Main Dishes, Recipes

Creamy Chicken Pepper Penne

I committed the ultimate blogging sin earlier this week.

After happily harvesting 7 beautiful green bell peppers from the garden, I hurried to the kitchen to begin making my stuffed pepper recipe. I knew it was something I was going to want to share here on my blog, so I took a little snapshot of the peppers as I was getting started.

See how pretty? All ready for my recipe.
See how pretty? All ready for my recipe.

I placed the prepped, stuffed peppers in the fridge, because I had to take the kids to karate. I had Hubberman pop them in the oven while we were gone, and by the time we got home, the smell of the delicious peppers was heavenly to our hungry family. We dove in and enjoyed those peppers thoroughly.

Without taking a photo of them before we ate them.

Really!? So much for that post.

I promise I will post the stuffed pepper recipe eventually, preferably with a photo. Thankfully, I did still have two more peppers waiting in the wings for another recipe this evening. And so I present to you…(after the longest intro in history…)

Creamy Chicken Pepper Penne

Creamy Chicken Pepper Penne


1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast (I used leftover grilled chicken with Copycat Ohana Marinade)

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup thinly sliced bell pepper (I used a combo of both green and red)

1/2 pound (1/2 box) of penne pasta

1 tsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

for sauce:

1 1/4 cup heavy cream (no substitutes – treat yourself!)

juice and zest from half of a large lemon (about 1/4 cup of juice, or more to taste)

1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese (asiago would be yummy too)

1/4 tsp salt

Cracked black pepper to taste


Start a large pot of water to boil for pasta.

In a large pan, heat olive oil with garlic until fragrant. Add peppers and onions and saute until crisp tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Keep your pan handy, you’ll need it for the sauce in just a bit.

By now your water should be boiling. throw in your pasta and boil for 10-11 minutes for regular sized penne.

Meanwhile, in the still warm pan, add your cream. Heat the cream over medium/high heat to just boiling. Immediately turn down the heat and then add the lemon juice. The sauce should thicken as you stir.

Add your cheese and salt to the sauce.  Stir until cheese has melted. Add back the peppers and onions, and add the cooked chicken and heat through.

Drain your pasta and add the penne to your sauce and toss to combine. Top with more cheese and cracked pepper if desired.

Creamy Chicken Pepper Penne


Sleepover Cuisine

My daughter turned nine this past week. Don’t even get me started on what a shock this is to me. It boggles my mind to think that in the same amount of time it has taken her to get to this age, she will be 18. Yikes! To celebrate the start of her last year in the single digits, we had two of her best friends join her for a sleepover this weekend.

While the girls warmed up for gymnastics in the backyard, I was in the kitchen getting some treats and dinner put together.

Ice cream churning for dessert…

Lettuce from the garden to be used in a simple salad of greens and crinkle cut carrots…

And all the makings for one of my daughter’s favorite pasta dishes.

I actually threw together this pasta dish for the first time last year out of necessity. When we were planning for our camping trip to Yellowstone National Park last summer, I needed a portable, easy, kid pleasing, no-refrigeration-necessary-pre-cooking dinner that would easily feed the nine hungry adults and 13 children in our group at the campsite. This recipe (scaled up x3 for the big group) was the answer. It was so popular with both the kids and adults that it has made repeat appearances at our church community group meetings since the trip. Here’s the super simple recipe:

Pepperoni Pizza Orzo


1 box orzo pasta
3/4 jar Ragu Traditional Organic Sauce
1/2 pack of Hormel Pepperoni Minis
Copious amounts of parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to box directions. Strain, but do not rinse. Return to pot and add sauce and pepperoni, heat thoroughly over medium heat. Lastly, stir in your parmesan cheese. I always add quite a bit, but you can add it to taste.

That’s it! The cheese, along with the starch from the pasta, gives this pasta dish a creamy consistency. Along with the zesty flavor of the pepperoni, it’s kind of a spaghetti-o’s / pizza hybrid. 🙂

And to top off our evening – The new Muppets movie, and popcorn with M&M’s.

And the girls even managed to be asleep by 11:30 p.m. Imagine that?!? 🙂

What’s your favorite sleepover food/snack?