It’s A Small World After All

I cannot believe how fast this week has flown, July 27, I want to slow summer down just a bit unfortunately if  I were even capable of doing that I would slow down the arrival of my good friend Teresa.

Teresa, who has been working in Paris since October of last year, is coming home from Paris on August 4th for a week….I cannot wait!!   Although we Skype when we can (I still cannot believe I do this and my kids don’t) and from her balcony I’ve seen Paris at night  (because of the time difference) it just isn’t the same.  I need to give her a hug, to see her in the flesh.

I know that Teresa’s family is going to want a big chunk of her time so I hope we can squeeze in a lunch or even coffee!!  I don’t care what it is as long as we can chat for a little bit.

I met Teresa when we both worked for Johnson Controls.  When I left and went to a competitor because my facility was shutting down, I was pleased to find out that my new company was also interested in Teresa and were pursuing her to join them as well.  Eventually she did.  Teresa and I have been friends for almost 10 years…time flies!

Teresa’s been a really good friend, holding my hand and having my back through a few really tough times.  Between Teresa and my best friend Tina, I know that I always have someone in my corner.

Teresa and I share a few of the same doctors.  When she was searching for a new gynecologist, I recommended mine and she loved her.  When she was looking for a primary physician I recommended my clinic and she started seeing one of the other doctors there.  After a while, not happy with mine, I switched over to the physician Teresa was seeing.

The one thing we never discussed was our dentists.  Wednesday I went in for my cleaning, I love getting my teeth cleaned.  My dental hygienist is Stephanie, she is the daughter of my Dentist, Cherl.  I have been going to them for over 12 years, I found them through a co-worker when I moved into this house.  I love Cheryl, she is the best and so is Stephanie.

After my cleaning, Cherl came in to do her exam and we started talking about what we had all been up to since the last time I was there.  Cherl said she, Stephanie and her other daughter had recently returned from Paris and while they were there they met a friend for dinner.

I told them I had a friend living and working in Paris, that she would be coming home for a visit soon.  I mentioned that Teresa had been offered an opportunity to go and work in Paris and took it.  Never mentioning her name, I talked about Teresa and her job, who she worked for, how long she had been in Paris, etc., Cherl asked me what my friend’s name was.

When I said it was Teresa and her last name…..Cherly said “OH MY GOD…That’s who we met for dinner.”  “We’ve known Teresa for years!!”

We all started laughing.  As long as Teresa and I have been seeing Cherl we’ve never crossed paths or had the opportunity to discuss our dentist.  Then, one trip to Paris, a trip to the dentist for a cleaning and our worlds intertwined.    It’s a small world after all……

Last night I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make.  I thought about grilling chicken breasts and making my delicious chicken salad for sandwiches but they were calling for rain all day so I opted out of that idea.

Much to my surprise Walt’s suggestion was the Taco Bell $5.00 box since this was grocery shopping day………ummmm no.  So I rustled through some new recipes and my favorite recipe sites.  I came across this, Chicken Sorrento, on the Campbell’s Kitchen site it sounded delicious and the reviews were all positive.

I won’t say that I “never” use jar sauce because I have.  There was a time that I was the queen of doctoring up a jar of Prego Traditional or Mushroom sauce, so much so that people actually thought it was homemade.  After a few years the “cheating” on my pasta sauce really got to me so I switched back to making my own.

I will admit that I did pause just a little bit on this recipe because of the jar sauce….but the fact that it was grocery shopping day helped nudge me into trying it.  Since you never know how well grocery shopping will go I wanted something that would be quick and easy.  Plus it was supposed to rain all day and the thought of something cooking on the stove, filling the house with spices (even from a jar) sounded soothing.

By now most of you are getting to know my cooking style….haha….I’m the tweaker.  Yes, I did tweak this recipe but not the way you might think.  Instead of slicing the chicken breasts on top of the pasta I sliced it ahead of time and added it right into the sauce.  I added the cooked penne right to the skillet and mixed it all together.

Note: The recipe calls for 4.5 cups of uncooked penne which is really 16 oz./1 lb.  16 oz of pasta is way too much.  We don’t like dry pasta, we like our pasta covered in sauce but not so that all the sauce is absorbed by the pasta.  I made a pound of penne but only used half, I’ll use the rest today for a pasta salad for tonight’s dinner.

Chicken Sorrento
Campbell’s Kitchen

Chicken Sorrento

From: Campbell’s Kitchen

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Balsamic vinegar is the secret ingredient that takes this sautéed chicken and pasta dish to a whole new level…chopped basil and grated Parmesan add the finishing touches that make it irresistible!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound skin-less, boneless chicken breast halves

1 jar (24 ounces) Prego® Veggie Smart® Chunky & Savory Italian Sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

3 cups penne pasta, cooked and drained (about 4 1/2 cups) *NOTE: 16 oz. of Penne Pasta

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  • Stir the sauce and vinegar in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in the basil.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Slice the chicken.
  • Serve the chicken and sauce over the penne.
  • Sprinkle with the cheese.


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