Laura’s Unbelievable Chicken & Pasta – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Laura’s Unbelievable Chicken and Pasta, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. I’d love to tell y’all where I found it, but once again I don’t remember. Pinterest, maybe? In any case, I’ve always got my eye out for quick and easy chicken recipes because we raise (and eat) our own chickens. The only kind of recipes that get me more excited than chicken-based recipes are egg-based recipes. I love eggs, and we eat tons of them (and my cholesterol is so good my doctor looks at me like I’m lying when I tell her how many eggs I eat on a weekly basis).

The ingredients:


Chicken, cut into 1-inch strips. The recipe calls for 4 chicken breast halves, but I used 6 because our chickens are smaller than the factory-raised chicken you get in the store. Chicken broth (which I canned myself), cream cheese (I used neufchatel), spinach, penne pasta, and cherry (Sungold) tomatoes from our garden. Those tomato plants just kept hanging in there. I think they’re about done for (it’s starting to get down into the high 30s at night), but it still amazes me that they last so far into October.

Cook your penne pasta according to package instructions.


Do you know about putting a wooden spoon across the top of the pot to stop the water from boiling over? Someone told me about it (I don’t remember who), and it works like a charm.

Meanwhile, in a big pan over medium heat, cook your chicken in your broth for about 10 minutes, until it’s done. I’m not one for fancy-bitch cooking terms, but I believe this is called “poaching” your chicken (but I could be wrong.)


Not quite done, but it’s getting there:


Stir in your cream cheese (which you cubed, if you were following instructions. I didn’t actually do that; I just tossed the whole block in there. It’s soft; it melted quickly enough. If I’d had to cube that stuff before adding it to the pan, I would have gotten it all over the place and then the obscenities would have started and probably I would have told the cream cheese to go fuck itself.) and your spinach. Stir. Return it to a simmer and cook for about five minutes, stirring now and again.

Then stir in your cherry tomatoes and cook another three minutes. Mix it together with the pasta, then throw it in a bowl and then eat.


Offer some to Petey Pickle.


“Really? NOW you offer some to me? Where were you when I was HUNGRY for just plain old cream cheese and you were tossing it in the pan? Fuck off, lady.”


The verdict? WAY too much pasta. I like pasta as much as the next gal, but how about some freakin’ protein up in this shit? I’ll probably make it again, only I’ll double the amount of chicken and halve the amount of pasta, if not quarter it. And double the number of cherry tomatoes.

I liked the cheesiness of the sauce, though, and we ate it for dinner for two nights, and then I had it for lunch one day. Definitely needs some tweaking, though.


Nance’s Take:

Truth Game:  I was in no mood to cook when I made this recipe.  Everyone was talking about Hurricane Sandy and I managed to let it work my last nerve.  I’m from Pittsburgh and although we do not have to deal with hurricanes, it was reported that we were going to have high winds with rain and possible snow.  After having experienced the power outage and storm damage from this summer, I decided that this time I was going to be prepared.

Being prepared did not mean making a stupid penne pasta dish.  I had shit to round up like candles, flashlights and battery operated radios.  And I needed to make sure my iPod was filled with new podcasts!  Priorities, people.  Priorities.   Penne pasta?  Not so much on my list of things to do.  And to make matters worse, I had company that was all up in my business (more on that later).


I had purchased all the ingredients ahead of time so I would be prepared to make this dish.  I was annoyed when I saw cherry tomatoes as one of the ingredients because we all know how well that turned out the last time we had them.  When I finally went to cook this dish I realized I was suppose to have had the spinach thawed ahead of time.  Dammit!


This is me performing WWT (Warm Water Thawing). It’s a technique I perfected years ago and no housewife worth her salt should go without learning how to do this. Hee!


Diced chicken being cooked in chicken broth is kinda gross.


I threw my spinach in before the cream cheese had finished melting. I don’t know if I was supposed to do that or not, but my company was being a wee bit demanding and I couldn’t really focus on the recipe.


Thanks to my mom for cutting those damn cherry tomatoes for me! Shirley is the shits!


