Tuesday’s Common Meal!!!

Hey there ladies! Howdy from Atlanta! Here is this week’s Common Meal. The main dish is Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti. If you haven’t made this already, it really is a wonderful recipe and not to mention, it is very convenient for a group gathering. Convenient and good wins brownie points. I am listing two desserts to choose between: Barefoot Contessa’s Apple Crostata and Kimberly Meyer’s Banana Pudding. Kimberly Meyer is a super-employee at Living Proof and when I first tried her banana pudding, I passed out in ecstasy. Both desserts are wonderful, but obviously with the banana pudding, you won’t have to roll out a pie crust. And lastly, because I love you ladies with my whole heart, I want to add something for those meeting around brunch or lunch-time (in place of the Chicken Spaghetti). I am adding my favorite Mini Cucumber Sandwich recipe. I must admit that I am a sucker for Cucumber Sandwiches. I don’t particularly enjoy bridal showers but one thing I always look forward to is the Cucumber Sandwiches. As soon as the hostesses start making us play games like pin-the-tail-on the-Groom, I run to the Cucumber Sandwich Table. And if there aren’t Cucumber Sandwiches, I find my way to the exit door. A fun fact for you: when I got married a few months ago, I requested to have zero bridal showers thrown for me. No, I am not anti-social, I simply have played one too many bridal shower games. Enough banter…on to the recipes!!!

Pioneer Woman Chicken Spaghetti

2 cups cooked Chicken
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup finely diced Green Pepper
1/2 cup finely diced Onion
1-4 oz jar diced Pimientos, drained
3 cups dry Spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cups reserved Chicken Broth (from pot)
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 additional cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (for the top of the casserole)

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick enough meat off the bones to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar. Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil)

Melissa’s Notes:
What sets this recipe above the average chicken spaghetti recipe is that 1) the spaghetti is cooked in the chicken broth not water 2) the chicken broth is not from a can but is reserved from the actual pot the chicken was boiled in. In my opinion, this recipe lacks without these two elements. The chicken spaghetti feeds approximately 6 people.

Apple Crostata (Barefoot Contessa Parties!)

For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large)
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced


For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.

For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.

Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Melissa’s Notes: This is what some call a “free-form” tart or galette, which means simply that it isn’t baked with the support of a pie-dish or tart-pan. You just fold the 1 1/2 inch border up and crinkle it in about two inch intervals, to partially cover the fruit and then bake it straight on a baking-sheet. Try looking at pictures of similar recipes online if you have never made anything like this before. I think that this dough is pretty forgiving, though. I have made it numerous times and even when I think the dough has failed, it ends up tasting flawless.

Kimberly Meyer’s Banana Pudding
(seriously, it has the ability to change your life)

5 Bananas, sliced
1 14 oz Can Eagle Brand (Sweetened Condensed Milk)
1 Large Cool Whip
1 Large Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 Cups Whole Milk
1 Box of Vanilla Wafers
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Trifle Bowl or a REALLY deep dish (much prettier in a trifle bowl)

-Put entire box of Vanilla Wafers on the bottom of a deep dish.
-Take can of Eagle Brand, 1 tsp. of Vanilla Extract & ½ of the large carton of Cool Whip and blend it all together.
-In a second bowl, mix instant vanilla pudding & 3 cups of Milk.
-Fold the two mixes together by hand (the pudding mix & Eagle Brand mix)
-Pour HALF of this mixture on the layer of wafers
-Put all of the sliced bananas on top of the layer of pudding mixture
-Put the other half of the pudding mixture on top of the sliced bananas
-Finish with the other half of the Cool Whip on top.
– Chill and Serve!

Melissa’s Notes:
I have found that this recipe makes a bit too much pudding mixture, so when I get to the step after layering the sliced bananas, I do not use the entire other half of the pudding mixture. Since I don’t like for it to be too sweet, I use a little over ¼ of it. Just make sure you taste it, and modify it according to your desires.

