I’m sure I’ve mentioned how much I love Gray’s school, Agathos Classical School. It’s this amazing place filled with gifted and loving teachers, wonderful families, and kids that soak up knowledge by the buckets full.
Gray’s teacher this year, Mrs. Marler, reminds me a lot of my sister — fun but no-nonsense, straight forward but with a kind heart, and filled with a passion for sharing knowledge with little minds. Recently at the school picnic, Mrs. Marler and I were talking and somehow we got on the subject of how summer Beth is way more fun than school Beth, and by the time she gets home from school, she’s out of steam and doesn’t even want to think about dinner. So, I offered to make something on Monday that she could just throw it in the oven when they get home from school. (Now I cannot take credit for this idea. I remembered another parent doing the same sort of thing for the Vice Principal, so I stole the idea from her.)
- 1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to the package and drained
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup bacon, crumbled
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- ¼ cup diced jalapeno
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup half and half
- 2½ cups cooked and chopped chicken
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese, bacon, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and jalapeno. Mix well.
- Stir in cream and half and half.
- Add pasta and mix well.
- Stir in chicken.
- Pour mixture into baking dish.
- Spread bread crumbs over pasta and dot with little pieces of butter.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
So after school on Monday, I delivered this pasta along with salad, homemade bread, and brownies. All three of her girls happened to be in her class, and they seemed quite pleased with the menu.
Whenever I do something like this, I typically double the recipe so that we have the same thing for dinner as well. I’d never made this recipe before and was a bit nervous about letting them be guinea pigs, but I think my selection was a good one. Matt and Gray both raved about the pasta, and I’d definitely eat it again!
But the best part of the whole thing was helping someone. The smile on their faces as I made the delivery, the special hug, and the nice text the next morning made the little bit of extra effort and cost so worthwhile. Bless someone with a meal……you’ll receive a bigger blessing in return.