Make sure you have a big pasta bowl ready because the recipe calls for the entire box and GODDAMN, that’s a whole lotta pasta!


Action shot! I’m sure my company thought I was crazy when they saw me struggling to pour this mess while taking a photograph at the same time. But you know what? I’m just going to say it. I did not, nor do I ever, care about what these particular kitchen guests think of me because I am sick and tired of the way that they judge. Yeah. I said it.


Dump it. And give it a good stir to mix everything up. I think I cooked the cherry tomatoes too much because it appears they may have exploded. Oh well.


Done. The recipe was easy and very forgiving.  Everybody loved it, except my company…


The ladies had just come from church and they were busy judging me harshly. From the clothes I was wearing to the food that I cooked. They actually turned up their noses and sniffed at me!


And this one, HA! The biggest hypocrite of all…thinking I wouldn’t notice that she had helped herself to extra communion wafers while no one was looking. I wonder what the church will think of her when they find out, hmmm. Me thinks that maybe Miss Judgy McJudgypants should watch her step around me or I will be glad to point the local parish to this site.

Don’t push your luck, Sister.  Don’t push your luck.

Laura's Unbelievable Chicken & Pasta - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe.
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: Entree
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cold cream cheese, cubed
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry penne pasta
  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil, and cook penne pasta according to package instructions.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken strips in broth; simmer until done, about 10 minutes. Stir in cubed cream cheese and spinach. Return to simmer, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cherry tomatoes, and cook about 3 minutes more.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together cooked, drained pasta and sauce. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
Next time I make it, I'll double the amount of chicken and cherry tomatoes, and at least halve - if not quarter - the amount of pasta. (Robyn)


Sauteed Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Sauteed Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and I foisted it off on Fred because sometimes a girl’s just tired of trying to pick a recipe. After I rejected his okra-based suggestion (I could ONLY imagine what Nance would have said about that – and now that I said that, she’s going to be all “I love okra!” Liar.), he came up with this one. We have tons of cherry tomatoes right now, and harvested 73 tons of green beans earlier this Summer, so this seemed like a good – and relatively easy – way to use up some of that stuff.

The ingredients:

Green Beans & Tomatoes (2)

A pound of green beans – previously in the freezer, thawed – 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (we grow Sungold tomatoes – they’re orange when they’re ripe, so those are NOT unripe tomatoes)(also, if you’ve never tried Sungolds, you are missing OUT)(also also, recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of tomatoes, but I decided to round up), Balsamic vinegar, olive oil (recipe called for extra virgin, but Fred hates the extra virgin, so it’s plain ol’ olive oil), garlic, salt and pepper.

Green Beans & Tomatoes (3)

Step one: heat oil over med-high heat, saute green beans 2 – 3 minutes. Not pictured: add water, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 3 – 6 minutes, depending on how tender you want your green beans. Mine were already pretty tender from being blanched, cooled, frozen, ignored for a couple of months, and then thawed out, so I opted for 3 minutes.

Next step: Push the beans to the side, add the remaining oil, add garlic, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. I probably used more garlic than the recipe called for, because I always do. I LOVE garlic.

Green Beans & Tomatoes (4)

Next: add tomatoes (which I got around to slicing in half, you’ll note.)

Green Beans & Tomatoes (5)

Stir all that stuff together, and cook ’til the tomatoes start to break down, 2 – 3 minutes.

Green Beans & Tomatoes (6)

Remove from heat, add the vinegar, salt and pepper, and stuff in your face.

Green Beans & Tomatoes (8)

The verdict? I thought it was just okay; Fred LOVED it. In fact, we had it as a side dish the day I made the London Broil (aren’t I just so EFFICIENT?) and for dinner the next night, Fred had some of the London Broil, sliced, in a tortilla. He topped the steak with a big spoonful of the Sauteed Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes. Doesn’t that sound gross? And what’s worse is that two days later he was going to have MORE of the green beans and cherry tomatoes on a tortilla by itself (or maybe on a little piece of leftover London Broil, I don’t remember which), and he was mad that I’d tossed the rest of it in the pig bucket.

