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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

I got a wild hair tonight for some reason, so I decided to cook for about three hours!  I ended up baking some chocolate chip cookies as well as this oh-my-God-it-smells-so-good piece of deliciousness!  I've had this recipe bookmarked for a very long time, but I never got around to actually making it until tonight.  Unfortunately Mr. L is still on evening shift, so he isn't here to smell our kitchen, but he'll be enjoying it tomorrow night for dinner for sure.  Let's get on with the recipe and pictures!

  • 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.  (For some reason, I decided not to take a picture of this step!)

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.  (Again, my brain was out the window and I forgot pictures here!)

Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta.

There, I finally started taking pictures!
Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish.

In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture.  Dot the top with small bits of butter.

Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

I can't wait for Mr. L to try it :)  I hope you enjoy it as much as I am right now!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Awesomesauce Christmas Plans

We found out a few weeks ago that my parents were planning a pretty nice Christmas "getaway" for our immediate family.  At one time, we were talking about going to the North Georgia mountains for Christmas, but unfortunately, my grandmother isn't in the best shape healthwise so we opted for something a little closer to home -- the beach!

I love our beaches!
They recently put down the deposit on a lovely beach house about three miles from Highway 59 in Gulf Shores!  And not only that, we have the beach house for the entire month of December.  How crazy is that?!

Our criteria included that the property had to be dog-friendly (since we have three pooches in between us all!) and enough room to fit at least 8 people comfortably at one time.  We'll all be there together around Christmastime, but at any other point in the month, we'll be free to come and go as we please and as we have the time available to us.

The house has 4 bedrooms (king-sized beds in two rooms, one queen in another room, and 2 queens in the last room) so it can sleep up to 14 people, with 3 1/2 bathrooms.  It's not a beachfront property, but it is right on the water.  But not like that really matters for the middle of December anyway!

The house wasn't our first choice (see:, talk about a dream house!!) but it's going to be a LOT of fun.  I'm really excited about inviting friends over and pretending for a month that we're ritzy enough to own a beach house ;)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Danny & Annie

I found this video link on today, and I felt that it was so beautiful and touching.  Be prepared to cry!