Home for His Birthday!

Celebrating with Broken Cars and Good Food

Every time my husband is home for a holiday or birthday is a good day. This year we spent his birthday with him.

Kind of.

He spent most of the day with his head under the hood of a car. Why? Because they both chose to break at the same time.

I thought days like this were reserved for deployments. It always seems like the moment he walks out the door the washing machine breaks, the car dies, the computers crash, etc, etc, etc. Let’s just say I was grateful for his presence.

While he was outside somewhat enjoying his adult birthday, I got to work in the kitchen.

Here’s confession time. The hubs does most the cooking. He’s just better at it. One of his dreams is to go to culinary school, and while that isn’t going to happen while on Active Duty, he has started a food blog at www.RedGryphonTavern.com where he shares his recipes.

This week he was preoccupied with vehicles so I took over. I like simple and quick. My foodie loves “farm to table” and rich fresh flavors. So, I did both.

Every year he requests his mother’s Chicken Spaghetti, which typically takes a full two days for me to make. I streamlined it into a simple 2 hours (most of which I wasn’t in the kitchen for, more of a fix and forget method). I just don’t have the patience he does. I’d rather be writing, chasing kids, or reading. (notice I did not say cleaning)

He loves this recipe so much that before every child was born we would stock the freezer for easy meals with it. Every deployment homecoming, I would do the same, making sure his favorite meal was ready and waiting on him.

How did I reduce the cook on this dish? With the Instant Pot. I seasoned the chicken using herbs from our garden, fresh oregano and thyme. I threw in some vegetables, water, shut the lid, hit start and walked away. An hour later the chicken was cool enough to debone! (CLICK IMAGE FOR RECIPE)

Birthday Instant pot whole chicken

My favorite part, the mess was contained. Another confession. I’m a messy cook. Boiling a chicken on the stovetop requires a scrubbing of the oven afterward. This method required washing a dish.

The next part of making chicken spaghetti has become second nature to me. Throw some ingredients in the pot, simmer for 30 minutes, add the chicken and all the other ingredients and simmer for 20 min. Then put in storage containers (I love these glass pyrex ones for storage), bring to room temperature and put one in the freezer and one in the fridge. This dish tastes great right out of the pan but it’s even better if it has sat in the fridge for a day. When you’re ready to eat add cooked spaghetti noodles and enjoy! (CLICK IMAGE FOR RECIPE)

Birthday Grandma's Chicken Spaghetti

If you don’t have an Instant Pot I highly recommend you get one. It makes the entire process of cooking easier and the taste of the finished product is amazing. This was some of the best chicken I’ve made yet!


Pyrex 18 Piece Simply Store Food Storage Set, ClearPyrex 18 Piece Simply Store Food Storage Set, ClearInstant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, 6 Quart | 1000WInstant Pot DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, 6 Quart | 1000W

Do you have a go-to family favorite dish that is always requested for birthdays? Share with us in the comments. 

Oh and on a side note, one of two cars is now working so YAY!

It’s the little and big things that bring me joy.

Title Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash