Lynn Swink is the Personal Lines Director at Palomar Insurance. While insurance has been her career for the last 13 years, she also has a hobby business called Party Cakes & Pies out of her home, which follows Alabama Cottage Food Laws, and she runs a Facebook page—Pike Road Porch. Pike Road Porch entails Lynn attending town council and school board meetings and researching major topics to relay to people who couldn’t attend the meetings.
Lynn is married to Cole Swink, who works in sales for Mr. Pool. (interesting fact: Both Lynn and Cole celebrate their birthday this month on Valentine’s Day!) They have a nine-year-old daughter, Sadie, and are expecting their second child in July.
Cooking is an enjoyment for this working mom and wife. “I love when I have an extra big meal and can offer it to neighbors, or when it’s time to make someone dinner for ‘take them a meal’. I have confidence that I am pretty decent in the kitchen.
And I like to share with others. My husband jokingly says if I weren’t such a good cook and baker, he would be more fit.”
Like many busy moms, Lynn likes to take advantage of making quick meals. Most of her meals range from 30-45 minutes, but she leaves her longer prep meals for the weekend when she has more time.
In her youth, her mother always cooked and baked. And even though Lynn wasn’t in the kitchen with her much, she was still taught how to bake. “My mom taught me how to bake all of our Christmas treats and decorate cakes in my 20s, but I have just learned as I go with dinner recipes once I was married. My mom made me a handwritten recipe book, and I’ve added recipes from my mother-in-law, plus other family and friends.”
Currently, cooking is a necessity for Lynn, but she’d like to turn it into more of a hobby by creating a “gourmet club” with friends who are just as passionate about food as she is. One of her favorite dishes to prepare is a Cajun Chicken Pasta.
Lynn shares, “I found the recipe from a Facebook group I’ve been in since Sadie was born. It’s a group of around 80 moms who had babies due in June 2012, and we were all on the What to Expect app. During that time, sharing pictures on the app wasn’t user-friendly, so I started a Facebook group for people from our forum to join. One of the moms from California gave me this recipe at some point, and it’s one of the few I’ve never really altered.”
Cajun Chicken Pasta
½ stick butter
3 chicken breasts
Tony Chachere’s seasoning
Half a box of whole wheat penne pasta
1/3 glass white wine (can sub chicken broth)
2 cartons cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
Herbed goat cheese
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh grated Asiago Cheese
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh grated Fontina Cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a large soup pot, then brown chicken breasts with a liberal application of the seasoning on both sides.
Heat salted water in a pasta pot to boiling and add half a box of penne. Cook for 9 minutes, then drain.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and grate cheese while chicken is cooking and noodles are boiling.
Once chicken is browned on both sides place on an oven safe dish and move to the oven.
Deglaze the pan with white wine and scrape all the juicy brown bits off the bottom, then add cherry tomatoes and garlic.
Sauté for a few minutes while you finish grating the cheeses before adding goat cheese and heavy cream.
Stir constantly until all the goat cheese is melted, then add the shredded cheeses (reserve some grated parmesan for topping).
Stir constantly until all the cheeses are melted.
At this point the noodles are cooked and drained, so add the noodles to the tomato cheese sauce.
Pull the chicken out of the oven and it should be done; if not you can put it back in the oven to finish.
Pour any juices from the chicken into the noodles and sauce mixture, then cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pot.
Mix well. Serve with a glass of white wine and top with fresh grated Parmesan.
*Photo by Jessica Bern Photography.