ON THE FLY.

Food at the apartment is approaching critical levels. It’s definitely been almost two weeks since we’ve gone to the supermarket, and we’ve been eating out pretty consistently for the past few days. The plus side: got to sample a new restaurant as well as some additional menu items from previously-visited restaurants. The negative side: my wallet is really hating me right now.

In an effort to counteract the growing hole in my bank account, I threw together a little something with a few things we had lying around the kitchen. I ended up deciding to call this a Chicken Cheese Rotini Bake.

Chicken Cheese Rotini Bake
Serves 3 – 4 people.

~ 1 box rotini pasta
~ 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
~ 2 jars of spaghetti sauce
~ 2 – 3 chicken breasts
~ Salt and pepper
~ Oregano

Take your chicken breasts and first trim off all of the excess fat. When finished, season both sides with salt, pepper, and oregano. In a medium skillet, heat up some oil, and cook up the chicken over medium to medium-high heat. The key here is to cook the chicken all the way through, yet still retain the moist texture. It’s something that’s taken me a lot of practice to nail down just right; it’s still better to overcook it by a bit than to undercook it and end up with raw chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, start to heat up a pot of water to cook up the pasta in. Follow the directions on the box; most pastas will take around 10 – 15 minutes to finish up. At the same time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees as well. Once all of the chicken is done, begin to cut them up into pieces (rectangular or strips are perfectly fine, use your best judgement), and then set those aside. In a medium saucepan, heat up the two jars of sauce, and add in the chicken pieces. Adjust the sauce to taste with any spices you would like (I sometimes add in a little bit of chili powder for kick and some sugar to sweeten it up). Once finished, take out a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish and layer the sauce onto the bottom, followed by the pasta, shredded cheese, more sauce, and then more cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and pop it into the oven for twenty minutes and you’re done.

With Thanksgiving break right around the corner (!), it’s hard to believe that I’ll be heading home soon. Not only that, but hard to believe that after break, the semester will be over in another three weeks. Once that’s over, it’s one more semester until I graduate (!!!). I’m trying not to think about that fact right now and enjoy the time remaining of my collegiate career.

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