Dinner’s Ready: Susan Chain’s Italian Pasta Stir Fry

Dinner's Ready RRP Aug Susan Chain

It’s that time again! Back to school is here, and the busy hustle and bustle schedule begins for many parents. With school-aged children, extracurricular activities will be in full swing. A local mom shares one of her quick and delicious recipes to take the stress out of your weeknight cooking.

Susan Chain has a multigenerational family in Wetumpka. She’s originally from Texas, but Alabama has been her home for 20 years. She and her husband, John, have been married for 56 years. They have two children, ten grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. They also enjoy the luxury of retirement. Their daughter, Stephanie, is married to Mark McGuire, and the couple has been married for 15 years with three grown children and seven grandchildren. Stephanie is the Office Manager for Southland Transportation in Montgomery, and Mark works for the Department of Labor in Montgomery.

Susan shares, “We love to eat and feed our family. Stephanie and I both love to cook new things. We both have been cooking since we were eight years old. We like to be in the kitchen, which is the home’s focal point.” Susan’s mom taught her how to cook at a very young age, and she was one of eight children, so they all learned early. Therefore, she decided to teach her daughter young, too.

Cooking has been a hobby, and she likes to try new recipes. They’ve had round table discussions about a family restaurant with her famous burgers and brisket and John’s great steaks, but they prefer not to put in the massive amount of time it would take. Instead, they enjoy cooking and being together as a family whenever possible.

Susan says, “I cook a mean beef brisket. It’s usually a 12- 15 lb. brisket. I trim it, marinate in a rub, wrap tightly in aluminum foil, and set it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Then I slow cook at 225 degrees for 12-13 hours in the oven overnight. It is so tender you can cut it with a plastic fork.”

While cooking, some of Susan’s favorite things to use are Pampered Chef cookware and utensils. And her favorite skillets are 14-inch Granite Stone and iron skillets.

One of the family’s favorite traditions is cooking Mexican food at Christmas. They’ve been doing it for over 30 years. Several family members cook tacos, enchiladas, fajitas (chicken and steak), guacamole, rice, beans, pico de galo, and salsa that day.

This month, Susan shares a quick and tasty meal handed down in the family. It’s perfect for your school night menu.

Italian Pasta Stir Fry


16 oz. pack of Linguine
1 lb. cubed chicken (seasoned with lemon pepper)
2 medium zucchini, sliced
3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 medium purple onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Grated parmesan cheese


  1. Boil water and cook linguine according to package directions.
  2. In a medium skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, and garlic, and saute until crispy and tender.
  3. In a large bowl, add cooked linguine, chicken, and vegetables.
  4. Stir and add parmesan cheese. Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Kimberley Carter Spivey is a freelance writer, blogger, author, and entrepreneur. When she’s not working as an Instructional Systems Designer and copy-editor on Maxwell AFB, she’s busy freelancing, blogging, or toiling away at her next book. Her debut book Bloom: How to Get from Good Enough to a Life You Love can be purchased on Amazon and
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