Monday, May 9, 2016

Ziti Chicken (A recipe is a place to start.)

Do you ever fill your freezer? I have to admit, I don't think I ever get mine fully filled. I have a full size one, so maybe that sounds like an excuse, but there are only two of us here eating on a regular basis. But I do keep it full enough where one or two meals each week can come out of there. It makes for easier evenings and clean up. With that being said, today I made a mess in my kitchen.

It seems I have a hard time not cooking for a crowd. When the boys moved out I had to learn to cut back but most of what I cook are casseroles. Not all, but most. And even the other dishes feed a good number of people before I get to the recipe and blow it up. So I've learned to go ahead and make the entire recipe, but then divide it up into multiple dishes.

Today I made Chicken Rice Casserole, Spaghetti Casserole, Chicken Ziti*, Pizza Pasta, Enchilada Casserole, and Spicy Chicken Baked Chimichangas. I should be completely forthright here.The spicy chicken was made on friday and the enchilada sauce came out of the freezer along with the spaghetti sauce. So I didn't have to start from scratch on all of these recipes, but I did make them all today.

I ended up with 13 dishes which will feed from 3-5 people total, and had enough spicy chicken left over for two sandwiches for tomorrow night. The awesome part of this is I will be able to take some to a friend who recently had a baby, make a few dishes just for Captain and I, and fill my own freezer a little for when company comes in soon.

I love cooking. I really do. So I don't do it all in one day to get it out of the way. I do it so that I have something prepped for days I know will be more taxing, to take to someone else who might need it, and because a full morning cooking actually refreshes me. It's not quite once a month cooking, but it gets the job done.

*I'm not sure I followed any of those recipes exactly, but for the most part they were at least the base of what I ended up with. My starting point, mind you. I change things up for our preference, my mood, or what's in the kitchen. I couldn't find the Ziti Chicken recipe online, or one similar to it, so I am sharing it below.

Ziti Chicken

2 cups cooked ziti
2 cups chicken, shredded or diced
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup

Combine all ingredients, pour into a greased dish, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

As you can see from the picture, I didn't follow this exactly either. I added onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, and bacon and I can not wait until supper.

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