Whole Wheat Pasta

In my recent efforts to try and eat more “whole foods” I have been cooking in my kitchen more often.  Tonight, when I was looking for a recipe to try out so I could divert from my usual, mundane meals, I remembered a dish that Dad made a few months ago:  Cooktop Chicken and Pasta.

I have been craving this meal for a while, but could I, the least talented Claggett cook, tackle it?

The answer was yes.  I took some tips that I got from Dad and Elaine last time I cooked with them (like getting all your ingredients out and ready before you start) and the recipe went off without a hitch.

The only thing I changed was that I used whole wheat orzo.  I am having difficulty deciding if I like this substitution or not though.  I enjoy whole wheat pasta, but I usually eat it with a sauce that has enough of an overpowering flavor that you can’t taste the slight difference from your regular old pasta.  Because this meal doesn’t have “sauce” specifically for the pasta,  it is more noticeable that you are eating whole wheat pasta.  Don’t get me wrong though, its still great, just a little different.  Maybe I should add more cheese???? Yes please!

What do you think of whole wheat pasta?


Chicken Tortilla Casserole

This recipe originally came from Elaine, but I have stolen it and made it my own.  I asked her a couple months ago for an easy recipe for a pot luck dinner I was attending.  She pulled this one out, saying she hadn’t had it in 20 years, but she remembered it being a hit.  So I tried it, brought it to my friends apartment and…. it was a HIT!  I came home with an empty dish that night.

I’ve made it a couple more times for my roommate and whoever can come over on a given night.  It has become one of my favorite things to make and truly is a comfort food.  Which is especially nice with this weather we have been having in DC.  The directions are very easy, but like any casserole it takes some time to make, so planning is necessary.  Making it the night before seems to be the best bet.  I made this on Monday night and heated it up on Tuesday when I got home from work.  Since its so easy to reheat, its perfect for someone like myself who doesn’t have a family to feed because I can take my leftovers to work.


  • 4 baked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 lb of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 flour tortillas, torn into strips
  • 1 cup of chile salsa


  1. Cook chicken and tear into shreds
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Combine soup, milk, salsa, and the onion in a bowl
  4. In a greased casserole dish, layer 1/2 of your strips of tortilla, 1/2 of the chicken, 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of soup mix.  Then repeat with what is left.
  5. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

Breaded Ranch Chicken: Easy and Delicious

This is my first entry, so bear with me.

I’m new to cooking so you won’t find any fancy schmancy recipes from me, but you will find some that will probably be enjoyed by children.  I have a pretty simple palette, to say the least.

This chicken is so delicious and easy to make.  My roommate and I have been making it for a couple of years now and decided to break it out again on this snowy day.  With just a few ingredients, a side dish (potatoes, stuffing, rice), and some veggies, we made a great meal that was a nice change from the quick frozen meals that we make far too often.


-Chicken Tenderloins
-Ranch Dressing
-Italian Bread Crumbs


-Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

-Pour bread crumbs and ranch dressing in two separate bowls.

-Clean chicken and dip in the ranch dressing.

-Then dip the chicken into the italian bread crumbs.

-Lay the chicken in a greased glass (pyrex) casserole dish.

-Place in oven for 20 min or until chicken is fully cooked.