Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

When I first started this blog I had the intention of making it about my kids and the things they say and do.  I’m starting to see it evolve into much more.  A blog about kids, family, crafts, preschool, recipes and more!  Tonight, I have a dinner spotlight to share!

We all know that Pinterest is an amazing site yet it is very time consuming.  When I was up nursing a newborn in the middle of the night I would skim Pinterest since I knew I would be up for awhile.  Now that we are sleeping through the night I’m not on that much anymore.  The other day I decided that I didn’t want the norm for dinners–I wanted to try new things.

I have a love affair with my crock pot.  It is such a lifesaver and makes the yummiest meals for us with not much work.  I stumbled upon my Pinterest board of recipes and although they are NOT crock pot recipes I picked a couple dishes to try.

Tonight was one of those nights.  I LOVE making dinner for my family.

One of my favorite things about making dinner for my family is doing it with my husband.  Tonight, we crushed and chopped our own FRESH garlic cloves together!  Zac did all the stiring, I did all the preparing.  It was MARVELOUS!  (Zac even taught me how to crush and chop the garlic–he said he saw it on a Jamie Oliver cooking show.  Go hubs!)

( Sidenote: I didn’t even notice until we were reading the recipe that this is a dish from Buca Di Beppo.  If you’ve never been to one of their restaurants…you are missing out!  This was one of my favorite restaurants in college.  I only went a few times on pick-a-dates but for a pasta loving girl this was the place to be!  Family style pasta dishes all around.)

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni



  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 Tbs crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs chopped garlic
  • 6 oz chicken, sliced
  • 3/4 cup. Marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1 lb Rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • additional 1/2 t crushed red pepper (for garnish)


  • In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper and garlic and sauté just long enough for garlic to caramelize and red pepper to release flavor into the oil. Add sliced chicken and sauté briefly to coat in spices and garlic.

  • Add Marinara Sauce first and then Alfredo Sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce thickens slightly and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°. Turn off flame, add butter and peas and incorporate into sauce.

  • Drop cooked pasta in boiling water for 3 seconds. Let drain for 15 seconds. Toss with the sauce. Place pasta and sauce in pasta bowl, reserving the majority of the chicken to be placed on top of the pasta. Using a rubber spatula, scrape any remaining sauce from the pan to the pasta. Garnish with crushed red pepper and serve.


In The Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

First thing I did this morning after walking in the door from dropping Reese off at preschool was set my oven to 350 degrees.


Then, the smells of banana bread started to fill my home.


Here is my recipe: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (taken from Rachael Ray I believe)

1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 1/2 Cups Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 Bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

1 Cup Chocolate Chips


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour an 8 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in loaf pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Mix in the oil, bananas and eggs.  Stir in the chocolate chips (do not over mix!) and pour into prepared pan.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes (my oven takes about 70 minutes).  Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up.  Makes 1 loaf.



You can add chocolate chips or walnuts to any banana bread recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread or Banana Nut Bread.  I have found that the chocolate chips add just the right amount of chocolate to the bread to be oh so yummy and not overbearing in taste!




Here is my Grandma Curtis and Mom’s Banana Bread Recipe:

1 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Crisco Shortening

2 Eggs

5 Ripe Bananas

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

2 Cups Flour

1/3 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together sugar and Crisco in bowl with hand mixer; add eggs and mix again.  Mash bananas in a bowl, with a large fork.  Add the soda to them and then pour into sugar/Crisco mixture.  Mix well and add remaining items.  Pour into loaf pans that have been greased and floured.  Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Makes 2 loafs.



Go Fish


The funniest thing just happened.

I am a firm believer that my children should be comedians.

I just bought a bag of Goldfish “Baby” crackers today.  Em’s first time ever having them.

Reese just had one in his hand, said “Hey Emmy, Go Fish” and then threw it on the ground!

Is this real life?