Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Winning Trifecta

Happy Tuesday!  I'm back after spending a few days on the road.  If y'all haven't figured it out by now, I LOVE living in Texas.  I love absolutely everything about it...hot weather and all :)  This past week I drove a couple of hours west and headed to Round Top to enjoy the last little bits of Texas antique week with the girls.  If you're not familiar with Round Top, let me just tell you that I think you'd LOVE it!  Miles...and miles...and miles...and miles of shopping....new stuff...old stuff...thrifted stuff...clothes...antiques...and cocktails :)

We spent the day shopping...our first stop was Junk Gypsy.  Big love.  We even stamped our very own leather bracelets and I apparently don't know how to do this the right way. #stampingfail  

Then we walked around...browsed the booths...shopped....posed for pics...and enjoyed a champagne popsicle at the Bubble Lounge while we were waiting out one of our lovely, albeit unexpected,  Texas storms.

After walking back to our campsite completely wet and muddy, we washed off {with baby wipes...#noshame} and got ready for Prom.  Such fun!!!  

We left the next morning after burritos for breakfast and then I came home and slept like crazy.  7 girls in a pop-up camper doesn't make for the best sleep :)  I was telling my mom I wanted to go back, so we decided to hop in the car the day after that and head back up to see what we could find.  After 6 non-stop hours of shopping {and eating!}, we drove back home with a trunk full of goodies.  I can't wait to go back in April!!!  

Speaking of eating, I could eat bowls and bowls of pasta.  A non-stop buffet of decliciousness.  This is, hands down, my favorite carb :)  I decided to take a few old family recipes and mix them together to create a new(ish)-to-me pasta dish.  I love lots of different variations on the tried and true bowl of spaghetti and this one did not disappoint.  The best part of this whole meal was the quick and easy prep.  Fast, easy, and flavorful...a mommy's dream trifecta :)


1 lb. penne pasta
1 lb. chicken thighs, cut in small bite sized pieces
1 TBSP. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag of frozen onion/celery/pepper blend {green/red peppers, onion, celery}
1 jar of Classico Tomato & Basil spaghetti sauce
1 {14 oz.} can of Italian style diced tomatoes
2/4 C. Zesty Italian dressing
Salt & Pepper, to taste
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled
Shaved/shredded/grated parmesan {optional}

Let's go ahead and start cooking the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, cut your chicken into bite sized pieces.  I like to do this because I feel like the chicken cooks faster and nothing scares me more than uncooked chicken {{{shudder}}}.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken once it's all warmed up.

Cook the chicken until it's no longer pink on the inside and then remove from the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the bag of onion/celery/peppers and garlic.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the pepper blend is translucent.  

Now add the chicken, spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, and dressing to the skillet.  Mix until well combined and simmer for about 15 minutes.  You can add a little salt and pepper here if you want, too.

While your sauce is a simmerin', bake {or fry} your bacon.  I like to bake mine.  Frying and I don't mix.  I've got the burn scars and burnt bacon to prove it. So baking it is.  Remove the bacon from the bacon sheet and set aside to cool.  Once the bacon has cooled, crumble it into little pieces.  Or big. Whatever you prefer.  The bacon will be the proverbial cherry on top if you know what I mean :)

Drain pasta and return to the pot.  Now toss the chicken/sauce mixture over the pasta and mix to evenly coat.  Serve yourself a generous portion and top with the crumbled bacon bits.  Then garnish it with a little shaved/shredded/grated parmesan if your taste buds beckon.  

Like I said before...fast, easy, and flavorful.  A winning trifecta in my kitchen.

This is definitely a perfect little twist on the tried and true original.  And the addition of bacon was definitely an added bonus.  I loved that savory little crunch.  I wouldn't skip that part if I were you, but then again I really do love bacon, so maybe that's just my taste palate talking.  This dish is delicious with or without the pork, so do whatever your little heart desires.  Either way...just do it. Give this little number a whirl.  You'll be so happy you did!!!


  1. One of my good friend's family owns Zapp Hall and they are there every time to help serve the food at their little restaurant. It is delicious!

  2. We missed Round Top this Fall :o( ...too much going on. I console myself with thoughts of going in the Spring. :o)