(In my defense, I had no idea he liked it THAT much.)

So yeah – great big double thumbs up from Fred, and a meh from me. Maybe a little more than a meh. A meh-plus.

Before I turn it over to Nance, here you go: Inspector-in-training RatBat Picklehead is not impressed with your shit.

(ie, gratuitous kitten shot ’til I can actually remember to take a picture of him stomping around on the counter.)

PS: Nutritional info is included in the recipe notes ONLY because it was provided in the original recipe.


Nance’s Take:

I was going to sit here and try to justify why I did what I did to this poor recipe, but telling the truth is a lot easier.  I was being a BITCH.

My mother has made it her mission to repeatedly remind me of things that I am well aware of until I finally  Enter:  THIS GODDAMN GREEN BEAN RECIPE.  I had heard so much about it that one night I dropped everything I was doing and made this dish…with the attitude of a 14-yr-old girl that was just grounded from her cell phone.

Back story:  I really dislike fresh green beans.  They’re gross.  I remember as a child having to pick what seemed like acres of them.  Then we had to sit outside in the hot sun and snap those little fuckers by the bushel.  And I won’t even get started on how much I hated those little yellow bugs that were sometimes attached to them.  Trust me, the horror that is my childhood and gardening is best kept to myself.  Just know this:  I DO NOT garden as an adult and I honestly believe that forced gardening is child abuse, MOM.


So yeah, I conveniently didn’t have fresh green beans on hand.  I just grabbed two cans off the shelf and went to town and justified it by saying that I’m giving people an alternative just in case they also don’t have fresh on hand.  Shush, you.


They were two different brands and I did not care because they were the last two cans of green beans I had in the house.  And I really couldn’t tell the difference when I dumped them in the skillet. I also didn’t bother to waste the second can of beans as the recipe called for 1 pound (16 ounces) and the cans were 14.5 ounces each. I just threw them all in the skillet and sighed heavily so my mother would know how annoyed I was.  Oh, is that a Polish Pottery spoon holder back there?  I think it is!

Don’t get too excited to play this game, I only have one more piece.


Blah, blah, fry in olive oil, push to the side. Can this recipe get any more boring?

During my childhood I ate a lot of green beans. Because they were fried in a cast iron skillet with LARD. My mother canned them so it was very common to just bust open a jar, dump it in the skillet and fry them until they were partially burned. We called this a side dish and I loved them (of course, because I am Fatty McFatt).


My mom sliced these cherry tomatoes for me. Probably because she knew I was agitated and felt guilty. My poor mom. Oh wait, she’s the asshole that kept bothering me about these damn beans!  So she deserves it! Heh.


Get my garlic from a jar (like normal people do, ahem).  And didn’t bother to measure it because hello, I am an immature human being that is pissed off about green beans!


Action shot! I haz mad skilz!


This is what they turned out like. I have to admit that I was truly not impressed and it had nothing to do with my hissy fit. They were just not that great. Rick didn’t like them and I really thought he would as he likes them when they’re fried in soy or Worcestershire sauce. The balsamic vinegar didn’t help it at all and I thought it would. Shirley said they were okay, but eh, she doesn’t care either way if I ever make it again.

It’s not a winner, but it’s not a loser either. I just think it’s not our thing.

9/14/12: Comments closed due to spammers.

Nance & Robyn make the same recipe - Sauteed Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: side dish, appetizer(?)
Serves: 4
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add green beans and cook, stirring often, until seared in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add water, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes for tender-crisp or 6 minutes for tender.
  4. Push the beans to the side; add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add tomatoes, stir everything together and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, salt and pepper.
Nutritional Info: Per serving: 71 calories; 3 g fat ( 0 g sat , 2 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 5 g fiber; 157 mg sodium; 379 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value), Vitamin K (26% dv), Vitamin A (18% dv). Carbohydrate Servings: ½ Exchanges: 2 vegetable, ½ fat