Mini Cucumber Sandwiches
Recipe from “Southern Entertaining for a New Generation” by Rebecca Lang


1 8-oz package Cream Cheese, Softened
¼ cup of Sour Cream
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon fresh chopped Dill
¼ cup finely diced sweet Onion
20 thinly sliced white sandwich bread slices
1 Large English Cucumber (seedless cucumbers) or 2 Cucumbers, thinly sliced
20 thinly sliced wheat sandwich bread slices


-In a medium mixing bowl stir the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add the salt, dill, and diced onion.
-Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the white bread slices. Top the cream cheese mixture with one slice of cucumber, then top with the wheat bread slices.
-Slice the sandwiches in half diagonally or cut with your favorite cookie or biscuit cutter.
-Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 hours before serving.
-Makes 20 Servings.

Melissa’s Notes:
I buy Pepperidge Farm “Very Thin Sliced” bread in the bread section of the grocery store. This brand has both white and wheat varieties and they fit perfectly together for this recipe (buy one loaf of wheat and one loaf of white) Sometimes I add one really thin slice of turkey if I am serving them around lunch-time. Using a really sharp cookie-cutter or a biscuit cutter makes them look the prettiest!

Until next time….Bon Appetit!


84 Responses to “Tuesday’s Common Meal!!!”

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  1. 51
    Anonymous says:

    Yes and Amen – Kimberly’s banana pudding changed my life too!
    What exceeding joy.

    You know Lis – you have that effect on us at LPM!
    You are exceeding joy!
    Love you so!

  2. 52
    jaycee says:

    Wow, Melissa, you are quite the cook!! Wish I had some of your talent. I just “assemble” meals. In the “Wising Up” bible study, your mom said that was okay – because the Proverbs 31 woman “brings her food from afar!”

  3. 53
    Sooz says:

    Yummy..I feel so inspired now. I have been in such a cooking mode lately. My husband loves me for it. Haha!

  4. 54
    Anonymous says:

    Oh YUM!!! My mouth is watering already! And anything with “pioneer” in it just makes it that much better 🙂
    Thanks for the recipes!
    Erin Henthorn

  5. 55
    bethany says:

    Hey Siestas:

    Got back from the oral surgeon a little while ago and everything went well. Now I’m just drooling like a baby and have the joy of chomping on guaze for the next few hours! THIS IS NO FUN!!!!

    Thank you so much for your prayers!!! Praise you Lord Jesus, I was not consumed by fear!!!!


  6. 56
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for all the time you guys spend in updating and writing the blog. I am a new visitor and am starting the Bible study tomorrow with a friend. I originally was going solo but I found a friend who loves to study the Word as much as me! We are behind but I have enjoyed reading the other post. I, like another poster, would love for you guys to compile the post in one area for those of us who are just getting started.

    My church is hosting the upcoming simulcast in August and I am the coordinator. We are so excited! I began studying the Word with Beth about 10 years ago and I fell in love with it! I speak of her like an old friend and feel like she is one. Beth, you have been apart of my growth in so many ways. Thanks! I now work hard to turn other women on to the Word. We are meeting and praying for you and the upcoming simulcast every week. We can’t wait to see what God’s up to. God Bless

  7. 57
    Elizabeth says:

    Two things that are slightly random. First, I am really hooked on the blog Good Things Catered that Melissa shared with us. I have made two things and was pleased (!) with them both. Most recently the cupcakes w/the cherry on top. You might find some Common Meal recipes on there. If nothing else it is a good place to check in every now and then.

    Second, Amanda, Curtis, Melissa, (I am concerned about putting Beth on the spot) – what is your take on the book The Shack?

  8. 58
    Pickalily says:

    Hi Siestas!

    OK. This has to do with another common meal we all are sharing these days —The amazing Word! Today I was listening to Truth For Life / Alistair Begg on our christian radio station here in Port Huron, MI. As he was closing out his prayer at the end of his sermon, he started saying Jude 1:24&25! I was so excited that I shouted to my kids “Hey, hey, hey I know this one!” I finished saying it with him and then I clapped for myself (because my kids did not give me the reaction I was hoping for!)

