Today is my precious Noelle’s 14th birthday! I can hardly believe it. I remember when she and her brother both fit in the palm of my hands at a tiny 8 weeks old. We lost our precious Andy, Noelle’s brother, earlier this summer to heart disease. A gentle and clumsy giant at 18 lbs, Andy was as mellow as they come. And he loved food just as much as his momma! 🙂 Not a day goes by that I don’t miss his sweet, kitten-like face. Noelle, at a petite 9 lbs is feisty and as sweet as pie. When she wants to be! 😉 She has amazed me with her independence after the loss of her brother, not knowing a day without him to being an only kitty.
To celebrate Noelle’s birthday and Andy’s life, we had Tuna Casserole! Noelle loves (LOVES!) “people food”, especially the baked-good kind – cake, muffins, pastries… I can’t open a can of ANYTHING without her thinking it’s tuna and I better not even think about having ice-cream without sharing. She wont allow it! 😉
1 (12-ounce) package egg noodles
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced & sautéed
Butter or olive oil, for sautéing
3 stalks celery, sliced in half and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 1/2 (12-ounce) cans tuna, drained
2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
Fried onions, optional for topping (or potato chips!)
Cayenne pepper, optional
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
2. Over medium heat, saute mushrooms in butter or olive oil until slightly soft. Remove from heat.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
4. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix noodles, onion, 1 cup cheese (1/2 cup of cheddar & 1/2 cup of swiss), peas, mushrooms, celery, tuna, soup. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish, sprinkle with cayenne pepper, top with remaining cheese and fried onions if using. Quick tip: mix the peas, celery, onion, tuna and mushrooms in a deep baking dish, add noodles, soup and cheese; mix. Sprinkle with cayenne, top with remaining cheese and fried onions. This eliminates an unnecessary dish/bowl needing to be washed! 🙂
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is bubbly.