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February 25, 2016

Greetings From “The Cook!”

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Hello, Pot Luck-ers! I am so excited to join the Shop Rite Pot Luck family! Let me introduce myself: My name is Brie and I am a wife, mother, and writer at {…a breezy life} who currently calls Collingswood, NJ home. My husband Pete and I are raising a blonde, brave, smart and silly 6 year old son named PJ, and our life is busy! Pete is a nurse and works the night shift. PJ is in kindergarten, his current full-time job. He also has Autism, which means that quite a bit of his time outside of school is full of therapies and doctors visits. With all of these demands on our time, it can be hard for us to come together to eat as a family. We do the best we can but to be truthful, it wasn’t until very recently that I have started to learn how to put together good meals for my family. In fact, until very recently, it was a rarity that I could manage something edible for my family! I am not what you would call a “cook.”

putluckthumbnail2.16Soooooo…why am I here? That is an excellent question! I think that the reason is because I am just like you. I’m a busy parent, trying to juggle many different schedules to make sure that my family can spend some time together. Sitting down for a meal together is the perfect way to slow down and enjoy each other’s company, and managing not to poison them is a bonus! I’m kind of the anti-foodie, and I am hoping to learn and grow and stretch my culinary wings. How will I do that? By learning how to make a shopping list so that when I go to Shop Rite, I don’t just pick out my coffee and then throw random food-stuff in my cart. I want to master the crock-pot, so that dinner can be homemade and delish even when we’re busy. And I want to expand my ever-widening array of recipes I found on Pinterest and share them with you! With luck, you’ll share some with me, too!

(Seriously. Pinterest has revolutionized my life.)

To round out my introduction, I want to share my first “Pinterest Win” with you- a delicious recipe that is inexpensive, easy to make, and a complete crowd-pleaser! Chicken breasts, onions and peppers, and delicious enchilada sauces all tossed together with a ton of cheese and your favorite pasta. Behold- Chicken Enchilada Pasta! Go make this and get your grub on- you won’t hate me for it!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

(as inspired by Cara from Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour! Stop by her site for the original!)

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked & shredded
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 each of  red, orange and green pepper, diced
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp taco seasoning
  • 2 10 oz. cans green chili enchilada sauce
  • 2/3 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (taco or Mexican blends work beautifully!)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Tri-color rotini pasta (my preference, but use ziti, penne, rigatoni- whatever you like!)
  • Optional Toppings: Avocado, Green Onions, Black Olives, Tomatoes, Sour Cream

Directions:

Cook chicken however you like. If I have time, I season it, dump on some salsa, and bake it at 350 until cooked through. If time’s short, I will slice it thinly and saute it in olive oil. However you like to cook your chicken, get it cooked and then shred it up! I have noticed that chunkier shreds hold up better in the cooking process.

Boil pasta according to directions. Chop the peppers into small, bite sized pieces according to preference. I like them on the chunkier side as well.

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet and cook onions for about 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and peppers, cooking those for another 3-5 minutes.

Add shredded chicken, green chiles, taco seasoning & enchilada sauces.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Add cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.  Turn heat down to low, then add the sour cream. Be sure to cook on low heat or the sour cream will become curdled. Stir until sour cream is well mixed and heated through.

Add in the cooked, drained rotini and toss until the pasta is well coated and all of the sauce, chicken and peppers are mixed through. Garnish with more sour cream (my preference!) or add any of the suggested toppings! Then write Cara a letter to thank her for showing me this recipe I shared with you because it’s good, right?

I am so excited to meet all of you! Welcome to my table!

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