    I know that if you had all been here, you would have clapped for me while tapping your Cool flip-floppin’ toes!

    Hugs to you all!

  9. 59
    Jackie Sue says:

    Could someone tell me who has made this banana pudding before…are you supposed to line the dish with the cookies or just dump them in the bottom of the bowl so that it makes a very thick crust? This may sound silly, but I am very literal and it did not say exactly what to do with the cookies…thanks.

  10. 60
    bebe says:

    dear aet, my mom is all that to me, too : ) bless you siesta. i’m praying with confidence for your mom, you, and your family.

  11. 61
    Nicole says:

    Ok..thought you all would get a kick out of this! So I call Lifeway LAST week to see if our books were in ( yes we are way behind but happy to have them!!). When I give him the title he says, “Oh..you are one of them!” I about fell out laughing! I proudly answered “Yes sir!” I just love being a Siesta! 🙂

    Your Siesta in Keller, Tx

    PS Thanks for the recipes! They look delish-I LOVE cucumber sandwiches!

  12. 62
    Anonymous says:

    To the Siesta who is in Houston at MD Anderson with her mom….just know that we Houston girls are praying for her and for you and your family. Wish we could physically be there for you, but our prayers are with you. Would love to contact you, but have no number or e-mail address to reach you.

    Your Houston Sister in Christ

  13. 63
    Hiker Mama says:

    What about the “Wising Up” woman that orders out and has her food delivered?

  14. 64
    His Princess says:

    Hi Girls –
    The recepies sound delish.
    I was inspired by reading another post here to share about the simulcast coming up. I too am my church’s head person for the Beth Moore Simulcast on Aug 1-2. I have never been really part of the women’s ministry let alone head up a huge event, but after leaving the San Diego event, I wanted to be part of women’s ministry and surely part of Beth’s joy. BETH –
    YOU IGNITE!!!!!!
    I am thrilled to be the only church in southern orange county, CA hosting it (CAPO BEACH CALVARY)
    It has been a huge education, but the LORD gave me the bravery and the wanting and I know he gave me the time.
    And those who have been given much, he expects much.

    I love the community of Siestas and I pray that our church will be in your prayers.

    Love and Blessings
    Siesta OC

  15. 65
    Rebecca says:

    Ok, so this sounds amazing! AND Guess what ladies! I turn 20 tomarrow!(july 15th!) Yay! I love you all!

  16. 66
    kat says:

    Dear Aet,

    I will be praying for your mom and for your family. May you draw strength from the One who is our Strength.

  17. 67
    Tracey says:

    Now if my new oven would get here that would be awesome and I could try and cook the spaghetti. My toddler would go nuts over it.

    Beth – have you been to the Okay Cafe yet in ATL? It’s got the best milkshakes and best southern food to go in town – next to the Varsity 😉 http://www.okcafe.com Don’t forget to sit under the money tree.

  18. 68
    Jackie Sue says:

    Man, I hate to be a pain…but, Melissa, I made the banana pudding last night, had it in the fridge by 4pm yesterday and still at 10am this morning it is not firm….any idea what I did wrong? You don’t need to post this comment, Moderator 🙂 I’m just wondering what in the world I could have done wrong…I followed the instructions to a T….at least I thought I did. It seemed simple enough…well….I don’t know, but runny banana pudding is not great 😉

  19. 69
    Anonymous says:

    This chicken spaghetti recipe is a family favorite of ours. For those who want to “kick it up a notch”, add a can of rotel to the Chicken Spaghetti – BAM!

  20. 70
    luvgod2 says:

    Happy 20th Birthday Rebecca Siesta!

    I tried the Pioneer Woman Chicken recipe for the first time last night! Got thumbs up from all my teenagers! My husband preferred it smoothered in salsa! It’s a keeper!

  21. 71
    VanderbiltWife says:

    My mom recently made cucumber sandwiches…soak the sliced cucumbers in olive oil and lemon juice, and then stick them on the little bread buttered on both sides with garlic butter. They were heavenly!!!

