***Looking for the Cheese Stuffed Meatball Sliders shown on KCCI this morning?
Click here for the recipe!***
Last weekend my friends and I were discussing our pact to get botox together on our 30th birthdays.
We made said promise when we were only 24 or 25 years old. Back then it was nearly impossibly to imagine that we’d actually turn 30 someday, and figured we would’ve all turned into horribly disfigured prunes by then – hence the botox pact.
As our talk progressed, the light bulb moment eventually came when we realized, holy crap, 30 is less than two years away! How could this be?
Where has the time gone?!
My parents and husband always tell me not to discount the amazing things I’ve been able to do and see thus far in my short little life. Still, I feel like there is more I want to do and see before I turn 30 which, while still so young in the grand scheme of things, is a big milestone!
So, I made a list (obvi… )
A list of all the things I want to accomplish before I wave goodbye to my 20s in, GULP, 20 months’ time. Dream big!
30 Things To Do Before I’m 30
- Hang glide, sky dive or bungee jump
- Put another stamp in my passport
- Organize/upload all my important photos to Snapfish for safe (hopefully) keeping
- Meet someone famous
- Take flying lessons (I am obsessed with learning how to fly a plane!)
- Kick my diet soda habit for good (although you guys would be so proud of me – I went like 3 weeks without one, then finally caved and had a can yesterday. Stress drinking. )
- Make homemade pie, including the crust, from scratch
- Redesign the blog
- Start actual, real architecture plans for our future dream home
- Take a vacation with my entire family (brothers, children, parents, spouses/significant others – this one might be tricky! )
- Stand on the clear platform at the Grand Canyon
- Go back to Hawaii
- Redecorate my guest bedroom
- Have children
- Volunteer on the regular
- Read at least one book a month
- Purchase Iowa Hawkeye season football tickets
- Run another half marathon (ugh, I said it.)
- LLC IGE
- Take a short leave of absence from work to travel (and convince Ben to also!)
- Put my recipes into some sort of printed collection
- Buy a SUV
- Go cliff diving
- Get to know my neighbors
- Complete a total body transformation program (a la Kosama or Farrell’s)
- Go deep sea fishing
- Find the perfect little black dress
- Donate more money
- Cross off at least one place from my life’s wanderlist
- Go surfing
So there it is! (Sorry for no intense 30th item or something!) These aren’t all bucket list-level items, per se, but they’re all things I would like to look back on one day and say – why yes, I did that in my 20s!
To 30, and beyond!
In other, far less dramatic news, I whipped up a fun and yummy twist on a comfort food classic for dinner tonight – Chicken Enchilada Pasta!
This dish tasted exactly like the enchiladas my Mom made for us growing up. Which is strange because she always used ground beef, while I used shredded chicken tonight…but whatever. You get it.
This two-pot meal can be partially made ahead of time by cooking and shredding the chicken, and chopping up the veggies and toppings, which makes it ideal for a busy weeknight.
The dish is started by sautéing onions and zucchini in salt & pepper. When they’re soft, a wee bit of garlic is added in. UGH I LOVE THE SMELL OF HOT GARLIC.
Next, enchilada sauce, hot sauce, green chilies, and spices are added in and the mixture bubbles away for 10 minutes while you cook up some pasta. The type is up to you!
Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded chicken and sour cream are folded in next, creating a smooth and luscious sauce.
Finally the cooked pasta is mixed in, and all is right in the world.
(Especially if you thought to snag some of the cheesy sauce beforehand to test it out on some tortilla chips. Boo yah!)
Topped with some standard enchilada toppers, and served!
Chicken Enchilada Pasta
Slightly adapted from Pearls, Handcuffs & Happy Hour
2 medium-sized chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
salt & pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 3/4 cups red enchilada sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2-4oz can diced green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
8oz medium sized pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc.)
1. Cook chicken and shred. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until tender, ~5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until tender, ~5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
3. Add enchilada sauce, Tabasco sauce, green chilies, salt, chili powder and cumin into the skillet. Stir to combine then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every so often.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to hot pot.
5. Turn the heat on the skillet down to low and add in the cheddar cheese. Stir until it completely melts, then add in the chicken and sour cream. Stir until combined.
6. Pour cooked pasta into the sauce and mix. Serve garnished with avocado, tomatoes, green onions and/or sour cream.
This one’s a keeper, folks!
Creamy, decadent and filling. And homey. And cheesy. And addicting. Put the leftovers away pronto, mmkay?
In other news, KCCI asked me back to cook on the morning news tomorrow at 6:38am – AHHHHH!!!!!
I’ll be preparing a new dish that hasn’t been featured on the blog yet. I’ve been eating it for days, trying to perfect the recipe, but I will scarf one last time on live television for you, and Central Iowa!
Wish me luck, and I’ll definitely post the video if they choose to put it online. Off to prepare and pack the car! See ya!
Have you ever been nervous about turning a certain age? What’s been your best/favorite age so far?