Kristy called me as I was driving home that  she and her friend wanted macaroni for dinner, but I didn’t have a chance to buy any groceries yet.   This happens all the time where I have to make dinner with whatever I have in the house.

Usually it’s not a problem because I’m just cooking for us and if it’s bad… Well it’s just us. Haha!

Well this time I had a time constraint as it was 7pm and I was barely getting home. Did I mention that Kristy had a guest? That meant I had to get dinner on the table fast and it had to not be embarassing home food.  What was I supposed to do with macaroni??

After rummaging through our fridge and pantry, I decided to make a casserole with a mornay sauce (using leftover colby jack and parmesan cheese from the weekend), some frozen chicken breast (that I always keep stocked in our freezer), frozen chopped spinach (another item I always have) and a box of breadcrumbs (I always have this too).

I cooked the noodles first and then the chicken in the same pot to save time from boiling water twice.  Then I made the sauce and mixed it in my casserole dish with the noodles, chopped chicken, defrosted and drained spinach and then topped with the breadcrumbs and some parmesan cheese.  Since it was already hot and everything was cooked, I just threw it in the broiler to brown the top.  Cooking the casserole on the cook top is my cheater way of getting them done faster – I do this with green bean casseroles on Thanksgiving and can cook them with fresh green beans in 20 minutes.

I was pleasantly suprised – it came out pretty darned good.  Not only did it include most of the food groups for the kids, I was able to gussy up macaroni enough to serve our dinner guest.