it is a real keeper:)

  7. I suggest, Sandra, that you comment on that Pinterest pin about the bland pizza. I pay attention to those comments when seeing a recipe that catches my eye.


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