Sunday, October 11, 2015


Teenagers...sometimes they can be so much fun, but sometimes not so much.  Our daughter is a senior in high school.  She has been driving for a year and a half, and I still worry every single time she gets in her car.  We made the decision to do the parent taught driver's ed, which was not fun at all.  She really struggled to learn to drive.  It was very stressful and she had to drive a lot of hours.  My husband took her out a lot in the beginning before I would let her drive me anywhere.  And, when I did let her drive me, I was a nervous wreck the whole.

My husband took our almost 15-year-old son out on his first drive yesterday.  He sent me a picture of him in the driver's seat.  He looked like a grown man!  We have a wall in the house where we mark how tall all of us are.  I'm the shortest, of course.  Our son is almost 5'11" tall, and he's not 15 yet. He has grown an entire foot and a half over the last three years.  It's crazy.  Anyway, my husband said that our son's first drive was worse than our daughter's.  Driver's ed it is! And he thinks he's going to get an old muscle car and fix it up.  Nope.  He's getting a tank.

So the real reason you're here is for a recipe, not my ramblings.  This Chicken & Broccoli Tortellini is so good and it cooked in one pot!  You don't even have to precook the tortellini.  The filling is so yummy and the topping is amazing! We absolutely loved this.  You could even switch the chicken out and use turkey or ham.  Enjoy!

1/2 C butter
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C flour
Salt & pepper, to taste
3 C chicken stock
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C white wine
1 C shredded Parmesan cheese
One 20-ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 head of broccoli, trimmed to just florets
2 C cooked, shredded chicken
About 10 Swiss cheese slices

1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 C chopped pecans
3 T butter
15 Ritz crackers, crushed (I used the garlic butter flavor)

NOTE:  I usually have cooked shredded chicken on hand. You could, however cut raw chicken into cubes, saute it in the butter first, and then remove it to a plate and cover it with foil.  Then you could stir it back in later.  Also, I used Swiss cheese, but use whatever cheese slices you like.

In a large ovenproof skillet or dutch oven, melt the butter. Saute the bell pepper and onion until they are tender.  Add in the white wine to deglaze the pan.  Add in the flour and garlic and stir them around.  Next add in the chicken stock and heavy cream and whisk.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.  Let the mixture come to a boil and thicken.  

Meanwhile, for the topping, melt the butter.  Stir the Parmesan, pecans, Ritz crackers and butter together and set it aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  When the sauce is thickened, stir in the broccoli florets, chicken and tortellini. Remove it from the heat.  Lay the Swiss cheese slices all over the top.  Sprinkle the Ritz cracker mixture all over the top.  Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until it's bubbling and lightly browned on top.

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