Monday, December 14, 2015

Cooking With Kids - Fajita Pasta Bake and Muddie Buddie Bars

picture from

The cooking class this past week was the BEST by far!  Not only did I see my students start being more independent, but EVERYONE like the dishes we made.  WIN-WIN!!!  I forgot, again, to get pictures of our main dish, so I am forced to use the one from the sites.  I will get better at remembering for the next class. 

We  made a few GF (gluten-free) and Corn free substitutions.  Unfortunately, our corn-free student had to make his own muddy buddies due to the marshmallows.  His momma said making them for him is a long process and to make enough for two batches would be too much.  Totally understand!  So he and momma made theirs together while the rest worked with me.  

I have the printable version of these recipes here

We made our dessert first so it would be ready after we ate our Fajita Pasta Bake.

Here is what you will need for the Muddy Buddy Bars:

8 cups chex-like rice cereal (we used Aldi's brand)
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 bag (10.5 oz) miniature marshmallows
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
canola or olive oil spray

Step 1:
Measure out the cereal and put in a bowl and set aside.

Step 2:
Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In  large microwavable bowl, add the  butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter. Heat uncovered on High 1 minute. Stir;  and then microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.

Step 3:
Now add marshmallows and stir until all the marshmallows are coated. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute 15 seconds to 1 minute 45 seconds. Stir  until mixture is well blended.

Step 4:
Immediately stir in cereal gently until evenly coated. Press cereal mixture evenly into pan using spatula sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. 

Now for the main dish! We also made 2 batches of the Fajita Pasta Bake as well.  One WITH the peppers (forgot the onions, but will be adding them in next time.) and one WITHOUT.  If you are NOT adding in those ingredients, then skip step # 2.
I also had the students shred the chicken with forks.  You can do this ahead of time if you want. 

Here is what you will need for the Fajita Pasta Bake:

-2 cups thinly sliced red and green bell peppers (we used 2 peppers)
-1 small white onion, chopped
-2 cups uncooked penne pasta (6 oz) (we used GF pasta)
-1 lb shredded cooked chicken breast (I cooked 3 boneless/skinless breasts and we split them.)
-1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix (we used GF and Corn-Free mix)
-1 cup whipping cream
-shredded Colby-Monterey jack cheese blend (4 oz) (the momma who was bringing the cheese accidentally brought in extra sharp shredded cheese. It totally added to this dish. I will use that from now on.  If you have a favorite cheese, try it out!)
-canola or olive oil spray

Let's Cook!

Step 1:
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Step 2:
Spray skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the peppers and onions. Cook and stir about 10 minutes or until tender.

Step 3:
Meanwhile, cook 2 cups uncooked penne pasta as directed on package until al dente. Drain.

Step 4:
In large bowl, toss together cooked pasta, bell peppers and onion, 1 lb shredded cooked chicken breast, 1 package of taco seasoning mix and 1 cup whipping cream until combined. Pour into baking dish.

Step 5:
Sprinkle  shredded Colby-Monterey jack cheese blend  evenly over top.

Step 6:
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted.

If I was to make this again and I will, I would want to add some sour cream.  I would either add it in the end, on top of it, or do half and half with the whipping cream.  Other than that...delish!