Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

All I can say is this was a quick and DELICIOUS recipe. It took me about 30 min to make and my family loved it. I love pesto so anything with pesto in it has to be good. This time instead of cooking chicken I bought precooked chicken in a bag and just heated it up. I did not have time today to put a ton of effort into cooking, so going with precooked chicken was perfect and it turned out perfectly! Enjoy 😉


• 10 oz. gluten free penne* or other pasta

• olive oil

• salt and pepper

• 1 Tbsp all purpose seasoning mix for chicken*

• 3-4 chicken breasts

• 1/3 cup julienned cut sun dried tomatoes in olive oil

• 1/2 cup homemade or prepared pesto

• 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

• Parmesan Reggiano, for serving (optional)


1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and toss with just enough olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking together while preparing the rest of the dish.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken. Season with salt, pepper, and chicken seasoning.

3. Grill the chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it.

4. Drain the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and chop into smaller pieces if you prefer.

5. Place empty pot used for pasta back on the stove at medium heat. Add sun dried tomatoes to the pan and saute for a few minutes, until fragrant.

6. Add the heavy whipping cream and pesto. Stir until incorporated.

7. Stir in the cooked pasta and sliced chicken.

8. Serve and top with finely grated parmesan cheese.

It Was A Beautiful Day

It was a beautiful snowy day to lay my grandfather to rest. It was a short service. My grandpa did not want a lot of stuff done after he passed and most of his friends and family had already passed so the turn out was a small and quaint service.

I put together pictures of his life on posters boards to display at the funeral home to show his different stages of life. This was my aunts idea and a perfect touch it was.

The flowers where red, white, and blue to represent the service he did in the military. They enveloped the urn beautifully.

My son and I stayed with my aunt and uncle. My aunt Terri is one in a million I must say! She took care of my grandpa single handily for a very, very long time. My aunt is the youngest of 5 kids. I’m so very proud of her, she is so strong and determined and she put together the funeral beautifully. My grandfather would have been very proud of her.

The rest of my trip was fun and crazy. I had a blast with my cousins. We went sledding late at night, talked and made each other laugh and shared lots of memories. I spent a lot of time with one of my cousins, Kellie. We spent every day together. She just knows how to make me laugh.

❤️Kellie is behind Marco and that’s her daughter Alyssa next to her. Below is me and Lexi. Lexi is also Kellie’s daughter.

The temperature during this trip were extremely cold, so we did not go out much. My fingers would freeze even when I was wearing my gloves. Even though I grew up there, my body can not handle that cold any more. But it was so nice to get a taste of my childhood memories just once more. Now that I am home and my aunt text me this morning, she said I just missed it, they are getting 10 inches of snow and schools are closed. I guess I left just in time or I would have been stuck there. Oh it’s good to be HOME!

Leaving On A Jet Plane

I’m on my way today to where I was born and raised, Wisconsin. I’m headed there to lay my dear grandfather to rest. He was the last of my living grandparents.

I’m sure it will be bitter sweet. The last time I was there was briefly January 15, 2013. I had the privilege to be a godmother to my godson Trevor who is my Cousins son. It was his baptism.

I am taking my younger son Marco with me. Mateo was suppose to go but we went to the dr on Monday and the Dr. said Mateo can not fly. He has some complications with some fluid build up in his sinus cavity and has to see a ENT to have it released. Which means another surgery. I am waiting for him to catch a break! My husband of course has to work and stay home with the dog.

So this will be a short trip, 5 days. But it will be nice to see my family that I missed so much.

Surgery #2

Well my son Mateo went into surgery this morning to work on his burns. He was happy and positive. It’s always good to see this because it’s always hard on me. If I know he is good it makes me feel better.

They are going to work on his right arm and the right side of his back. They can’t work on all of his burns all at once because it would be to traumatic on Mateo. His first surgery 4 weeks ago was on his left arm and the left side of his back. His next surgery will be in another 4 weeks.

Hang in there son. Your doing great. Your such a strong person! We love you! 😘

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

This was a great dish. I love these steak bites. The only catch is you need to use good quality meat. It will not turn out if you buy cheap meat. It had so much flavor and was just perfect.

I paired it up with some egg noodles with fried onions and bread crumbs and I drizzled honey over that. If you have never tried it and you think it sounds icky…. try it!! YOU WILL LOVE IT!!! I thought the same thing when my grandmother made it for me years ago when I was a little girl. Now I make it for my kids and they LOVE IT! Hope you like this recipe!!! Enjoy 😉


• 1 tbsp olive oil

•1 1/2 lb sirloin steak cut into bite size pieces, or strip loin, tenderloin, strip steak or rib eye

•1/2 tsp salt or to taste

•1/2 tsp pepper or to taste

•2 tbsp butter unsalted

•4 cloves garlic minced

•1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

•1 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped


•Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat it over high heat. Make sure the olive oil is hot, then add the steak pieces to it. Season them generously with salt and pepper. 

•Cook for at least 2 minutes before stirring the steak pieces. You want to make sure you get a good sear on them. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes until they’re golden brown. If your skillet isn’t big enough, you may need to do this batches.  

•Transfer the steak bites to a plate and in the same skillet add the butter. Turn the heat down to a medium and after the butter has melted, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds while stirring, just until the garlic becomes aromatic and starts to brown.

•Pour the garlic butter over the steak bites and toss well. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Here We Come 2019

The year is coming to an end. I can’t believe how quickly it has come and gone. For me I’m glad to see it end. It was not a very positive year for my family.

January I had surgery on my hand from a fall due too a epilepsy seizure I had. I went through months of therapy to try to fix it and it’s just not fixable. 2 of my fingers are permanently bent and will never be straight again. I got a second opinion from another surgeon and he said I have to live with what I have. I was so very upset. I felt like my first surgeon should have done so much more and not waited so long.

In June my son had a motorcycle accident and almost lost his life and spent a little over a month in Burn ICU. Now he has to have surgeries every 4-6 weeks on the burn sites until they feel they are minimizing.

Then in August my daughter moved back to San Diego which broke my heart. It’s difficult to see your children move away from you, when you have taken care of them your entire life. I miss her so much more every time she walks out that door!

Then on December 14th, 4 days after my birthday my last living grandparent past away. He was my grandfather on my mother’s side. He lived a very long life of 92 years. He was war veteran and was so ready to go to be with my wonderful grandmother.

So yes, I’m ready for this year to end. I’m exhausted from the sadness that this year brought to me. But I held it together for everyone else like a mother should. I’m looking forward to 2019 and what it will bring.

I don’t make resolutions because I feel that these are things you should be doing all the time anyways….you should be working out, you should be dieting, you should go on vacation, you should spend more time with the family. You should not be doing these things just because it’s the New Year. Do them all year round.

So have an awesome 2019 I will be right here with you. Hopefully we will have the BEST NEW YEAR EVER! Cheers 🥂!

Merry Christmas

I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! This year we did not go anywhere, we stayed home. We had family from Wisconsin and my daughter came from San Diego to stay over the holidays as well. So it was and will be a busy week in the Ciancanelli household.

Hold your loved ones tight and remember to tell them how much you love them. They are a precious part of your life and you need to let them know that.


The Ciancanelli’s 😘