    I like the PW chicken spaghetti OK but it’s not my favorite. Now her lasagna on the other hand is to die for. I even like it better than my Grandma’s.

  22. 72
    Anonymous says:

    Please Please Please Post recipes on Sunday instead of Monday. It will give me time to go to the grocery store and make the recipes for Tuesday!
    Love you all!

  23. 73
    Melissa says:

    Anonymous, I posted the recipes early in the afternoon (around 1:30pm) on Sunday.

  24. 74
    Mary Moore says:

    I LOVE the Pioneer Woman! She has great recipes and is SO funny!

  25. 75
    su says:

    We had our first meeting for the No Other Gods Study tonight. I made the cucumber sandwiches. They were delicious. My husband said he could have eaten them all in 3 minutes flat.
    My daughter and I were discussing whether I should also make the banana pudding for tonight or wait and make it for next week. Then I remembered that it might possibly change our lives and thought who would want to put that off for a week? (Reminds me of that great song – I’m running to the mercy seat)! Anyway with that in mind I did make it and we loved it. But we’ll have to wait until next week for the testimonials.

  26. 76
    Anonymous says:

    Absolutely awesome Pioneer Woman’s chicken spaghetti. My picky family really enjoyed the nice treat. Keep them coming!

    Bible Study is really good…just a little behind.

  27. 77
    Anonymous says:

    thank you so much for the bee pudding KMeyr n the cucumber recpee
    God bless you Suey

  28. 78
    Siesta Staci says:

    O.K….Here’s the deal..I made that Banana Pudding…Oh, My Goodness!! It is heavenly…I’m sure it’s going to be featured at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!! YUMMY!!
    Thanks for sharing ~

    It’s all Good in the Siesta-Hood!
    Siesta Staci 🙂

  29. 79
    Gail Deavers says:

    I’m going to give you a great and easy recipe for caramel pie, it’s as good (if not better)than the one you get from O’Charley’s I promise. Many of the readers have tried it I’m sure, it’s a big hit with Fireman!
    All you do is take a can of condensed milk – I use 2 cans because I use the big graham cracker pie shell…if you use the samller one just use 1 can. Anyway, put the can(s) in a pot and boil them for 3 hours…yes, you read that right…put can and all in the pot!!! After boiling for 3 hours remove from pot, open with a can opener, (slowly and careful-it will be hot) and dump them into the graham pie crust, smooth out to the edge and put in the fridge covered with the plastic from the top of the shell. I usually let it set for 4-6 hours, till firm. You can then cut and eat or top with cool whip and mini chocolate chips. I like it with just a spoon full of cool whip on top. I bet your mom will even be able to make this one! You’ll be making this one again and again! You gotta try it!!!!

  30. 80
    Lyn says:

    Melissa, Ok we did not do any of your recipes for our siesta group, but, I just had to tell you that I made the pioneer women chicken spaghetti for my family and it was a huge hit.
    They said this will definately been on our list of favorite recipes.
    Thanks for all the great recipes that you have been doing for us.
    love you bunches,wckk

  31. 81
    Traci Best says:

    I made Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti this weekend for my family and my 17 year old niece who was visiting…

    It was a HIT. I even did it all the ‘right’ way and didn’t take any short cuts. It made so much that we had it for TWO meals and still had leftovers! Man…it was yummy with some crusty bread warm from the oven!


    Does PW know her recipe was center stage last week for the Siestas???

    Traci 🙂

  32. 82
    Lora says:

    Every Pioneer Woman recipe I’ve tried has been a hit. We’re looking forward to making these! (My daughters (Bible study partners) have been with their grandparents for 3 weeks) Just wanted to let you know that my youngest, 13, has made your salsa recipe at least 3 additional times after our Bible study. And my dear 15 year old asked if she could make the queso again this week. My teens have really enjoyed the recipes, thank you for your time and effort in this area.
    For His Name

  33. 83
    Terri says:

    Wow, these recipes look great. I especially like the cucumber sandwich recipe. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

  34. 84
    Joan Nestle says:

    That was a useful blog post,I look forward to many more post from you.

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