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A2D Cooking School:: Chicken & Pea Casserole

Welcome to my cooking school!! Noooo, I’m not the teacher here. I’m the student!

You see, I just simply don’t cook. Last year was so busy for me that my newly-remodeled kitchen was barely even used! Matt and I ate sooooo much fast food, gained a ton of weight, and wasted a load of money.

This year, that needs to stop. I’m determined to learn to use my kitchen for something other than washing paint brushes and storing tools. I’m determined to fill my fridge with good food rather than wet brushes and paint rollers.

I’m determined to learn how to cook!!

Here’s my first attempt…


The recipe I used came from allrecipes.com. Here it is as it’s written. As you heard in the video, I made a couple of changes.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni pasta
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (10 ounce) can chunk chicken, drained
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. 1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes; drain.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together mushroom soup, sour cream, chicken, and peas. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
  4. Stir cooked pasta into chicken mixture until well combined. Pour pasta mixture into a 9×10-inch casserole dish, and spread out evenly. Top with Parmesan cheese, and spray the top with a bit of cooking spray.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool 5 minutes.

My first real cooking attempt was actually a big hit.  Matt and I both really enjoyed this casserole, and Matt deemed this recipe a “keeper”.  However, we both thought it was a bit dry, so when I make it again, I’ll add more soup and cream cheese.

Thankfully, Matt and I aren’t foodies.  We don’t require lots of variety in our meals.  Heck, Matt could eat the same thing (charro beans) for three meals a day, ever day of the week, and be perfectly happy.  So, since neither of us mind repetition, we’ve been perfectly content having leftovers each night.  Since I made this casserole (on Wednesday), we haven’t eaten out at all!! Hopefully our fast food habit is a thing of the past.

Do you have a quick and easy beginner’s recipe you think I’d enjoy?  If so, please send it to me!!  You can e-mail me at [email protected].



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5 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim
    January 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I love using allrecipes.com. When I first was learning to cook I used that website daily to find cool recipes to try. You're a natural, already making changes to the recipes. I always start out with the basic recipe and then add extras. I'll definitely subscribe to you on youtube. You're combining my two favorite things on one blog…decorating and cooking. Love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Liz
    January 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I do a lot of cooking on the weekends for the freezer…Just posted this on my BLOG this week…..But I will try your recipe next time I need a casserole for leftovers! THanks!
    Good luck with the cooking! I LOVE TO COOK!

    Turkey Meatballs
    1/4 c plain dried bread crumbs (I use whole wheat bread and put them in the Cuisnart to make my own!)
    1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    2 T whole milk
    3/4 c grated Parmesan Cheese
    2/4 t salt
    3/4 pepper
    1 lbs ground turkey (I use the Jennie-O brand, the leanest you can buy!)
    1/4 extra virgin olive oil
    5 C Marinara Sauce (see my notes later on that!)

    In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk and 1/2 the cheese, salt and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, but do not overwork the meat. Shape the meat into bite size balls.
    In a large skillet, heat oil over a medium / high flame. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving or turning the meatballs, until brown on the bottom(about 3 minutes). Turn the meatballs over and brown the otherside, about another 3 minutes. Continue to cook until all sides are brown.

    NOW….If you want to freeze some, let them cool, COMPLETELY and put them in a zip lock bag. I store about 6 – 8 per bag so I have a few meals for the future.

    If you are continuing with dinner, add the marinara sauce to the meatballs and bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes. Serve with pasta (we use whatever we have in the house!) and lots of Parmesan cheese!

    My Cheaters Sauce

    2 large cans of pureed tomato sauce
    1 can of petite diced tomatoes
    1 jar of roasted red peppers
    1T of red pepper flakes
    1 pkg of frozen spinach (defrosted and drained well)
    1 package of button mushrooms, diced, and sauteed
    Salt & Pepper

    Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer for 1 – 2 hours, stirring often. I let it cool completely and divide it into round GLADWARE containers for my freezer.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim-A Creative Spirit
    January 8, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    AND SHE COOKS TOO!!! That is great that you are doing this in 2011. You mentioned Rachael Ray and I LOVE her recipes. I think they are everything you mentioned…..easy…..basic….and quick. I will have to dig thru a few of my faves…..

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    PJ @Home Decor Accents | Outdoor Garden Decorations
    January 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Ok, the recipe sounds good but I will just wait for your next post before I will give it a try too. If you can do it and survive, I can do it too. LOL
    Just kidding, Kristi.
    Home cooking isn't as hard to learn or to do as a lot of people, especially the younger generation, think it is. I am like you and try out new recipes making a few changes how I think it might turn out even better.
    We love going out to eat once in a while but try to eat as little fast food as possible.
    My husband just loves home cooked meals the best and I really enjoy the cooking and baking.
    Best Regards
    Paula Jo

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    PJ @Home Decor Accents | Outdo
    April 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Ok, the recipe sounds good but I will just wait for your next post before I will give it a try too. If you can do it and survive, I can do it too. LOL
    Just kidding, Kristi.
    Home cooking isn't as hard to learn or to do as a lot of people, especially the younger generation, think it is. I am like you and try out new recipes making a few changes how I think it might turn out even better.
    We love going out to eat once in a while but try to eat as little fast food as possible.
    My husband just loves home cooked meals the best and I really enjoy the cooking and baking.
    Best Regards
    Paula Jo

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